26th May,2014

Golf Teacher or Golf Coach…..

~~Many of my young professional players from Australia and members from Lighthouse Golf Resort hit a road block when it comes to instruction and improvement.God damn, how many years has passed and I am still in Eastern Europe???. I come back in Constanta, to my roots for a real estate development and now I watch my young professional player’s successes and failures from here at Lighthouse Golf Resort, we communicate through e-mails and videos trying to remind them of how to access their authentic golf swings, and what we worked on 6-10 years ago back home in Australia. This is mainly because they aren’t taught, when to stop learning technique and focus on developing skill.I know that the longest walk in golf can be from the practice driving range to the first tee, and therefore many golfers struggle to take their driving range game to the golf course. Hitting it great on the driving range and not being able to transfer this onto the playing field is still a mystery to many of my professional golfers and many of my academy amateur students from Lighthouse Golf Club.

When we think or talk about golf instruction and teaching, we usually focus on the particular method, or “system” that the golf teacher uses when instructing. Each system has its own technical approach – its own training regimen, and often its own special, patented training aids as Demis Papillon Golf Academy has as well. These systems are frequently strengthening the identification between the teacher and the content of the teaching.
Many people believe, a “golf teacher” is someone who has played the game for a long time, who plays better than the student, and who has a particular technical method that has been proven to result in lower scores. The teacher’s job is too first “teach the student” the things that are causing them to struggle with, such as technique related to “contact” and “direction”. Then comes the constant tune-up. In short, to most people, a golf teacher is a person who tells you what to do!
I’m aware of the importance of technique and I certainly have my preference (as we all do!). Though, as golf instructors, we need to be adaptable to our player’s needs. We need to be aware of when the player needs technique as well as the guidance of a coach.

The primary role of a coach is giving the student increased awareness of these technical areas of the game. A successful coaching session ends with the student trusting him – them-self more than the coach. In essence, the ideal coach acts as a clear, non-judgmental mirror that reflects what really happens when you swing a club.
Rather than “teach” you, which suggests showing you something you didn’t know. I “coach” you – which helps you bring out and strengthen the instructional knowledge you already have. As a coach I believe in the learning abilities of the student and I am committed to help the student get the most out of those abilities.
A coach is a person who knows what the student wants and helps them achieve that. The key to coaching is knowing what the student wants. A coach is a person who listens to and honour’s a student’s values, goals, and commitments, and builds the instruction session around them. This philosophy is the cornerstone of coaching. It’s easy to give people what you want to give them, rather than what they want and need. As a coach I need to constantly make sure the agendas for the student.I learned teaching from teachers. I learned golf from golfers and I learned winning from coaches.
As a golf instructor it’s important to develop a balance between teaching technique and coaching those abilities. Whether I am working with a more elite level of amateur golf students, with my young professional players from Australia or growing the game from a grass-roots level, the responsibility is  not only to mold a golf swing, but building life lessons and developing the player within. I feel this is truly the essence of a great coach, and something we should all be striving for.And now in closing this story, the message for my professional players from around the world which I miss very much and my club members is;
“Stop trying playing the game of golf, just play it”.