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Do You Have What It Takes to Teach Golf?

May 6, 2008

It takes more than a vast knowledge of a particular subject to become a good teacher. You need specific personality traits to truly stand out in the field of education. So, it should go without saying that in order to be a great golf instructor, knowing how to play the sport well is only half of the job. Having certain skills and personal attributes is key in order to teach golf proficiently.

Patience
Having a love for the game is not enough. You must have a good amount of patience to be able to teach golf effectively to both young and old. As a golf instructor, you will be teaching the sport to all skill levels from amateurs to pros.
  • Amateurs - Keep in mind that most amateurs know very little about golf until you teach them. This means you will have to start with the basics and work from there. In addition to teaching the fundamentals, remember that some students may not "get it" immediately, and that may become frustrating for student and teacher. Remember to keep your cool. Showing frustration toward your students is never a good way to keep clients.
  • Pros - Many pros have their own way of playing golf, and those ways may be incorrect. As a golf instructor, you must teach golfers the correct way to swing a club, read the field, putt, etc. Pros tend to be set in their ways and may be resistant to taking advice. Be respectful of their talents, yet consistently insist they practice the game correctly. This also takes patience.
Dedication
If you want to teach golf, you must realize that this job is not a nine-to-five career. To keep up with the modern trends and new golf techniques, a good golf instructor should become involved in golf groups, instructor meetings, committees, and volunteer work. Plus, as a golf instructor, one should consider that it might be necessary to spend some time away from home to attend conferences and conventions. A good golf teacher is always committed to perfecting his or her craft.

Detailed Oriented
If you appear disorganized, your students will pick up on it and you will lose credibility. Golf instructors must be organized in their professional responsibilities. No student is alike. You will find that it is much easier and worthwhile to teach golf when you have a game (or lesson) plan for each individual student.

Outgoing & Friendly
As an instructor, you will teach golf to all kinds of people. This means you will be meeting quite a variety of individuals on a regular basis. You must have an outgoing personality and thoroughly enjoy working with people to truly excel at teaching golf. If you come off cold or disinterested, you will most likely lose clients. You can be the most talented golfer, but if a student is uncomfortable around you, he or she will not be able to relax and learn; therefore, not be able to play to the best of his or her ability. This may cause them to seek instruction elsewhere. So, you must honestly enjoy being around other people.

Sense of Humor
Using humor as part of the teaching process has proven to be a powerful method of education. Never be too serious when teaching. Remember, your clients are learning how to play golf because they enjoy the sport. They enjoy being outside, the beauty of the course and the satisfaction of perfecting their skills. Golf is all about having fun while learning an exciting game.

Before you decide to pursue a career teaching golf, speak to some professional golf instructors. See if they truly enjoy the art of education. Ask them about their experiences with clients. Find out more about the methods they use when they teach golf. This way, you will be better equipped to decide if you have what it takes to teach golf.

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