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The way forward - PGA education

Updated: Nov 5, 2023

2010 became a new start of some sort. Balancing the Nike Tech rep. job, G-Sport (spoorting goods chain) and the proshop during the season became somewhat of a challenge. Traveling Norway for one and a half months doing demodays, squeezing in work at G-Sport or the proshop, and trying to practice and play at the same time. In the end, I did what I loved to do. So when the Head Pro at my club started asking me about getting in to the PGA program, I was positive, but was also thinking of how to balance even more stuff. After talking to everyone around me, and my employers, it became clear. This fall I would start the PGA education, and commit to three years of school. Luckily at that time, the education was built around working a lot when not in school. two weeks of intense school, and two weeks to study and work full time.

The fall came, and the first thing we did, was to go to Denmark for a week of introduction; teaching, coaching, communication, preparation and some play. It was an intense start, and we were all put on display to coach the other students in role play scenarios. Plan and execute a practice session, and then we'll evaluate everyone together. Yes, I know that was a lot on the first week, but it was fair to be tested and get feedback that quickly. This became the whole theme for the next three years. Plan, execute and get feedback. That's how we learn. For a lot of people, it was scary to be put in front of other teachers and try to teach and coach good players that probably thought differently than yourself.

Through the the whole education we where tought by other experienced instructors, teachers and coaches. Diving in to anatomy, strategy, technique, coaching skills, custom fitting, building, planning, group training, golf schools, travel, business. You get it, the list is long. However, it sure wasn't without its drama. Think about it this way, many students, many experienced instructors, many opionions...the discussions were far from civil at times. When someone offers up a different view on something you have been tought to be true. what you have been tought still true, or do you fall in line with the new perspective. How you dealt with an opposite perspective or just difference of opinion, kind of definded you as an instructor. Either you will always argue against what opposes what you belive in, or you are open minded and respectfull of other views...just not towards stupidity though.

I choose to define myself as open minded and respectfull of others, but like I said, not to stupidity or even ignorance. Because if you are defending your view, you better know your shit and defend it with facts and reason, not ignorance. In the end, I just don't have the time and energy to spare. As good as any education might be, the learning doesn't stop with a degree, certification or exam. If you coach, instruct and teach someone something as complex and fluid as the game of golf, there is always something to learn and improve on. When you make the choice to disregard evolving and improving, you have lost my support. This is what defines me and my approach to golf, its the process and the never ending pursuit of improvement. The hunger, the grit, the ability to stay with the process is a lifestyle not for everyone, but then again, the coaching life is not for everyone.

In the words of the legendary David Leadbetter, Those who dare to teach, must never cease to learn.

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