What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
I don't rely on the typical cookie cutter lesson strategy. If I used the same scripted dialogue with every student then I'd be wasting their money and my time.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I'm a sponge for new data and research. I enjoy spending the time to study new facets of the game and incorporating them into my Instruction. I love playing the role of the nerdy guy in class who has the answers to the tests who everyone cheats off of. That's all golf instruction really is, an instructor that is essentially just saving you the time from having to spend endless hours studying.
I believe the best golf instructors throughout history take the more challenging road and do their own homework. I don't see the point in sitting in a class to stay on top of some trendy method. Let alone PAY someone thousands of dollars for the right to slap another worthless "Level I" or "Level IV" next to my name.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
Being named after a legend, you could say I had my path laid out for me early on. My Father told me as a youngster "to succeed in your career, be the best at what you do". Since I was pretty good at the whole playing golf thing and I always had a passion to learn more about the game - Its the perfect line of work for me.
What types of customers have you worked with?
Ben Hogan once said "Golf is not a game of good shots, its a game of bad shots". What Mr. Hogan meant by this is simple. The game of golf is best played by minimizing the amount of bad shots hit during a round & minimizing the distance they are hit off target. This principle is the core of my teaching philosophies.
A typical full swing/short game lesson:
*A quick discussion of what the student would like to improve on and their physical limitations.
*An equipment check as the student warms up.
*Watch the student hit balls at given targets as if they were playing on the course.
*Explain their swing type and how to improve what they have.
*Give demonstrations/drills and insure the student fully understands what to work on.
*Observe the student as they practice and reinforce the proper movements.
*Allow the student to give & receive feedback on what they will practice.
*Answer any questions and schedule the following lesson.
For most of my students, improving their bad shots does not include a swing overhaul. The majority of golfers do not have the time it takes to grove a "textbook" swing, but with proper instruction and quality practice, realistic goals can be reached.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
When searching for a golf Instructor, look for the following:
-Can provide multiple solutions to fix a swing fault.
-A strong playing resume
-Utilizes High Speed Video Or launch monitor (no, not just iPads)
-Has a website with instruction material
AVOID the following "Instructors":
-Anyone who claims to know Mr. Hogan's secret and exploits it to sell golf instruction. Opinions are one thing, but selling Hogan's secret to sell books, lessons, (etc.) shows a major lack of class (ex. the "ONE PLACE GOLF SWING" )
-STAY AWAY FROM instructors that push the same swing method on everyone. (Example- Natural Golf or the One Plane Swing)
-Those who market their instruction with sucker terms such as "Magic move", "weird trick", "guaranteed",
-Highly Discounted lessons (you get what you pay for)
-Head Professionals and their assistants (they work too many long hours to have the time to stay on top of your game and their teaching skills)
-Instructors who "do as I say not as I do, I'm a Pro". If they have never hit a ball like a pro then they are not.
-These are generalizations and there are always a few exceptions.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
I don't work a typical 50 hour work week. I spend many long hours a day teaching and learning, but I love what I do and I'm pretty darn good at it. Although I would love to, I actually don't play and practice everyday. Most of my students play more rounds of golf than I do.