Kiel Alderink - Senior Instructor at Todd Sones Impact Golf Academy
Jun 27, 2014
How did you achieve your current position?
I was just learning to teach in my first golf professional job out of the Academy. I was (and am always) very eager to learn. I was seeking out as many top instructors as possible to observe and ask questions to learn from. I talked with Brad Turner and Greg Gossett to ask who would be worth learning from and they suggested Todd Sones who was in Chicago, about a 4-hour drive from where I was in Michigan. I reached out to Todd and it was totally worth it. I spent the day with Todd and got to tell him about my goals and my passion to be a top instructor. Todd called me out of the blue about 6 months later, telling me he had an open position on his staff. I was in the process of trying to build my own reputation in Michigan, but knew I was young with much to learn. I accepted the position and began teaching with Todd in April or 2010.
I kept the same eager learning mentality. This is who I am. If I am going to do something I am going to be the best I can be at it. I read close to 200 books ranging from golf swing to biomechanics and neuroscience. I have been able to build a great network and have spent time with Dr. Jim Suttie and Mike Adams, who I believe are the best in terms of knowledge and helping players' swings based on body type and not an idea. With the likes of Suttie, Adams, EA Tischler, Todd Sones and more I have been able to help many players and build a clientele that is highly competitive. I have helped players get through Q school, earn college scholarships, win tournaments and beat their personal best scores.
After much success in the first three years with Todd, he offered me a promotion as a Senior Instructor on staff. I was allowed a raise in my rate and began to lead golf schools.
What were the biggest influences on your career choice of golf?
It probably sounds cliché, but I love the game. I loved golf growing up and the feeling of improving was way beyond what I felt in basketball, baseball, tennis, or football. I also love to take a student and solve their puzzle. Every student has different strengths and weakness, and you need to quickly figure out how to help them get better. I was always so fascinated when I took a lesson and my teacher helped me improve within an hour's time. I always left with a sense of confidence. I wanted to give that to other players. I love to develop a plan for players and really see it work and watch them hit their goals. There is no feeling like that.
How did Golf Academy of America help you to achieve your goals?
I was fortunate to have great teachers at my campus. Between Brad and Greg who both came from an instructional background, they helped me learn what it takes and what to expect.
What advice would you give those wanting to get into the golf business?
Work hard to be the best. Golf is a disposable income industry with a lot of competition. Golfers deserve to be in company of a golf professional who is knowledgeable and caring, whether you're an instructor or assistant pro. The Golf Academy is a great place to learn and prepare you to get into the business. There is no doubt about that. I have gone through the PGA and know of other programs that don't hold a candle to what I learned at the Golf Academy.
Are you currently a PGA member or seeking membership?
Kiel has developed a new golf app for coaches and students to better understand how students are practicing and progressing. Check out some of his videos: