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February 1, 2018

Tommy Sharp: Dedicate a Portion of your Instruction to Helping Students Stay Calm during Pressure Situations on the Golf Course

Tommy Sharp is the PGA Co-Owner/Operator of Golf Lab, in Salt Lake City, Utah. He is also a PGA Teaching Professional and the 2016 PGA Utah Section Player of the Year.

Tommy Sharp on the importance of helping your students calm their nerves on the golf course:
As golf professionals and instructors, we know the importance of remaining calm and keeping your nerves in check during a round of golf. Whether it be the annual county championship or a weekly Sunday morning match with friends, golfers often let their nerves get the best of them and allow their mental game to overtake the physical. In lessons with my students, I ensure we discuss such topics as pace of walking, body posture during play, and effective breathing. Recalling moments of stress that I have experienced in competition, I help my students understand the importance of staying calm and taking one shot at a time. We use playing lessons to facilitate this mental game instruction, while utilizing the practice range to focus on mechanics and the physical aspect of golf. Our “Complete Game Improvement” package includes a one-hour initial assessment in which a custom game plan is developed, an all-important playing lesson, and 2-4 sessions of coaching per month. We focus heavily on course management and transferring the skills attained on the range to the golf course. Students have access to our instructor’s video analysis and can utilize such feedback during their practice between lessons. Focusing on the various vital aspects of remaining calm during play, and the physical instruction of the overall motion of the swing, rather than a series of positions helps students take steps to better golf.

Tommy Sharp on the business impact of helping your students calm their nerves on the golf course:
Students appreciate my playing experience and success and truly value what I have to say about such issues as demeanor on the course and how to remain grounded when things go awry during a round of golf. Having been there myself, I can speak to a plethora of scenarios that my students think are exclusive to them and other 20 handicaps like them. When they hear that successful PGA professionals like myself and my peers fight the same mental battles out there, it puts it all in perspective. The success of our business is predicated on the fact that we go beyond proper stance and swing, and dive deep into mental aspects of the game that have just as big an effect on score as a bad swing. Sure we use the latest technology, and address the aspects of a reliable, repeatable swing, but time spent on the course is where the real progress is made. The “Complete Game Improvement” package is $720 and I’ve had over two dozen students commit to bettering their skills through this coaching plan in the first half of 2017 alone. My lesson book is full for seven hours per day and I’m currently booking a week or more in the future. When we started just six years ago, I’d use Groupon and other discounted methods of attaining students. Now after implementing the philosophies discussed here, every lesson on that schedule is at full rate, and one that I have been able to raise by 10% this year.

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