Author Archive for: doug lawrie

Could You Do It ????

April 9, 2018
April 9, 2018

So I am going to start this post with a question; “What is the reason you play GOLF?” 

I am sure this question has a multitude of answers. Some of you would say for “FUN”. Some of you would say for the “COMPETITION”. Some of you would say for the “EXERCISE”. All of these are fantastic and very valid reasons to play golf.

Now if I changed the question to say; “What is your GOAL when playing GOLF?”

This changes things now doesn’t it? Some of you might say “to not lose any golf balls”. Some of you might say “to not have any 3 putts”. There are many goals when it comes to golf and being successful at it. Invariably the main GOAL of playing a round of golf is shooting PAR for the course (or better). There are golfers who play golf their ENTIRE life and fail to achieve this goal. But what if I could plant a seed in your Golf Brain that would completely change how you should approach playing golf to shoot par? 

Play golf from a distance that gives you the BEST chance of shooting par and that gives you the greatest chance to hit clubs into greens like those on the LPGA and PGA Tours.

Just pause and think about it for a second….

Junior tours have Juniors play from yardages that give them the greatest chance to make a par or birdie. As they get older and better at the game they move back to play tees that again are suitable for how far they hit the ball. (It doesn’t make sense for a 7 yr old to play from the yellow tees, take 5 – 6 shots to get it on the green and then a possible 2 – 3 more strokes, shooting 7-9 each hole does it? They’d be exhausted!!!)  Do you find it takes you too many shots and cannot hit greens in regulation because you are playing from tees that don’t allow you to? Are you EXHAUSTED after playing golf? 

WHY DO YOU?!?!?US Kids.JPG

US Kids Golf Foundation have recently implemented a unique and inventive way for players to have the most enjoyable, fast and potentially lowest scoring round for their players & members at Long Leaf Golf & Family Club, in Pinehurst NC. On their range when warming up players are asked to find out how far their drives fly according to this coloured chart. From there the club recommends what colour tees they should play based on how far they carry the ball in the air with their driver. (Where would you fall in according to THIS chart?) The results have been nothing short of amazing. Members have reported lowering their handicaps by nearly 4 strokes on average, playing times have been reduced by almost 15 minutes per foursome, and the overall enjoyment and feedback has been nothing but positive. But could you move up to 5000 yards from 6000 yards? Would you move from 5000 to 4000? Would our egos allow it? 

I would love to conduct an experiment, similar to our Junior Golf Programming by Operation 36, where you start 25 yards (Yes 25 yards) from the green and play 9 holes of golf. What do you think you would shoot? Par? Under Par? In Operation 36 juniors must reach this level of accomplishment before moving back to 50 yards and trying again. If Screen Shot 2018-04-09 at 9.47.02 AM.pngthey can continue to succeed in their ability to shoot par for 9 holes (that would be a great thing wouldn’t it) they continue to move back until they reach the appropriate tees for their ability. This allows for confidence to build, enjoyment to grow and skill to be enhanced through a program that is measurable and trackable for each golfer. Don’t those words sound like words you would like to have to describe your golf game? Could you do it? Could you start the year from a yardage that would give you the best chance at shooting par and if accomplished then and only then move back to the next set of tees? 

Everyone wants to play faster. Everyone wants to shoot lower scores. Golf is HARD. Golf is supposed to be enjoyable, not frustrating. Make Golf FUN Again…..at least for yourself and see what happens. I mean, what’s the worst you could do? Shoot Par? 

Sincerely, 

Coach Doug. 

 

TOP 50 Things I Learned This Year

January 1, 2018
January 1, 2018

 

 

Every year I start to think about what were the DEFINING moments and GAME CHANGERS that helped form and create the previous year of learning, experiencing and understanding.

Here are my TOP 50 Things I Learned This Year. There are still some on the list from my original 2015 List, but there are plenty of NEW items. I hope you can find your own personal favourites and that 2018 is a wonderful year for you, your business and your family.

