What it means to be a golf coach

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BUDDY DE JOYA

It seems like there is a bit of confusion on what it really means to be a coach. Many instructors are called coaches, but I do not think they are. On the other hand it’s really none of my business. I would just like to point out some clarifications regarding this matter.

The golf instructor
The golf instructor is someone who teaches his system. His system may include the methodology, fundamentals and the program that needs to be followed. This program is the context on which you get back to, if in case you lose track. Basically the students are taught what to do and how to do the mechanics of the golf swing.

Normally, the instructor knows how to play the game well. He is able to teach the basic golf rules and etiquette, teach how to play the game and to score using the appropriate terms.

The golf coach
The golf coach is similar to the instructor in many ways. The biggest difference is, the coaching process is done holistically.


It is the coach’s intentions to inspire, to make their students aware of the processes involved, to deeply explain the principles and concepts on swing mechanics, and, how emotion and the mental sides will affect the swinging motions, during or right before the swing happens. To impart strategies and game plans, and assist to achieve goals, is a plus.

I believe that the greatest task of a golf coach is the mastery to relate with the students. This must be coupled with the knowledge to convey the best possible explanations and demonstrations to correct faults and teach brand new lessons or drills.

By building trust, an ideal bonding between the coach and student is established, hastening further development.

There are instances when students are not able to comprehend certain parts of the lessons. It can be a difficulty in understanding a certain concept or motion. So, the duty of the coach is to attack a certain task from various perspectives, until such time the student fully understands and accomplishes the task.

It is the advantage of any coach to be fully knowledgeable in all aspects of golf. Coaching can be more effective when unlimited creativity is established and visuals are applied along with it. New training tools can be purchased to hasten the development of each student.

It must be emphasized by the coach, that repetition is a must to greatly advance.

The trying-hard coaches
What I actually mean by the “trying-hard coaches” are those who teach willingly and initiatively, and believes they know about golf. I do not want to be rude at all but these can be our fellow golfers, friends, relatives and parents. They actually all mean well. The only point is, even if they are class A players, it does not mean they know how, what, why and when to teach accordingly. Well, maybe I can count a few.

You see, unqualified coaches or teachers often times have a detrimental effect on whomever they share their knowledge with. The intentions are positive but the outcome may eventually establish habits that will take some time to correct, or maybe never.

I can guaranty that coaches who clearly know what they are talking about will tell you that non-beginners, retaking a refresher course, will actually take a longer time to unlearn old habits, rather than learn new tasks. I have had so many cases like this. At the end of the day, it is less cost effective and more time consuming.

My worst nightmare
It irritates me when someone interferes in my golf session. So, even before committing to coach a junior student, especially long-term, I already inform parents that I do not allow them to coach their kid during my paid session.

When the processes are disrupted in a given time frame, it takes more time to get back on track. It does not mean that more information is needed to play better. Unfortunately, it is the impression of most that it is so. We need to understand that we have a very high level of learning capacities as human beings. It is inherent to us to develop super fast, when we are ecstatically interested.

The coach’s dream
It is my personal intention to guide my students to trust themselves fully, that they can create their own reality. Simultaneously, to feel good wherever they are, and, whether they win or lose. Also, to have fun every time under any circumstances!

Becoming a winner in golfand in Life happens, when you start to feel and own it, even before it materializes. It is vital to enjoy the processes. When you start to learn how to accept and receive whatever it is you’ve asked for, everything falls into place naturally with the least amount of resistance.

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