MAM Golf Director, Vince Alfonso, Jr., was recently featured in the Professional Golfers’ Association’s Magazine for his focus on coaching with simplicity.
Vince Alfonso, Jr., on the importance of coaching with simplicity:
Much of my career, now almost five decades long, has involved evolving the sport at the youth level. From my earliest days working with my dad’s youth golf program at Bella Vista Country Club in the ’60s, to the Mid-South Junior Golf Association and The First Tee of Memphis in the early 2000s, to Memphis Athletic Ministries for the past 11 years, introducing golf to our youngest players has been one of the many highlights of my life. One of the pillars upon which I have based much of my instruction is on making the game simple to learn and fun to play – I feel these go hand in hand. I realize that technology provides us great opportunities to analyze our better players’ swings, their body rotation, and pressure points. However, I believe that introducing the game to new young players should always start with the very basics. My approach to youth instruction starts with me clearly stating that the game of golf simply involves moving a ball with a golf club from point A (the starting place – the tee) to point B (the finishing place – the hole into which you are trying to put the ball). I help them understand that there are only two parts of the game – launching the ball in the air and rolling it on the ground. And I stress to them that despite what they may hear from other golfers in their lives, putting is the most important part of the game. Why, on a par 72 course, a perfect round would have 36 rolls and 36 launches, therefore, putting is half the game! With this philosophy in mind, I feel it is very important that much of our instruction take place on the course. However, the range is a crucial starting point for every new golfer – teaching them a proper address routine which encompasses a proper grip, stance, and posture. While walking our fairways together, I relate the game to real life scenarios, and highlight the importance of making good choices, treating others with respect, and being honest and true. These are the lessons that will take them far in and out of the game of golf.
Vince Alfonso Jr. on the business impact of coaching with simplicity:
I sometimes feel that too much of our coaching discussions and education pertains to the better players, a clear minority among the millions who enjoy the game. We need to address the growth of the game issues that increase our customer base, rounds played, memberships, golf shop sales, food & beverage revenues, lessons and clinics taught, and our collective bottom lines. This is the core of my “Golf is Simple” concept of teaching. Regardless of age or skill level, the fundamentals are vital and should never be overlooked or disregarded. Our business is about relationships and hospitality; providing golf instruction that educates rather than confuses and offers inspiration rather than frustration is a key component to my decades of success. We all know that golf is a game in which the lowest score wins. Coaching golfers to make the right decisions that will allow them to shoot their lowest score makes golf more fun. People never tire of having fun!
Story originally posted on pgamagazine.com/.