Sincerely – Coach Doug

  1. Sharing your best thoughts and ideas with other professionals is important and uplifting
  2. My wife is still the KEY to my success and I am thankful for her every day!
  3. Social Media continues to educate me every day
  4. My Golf Club – Credit Valley Golf & Country Club “gets it” when it comes to Jr. Golf
  5. Golf is a wonderful medium to enrich friendships
  6. US Kids Golf has completely changed Junior Golf & continues to set the bar
  7. Listening to your students is a MUST
  8. Caffeine is a good thing
  9. My teenage son can pick up a Golf Club  twice a year and hit amazing shots
  10. You need to REALLY be there when your friends NEED you.
  11. Parents need Coaching as much as their Juniors do.
  12. Being GREAT from 80 yards and in will result in birdies and lower scores
  13. Apple Air Pods are an incredible piece of technology
  14. “Par 18” is the best indicator of how good your short game is.
  15. If you want to have a giggle, ask a group of 3-5 yr olds to describe a golf ball
  16. While I see the benefit of the “Team” practice, Golf is an INDIVIDUAL sport played by a single player
  17. You learn a lot about people when in a car with them for 12 hours.
  18. Having good Character is a key ingredient to being a GREAT coach.
  19. Fitted golf clubs have a huge, positive effect on your game
  20. I am going to miss teaching my PGM Course at Niagara College after 16 years
  21. A Frisbee is a great warm up activity
  22. There are a lot of “Golf Pros Who Cook” and can do it extremely well
  23. A Dollar Store flying coloured disc can double as a putting aid.
  24. The Putting stroke can look many different ways and yet be VERY efficient
  25. That 75 lbs of Dynamite can swing her driver faster than her weight.
  26. You are only limited to your imagination
  27. Being SILLY & GOOFY are ingredients of a Junior Golf Coach
  28. Driveway Markers have 101 (ok maybe closer to 20) uses
  29. Parents & Coaches who work together as a unit have a greater chance for success
  30. Roadmaps help your students succeed faster
  31. Mentoring others is GOOD for the soul
  32. The more my daughter ages the more she looks like my mom who she would have LOVED.
  33. Helicopters make really good swing thoughts
  34. That a mid 40’s, Flat Brim wearing, surfer talkin, internet sensation has FOREVER changed golf instruction #GUCCI
  35. Planning your day gives you WIGGLE room
  36. People leave their job all the time to chase their dream and for their OWN reasons
  37. My Church is a place where SMILES happen
  38. I DO NOT like losing to anyone in anything, especially an 11 yr old GIRL (#girlpower)
  39. We are in the RELATIONSHIP business and they can take on many different shapes
  40. That a CHILD’s LAUGHTER is the equivalent to a “SUPER-SIZED” can of Red Bull!
  41. I do my best thinking when listening to Progressive House music
  42. I would be LOST without my iPhone 7+
  43. Helping a Student land a Golf Scholarship gives you goose bumps
  44. Aimpoint is essential if you want to be a good putter
  45. Social media is not a place to argue a point, belittle others or make fun of someone
  46. Writing out goals is a great way to motivate yourself
  47. You can ALWAYS be better
  48. My dog Georgie can make my worst day vanish the minute I walk in the door
  49. There is a DEEPLY rooted sense of HELPING others attached to EVERY fibre of my being.
  50. #BETTERNEVERSTOPS

A Few Good Men…(Ok More Than Just a Few)

November 9, 2017
November 9, 2017
  • Kyle German

  • Conor O’Shea

  • Matt Diedrichs

  • Joe Garvey

  • Adam Cherry

5 Names. A Few Good Men. All of them former PGA of Canada Professionals, whose original plan was to create a legacy and career in the Golf profession. A couple great players. A social media up and comer. A solid golf coach. Now one of our Zone’s most solid professionals. All GONE!

