3 min read" />

Advancing Players

Step Towards a Healthier Future at The Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open

10th Jul 2019

Free Coaching for Spectators and a Focus On Inclusive Golf at Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open

9th Jul 2019

Training Champions With ETPI – Andrea Pavan

8th Jul 2019

Disabled Golf Champions Aim to Inspire Thousands of New Players

5th Jul 2019

EDGA Player profiles – Johan Kammerstad

2nd Jul 2019

Building a Better Future for Your Public Golf Course

1st Jul 2019

PING signs Viktor Hovland, former world #1 amateur

20th Jun 2019

Golf Pride Wins Grip Count and the 2019 U.S. Open Championship at Pebble Beach

18th Jun 2019

Golf Escapes to Host Inaugural Marbella Pro-Am

14th Jun 2019

Reasons to Celebrate the Health of Golf…

22nd May 2019

“No one moves the needle quite like Augusta…” | Kevin Flynn

16th May 2019

2018 Ryder Cup Performance Team – Behind the Scenes

16th May 2019

Why Coaching Trips Can Be a Money-Spinner for PGA Professionals

13th May 2019

What Should Golfers Do In the Gym?

15th Apr 2019

PODCAST SPECIAL: #GolfHealthWeek – Dr Roger Hawkes & Dr Andrew Murray, Golf & Health Project

15th Apr 2019

PGAs of Europe Supports ‘pledge and PLAY’ For More Inclusive Golf

11th Apr 2019

Member Country PGAs Gather at Le Golf National for Launch of New PGAs of Europe Project

8th Apr 2019

[Whitepaper] From High Potential to High Performance

8th Apr 2019

U.S. Kids Golf Venice Open Achieves World First for Connecting Golf, Sustainability and the Next Generation

7th Apr 2019

Golf Reduces Stress and Improves Mental Health, Says Leading Expert

6th Apr 2019
load more

The Future of Coaching – Tony Bennett3 min read

Tony BennettAuthor: Tony Bennett


Posted on: 9th Nov 2015

PGAs of Europe Director of Education & Membership, Tony Bennett, gives his thoughts on how coaching has changed in the past 15 years and where it could go in the next…

For those of you old enough, can you remember when most people said that the earth was flat? ‘Flat-Earthers’ believed that the World was nothing like a spherical body and had varying theories about a wheel like shape surrounded by water.  These theories were once believed to be iron-clad, but were then disproven over time.

In the same vein I am sure that many PGA Professionals can cast their mind back to the turn of the millennium and think about the ball flight laws at that time.  If you were coaching in the year 2000, what was your coaching philosophy just those 15 years ago?

If you are developing as a coach, then I guarantee that you will think about some parts of coaching, technique, preparation or the use of technology very differently than you did even five years ago.

To think that nothing changes and everything is the same is naive.  Equipment changes, the playing conditions change and even the players’ mind-sets are very different than they were even just five years ago.

Based on that, making predictions for how coaching will change and the influence of technology anything further than five years in the future is pure crystal ball-gazing.  That said, I offer the following observations that could come into play:

  • The relationship between the coach and student will become more reliant on facilitating learning rather than teaching.
  • It will not be possible to quarantine a student from information or influence from other sources. The coach of the future will become a trusted advisor, a sounding board to validate or correct the student’s current thinking.
  • Progress of the student is not linear.  Successful coaches will recognise that on the road to the student’s goals there will be detours, roadblocks and potholes to be negotiated.
  • There is not a starting and finishing line.  Students will engage with the game on their own terms.  Some will start with the long game, some with short game and others with putting.  Many people will resist being fed into one end of a system and asked to progress through a series of pre-defined lessons.
  • Coaches will return to teaching people rather than teaching golf swings.
  • There is a huge disconnect between where a new student learns to swing the club and where they play the game.  The range cannot replicate the course and as such it is imperative that the new student gets to the course as soon as is practically possible.
  • There is an over-reliance on data capture devices, such as, video, force plates, ball launch monitors, 3D analysis systems.  That is not to say that technology is not good because when used properly it really is.  Many of these technological aids are tremendous, but it is only the operators that tend to love them.  Such equipment should be used more as a way to capture data, make a thorough diagnosis, prepare an intervention and assess progress, not used as a gimmick in untrained hands.
  • Finally, coaches will start to realise that the market for coaches to elite players is very small and that the big and more lucrative markets are with new and average players.  In most golf playing countries less than 10% of the population, and sometimes even significantly less, play so the untapped 90%+ offer a great opportunity.

To conclude I have no desire to be educated, no inclination to be taught and yet I have an insatiable appetite to learn.  Ask me if I want to be educated or taught how to play the saxophone and my answer is no.  Ask me if I want to learn how to play the saxophone and my response is a resounding yes.  For that, I will need an expert coach.


This article originally featured in International Golf Pro News. Visit the IGPN Page to find out more and subscribe for free.

Tony BennettAuthor: Tony Bennett
Read more by

Tony is the Director of Education & Membership for the Professional Golfers Association’s of Europe, which has the responsibility of over 21,000 golf professionals in 36 member countries worldwide. Tony travels extensively in his role added to which he is an international golf development consultant for the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews. He has worked with a many leading golfing organisations and several governments departments while developing innovative and far reaching projects around the World.