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The golf industry has been working hard on ways to grow the game. As the founder of the first international values-based junior golf camps in the 1970s, Dr. Gary Wiren gives this advice:
“The biggest problem we face is reaching prospective players in non-traditional settings. Plenty of people want to learn to play golf. The key is keeping the instruction simple while ensuring success. Make it fun and they will come – that philosophy works at any age.” – Dr. Gary Wiren
The points made by Dr. Wiren are, first, don’t go to a golf course or driving range to recruit new golfers; they are already there. Move away from the course to reach players in non-golf settings, namely schools, churches, city parks, community centers, senior care facilities, YMCAs, etc. Secondly, technical jargon should be replaced with simple instructions that allow the player to see, feel and understand the game. Lastly, keep it fun. Golf is a game wherever it is played.If you had to pick one indispensable tool to teach the game, what would it be? As the general manager of a company whose mission is to work with teachers to find the most useful teaching products, I can shed some light on what products are proving their worth on the lesson tee. Below are three groups of products: perennial favorites, what’s hot now, and the most useful kits for teaching beginners. After all, growing the game not only means recruiting new players, but keeping the ones you have happy. Everyone wants to improve their game!
Here are the 10 top aids that have been on the market for more than 5 years. There are hundreds that are useful, but these are the top of the charts: Swingyde, Orange Whip, Impact Bag, eGolfRing, Impact Ball, Alignment Rods, Impact SNAP, Putting Alignment Mirror, Putting Arc T3, Power Fan.
Next, let’s look at 10 products you don’t want to miss that have come to the aid of the golf world more recently. Consider this a recommended reading list for your next lesson plan. Some are great visual aids, others measure speed or precision, while some will make your life as a teacher a little easier: The Hanger, Chip Tac Toe, Acu-Strike Mat, SmartBall, PuttOUT Pressure Trainer, SuperSpeed Sets, Perfect Practice Putting Mat, Strike Spray, Colour Path Golf System, Total Golf Trainer.
But the question remains, what is the best way to start someone off right? How do you teach a person golf where traditional golf may not even be allowed? What is the best “first touch” golf system?
The answer is Wally Armstrong’s Go Start Golf kit. Wally is a USGTF member and lifetime Tour member who has invested over 30 years bringing our great game, with safe equipment and fun teaching methods, to first-time players of all ages and abilities around the world in every setting imaginable.
The coaching kit provides his AirGolfFlyers, which teach the game of golf and a feeling for the four shots of golf, all while playing. Wally calls this his Play-To-Learn golf method. Participants learn the rules of golf and the terminology as they’re developing their swing feelings. There are many fun games that can be played indoors or outdoors using AirGolf. Once these basic swing, distance and direction skills are acquired, the student transitions into ShortGolf. ShortGolf provides safe and fun First Touch equipment that you can utilize in your lesson plans to get them hooked and grow the game.
Moving away from the golf course and using a proven First Touch training system that can be used anywhere and will bring more players to the game. Keeping your lessons fun and focused will keep them playing for life.
Dane Wiren is general manager and John Leighton is customer relations manager for www.GolfTrainingAids.com. Founded in 1984, the company offers the largest selection of teaching aids in the world. Discounts are provided to USGTF members.