I have been a PGA of Canada professional for 25 years. I haven’t seen this kind of exodus out of this profession like I have over the past 3 years. Now the Head Professional at my club Credit Valley Golf & Country Club has decided to leave as well. I get it. No really I do. Being a PGA Professional (meaning working IN the golf business and not playing the game as your job) these days is not easy. Pressures of Owners, Boards, Customers and Clubs to maintain budgets, make a profit and do the proverbial “More with Less” is now the norm. I’ve been there. I’ve felt this pressure. It’s unsettling. It’s sleep depriving. Add in some family pressure and the heartstring tugging and “POOF” more and more are GONE!

The Blog: Golf News Now just posted an interesting story on if you are considering a career change? It shines some light on things that are very telling about this business while asking you a very interesting question: “Can you see yourself staying in the position you are currently in for the remainder of your career?” I know that personally I  have found the Key to the Kingdom in coaching Golf. I know that I can see myself doing this for the rest of my life. It’s my joy, passion and every day I get out of bed I am EXCITED to get on the lesson tee. Good days or bad, I know that I have been able to create my success and been fortunate to have a Club that believes in all that I do. But just look at the response of the readers who voted on the Blog’s question: 

Every single professional that has left this business has had their reasons: Quality of Life, Work / Life Balance, Family, Money, Career Opportunity. Whatever the reason and whenever the decision is made I know that the battle is often equivalent to standing in an MMA Octagon and going 3 rounds with Connor MacGregor or the Ring with Floyd Mayweather. It is not easy. EVER! I think to make a change and walk away from something that, at times, was all you knew and wanted to do takes balls. We are a society that try to “read between the lines”  and forge our own ideas and reasons. We somehow cannot accept the simple fact that when you reach the end of the path and need to find a new one.

I admire all of those individuals who have faced this incredibly difficult decision. I faced it early in my career, but chose to stay and I am forever grateful. I am disappointed somewhat as well that really good people have left this business. One’s I think could have been game changers, new blood and ones that could have helped make a difference in this game of golf. I know my Head Professional is a wonderful man, great father, good player and LOVED being a Golf Professional. He’s chosen a new path that will give him the opportunity to do things he hasn’t done in a very long time. He’s excited about it. In fact as I watch him speak to members and tell them about it there is a little sparkle, a fire in his body language and tone. I think this is how I look when I’m speaking to my students because I found it. Now it’s his turn. For that I am so very happy for him and those who have found similar peace. I get it!

 

Sometimes CHANGE is a GOOD thing.

Coach Doug

What My College Basketball Coach Taught Me About Coaching Golf

November 3, 2017
November 3, 2017

Let me set the scene:

I remember the scene like it happened only yesterday. 4 seconds left on the clock. I make a fake up-court and break back to the ball being inbounded on our baseline. I know they’re coming, I can almost feel the foul coming before the hands touch my jersey. The whistle blows immediately as the pass enters my hands! “Foul! #31 You’ve got 2 shots!” said the ref. The crowd is going crazy. We have a 2 point lead, 4 seconds remain on the clock and I am heading to the foul line with a chance to ice the game! You would think at this point in the game that our foes (The Sheridan Bruins) coach would call a timeout to try to ICE me. As I was walking to the found line at the other end of the gym, listening to a Bruin player natter in my ear that I was going to miss and that I was a loser, to my surprise the ref blew his whistle and said, “Timeout Humber!” WHAT????? My own coach called the timeout? That NEVER happens! So as I sat down in the huddle and thoughts of confusion are running all across my brain wondering why my own coach was trying to ICE me, he says this; “Look, he’s going to make these two free throws, we know that. But whatever you do DO NOT TOUCH anyone after he MAKES them!” He then put his hand in the centre of the circle to which we ALL joined him and cheered “HAWKS”. I walked out to the foul line not feeling the pressure of NEEDING to make them, but feeling the confidence my coach had in me sat this point in the game. So in front of a very loud and bias crowd, I calmly sank both and just stood there as the Bruins ran down the court and attempted a last ditch effort for a miracle to no avail. We triumphed! Even though in that game I finished w 28 points, 6 three pointers and went 3/4 from the foul line, it wasn’t until years later I figured out what i learned that night!

