I am so glad to have the golf season here, but considering we just got a few inches of snow in the hills on May 14th, winter seems to want to stick around! I wanted to publish a post to recap what was an amazing winter of coaching, learning, and traveling.
This past fall would end up being my final season as the Head Men's Golf Coach with Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. I already miss coaching the student athletes but it became more and more clear in the new year that the players and school deserved a coach that could dedicate more time to the program. I cannot thank the staff from the Athletics Department as they became fast friends and were very supportive. I wish them all the best in the future!
During November I added two pieces of technology to the cache available to our players during our sessions. The first was Boditrak Force Mat, this technology measures the force under foot during your swing, and ultimately lead me to working with MLB, Minor League, and D1 NCAA Baseball players on batting. (more on this later). The second piece of technology is K-Motion 3D Motion Capture and Bio-Feedback. This is a wearable 3D system that captures EVERYTHING to do with your full swing, short game, and putting motion. I have had this system for 8 years, but this upgrade provided by K-Motion has been a game changer for those I work with on injury and surgery recovery.
The Monday following Thanksgiving would begin a 15 day period away from our family. This travel period would take me to Naples Florida for a week of coaching and the next stop was "Coach Camp" hosted by Andrew Rice in Savannah Georgia. This event hosted 150 of the top coaches from around the world for 3 days of sharing information and networking. This is where the seedlings of the case study I just completed were planted. I am looking forward to sharing my findings from 4 months of testing and work very shortly. After 3 great days in Savannah I flew directly to San Diego and the Titleist Performance Institute Headquarters for Level 3 Junior Coach Certification. This is their highest level of Junior Coach education and it was worth every minute spent with experts from around the world. This included Dr. Earnst Szwick, M.D. from Austria. Dr. Szwick's specialty is Pediatric Orthopedics and growth dynamics. He among others were fascinating and what I learned has been invaluable to our youth golfers. During this event I was one of six golf professionals from around the world in attendance.
Following my return from San Diego, I began our coaching programs six days a week for the next three and a half months. During this time period I averaged 52 hours of coaching per week in North Adams (Norad Mill) and Wilbraham (Soccer City). Now that we live in Williamstown my commute to Wilbraham was stretched to an hour and forty five minutes each way, over a mountain. This was my last winter at Soccer City and I am actively looking for a replacement facility in that area for next winter. I cannot thank those who supported our coaching and practice programs over the winter enough! I would like to also thank Robert Tyrol my winter assistant for his great work!
As I mentioned earlier, I started working with baseball players on batting. Yes, I'm a golf coach and no I do not give batting lessons. A professional baseball coach (now with the Minnesota Twins Organization as Director of Batting) and I shared space at Soccer City. While breaking down his camp he noticed the technology I use and asked to hang out and watch. Two days later he came back with a D1 NCAA player and five days later he was back with an MLB player asking my opinion on Ground Mechanics for batting. I found it fascinating and very fun. The MLB player's batting average is currently 32 points higher than last season so hopefully I was help. He is currently the starting shortstop for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
During the month of April in conjunction with Swing U, I launched the "Go Golf Coach" App for Android and iOS. This is my personally branded mobile coaching platform. It offers the player an abundance of options for interacting with me and each other to improve your game. It is truly a golf community on your device. You can find it on the Google Play or Apple App Store. It's FREE!!
Following the end of a very fun and productive coaching season, I took two of my highly competitive players to Pinehurst for three days of golf. During our visit to Pinehurst I was welcomed to speak to the Professional Golf Management Program at Methodist University. This program is regarded as the best program in the country for developing future golf professionals and industry leaders. I was able to spend the day giving lessons to the player along side long time Men's Coach Steve Conley and work with their students on their game. I then spent a 2 hour evening session with the "Teaching Club" sharing our player centered coaching environment. This was my small way of giving back to the program that had given me such a great start in the golf industry and leading me to where I am today.
Upon my return home, Mary and I packed up the kids and flew to Denver to visit with family!! It was so much fun!! Anyone who knows me at all knows how much my family means and I value time with them over anything else.
It was a great winter but let the great weather get here quickly!! I cannot wait to another great season at Taconic Golf Club!