Maybe there are as many different types of golf teachers as there are teachers. My inkling is that there are a handful of basic categories we all fit into. Which one are you? Which one do you aspire to be?
Are you technical? There are some really powerful analytical tools like 3D motion capture, doppler radar monitors, shaft-loading measuring chips, and more on the market now. Are you familiar with them, do you use them, or can you at least have an intelligent conversation about them?
Do you keep it simple? Einstein said, “if you can’t explain something simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” To me, ‘Simple’ is the heart of the matter. It is the getting to the foundation or core concept. If we don’t understand it well enough, we’ll confuse our students at worst and leave a lot of mystery at best.
Do you use a video camera? Big screen? Everyone has a smartphone these days. And serious golfers probably have some $4 app that lets them do frame-by-frame analysis. How do you let them know what you do goes way beyond what the app does? Can you turn their pictures into better pictures then a reliable feel?
Do you teach teachers? Do you learn from other teachers? As PGA members and apprentices we have access to the best education seminars (and forums) available. If you have something to share, participate! Write articles that will elevate all our skill and golfers’ abilities.
Do you play with your students? Do you behave as their caddie or do you demonstrate for them by playing your own ball? My experience says that they get more out of you being a caddie/mental coach with a demonstration here and there. Take your video camera out there to let them see how they look on the course. And unless you can keep it around par in that context, either don’t demonstrate or get your game together. On-course coaching should be a part of all our job descriptions.
Do you follow up via email or whichever media? With everyone being on the internet these days, we’ve got to keep our clients in our own camp instead of wandering through the jungle of other websites, forums, and videos. Send them email summaries of their lessons along with a link to something relevant if it’s available. If not, it’s gotten very easy to send them a short custom video. They seem to really love this service. It’ll keep them coming back and sending their friends too.
Do you promote your service or do you count on word-of-mouth? You’d better be as busy as you’d like to be if you are counting on word-of-mouth marketing. If you can use a few more hours filled, you have to consider the filling of those hours your job. The avenues are endless–Facebook, Twitter, blog, website forums, newspapers, email blasts, etc. Do you have a seamless way for new students to sign up with you? Does everyone at your facility know your name, face, your students, and how to reach you? If not, make this your job.