It was the timeout that taught me the lesson. In fact I didn’t even realize for a very long time after that game how, my coach, Mike Katz’s decision to call that timeout was not an impulsive guess, but in fact a calculated effort to produce the very BEST result from his players. Mike is one of the most decorated and successful College and University basketball coaches in the Country. Having spent time w the national team and travelled the world coaching the sport, he has been successful on every level he has coached at. Now in retirement he is consulted by Universities and Colleges to offer his ideas and thoughts on how they can be great!

I believe being a successful Coach in ANY sport you need to be deeply rooted in your choice to make someone better. You need certain ingredients:

  • Desire
  • Compassion
  • Motivation
  • Influence
  • Rapport
  • Character
  • Realistic
  • Honesty
  • Risk
  • Teacher
  • Mentor

These qualities are all inside the headspace of Mike. Add in a very dry but great sense of humour and it all adds up to a coach who consistently produced teams and players who worked their butts off because we WANTED to.

These days I am fortunate to play golf with Mike, and while he is a borderline Svengali on the basketball court, he loves walking the fairways and chasing par at any chance. I think he has researched the golf swing almost as a much as he has how to break a 1-3-1 Full Court Press!  It’s in these times listening to him and chatting with him that I finally “get” the lessons he was teaching back in College. In fact I know that his coaching has had a HUGE influence on me and my ability to be to Junior Golf what he was to College Basketball. For that I am eternally grateful.

Golf is an individual sport. It is hard. It toys with your emotions. If you think long and hard about experiences you have had with coaches / teachers throughout your life I can assure you there are lessons inside those moments where you too thought “??????” what is this person saying / doing? We didn’t see it then. At least I didn’t. But if you can stay true to your convictions, provide a positive environment and not deviate, you will achieve your goal. It might not be titles, awards or trophies, but that’s not why we do it.

The lesson I learned almost 30 Years ago wasn’t about making a Free Throw to win the game as I thought it was. It was a coach pausing for a second to let his actions speak without saying anything except “when he makes these two shots”. Positive, confident, precise and a lesson learned.

Now it’s your turn, so don’t be scared to call your own “timeout” at a critical juncture.

Coach Doug.

When can you call yourself a Coach

October 24, 2017
October 24, 2017

 So Facebook asks: What’s on my mind…

I am sure this will completely start a firestorm but here it goes:

You consider yourself to be a Golf COACH, saying I COACH golf. In fact there have been many who even hold COACH camps, seminars, events, and a myriad of other “certifications” for Golf Teaching Professionals to acquire learning and become knowledgeable in that particular focus of Golf Instruction. I applaud the many who are considered experts in the art of Golf Instruction who are spreading their findings of the best way to help people swing it better based on their countless hours of work and research. 

Let’s agree right now that this is about Golf Instruction and the Swing. Period. End of story. This is not Golf COACHING. It is a PART of the WHOLE that makes up a Golf COACH.

We (PGA of Canada) in fact have CNC (Coaching New Competitor) and CDC (Coaching Developing Competitor) which are directly linked to www.coach.ca our national body for sport coaching in Canada. These programs are DIRECTLY focused on how to become a COACH and have been presented to PGA Associations across the globe because of this reason….it’s about COACHING, nothing else. 

If you have taken any kind of Coach training then this rant is not for you but come on people, the reality is you are calling yourself a Golf COACH because it’s “kitschy” and “sounds better” than Teacher or Instructor. There is NOTHING wrong with you wanting to help others and spread your knowledge and be paid handsomely for it. You deserve it.  But ask yourself if you are Instructing and Demonstrating your work to groups in a presentation format with power point and actual live action to show how you have arrived at your findings to make a better swing? Participating in these seminars, camps and schools as I have is merely gaining more knowledge on how the golf club moves. 

