Mike Malaska, the 2011 National PGA Teacher of the Year, is the PGA Director of Instruction at Superstition Mountain Golf & Country Club, in Superstition Mountain, Arizona.
Mike Malaska on engaging students through virtual golf instruction:
With in-person lessons not an option at the moment, I have expanded my lesson offerings online using Facetime and Zoom. For the past five years I have steadily increased my online presence through thousands of videos produced for YouTube and my website, as well as through analysis and feedback on students’ golf swing videos. Once I started conducting live Facetime lessons, I put a request page on my website, and inquiries started pouring in from around the world. Between the two platforms, I can probably teach 24 hours a day if I wanted to. The concept is simple – students log on at their scheduled time and either hit balls on a local range, whiffle balls in the back yard, or simply swing the club with the furniture in their living room moved to the side. In a brief 15-minute session, I am able to watch an ample number of swings and provide constructive feedback that the student can then use subsequent to our call to work on the things that need improvement. When we reconvene at our next scheduled time, I often see improvement and am satisfied that my students are doing their homework while quarantined. This continued engagement keeps my students focused on the topics we are covering together, reducing the possibility that they stray and tinker with tips or suggestions they may read about or see elsewhere.
Mike Malaska on the business impact of engaging students through virtual golf instruction:
During such an unfortunate time in our history, we will look back upon our efforts and ask what positive steps we took for others. Providing an online avenue to live golf instruction does not only increase my lesson revenues, which as a golf professional is very important, but it gives my students something to look forward to, strive for. You can definitely expand your business globally through these methods, as I have Zoom lessons scheduled with students in Ireland, Switzerland, Sweden, Japan, Indonesia, the Middle East, and Mexico. Going forward, live online lessons will be part of my regular regimen with students, as it generates revenue, saves time for teacher and student, and has simply proven to be an effective method of teaching, again reinforcing the concepts discussed and improvements needed. When they are able to take that progress out to the course, my students will appreciate the opportunity to learn online and will seek to engage with me in future lessons as well.
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