What got you into coaching?
My parents owned a public golf course in Grand Rapids, and I grew up here – I would come in at the crack of dawn with them and leave after dinner time – it was the only life I knew. My dad is PGA and was my teacher growing up until we butted heads too much. After having a successful high school career at South Christian, I went on to study and play at Eastern Michigan. After graduating with an Exercise Science degree, I realized that I hated personal training. I had asked my professor if there is any way I could forgo my internship that I was only a third of the way through. He agreed to sign off on my last 400 hours if I turned professional in golf. From there, I moved to Salt Lake City with my then fiancé (now husband) for his job where I found a job working in the golf shop for the remainder of the year. The professionals there urged me to play a ton and were the reinforcing factor for me to turn professional. It took me 11 months to get through all 3 levels of the PGA books on my own. I climbed the ladder from shop help to second assistant to buyer/merchandiser/assistant to teaching professional to Director of Player Development. I officially turned PGA in 2010, but I say my years of experience are the entirety of my life.
Tell us about your style of teaching.
My teaching style is simple – athletic movement. Yes, I get technical often, but it all comes back to the logic of how a body should move athletically and create the most amount of force possible. I then coach the game and do less of the swing. I believe that with all of our technology, it is easy to get lost in the numbers and technical part of the swing when we should be focusing on how to get the ball in the hole. Technology is a blessing and a curse. I use Onform and TrackMan and that is enough for my style and my students. Onform is my main form of technology as seeing is believing. Most students do not believe they look a certain way until I show them. This is also my form of communication with them.
Describe for us how you manage your weekly coaching.
Prior to becoming the Director of Player Development, I taught 40 hours/week and would book 12 weeks out. After moving into this role a year ago, I kept on about 10 of my students that were at an advanced enough level that I did not find it beneficial for them to move instructors at the point they were at. I now teach about 5 hours of individual instruction/per week and 3 hours of small group instruction/per week. I do not take on any new students at this time. My goal is to have a great work/life balance as a mom of two girls. I know it is important for me to be the one to pick them up from school and tuck them in at night. This is something I did not have been just an instructor. A year ago, I made this leap of faith and took on this new position and I do not regret it for a second.
Do you have any specific areas you focus on more than just general coaching?
I love talking the recruiting process with students. I went through it and stay active and up to date with the information. This Saturday, I am hosting a Recruiting Seminar at Thousand Oaks with a coaching panel. It is something I am passionate about and want to share this knowledge with the high school students in the area.
What are some common questions from your students?
1. I only have 10min before the event. What's the best way to warm up?
Warm up your body through stretching, but focus on putting. The key is always a short game.
2. How do I record videos for my coach?
3. How best to practice after a lesson?
This could be a very long answer, so I’ll keep it brief. Every student should have a target number of hours they should be practicing/week. 2/3 of those hours should be short game to 1/3 full swing. Of that, half of the time should be spent on drills and technical improvements using training aids and the tools given from the lesson, the other half should focus on target golf and getting the ball in the hole – playing competitive games with yourself or others and tracking your stats so you know when you improve.