February 15, 2018

Jim Parella: Continually Search for Educational Opportunities to Make Yourself a Better Golf Professional

Jim Parella is the PGA Director of Instruction at Play-a-Round Golf, in Malvern, Pennsylvania.

Jim Parella on the importance of seeking education and obtaining certifications in becoming a better teacher:
After sixteen years as a PGA professional and golf instructor, I still enjoy learning and find great value in the pursuit of new methods of teaching and discovering new technology every day. At Play-a-Round Golf, we introduce the game to individuals of all ages in a fun environment that breaks down the intimidation barrier that something restricts learning and enjoyment as well. We offer instruction that seeks to promote an understanding of the body and what it does during the golf swing. By leveraging new technologies, such as AimPoint Golf, we improve the putting skills of our students. This is often the fastest way to see a reduction in one’s scores and handicap. Attaining certification in this system allows me to better teach my students in this new world of high-tech golf instruction. Also useful are my recent certifications in Boditrack, US Kids Golf, and Titleist Performance Institute (TPI). Understanding these systems and what their innovative ways of teaching can do for my students helps me keep up with our changing industry and allows me to focus attention on the role of the body in the golf swing. Simply put, I understand the body better. This concept of connecting bodies and motion to the golf swing has made me a better instructor than ever before. I am able to communicate how the body works with weight and pressure and how it affects the shot and distance. Our video technology allows students to see their swing and slows things down within a lesson. Together, my students and I are able to analyze a swing and discuss where we are versus where we want to be. I used to ask myself how I can stand out and distinguish myself, be a smarter golf professional, and deliver more value to my students. It was several years ago that I decided that this continued education on my part was the answer. The golf swing will always be there; how do we break it down differently and more effectively than we ever have before?

Jim Parella on the business impact of seeking education and obtaining certifications in becoming a better teacher:
With most of today’s tour pros spending more and more time in the gym, I feel it is vital that we address the students’ body movements and their effect on the club, rather than the old way of highlighting what the club is doing and its effect on the golf ball. Continually pursuing new and innovative avenues of learning has had a positive impact on my business financially. I am teaching more than ever before. In fact, not only has my student base increased, but the number of lessons they take has as well. I am receiving more referrals than before and am having an impact on students of all ages. Over the past three years, my lessons have increased significantly and I have been able to raise my lesson rates by 25% over that time as well. My instruction has broadened to include personal fitness as well, helping my students be better athletes and healthier people.


If you would like to email the author of this Best Practice directly, please email jparella@pga.com