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Distance Coaching Takes Center Stage For PGA Coaches Across America

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Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

PGA of America Coaches across the country are uniting to flatten the curve to help bring the game that we love back as quickly as possible. Yet as we enter week four of the stay at home orders, PGA coaches are using this time to accelerate the use of Distance Coaching Technology (DCT) to support their students, clubs and their families.
Mark Durland, PGA Member for 17 years in Naples Florida coaches 2,180 players around the world that he has never met before.
“I tell the system how many hours I would like to coach a day and it sends me alerts when the player has submitted their golf swing.”
Using an AI assisted coaching tool it enables Mark to produce an immersive coaching experience for his students where only one metric matters: Their game improvement.
"When they get better then they come back more and more," Durland said. "I can deliver 10-15 sessions in one hour."
What is Distancing Coaching Technology?
Unlike the traditional coaching model where the player and coach meet in person first, Distancing Coaching Technology (DCT) is built to enhance the player experience using their mobile phone. DCT is similar to technologies used with distance medicine like using your phone to take a picture of your skin or record a heart rate.
“Distance coaching begins with an alert like an Uber driver gets, I see a face on and downline swing and 6 minutes later, aided by technology, an immersive lesson is delivered with annotations, drills, and a roadmap. The player makes the changes and sends it back until the player improves and the coach moves the student to the next level. Golf swings come in from Oil Rigs, to living rooms to backyards.
How Does DCT Technology Work?
Like launch monitors (E.g GCQuad, Trackman) use an algorithm to calculate the spin rate, Distance Coaching Technology pairs a PGA Coach with an AI engine to rapidly create the fix sequence for the player and dynamically select drills, annotations, scoring, fault fixes including the 6 laws of ball flight. DCT creates an immersive roadmap of the player’s improvement sequence. In the past, a coach would get overwhelmed with text messages and iPhone videos from their players. Now that complexity is simplified, ordered and monetized for the coach and coaches can manage 1,000+ players.
What Distance Learning is Not
Distancing Coaching is not sending an in-person video recorded back to the player on their phone. DCT is a realtime 2-way interaction based on their golf swing. Durland commented, “The golf swing has interconnected parts. When the player makes a change, the player needs to know what else changes so they can improve.” It’s like being a doctor checking in on patients as the medical record of the swing allows me to optimize my time and scale.
What happens after the virus is over?
Golf is no exception to digital transformation - while all of us want to be there in person for our one on one lesson it is not always feasible and not always the best use of our time. Doctors have retired to only now be busier than ever reading x-rays from their cabin in Montana - why should golf be any different. Distance learning accelerates the PGA Pros ability to move even faster even after the virus is contained.