It’s like you’re the teacher of a grade 6 class, all of your fellow teachers are called teachers.  You don’t see them calling themselves Professors. Professors are called professors because they typically have a PHD! So an Instructor / Teacher shouldn’t be called a COACH unless they’ve got the same…..no?

Are you explaining how you: 

  1. explaining how the shaft flattens
  2. how biomechanically your body moves 
  3. any speak of a launch monitor 
  4. sequential order 
  5. flat spots in the swing
  6. rotational force vs linear force
  7. pivots or turns
  8. external vs internal
  9. visualization
  10. speed accumulators
  11. left brain / right brain
  12. 1,2,3 degrees of break
  13. starting line
  14. the D-plane
  15. supination vs pronation

OR

Are you explaining how you:

  1. set effective practice strategies
  2. run skill assessment testing & evaluation
  3. collect players stats and analyze them
  4. set goals for your players
  5. plan their schedules
  6. plan their in-game strategy & tactics
  7. consult with other experts for fine tuning
  8. observe them playing in tournaments  
  9. observe them in training on course  
  10. create annual plans to set up their year
  11. academics and life planning outside of playing
  12. work with the parents if necessary
  13. talk about nutrition on and off course
  14. fitness and mobility strategy for maximum results 
  15. what periodization means to a golfer 

COACHING involves far greater information and knowledge but we would NOT be able to be a COACH if we weren’t very good at the FIRST and most IMPORTANT thing:  we are a Golf Instructor / Teacher first and foremost. 

 

Handout or a Handup?

October 16, 2017
October 16, 2017

My very close friend, Jason Fairfield is one of the sharpest and hardest working guys I know. He has built a company from ZERO to one of the BEST online, digital communications & web companies in Canada. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have his wisdom at my fingertips. He has taught me many things while I have been building my coaching business, but it was something he taught me early on that completely changed how I looked at my direction and how I could become successful. 

We were chatting about the growth potential of gaining clients and as I had just begun working at a new facility, I was lamenting to him that I thought they (the new facility) would see me as a “viable” commodity and jump to promote my coaching and services. He then said to me, “Are you waiting for them to give you a HAND OUT? They just hired you and gave you a HAND UP, so why don’t you do the rest and show them they made the right decision and work your butt off!” 

I sat there for a few moments and thought about what he had just said, and I realized he was absolutely right (major ego check time here). I was thinking that they would or should be doing more for me as I am “Doug Lawrie, PGA of Canada”. What Jason had got me to realize by saying that to me was this; so many of us think that we need to be “GIVEN” something because of what we have achieved, awards won, degrees earned or positions held. The stark reality in our society is that there is far too much standing around with our proverbial “HAND OUT” waiting for something to be “GIVEN” to us and not enough recognition of the “HAND UP” or “opportunity” that stands before us. 

I remember reading in John Maxwell’s book “Failing Forward” (By far the BEST book I have ever read and you should too) that challenges are merely opportunities waiting to be discovered. Challenges are seen as insurmountable and difficult by most people. Jason merely lit the fuse in my brain that attached to my deep desire to help others. I thought “Wow! “Since I was given an opportunity to grow my business and a blank slate, I knew I could design the very BEST coaching programs and do it how I wanted to.”  I had sitting in front of me the opportunity to create my OWN success or failure. Yes it is true that sometimes you cannot see the forest for the trees.

These words Jason and I spoke about nearly 8 years ago motivated me so highly they led to me becoming one of the best Junior Golf Coaches in North America and the most recognized/awarded PGA of Canada Professional in the past 5 years. So I challenge YOU to think about what is facing you at this time in your life. Are you waiting for someone to GIVE you a HAND OUT to solve it, or are you taking that HAND UP you’ve been given and writing your own success?

Stop waiting and Start working! 

