5 Ways to Increase Our Teaching Opportunities

by Brian Dobak
May 10, 2010

As the golf business evolves, so does the golf profession.  We are seeing that merchandising is being executed by retail/merchandising experts, and even tournament operations is sometimes distributed to tournament directors.  But there is one thing that can never be taken away from us. Teaching. Teaching will ALWAYS be the golf professionals and no one else. Do what you have to do to cultivate your teaching skills because it will always play a significant role in your career as a golf professional.  No matter where you are as an assistant professional, you will be expected to have some working knowledge of instruction.  And once you're a Head Professional, your ability to create successful player development programs will be a high priority by the members and guests. So as an assistant professional, you better start cultivating your teaching experiences now.  Here are five ways to help assistant professionals in that process:


We think you would be hard pressed to find a Head Professional that doesn’t encourage thought and creativity from his/her assistant professionals. Cultivating teaching opportunities is very important when it comes to growing as golf professionals. If you feel like you’re not getting the teaching experience you would like, approach your Head Professional and talk about it. If nobody knows what you want, then it will be a lot harder to attain what it is you want. Take it a step further and approach your head professional with a plan in the form of ideas of programs you would like to start that cater to a certain demographic of the club. Create it, promote it, set it up, and get your teach on.

Grass Roots

Sometimes cultivating teaching opportunities for your self requires more of a “grass roots” approach. Clinic programs may not be successful right away because the membership is not familiar with your teaching ability and you simply haven’t established much teaching rapport with them. There is nothing wrong with that. What we mean by “grass roots” is to start giving private individual lessons that are funneled from your relationships with members. Offer free 15-minute lessons to individuals just to start establishing teaching rapport. It may take two to six months, but after enough successful lessons, word will spread, and other members will become interested in spending some time with you. Free lessons are your best promotion, and word-of-mouth is your best marketing tool. In due time, you will establish a following, and then you can start setting up clinic programs that will attract a crowd.


We’re not always going to be spoon-fed teaching opportunities, especially at small private clubs where there are only enough lessons for one professional, typically the Head Professional. However, there are facilities like resort clubs where we will be spoon-fed teaching opportunities. Pay close attention and evaluate where you are, evaluate the membership demographic, and plan a program accordingly. Even if you’re at a small private club and there aren’t many teaching opportunities available for you, it doesn’t mean you can’t TRY to build a program. Create it and promote it. If nobody bites, it’s still a good experience to at least try.

Teaching Niche

Create a teaching niche for yourself. If you evaluate your teaching program and you see that none of your fellow golf professionals really specialize in any one area, study up on an area that interests you, observe area teaching professionals, make it your niche, and develop to a point where you can then promote yourself as your clubs “Putting Expert” or your clubs “Short Game Guru” or your clubs “Distance Man”. If you do this, you have to give your studying its due diligence because if you try and fake your knowledge, students will see right through you.


It’s not always possible to cultivate teaching opportunities at a given club, some times that’s just the way it is. So if you feel like you’ve exhausted your experience at your current club, and you feel like you’re called to dip your feet in the world of instruction, there is nothing wrong with moving on to a new facility where you can get that teaching experience you’re looking for. Browse the job board and discuss your interests with your Head Professional and he/she may even be able to help you land a good fitting position that offers the teaching opportunities you’re looking for.