Matt Kilgariff, PGA Director of Player Development at The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe (Calif.) says the easiest and most rewarding way to invest in employees is through encouraging and supporting continued education.
One big mistake many clubs make is not inspiring their staff to continue to learn and grow. The easiest and most rewarding way to invest in employees is through encouraging and supporting continued education. Supporting them on a quest to stay current and relevant goes a long way. Learning is invigorating. Invigorated employees have a strong tendency to work harder due to gaining a fresh perspective, which boosts their overall morale.
I have been a full-time performance coach for more than 20 years. I recently took my annual trip to the California Coaching and Teaching Summit at Virginia Country Club. As always, I walked away feeling energized with countless innovative ideas on how to be a better coach. If I can learn something new, I know you can, too.
The Committee engaged an excellent group of speakers and vendors that kept the summit entertaining and informative. We learned about new and exciting products and services available to all coaches. Two instructors in particular left me with some interesting ideas that I want to share with you below.
Todd Anderson, Director of Instruction at TPC Sawgrass, made a statement about what it takes to be a skillful player: “You have to have ego, skill, and nerve. You must be before you can become, and you have to have the nerve to hit the shot.”
This statement is golden. Golfers cannot just show up and think they can pull off any shot. They need an ego to know they can do it, skill to make sure they can do it, and nerve to pull it off.
Boyd Summerhays, PGA Tour coach, spoke about what it takes to make a junior (amateur) golfer an elite player. He was the perfect person to speak about this topic. He is a great coach, and also has two kids playing at Arizona State University. His mental approach to the game was my biggest take away. It is great for elite golfers, but will also make every golfer a better player if they follow these guidelines:
• Get over bad shots immediately … let that one bad shot only cost you one shot.
• Learn to overcome adversity. Do not just quit.
• Accept that bad breaks happen. Learn to recognize them and do not allow yourself to go down a rabbit hole.
• Keep your mind in a good space by staying positive. Feeling sorry for yourself and having pity parties are draining mentally and physically.
• Perception is reality. So, perceive the good.
• A player that sees bad breaks is a player that is looking for excuses … there are no bad breaks. Keep track of both perceived good and bad breaks … as it is great to understand how “lucky” you might actually be.
• Control outward emotions. Let others see the best of you. Deal with the inward on your own time.
• This game is challenging. Learn the percentages and the numbers (professional stats from different distances in all aspects of the game). This helps set realistic expectations.
To become an elite player, make no excuses, exude positive body language, practice positive self-talk, and have a realistic understanding that there are no bad breaks.
I hope this information is helpful. The real moral of this story is to keep educating yourself and your staff. I promise it will make a great working environment. Everyone is better when they feel valued and are encouraged and supported to learn and grow..
Matt Kilgariff is a PGA professional who spent much of his career working for Butch Harmon and the Harmon Family. He is currently the Director of Player Development at The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. Prior to joining The Bridges, Kilgariff was Director of Player Development at The Olympic Club in San Francisco. Matt has also been part of TaylorMade’s National Advisory Staff since 2012.