Some may ask, how does a coaching team consistently deliver such awesome, best-i-class hospitality to our TopGolf guests? Well, it's not easy, but it's certainly rewarding, and it's our passion.
A golf Associate's regular duties include: engaging with our guests on the tee line, coaching lessons, promoting and running league nights, hosting the Classics events and running longest drive competitions on Funky Fridays, delivering golf clinics, repairing clubs, leading a summer of junior camps, engaging on social media with our guests on how to handle the changing wind direction, occasionally eating lunch and sometimes discussing who they fancy a bet on for the Open.
Our team can also be found with their head in a good book, researching and learning techniques on the best tour pro swings, attending seminars and completing their PGA degree. This involves completing assignments and exams at university degree level over a three-year period.
In order to stay sharp on the latest coaching techniques, our golf Associates attend training meetings every six weeks. This is an opportunity to share best practices and knowledge on what they have learnt from their studies. At each meeting, the Associates are given a book on golf psychology, biomechanics, swing technique or nutrition and are required to do a small presentation of their learning to the group. Not only does this provide our Associates with knowledge, it prepares them for delivering a lesson in front of a group. It's interesting to see how quickly confidence grows in each member of the team.
In order to gain confidence in guest interaction, there are always role plays at every training session. The last training session saw teams of three Associates head out on the tee line to engage with guests and to offer the opportunity of having their swing videoed and analysed with a few tips given for improvement. This is done through our amazing V1 branded academy software, which allows voice-over commentary just like on TV. As you can imagine, our guests are more than impressed with this!
Over the past few months, we have also invited guest speakers to come in and present on different topics, from financial planning through to using latex for lasting longer on the golf course. Below are a few snapshots from the training days.
Golfingband work with elite golfers to develop their strength and flexibility through golf-specific exercises and warmups. They also work with Joe Miller (current European Long Drive Champion and World Long Drive Champion in 2010). As you can see, the boys are being put through their paces with a warmup from their lead trainer, Jane. We also had Joe Reemer, an expert on biomechanics, do a presentation on topics such as neuromuscular signalling and gravitational loading. Sounds complex I hear you say, but not for our knowledgeable golf Associates.
David Fulcher is an Advanced PGA professional and has worked with many of the leading bodies in golf across the world. He consults for the PGA of Europe, Australia and the US, and he came over to Watford to deliver an in-depth presentation on ball flight laws using radar for analysis and the truths of impact in golf. The guys were quite surprised at some of the info discussed, which shows it is important to keep researching the latest developments in the world of golf.
Callaway delivered a fitting day with one of their lead club fitters. We had some of the guys on the radar systems, and they compared club shafts and thickness. Grip thickness is an important factor, and having the correct shaft type/flex will allow for optimum ball flight.
Each training session goes from strength to strength, and as our golf Associates develop their skills further, the experience given to guests also reaches new heights. So for now, we will keep swinging and learning. Above all, delivering best in class!