I've been teaching this game for over 15 years full time. I've been a teaching partner with the City of Austin for all of those 15+yrs. I work with every level of golfer, from young beginners to highly competitive, budding professionals.
I believe the way I communicate the different aspects of the game is unique and easy to follow. I'm a big fan of knowing why you should be doing something. Having a basic understanding of the topic, means the body will follow our lead more confidently. It is not enough for me to just say to you, "This is what Rory does, so we are going to do it." I want you to know the "why" behind it.
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My first meeting with a new student is a meet and greet session. We discuss what the student is looking for, what their past athletics are, what kind of ideas have they been working on in their swings and what they want to achieve with lessons. We will hit some balls while talking about these topics. I will give an assesment of what I see, give the student an idea of what kinds of things could use some work, give them an idea of how we would go about cleaning things up, and then start our journey to a better swing.
I'm a former baseball player and engineering student. Once I discovered golf, I knew that was going to be the directions I wanted to go. My obsession with the game had me practicing and playing 6-8 hours a day, 5 days a week for 3 years. I managed to get to scratch golf in a year and a half and stated competing on a local level. But due to an injury, I started teaching the game to stay involved when I couldn't play. I discovered I had a knack for expaining the golf swing to folks and that I really enjoyed the challenge of helping others discover the greatest game on earth.
I was asked to join the City of Austin's instructional staff in 2001. The Jimmy Clay/Roy Kizer Golf Complex has been my home base ever since then. I can teach at all of the City's facilities but tend to spend most of my time at Jimmy Clay. It's a great facility with 2 18-hole golf courses, a 4-hole par 3 short course. A huge, lighted grass driving range, 3 practice chipping and putting greens and a free pitching area. All you would ever need to take your game to another level.
I offer to new students what I wish had been offered to me when I first started. A FREE Intro lessons. This is a chance for the student to get more familiar with me, my philosophy, how I teach the game and what we might want to do with their swings. Then the student can make a more informed decision about moning forward with lessons. Most instructors will give you a free lesson after you've bought 5 or more, I just give it to you up front so you'll know what you are getting before paying any money. My lesson rates run anywhere from as much as $80/hr to as little as $55/hr depending on which package of lessons you go with.
Serendipity. My intention was to play as a professional. But I started teaching after an injury prevented my from playing for a few months just so I wouldn't go insane not being around the game. Turned out that I really enjoyed the challenge of teaching the game, and had a knack for explaining what seemed unexplainable. I tell people that teaching this game is like describing a color to someone who can't see it. Just a challenging as playing the game for sure. Love it.
All ages and all skill levels. From 6 yr olds just finding the game for the first time, to budding professional players. Everyone need guidance, no matter how old, intial skill status or their ultimate goals. We can help everyone enjoy and play the game at a higher level than they currently do.
I love hearing from students about updates on tournament results or personal goals being reached. Recently had a junior golfer get a ride to a California college to play golf. He just qualified for 2nd place on the travel team with a 2 under par round. And another, just finished out of first place, in an area amateur event he's been trying to have success in for the last 3 years. And another just found out she can hit the driver like a champ when she didn't think she could ever hit that club to begin with. These are the things that keep me pumped up.
The best advice to find an instructor is to experience how they teach by taking a free intro lesson, a clinic or by just trying one lesson out to get a sense of what you are getting. You can get a lot of information this way, and a great sense of whether or not you and the instructor can work together successfully.
The student should relay to the instructor things like, how long they've been playing, what athletics they've been involved with in the past and what kind of things have they been working on via friends, youtube or other instructors. They should also tell the instructor what they are willing to do to reach their goals like, how much can you practice, are you willing to change anything or would you rather try to work with the swing you've already got.