The #1 thing that helped me to become the golfer I am today. - Ian Hardie Golf Coach
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The #1 thing that helped me to become the golfer I am today.

The #1 thing that helped me to become the golfer I am today.
The #1 thing that helped me to become the golfer I am today.

The #1 thing that helped me to become the golfer I am today.

During the mid-1980’s I did my apprenticeship as a golf professional at an average size golf club in New Zealand.

Back then, doing an apprenticeship as a golf professional consisted of doing such things as helping the members with whatever they needed, taking comp money or green fees, getting golfers on the tee on time, selling equipment from the golf shop, doing a wide range of golf club repairs and learning how to coach golfers to start the game or improve their performance.

Nothing much has really changed in our industry, as most golf professionals around the world do the same sorts of things every day of the week.

Every now and again though, I think back to those days and recall that the most important thing that I got from that time of my life, did not have much to do with most of those things.

Well, maybe the time spent learning how to coach golfers to start the game or improve their performance was a close second to what I am about to say but in reality.

The #1 thing that helped me to become the golfer I am today.


Were the conversations that I had about the game of golf with the golf professional that I was working for.

You see, life was a bit simpler in a golf shop back then which meant there were plenty of times during each month to sit and talk about the game of golf at the back of the shop.

Maybe the tee times were a bit quiet, it was raining outside which as you would expect quietened things down a bit or maybe it was early or late in the day.

It’s not really important as to how those times for the conversations arrived, as I now understand that what was important, was them taking place.

The conversations never happened in any sort of structured way, like a course or a training manual, rather they arose just as a response to things that were happening at the golf club, to the golfers out on the course, to my golf game and quite often it seemed.

To what was happening in the golf professional’s game, as he was still an active tournament player at the time and regularly demonstrated an extremely high level of skill at the game of golf.

Which meant that a lot of the conversations were centred around performance, preparation, practice and simply playing golf well when it mattered.

On a side note, we also seemed to have a lot of other golf professionals drop into the back of the golf shop from time to time, but like most other good golfers that I’ve met over the years they were fairly reluctant to talk about just how they went about things on the golf course.

Luckily for me though, the golf professional I worked for had an extraordinary passion for the game, a love of sharing it to those who were interested and a way of explaining things that was (mostly) easy to understand.

I would like to think that I have developed some similar traits over the years.

Now, those conversations that we had over the six years that I worked for the golf professional took many guises, sometimes they were long and in-depth going for a few hours.

While at other times a few sentences, a quick demonstration or just a couple of words could be all that the conversation was.

As you can imagine, most of the conversations revolved around how to play the game, which aspects of the golf action to work on or how to help other golfers to improve.

Though some were about subjects that at the time, often found me pondering what they were even about for days, weeks or months later.

A few conversations though, were so powerful and inspirational that they simply shaped my future direction in the game of golf.

Those by the way, were usually relatively short conversations that focused on one part of the game of golf.

Now, I am sure that I am not the only golfer in the world who has experienced those sorts of conversations as there have been many hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people around the world that have worked in golf shops under such circumstances over the years.

However, I am also aware that until now the average golfer has never had the opportunity to be inspired to play their best golf over time, as a result of the cumulative effect that those sorts of conversations about the game of golf will have on them.

Simply because up until now there has not been an easy way to share that knowledge without having the one-to-one working situation to go with it.

By the way, when I think back to those conversations the most important thing that they gave me was inspiration to head out and work on my golf game to be able to play my best golf over time.

Something that I have learnt over the many years that I have played and coached the game, seems to be the main thing that most golfers want to do.

Be inspired to play their best golf over time.

I expect you are probably wondering why I say that those conversations are the #1 thing that helped me to become the golfer I am today, as most golfers would suggest that things like practice, equipment, coaching etc. would be much more important.

As a golf coach who spends a fair amount of each week coaching people, I have observed over many years that while those things are certainly important factors in playing the game of golf well.

The coaching situations that most golfers find themselves in are usually devoted to their technique or some other aspect of their performance.

Stopping in the middle to spend a few minutes in conversation about some other aspect of the game of golf usually does not happen, even though those conversations are a part of the puzzle in getting golfers to play their best golf.

Which is why I have recently come up with an enhancement to my coaching offerings called Golfers Club – you can find out more about it here:

Here’s the important bit:

Each month for the golfers who have committed to a minimum of one hour of individual coaching with me*, there will be extra group coaching in one (or maybe more) areas of the game of golf.

It may well be that we do a group coaching session on something, it could be online coaching, audio, video, a Q and A session, supervised practice sessions, a look at fitness, on the course coaching, a practice challenge or it may well be a combination of all those things above.

The exact nature of what, when and how I’ll be delivering these things is something you will find out at the start of each month but rest assured.

It will be unlike any other golf coaching you have ever had.

The access to my knowledge of the game that you will have with these extra sessions will be like nothing you have experienced to date!

Over time we’ll work on the things you’d expect like sand shots, putting, chipping, pitching, driving, fairway woods, golf psychology as well as having a look at the most common problems, questions and frustrations that golfers struggle with not to mention some other vital components of the game of golf that you may not be quite as aware of.

Just remember, this will be an extra to your usual coaching, so be prepared for some different and fun things to happen!

Effectively, I have figured out a way to share the sorts of conversations that I used to have with the golf professional who trained me, with the golfers who are committed to improving their golf games through regular monthly coaching with me.

If being inspired to play your best golf over time is something that interests you, I would suggest you might want to check it out.

Now as these things sometimes do, the idea of Golfers Club is already growing and soon after launching it, I received enquiries from golfers outside of the area who were keen to be involved in the sorts of conversations about the game of golf that the members of Golfers Club will be having with me.

As a result, I am looking at the possibility of offering an online only option soon.

So, what does all this mean to you?

The #1 thing that helped me to become the golfer I am today, which was the conversations that I had about the game of golf with the golf professional that I was working for.

Will soon be available to you as a member of Golfers Club.

You can check it out here.

Play well.

Ian Hardie