What exactly does a Community Golf Coach look like—Parent? Teacher? Coach? Volunteer? Golfer?
How about all of the above.
“Community Golf Coach is really great for people who are volunteers at a golf club, teachers and folks who are really just into helping out junior golf in Canada,” said Amanda Minchin, head professional at Estevan Woodland Golf Club in Saskatchewan.
Re-launched earlier this year, Community Golf Coach is a community stream context within the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) designed strictly for junior golf volunteers. The initiative is backed by extensive research into Canada’s volunteer training curriculums for sport across the country. Industry experts implemented the program to address the gap between PGA of Canada professionals and available volunteer support from family and friends.
The end goal for Community Golf Coach is simple: strengthen support for PGA of Canada professionals in maintaining the focus towards creating a fun, welcoming atmosphere for youth—a key principle in long-term player development.
“We were very excited about involving new Community Golf Coaches into our junior camps,” said Whistler Golf Club’s head professional Duncan Savage. “The more bodies we have on site, the better I’ll feel about all the kids being in a safe environment and getting instruction that is credible.”
About 50 Community Golf Coaches from around the country have been trained since the context launched this past spring.
A high school teacher in B.C., Tim Frechette was one of the first people trained as a Community Golf Coach back in April. For nearly 20 years Frechette has been coordinating the golf program at his high school (which includes instruction by two PGA of Canada professionals) and says the skills he’s picked up as a trained Community Golf Coach will help out this program.
“Our program has kids of varying abilities from raw beginners to single digit players,” Frechette said. “Being able to create different tasks for different kids and learning how to give different feedback to those kids has helped us in our program.”
Becoming a Community Golf Coach incorporates the following: Self Reflection as a Community Golf Coach; CN Future Link Programming; Growth and Development; Teaching and Learning; Safety and Risk Management; Golf Equipment; Technical; Values; Rules and Etiquette; Ethical Coaching; Activity Design; Session Planning Activity; and Session Implementation.
South Muskoka Curling and Golf Club has been utilizing a Community Golf Coach to great success for much of the season. The club’s head golf professional Bruce Rogerson says he believes it has worked so well at his club for a number of reasons.
“I really can’t stress it enough—having a Community Golf Coach here all year has been such a positive for our program,” Rogerson said. “Our Community Golf Coach has been very active with our junior league, as a liaison between the pro staff and the members, and ultimately has freed up time for our assistant professionals to do more instruction.”
Click here to register for Community Golf Coach workshops conducted by the PGA of Canada.