Coach Doug

 

The Reason “Sharing” is the key to Future of Golf

January 5, 2017
January 5, 2017

It’s MINE – GO GET YOUR OWN!

The proverbial saying “You can’t take it with you” pertains mostly to your wealth that you have at the end of your life and that you should spread it around. Recently I’ve found a couple of instances that have gotten me thinking that this EXACTLY what my fellow Golf Teaching Professionals, Coaches & Facilitators should be doing.

What I am talking about is this:

That you have spent more than one third of your lifetime (Remember, the second third is the time you spend sleeping!) working in this business for potentially multiple facilities / courses and you don’t care about leaving a legacy behind?  I can imagine how there may be plenty of pros who wouldn’t care about leaving a legacy behind, but isn’t that a rather sad thing? Yes it is!

Traditionally we’ve been like this guy in the picture, self centred, greedy and most of all not willing to share what we know, have or use to be successful unless we are getting paid to do it. (I am not saying there shouldn’t be compensation if a possibility) However we’ve wanted to out think, out teach and of course out preform (our student’s results) and shove it down our fellow professional’s throats while saying “Look at me!” That needs to CHANGE now!

This year I have personally experienced opportunities where I have been asked questions and consulted others on their Junior swings, programs, ideas and thoughts. I feel honoured and humbled by these requests. But one of the BIGGEST things I’ve done when approached, is I have NEVER said “no”. In fact I find myself asking them questions like “How can I help you more?”. This isn’t just in my world and in fact I have experienced one of the best examples of professional sharing (thank you social media), from this guy below. George Gankas has over 53,000 followers on Instagram and whenever I ask him a question, he doesn’t take days to get back to me, it’s immediate and he always does it encouraging and engaging. He is sharing all that he knows through Instagram and Youtube and you CAN pay for more if you want. But it’s the openness and ease of sharing that gives this guy his appeal. (Not to mention the flip flops, flat brim cap and surfer dude speak) It doesn’t hurt that he is really good too!

This proactive inclination towards sharing your knowledge is not only an essential and critical learning activity for each and every teaching professional out there, but it is also something that I have been thinking a lot about lately as it pertains towards the concept of leaving a legacy behind.   I am a little skeptic to believe that people would feel that sharing is a key point to the success of golf and instruction for the future nowadays, to be honest, I hope they are reading this blog post, because I think that if they aren’t willing to share with everyone they need to look for another job. A legacy is just as important as that one from everyone else by contributing to the general and collective living memory of golf.  Can there be anything more rewarding than that? … Specially, when that knowledge shared is reused by others, even when you are not there anymore? … Think about it….

What if you adopted this simple continuous circle this year? Take your knowledge that you’ve created & stored and send it out! Don’t be scared, be helpful and watch how amazing you feel! However you do it you will learn from this experiment and be able to reinvest into yourself the knowledge gained NOT taking all of it with you!

Sharing is caring and the key to Golf’s Future.

Cheers,

Coach Doug

Top 50 Things I Learned 2016

December 31, 2016
December 31, 2016


Here are the TOP 50   
Things I’ve Learned This Season. 

 

 

 

