Corey McAlarney is the PGA Head Professional at Edgartown (Massachusetts) Golf Club.
Corey McAlarney on the importance of promoting the importance of practice between lessons:
After 15 years of teaching golf to students of all ages and skill levels, one thing has become glaringly apparent…practicing between lessons is as important as taking the lessons themselves. Think about it – you can provide your students with all the information they need for a better setup, more powerful and reliable swing, and the inside scoop on putting and chipping the ball to tap-in range on the green, but if they don’t take that information to the range, putting green, or short game area between lessons, true progress and improvement will be slowed to a snail’s pace, if achieved at all. As my instruction time with students winds down, I am sure to provide a brief recap of the important points discussed and I highlight the best ways to reinforce this material on the practice range. I will hold them accountable for practicing before their next lesson, and will tactfully stress that we should not have our next lesson without a practice session in between. I urge them to do this, knowing that it’s for their own good, both in their growth as golfers and in their return on investment. I do this in a fun, engaging, and professional manner. I understand that life gets in the way sometimes, and if they need to cancel their next lesson because they’ve had “one of those weeks”, then I’m all for it. My lesson book is full much of the time, so ensuring that we’re not simply going through the motions is important to me. Helping my students improve is always important to me.
Corey McAlarney on the business impact of promoting the importance of practice between lessons:
Located on Martha’s Vineyard, Edgartown Golf Club recently ranked #8 in the world among 9-hole courses according to Golf.com, and will celebrate 95 years in 2021. We offer a beautiful setting with stunning views, an impeccable nine-hole layout, and a quaint, cozy practice range with a dozen hitting stations. There are many times when I will walk the range or be there for a lesson and will notice that more than half the golfers practicing are my students. Not only does this benefit the club in food and beverage revenues, potential golf shop sales, and member-engagement, but it’s an indication that my message is being heeded, that my students respect my word as their coach and mentor. They are getting better and having more fun playing the game – a surefire formula to grow the game, as well as your facility’s bottom line. I have had a life-long passion for the game, following my dad’s lead into the PGA of America. Teaching people to play is a vital aspect of my duties as a PGA Professional and the relationships that result in that guidance through golf make it all worthwhile. It has long been my feeling that being a good person, fostering relationships and friendships, and being someone who others can look up to is a moral and ethical way to live. As a PGA Professional, those traits also make you a desirable teacher, as students want someone they can trust. We should all be that teacher.
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