Over the years, I have had many opportunities to teach junior golfers and have been rewarded greatly from my experiences. The memories, I will cherish forever, and am happy to know that many of these young people are likely still playing the game, even as the years have passed! The ages have varied from Wee Links, which were golfers ages 4-7, all the way up to high school and college golfers. They are certainly the future of golf, and an obligation we have to continue introducing this great game to the young ones.
In the past couple of years though, I have focused my attention on the older junior golfers. I have created a special program for male and female golfers (currently only have girls), who are seeking a scholarship to play golf in college. It has been such a privilege to work with these young ladies who are enthusiastic about golf, setting goals, working hard, and very coach-able.
To be a positive influence and role model for these young adults in such a busy and sometimes chaotic world, is quite a responsibility, but one that I am proud to take on. They need to know that there are golf professionals who are supportive, in their corner, and someone they can truly count on to help them in their journey.
Giving them a little extra to show you care can go a long way! An example of this is, in the months of June and July, I opened up two hours of my time on Tuesday evenings to specifically work on short game. It has paid dividends, as they learned how to practice more efficiently, be creative in their practicing, focus on the percentages, and learn more about what they needed to work on. All in all, these sessions were really beneficial to their games and they are much more confident with their games today.
In the early spring, I held a contest within the program that lasted a couple months, with some pretty awesome rewards for the top four winners. One of the rewards was taking them to the Ohio State University campus to tour the brand new golf facility. I arranged to have the head coach of the Ohio State women’s golf team, newly inducted Buckeye Hall of Fame coach, and our very own Midwest Section member, Terese Hession, meet us and give them some words of wisdom and take us on the tour. We had a great time and sat on the patio afterwards, having lunch. To listen to the comments, learnings, dreams, visions and goals, and the love they have for the sport, is so enlightening and rewarding on every level. I take it very seriously, but yet we manage to have a lot of fun together during the learning process, which is so important in the process.
Investing in future generations and in the industry itself, by teaching junior golfers, will always be something I find an enormous amount of pleasure in calling my “job.” I consider myself a very lucky person to call myself a LPGA golf professional, and am so very grateful for what this organization has done for me in my career.
When teaching these junior golfers, we very well may be teaching the next generation of golf professionals and keeping our industry thriving and alive. I encourage you all to keep on smiling and do a great job, as you always have done, in representing our organization and positively influencing lives. Good luck and thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts and experiences with you.
Class A LPGA Teaching Professional