1. There are some AMAZING Junior Golf Coaches in this world!
2. Kids are incredible teachers
3. Bravery is watching a 6 yr old move into the bigger kids group
4. Speaking at a Grade 2 level works for kids and especially adults
5. Being SILLY is OK and actually therapeutic
6. 10 yr old girls can play like LPGA Tour players
7. The Story “The Day The Crayons Quit” guarantees laughter 100%
8. You can teach an old dog new tricks no matter how long they’ve been a professional
9. Share what you know with those who ask because keeping it a “secret” is ridiculous
10. Acupuncture is a godsend
11. I have the most AMAZING and UNDERSTANDING Wife.
12. Ask a 4 yr old to describe a golf ball then listen
13. No matter how much you pour into students you have to ALWAYS remember they might leave
14. ADHD is the secret to my success and I am so thankful for it
15. Ice Cubes on a hot day bring smiles
16. Make time for yourself & the ones CLOSEST to you
17. If you want ideas for games, walk through the board game section of Toys R Us
18. That you can change lives because of this game whether they are 5, 20 or 70
19. Colouring breaks during a lesson are sometimes a MUST
20. Ping Pong is an essential skill
21. Solar Sleeves are a gift from the golfing gods
22. Being positive is infectious
23. Just because you coach some big named players does not mean you have good character
24. That you ALWAYS have to remember who your audience is
25. US KIds Golf makes dreams come true
26. A Child’s Laughter is still Nature’s Red Bull
27. Instagram has grown my understanding of the golf swing
28. Payne Stewart was special and would have made the most amazing Ryder Cup Captain
29. Custom fit golf clubs are an ESSENTIAL piece of your complete puzzle to play better
30. Just hanging out and being a cheerleader is ok
31. Sometimes 3 holes is just enough
32. Changing the culture of instruction takes time
33. 7:30 am swing theory chats in Toronto are 7:30 pm in Shanghai
34. Josh Donaldson’s baseball swing is a great visual for golf
35. Playing as many sports as possible as a child is a MUST
36. 70 lbs of Dynamite can make a golf ball go 205 yards
37. Some of my best pro-friends I wouldn’t know if not for Social Media
38. Dustin Johnson is a freakish athlete
39. Steph Currie is pure talent
40. Coaching takes planning and a deep rooted sense of COMPASSION
41. PLAY is a child’s FIRST language
42. Water Balloon Speed Filling Straws are a HUGE time saver
43. You cannot EVER mail it in working with kids
44. Character is the cornerstone to being a good person
45. Creativity is the baseline of a WONDERFUL junior program
46. Kids deserve your patience
47. Bring the Backshop Kids Ice Coffee when it’s 90 degrees out to say THANK YOU
48. You are NEVER done learning
49. Watching your student win a world championship will make you CRY every time
50. That #ilovemyjob

What’s your TOP 50?

Have a Wonderful 2017 Everyone! – Coach Doug

When a student leaves…a Coach’s view

November 7, 2016
November 7, 2016

Butch Harmon, Hank Haney, Sean Foley. 3 of the most famous Golf coaches in the World because they had the opportunity to work with Tiger Woods. Every time that Tiger decided that he was going to change coaches it was an absolute media frenzy and made headlines across the Golf World. This has been well documented and written about as the media have tried to answer the question; why? Carlisle Group

Why would the most dominant player in the history of the sport change the pathway of his success not once, not twice but three times? You’ve read about it was his body changing, his desire of perfection, and the eternal pursuit of breaking almost every record the game of golf has ever had.

Professionally this is a man who has had no equal until recently, and for that matter he raised the bar so high the “trickle-down” Tiger effect has reached far into the annals of Competitive Junior Golf.   I have an up close and personal relationship with this as my job is to help every single boy and girl who want to play this wonderful game, do it as best as they can. I always begin every first meeting with every junior the exact same way. I ask the parents to bring them to meet and then we embark on a journey to see if there is a fit. Do they feel like they can work with me and similar do I feel I can work with them. I encourage the parents to discuss the session with their child and engage them in the decision about coming back to see Coach Doug. I believe this important because building a relationship with these children is KEY to being able to connect and inspire them to do their best.

Holding CourtIn fact I would have to say that it’s these great bonds with my juniors that make it so rewarding as a coach to see them grow, learn, smile and laugh and equally hard to watch when they are upset, hurt, frustrated and cry when this game kicks their butts. You feel at times that you are walking in their shoes and feel all the pain and all the joy they do.

As their coach, mentor, teacher and cheerleader you work closely with them and their parents to provide a “road map” of their journey and plot a course that allows for them to see what they want to work for. The communication with parents is an essential piece in coaching and I have had every kind of experience throughout my career to keep this channel an open and honest one. This is very important because parents (I too have felt this with my own kids) feel that their child is a “prodigy” or “the next Tiger”. I often tell parents that their child is only on the Front 9 of their golf career and OUR goal should be giving them the opportunity to love this game so they Finish the Back 9 and make it to the 18th hole!

