When can you call yourself a Coach

 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


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.