There’s More Than One Way To Teach The Game Of Golf

When I search for golf coaching positions or jobs at golf specialty stores or positions at golf courses, I am constantly struck by the written qualifications. Over 85% of the jobs listed all look for persons who are Certified PGA/LPGA Professionals. They do expect the individual to have coaching and management experience, a bachelors or advanced degree and other golf related skills. However, the only designation that I have seen has been the one certification and it’s time for that to change.

The PGA/LPGA are not the only organizations that have qualified people who can teach, coach, and manage the game of golf. To name two of the top organizations, the United States Golf Teachers Federation (USGTF) and the Professional Golf Teachers Association of America (PGTAA) have equally qualified golf professionals that can be hired to perform these golf duties. They have outstanding courses of study, teaching their students the philosophical and psychological approaches to instruction, the physical and mechanical aspects of the game, and the tools to help motivate their students to enjoy and play the game better.

There are quite a number of coaches, course/range teaching professionals, and private industry instructors that come from the other organizations but you rarely hear about them. It is time for the golf industry to recognize these outstanding individuals and give them credit for helping advance the love of this great game. It is time for job descriptions to ALWAYS include other designations or certification when searching for a golf professional and not just a single certification. When I see a job description, like the following, on a job site:

Required: Bachelor’s degree, three years of golf coaching or management experience; possess proven integrity; have demonstrated leadership skills, and possess effective verbal and written communication skills.

Preferred: five years of golf coaching experience; have the demonstrated ability to motivate student-athletes to be successful academically and athletically; Certified PGA Professional.

It should read:

Preferred: five years of golf coaching experience; have the demonstrated ability to motivate student-athletes to be successful academically and athletically; Certified PGA, USGTF, PGTAA Professional.

Golf needs to appreciate all of the thousands of certified golf teaching professionals. We are all out for the same goal. We are all about promoting the same mission. That is, to increase the enjoyment of playing golf and to try to help get more people interested in the game.

Golf is a great game. However, less and less people are taking up the game while more people are leaving the game. Golf is in a decline and we need more than one organization to bring it back. Let’s recognize the talented teachers and coaches from all the different organizations and band together to change how people see the game, change how they approach the game, and change how they enjoy the game.

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Written by Bob Thomas Jr

Bob Thomas is a member of the USGTF. He has been teaching golf for over 15 years and been a high school and college head golf coach. He is currently giving private lessons and working on getting golf more accessible to more people.Bob is passionate about coaching and teaching and considers himself a life-long learner. Bob understands that to coach each and every golfer, there must be consistent and constant interaction. Single lessons, although excellent information and training take place, will not suffice if coach and golfer meet once a month or even once a week. Accountability and consistent follow-up must be a major part of the training program if a golfer is to experience real improvement. Interacting with the golfer, in some aspect each and every day, holds the golfer comfortably accountable and sets him/her on a path for success not only in the game of golf but in life as well.


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