From the PGA
Find the right coach for your game
By Beth Ann Nichols
PGA of America
Tara Morris coaches a group called Pathway to the Pines on Wednesdays. One of the most impactful days, she said, is showing players around the club.
Morris, a PGA Professional at Country Club of Castle Pines in Castle Rock, Colorado, has found that newcomers to the game, particularly women, are often intimidated before they even put a peg in the ground.
Where do I park the cart? How much and how often do I tip? How does bag drop and storage work? There’s a rule of the day at her camp, etiquette lessons, even tips on how to drive the cart.
There are no stupid questions.
Morris’ goal is to help her athletes feel comfortable playing with anyone on the tee sheet.
The ages of Morris’ players range from 5 to 85. Her tips for selecting the right coach?
Find someone you feel comfortable with, someone who speaks your language. PGA coaches know that athletes process information in different ways.
Finding a coach you enjoy being around can be just as important as the knowledge that coach imparts.
“It’s just getting more creative,” said Morris. “Having different answers to the same problem.”
For juniors especially, a series of personalized sessions might not be the best way to improve. Chris Knobloch, a PGA Professional at Junior Golf 365 in Peachtree City, Ga., is a firm believer in group play.
A group atmosphere not only fosters competition, but helps youngsters create a sense of community, learning important social skills along the way. Morris’ camps usually include one individual lesson a month. The rest of the time juniors are pushing each other on a weekly basis.
“I’m not trying to teach every kid that I see to be a Tiger Woods,” said Knobloch. “I’m trying to teach them to enjoy a game for a lifetime.”
Wherever your golf journey is heading, let’s get you there. There are nearly 29,000 PGA Professionals ready to help. Find yours at pga.org/journeys.