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July 24, 2020

Bryce Poulin: Focus on Coaching Students From 100 Yards and In

Bryce Poulin, the 2017 PGA Pacific Northwest Section Oregon Chapter Youth Player Development Award Recipient and 2018 Chapter Player Development Award Recipient, is the PGA Director of Player Development at Camas Meadows Golf Club, in Camas, Washington.

Bryce Poulin on the importance of focusing on coaching students from 100 yards and in:
After years of teaching, I believe productive golf instruction comes as a result of the student understanding where he or she needs the most improvement. Two years ago I introduced a concept I call the Scoring-Zone in a group lesson format. The gist of the concept lies in the notion that your everyday amateur will improve his scores as he becomes more proficient from 100 yards and in. I’ve developed a Scoring-Zone scorecard focused on enhancing on-course performance in group programming, private lessons, and student practice. The scorecard breaks the hole into two halves, with players tracking the number of strokes from the tee to getting within 100 yards, and then from 100 yards to the time they hole out. This latter half is what I call the Scoring-Zone. In addition, there are “10 Keys to Scoring” which guide the players on how to minimize on-course mistakes and promote completing both halves of the scoring card. For example, on a Par-4, a player has two strokes to get into the Scoring-Zone (100 yards & in), and then a separate goal of scoring a three from the scoring-zone into the hole. After a player completes this card for an entire round, the results will share vital information of where his game needs the most improvement. Most players will see directly that their Scoring-Zone line will be extremely high and have taken more than three-strokes on most holes. This direct data is effective for proving the importance of short game shots, and reduces focus on the driver as the primary means of lowering scores. The use of this scorecard alone and assistance in understanding the “10 Keys to Scoring” can have an immediate impact on player’s results, without any change of player technique.

Bryce Poulin on the business impact of focusing on coaching students from 100 yards and in:
There are definitely times when a bucket of balls on the practice range should be the theme of a lesson. Working on the proper setup, stance, posture, ball position, and mechanics of the swing is vital to getting students to the point where the Scoring-Zone analysis becomes pertinent in their progress. As mentioned, using the Scoring-Zone system paints a clear picture for student and teacher on what parts of a student’s game is hindering true progress. Being able to provide this easy-to-read information is an asset students appreciate, raising your status as an effective and innovative teacher. Breaking the golf hole down into achievable parts helps provide confidence and puts goals into clear focus. As a result, my private lessons and group programming revenues are up 20% over the past two years. In addition, I am able to raise my rates while still retaining students and am enjoying my most successful season at Camas Meadows. Some of this success is due to the many steps I’ve taken to build my teaching business; much of it is attributable to my philosophy on the Scoring-Zone.

If you would like to email the author of this best practice directly, please email bryce.poulin@camasmeadows.com