Being a golf coach entails more than just teaching. As a coach, you should be able to analyze the players motivation and assist them use that motivation to play the game. You should also be able to teach them skills that will make them better golfers. Playing experience is a key component of teaching the game before even certification comes in. You therefore need to master the game, then get certified and find the coaching work.
You may choose to be a full-time golf coach depending on your passion for the game. This career can be very rewarding especially when you see your players make major breakthroughs in the game. We look at the three steps of becoming a golf coach.
Step 1: Learning every aspect of the game
This is the first step in becoming a reputable coach in the golf game. Players will be presented to you of various skill levels and temperament and you will be required to work with them. It is therefore important to understand all the details pertaining the game and be an expert in the basics of the game. At this step you don’t need to be specifically certified.
You need to learn the basic drills and exercises that will enable you teach the game to other people. In order to master the game, we recommend you to adopt the following procedure:
1. a) Get the right knowledge – having the right knowledge is key to ensuring your techniques are perfect. This therefore means that before you even think about coaching players, you need to get your own coach. A coach will assist you correct any mistakes and bad habits that occur during the game. Finding a golf coach should not be a difficult process.
You can visit your local golf course, a country club or the Professional Golfers Association directory of certified instructors to get one. You can also choose to learn online as there are plenty of training materials on the web. You can watch YouTube videos and get the right knowledge that will help you as you pursue your coaching career.
2. b) Consistent practice – the only way to actualize the concepts you are learning is to put them into practice. Regular practice will therefore help you develop a deeper understanding of the game. You don’t necessarily need to have the skills of a professional golfer to get coaching. All you need is to ensure that the knowledge acquired enables you to understand every aspect of the game. You need to fine tune your swing by regularly going to the driving range.
This will also enable you to work on your short game as you practice your putting skills. You also need to play as many golf rounds as you can to understand the potential challenges and how to counter them. This may also involve playing with a range of players and seeking the services of pointers and guides.
3. c) Studying the various facets of the game – in your pursuit of becoming a coach, you need to understand the various intricacies of the game. Learning the game is not a one off affair, it will take you a lifetime of study and practice. Working under a skilled instructor will help you get the various facets of the game and the finer points in golfing. You must make a commitment to learn and read as many books and publications as you can about the sport.
If you are going to master the game, you need to understand golfing stance, physics of golfing and how to adapt to the course. In golfing stance, you need to understand how positioning your leg can have an impact on the type of swing you can achieve.
This will help you teach your students to avoid positioning mistakes. There are various physics concepts that affect the design of the golf club and how the game is played which you ought to understand. This includes mass distribution and rotational inertia concepts. Sometimes players may have to play under windy conditions or sand traps. You need to understand how to make adaptations to these conditions rather than just focusing on hitting the ball as straight as possible.
Step 2: Playing in tournaments
The next step of becoming a good golf coach is acquiring the tournament experience. You need to be involved in as many tournaments as you can. You also need to keep track of how you perform in each of these tournaments as it forms part of experiences to include in your coaching resume. You should strive to play in many surroundings to acquire the requisite skills of playing on different courses. As a coach you will be expected to guide your players on how to approach a new playing course.
You also need to help your players develop a preparation routine that can help them win tournaments. Most golfers gauge their success based on how they perform in tournaments. To build a reputation as the desirable golf coach, you need to show players that you know what it takes to make them win.
To start with, you will play at the local tournaments. Depending on your performance, you will qualify to play at the regional and national tournaments. With enough dedication and practice, you may qualify to play with the elite golfers at the international tours.
You may also use these tournaments to interact and network with players who have made it in the game. Some of these tournaments are advertised and hence you just need to be on the lookout to participate in them.
Step 3: Get certified
At least 18 universities around the world offer Professional Golfer’s Association (PGA) accredited programs that you can enroll and get certified. Many employers will require certification to hire your services. Some of the programs are short enough and will take you between 5 to 7 days. These courses will give you knowledge beyond golfing practices and train you in aspects like golf psychology, nutrition and bio-mechanics.
You also need to understand the differences of coaching at various levels of a competition. The local golfers association will in most cases be responsible for certifying golf coaches.
You may also get certification from PGA especially if you want to be identified as a professional golfer. It is a lengthy process but can get you better paying opportunities as a coach. You will also be able to coach the elite golf players. To get PGA accreditation, first you need to undergo an apprenticeship program. This may involve taking a professional management program in golf.
You can then complete a PGA university program on Golf management. Here you get a bachelors degree after five years of training which also enables you to apply for PGA membership. Class A members can also take advantage of the Test Out option which allows them to transition to membership within the PGA.
In order to become a good golf coach, you need to take time to be able to understand people and how to help them in various situations. Taking courses like psychology, may help you gain a better overview of how the human mind works. You also need to be very patient with your students as you will get all manner of students from different walks of life.
Take time to talk to as many people as you can and learn the different approaches in the game. Knowing how to deal with different situations based on real life experiences will make you one of the best coaches in the game.