But sometimes no matter how much you do or how much the junior enjoys you and your coaching, they leave. It took me a while in this business to realize that it isn’t how much I do for them.  This isn’t about me. It’s about THEM. Junior golfer parents want their children to be the very BEST they can be and invariably will seek out what they feel is the most convenient, affordable, exclusive, high performing, matched programming to get their child to whatever level they desire. You cannot control this. You can only invest 200% into every child and know you have done everything you can.

The question is always WHY? Why do they leave? Maybe they think the grass is greener somewhere else? Maybe you weren’t getting them to where they want to be fast enough. Maybe the distance to you is too far to travel for what they want to invest? Maybe you are too expensive or because of their other commitments cannot afford your programming? Maybe they found another instructor who fits better than you? Maybe there is an issue in their lives that prevents them from playing at a high level and they need to step away from it?

Whatever the reason, remember this: It’s OK!

 

Our job is not to ride the coat tails of the juniors and students we teach into the annals of Golf Instruction Stardom. That is selfish and self centred. Build them up and if they decide to leave then wish them nothing but the VERY BEST and check your ego at the door. Remember there are all your other kids waiting for you. If you can aim to leave a little bit of your wisdom or influence with every junior golfer you coach, instruct or teach during the tenure of your career then you WIN! This is not about YOU or ME, its about THEM! 

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I remember a wonderful quote from the owner of Olympia Sports Camp ( I was both a camper and counsellor there) Dave Grace: Winning Is – Doing the MOST with the CAPABILITIES you HAVE! So if you follow this simple piece of information and know that there is a good chance in your career some of your best players will leave for whatever reason, you will be able to keep your head up.

Sincerely,

Coach Doug

5 Keys To Building A WICKED Jr Program

November 4, 2016
November 4, 2016

5 Keys To Building A WICKED Jr Program

So you are the new kid on the block. You are beginning your position at a new club and one of your tasks is to revive and / or design the Junior Golf Program. Some would say “easy,” some would say “not so fast,” and some would even say “help!”

5-things-to-do-with-funnelsIt is somewhat of a daunting task unless you have been doing programming and development for a long time.

I have found that there is a formula to follow which will JUMP START your programs and set the tone for repeatable and continuous business. Here are my TOP 5 KEYS to Building a WICKED Jr Program:

  1. Do Your Research –  Ask fellow pros what they do that is successful. Ask what programs they’ve offered at your club in the past. Check what access juniors have to programs (do they have to be a member to enrol?)
  2. Host a Pre-Season Junior Orientation  – Prior to the season beginning offer a “Junior Orientation Day” for parents & juniors to attend meet you, see your new programs and ask questions.
  3. Offer a Program with Potential “Fallout” – Often programs are run without looking at the potential “Fallout” for other Programs, Lessons, Coaching and Camps to benefit from the program in focus. Your program should be so good that when you are asked about details on any other program you have it ready to give them details.  fall-out-programs

4.  Get Parents / Grandparents Involved – Times have changed in golf. Focusing on the Family Unit and programs that can involve them ( Caddying , Chaperones, Volunteers, etc..) which only nurtures the bond.

5. Quality Over Quantity – Resist the urge to over subscribe your programs or have a group size that far exceeds what you can control and effectively manage. This is very important in the effectiveness, safety and learning of the program. Research has shown that a maximum of 6:1 ratio student to EXPERIENCED instructor is best, while a 4:1 ratio is sometimes better depending on the age of the group. However you decide you want to go, it will result in better “Fallout” into other programs and you will be able to scheduled more programs to accommodate the over flow. 

Try these 5 steps and you will start off with a BANG! 

For further information or questions please contact me directly at: doug@focusgolfgroup.com

All the best,

Coach Doug