By Geoff Bryant, USGTF President
When it comes to teaching in a golf school, a good golf teaching professional needs to have some specific qualities. Aside from the obvious, which is a good understanding of the mechanics of the golf swing, they have to ensure that golf school students enjoy themselves. A competent teacher understands that golf school students are there on vacation, and they not only want to improve their games, but they also want to have a good time in the process.
In order for this to happen, golf teachers who teach in a golf school setting need to have some fun-loving qualities themselves. They need to be able to get their students to laugh at themselves if need be, they need to keep everyone entertained to a certain degree, know when to take breaks, know how to mix up the day between teaching, video analysis, detection and correction, introducing certain training aids, and most importantly, they need to control the mood of the class and to keep things interesting and fun for everyone.
Not every teaching professional is able to do this. Too often, I have seen teaching professionals with holier-than-thou and condescending attitudes, teaching professionals who dont find any humor in anything, and teaching professionals who simply love to hear themselves speak. In fact, I have always maintained that I can tell if a group of golf school students are enjoying themselves from 100 yards away, just from their body language. If a teacher is simply lecturing to them, you can see several students with their heads down, others chatting quietly to one another, some fidgeting, some even off to the side practice swinging. This is when you know that the teacher has no idea of keeping a groups attention. They have lost their students, and the lesson is no longer enjoyable. In fact, the teacher who does not realize that golf lessons are meant to be enjoyed are dong a major disservice to the industry.
In a golf school setting, there has to be a fine line between talking and then permitting students to hit balls. In other words, they should be listening and then doing, and not just listening.