As parents, we spend an inordinate amount of time making sure that we find the ideal situation for our children. From finding the perfect pediatrician, the perfect school, and the perfect “everything,” we consider, discuss, and conduct extensive research to find “only the best” opportunities for our children. When it comes to enrolling our kids in golf coaching, we should also equip ourselves with the insight needed to find the perfect coach, who will properly supervise, nurture, and enrich our children.
PGA Professional Ralph Landrum is a junior golf expert. With numerous years of hands-on experience working with thousands of junior golfers, as well as experience teaching and mentoring other teaching professionals, Landrum has keen insights as to what characteristics make the finest junior golf instructors. Landrum advises parents to consider the following:
Look for the Seal: Landrum strongly suggests that parents “look for the seal” and seek PGA or LPGA Professionals. “By securing the services of either a PGA or LPGA Professional, you can be assured that the individual has received extensive training on how to most effectively teach the game of golf and know how to ensure that students ultimately achieve success and confidence out on the course,” said Landrum.
Ask for a Recommendation: “While you could go ‘doctor shopping’ online, most of us find healthcare professionals by asking our friends and family for recommendations,” notes Landrum. Finding a qualified teaching professional works on the same premise.
Observe: There is no truer testament of a golf professional’s teaching style than “watching them in action.” Landrum suggests you observe the potential instructor coaching youngsters around your child’s age group. You should be able to determine how well he or she relates to young golfers, how well they can inspire and engage, and how effective they are in helping kids succeed and have fun.
Follow the Happy Kids: A great junior golf coach will be surrounded by happy kids! Many of the country’s top junior coaches have devoted themselves to developing strategies and techniques designed to evoke an optimal learning experience for each individual child; and in the process, most have accumulated a sizable following. Landrum also notes, “There are other unique skills needed to teach kids as compared to adults. The youth golf coach should be capable of creating a fun, safe environment. They also need to be a little quicker on their feet due to shorter attention spans!”
Search for the Intangible: One of the best things about the game of golf is that it provides an opportunity for kids to learn some of life’s most valuable lessons – integrity, respect, and discipline. So, along with helping your child to drive the ball 200 yards, your coaching professional should also teach your child on-course etiquette and sportsmanship, along with other values which can be used both on and off the course.
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.com/journeys