Beginners Guide: Training & Coaches

Getting COACHED

Golf training & coaching in India is slowing gaining importance & is a critical element that you should not underestimate. The right coach will do more than just teach you the game.

They will be able to analyze your strengths & areas of improvement, tell you about how to get fitter to play the game well, teach you about the basic rules & etiquette that will hold you in good stead for life on the course & hopefully off the course as well. Typically they will break the teaching into

2.1 Technique – how to improve your game

2.2 Strategy – Course management & situational strategy

2.3 Theory & dynamics – The physics of golf

2.4 Mental game – how to build focus & confidence while playing golf

2.5 Fitness – how to keep fit, avoid injury & exercise the right muscle groups

2.6 Etiquette & rules – A briefer on golf terminology, rules & etiquette on & off the course

2.7 Golf equipment – swing analysis & how to buy the right gear

Coaches in India are classified as 1) Certified & trained OR as 2) Local informal pros.

What does Certified mean:

The National Golf Academy of India (NGAI) based out of Chandigarh offers an accredited program for individuals who want to teach golf.The program is supported by the IGU (Indian Golf union) & the R&A (Formed in 2004 and based in St Andrews) & the PGA of Europe. Since its inception in 2004 the NGAI has accredited approximately 425 teaching professionals from India and neighboring countries.

Through a system of tests & exams individuals are graded from Class D to Class A. So a Class A certified teaching professional is like a prima donna (or rather like a primo uomo for those who follow the opera) -they are the TOP TEACHING professionals while the Class D teachers are relatively the first rung of coaches.So when you visit a Golf course you would have teaching professionals whose fees would be displayed based on their Grade & Experience.

Class A – Best qualified & would be the most expensive, followed by Class B, Class C & Class D. You will also have significant difference in fees between a B grade coach with 15 years of experience versus a B grade coach with say 7 years of experience .

To give you a better perspective on how easy or difficult it is easy to be a grade A professional teacher lets look at some numbers.

Total no of CERTIFIED Golf teachers / professionals from the NGAI (as of July 2014) = 425 approx

Grade A teachers = 24 – Only about 6% of the coaches are Grade A teachers

Grade B teachers = 53

Grade C teachers = 126

Grade D teachers = 222

Most professionals use the services of a Golf teacher, a fitness instructor & a psychologist to keep themselves at the top of their game. For beginners we suggest you start with a good Golf teacher.

Some of the smaller courses do not use the services of a certified coach. They have informal coaches who charge for coaching – they maybe old hands at the game of golf, good players, caddies etc. They teach you the game based on their learning’s & experience & you may not start with the right technique.