There are over 28,000 members and apprentices in the PGA of America, making it the largest working sports organization in the World. It’s a great Association that has a lot of benefits, but one of the best is the chance to learn and share with other members of the organization. When it comes to improving at your craft, there’s nothing better than sharing ideas and helping one another out. So even though it is a large group, there is a “brotherhood” or “family” feel to it at times that makes those of us in the PGA of America proud to be a part of it. A few nights ago I was lucky enough to be a part of an event that was an example of what is great about being a PGA Professional.
Held in downtown Baltimore, this event was called the MAPGA Open Teaching Forum, and was created and hosted by Bernie Najar, PGA. Bernie is one of the best teachers in the Section, and has also been the recipient of the Horton Smith Award for education contributions, so he is no stranger to putting together quality educational experiences for golf professionals. The night consisted of several interesting topics such as training aids, teaching trends, technology in instruction, and a breakdown of some of the top 20 players on Tour. In addition, we also were given some awesome advice on how to give lessons to people with physical disabilities and prosethic limbs by Jim Estes, PGA, who has done tons of work with Wounded Warriors. Club fitting with different technological offerings was also discussed, such as Trackman and Flightscope.
Needless to say it was incredibly fun to meet other golf professionals and put faces to names, and for someone who is about to become a full time teacher it was a great night and very educational. The passion amongst my fellow golf professionals was inspiring and really got me excited about helping people learn and improve. It also made me proud to be a PGA Professional.
NOTE: Just a quick plug for Bernie Najar, PGA – check him out at www.parsavers.com or on Twitter: @bernienajargolf