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How to Become a Professional Golf Instructor?

golf coach whistle or golf instructor whistle
golf coach whistle or golf instructor whistle

So you are good at golf, but not that good. Not good enough to become a professional, and you are on the wrong side of your athletic prime. What can you do to still benefit financially from your golf knowledge and skill?

The answer is simple: become a golf instructor, also known as a golf coach.

How to Become a Golf Instructor or a Golf Coach?

How to become a professional golf instructor? To become a golf instructor, there is more than one path, and all paths lead to the Promised Land, provided you work hard and smart enough.

Look down below at some of the major steps you should probably consider if you want to know how to become a professional golf instructor.

Step 1: Obtain a Professional Level of Golf Knowledge

If you are going to teach others how to play golf, you obviously need to be an expert in all topics of golf. You will meet all kinds of players during your career: beginners, intermediate players, and maybe even advanced players.

To be able to help these players, you need to be better than them, or at least be capable of pointing out their mistakes that they cannot see. Therefore, you need to brush up on your golf knowledge until you know almost everything about golf! It will not be easy, but it is doable for sure.

One great way to ensure you get good golf knowledge is to study at a golf school. In golf school, you can learn from experts you wish to become like, making them great mentors, as well as good contacts you can call or message for advice.

If you go this route, try to foster relationships with your mentors; mentors are powerful weapons in anyone’s arsenal. There are universities out there that offer golf specific programs, including some verified by the PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association)

Another great way to learn as much as possible about golf is through reading our articles, reading books about golf, and watching tutorials and courses available online. The internet is truly a gold mine, if used correctly, and if you can sift through misinformation, and find the little gold nuggets scattered around.

There is almost no search query in the world that will not return results relevant to what you are searching for. The internet is powerful; use it wisely.

Step 2: Obtain a Professional Level of Golf Skill

At the same time that you are brushing up on your golf knowledge, you should also improve your golf skill until you are very comfortable. You should have internalized all the lessons you have read about within your own game if you are to teach others how to play golf.

Even when you finally reach the point of being skillful enough to teach others how to play golf, you will ideally want to keep staying active, and practicing golf every week at the least. You want to stay in good condition to maintain your skill and long-term health, as well as the perception students have of you.

To improve your own golf skill, you could employ the very person you want to become. Get a golf coach, and you can get better at golf, while directly observing potentially great examples of your future profession.

However, not all golf coaches are good. If you wish to be exposed to many examples of golf coaches, choose a different coach every time you hire one. Eventually, you will be able to pick up on who the best coaches are, why they are the best, and how you can incorporate their own good traits within yourself.

Furthermore, students want to learn from the best. If you are capable of winning some tournaments, no matter how big, you will greatly increase your credibility in the eyes of potential students. In addition, students will respect your word more, pay more attention, and sometimes, even be a little star-struck.

Step 3: Get a Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Certification

Although getting a golfer’s association certification is technically optional, in practice, it is a key that will open many doors in your golf instructor career.

In fact, if you are looking for a job, many employers require some kind of certification before considering to hire you. Furthermore, if you start your own coaching business, you will be taken more seriously if you have certifications to your name, and students will be more likely to sign up.

Some of the golf instructor certification programs you can join include the PGA, the Professional Golf Teachers Association of America, the United States Golf Teachers Federation. The PGA certification is the most prestigious golf certification out there, and having it makes you a professional golfer, just like Tiger Woods or Bryson DeChambeau.

Step 4: Find a job, or look for clients

If you are looking for a job as a golf instructor, you can look at job boards to see if there are any jobs available near you. In addition, you can contact your mentors and your golf teachers to see if they have any opportunities available.

Furthermore, if you used multiple golf coaches yourself, you can contact them for an internship, or if they have too many clients, they can send some to you in exchange for a percentage of the income generated.

If there are golfing facilities near you, such as a golf course, or a driving range, contact the management, or go up to the front desk to ask if you can work there. Make it obvious that you are qualified, and very motivated.

On the other hand, if you are trying to start your own golf instruction business, you should look for struggling players at driving ranges and similar areas, and offer a free lesson to start gaining clients. Once you have clients, you need to satisfy them incredibly well so that they keep coming to you, and send their friends and family your way.

Business is about keeping your customers and making them happy. If you keep your customers happy, you will not lose many, and they will do client prospecting (the process of finding new clients) for you, completely for free. Aim to serve your clients, and they will serve you.

Once you have so many clients that you cannot possibly respond to all the demand, it is time to hire other coaches, and to make sure they can offer your level of satisfaction to the customer.

Once you have excess clients, as well as one or more good coaches at your disposition, you can send the excess clients to your employed coaches, and take a percentage of the income your employee generated in exchange for providing them with a client they did not need to find themselves.

Once you find a formula that works, stick with it, and repeat. Keep adding new coaches to the business, while making absolutely sure that the clients remain as satisfied as possible. The bigger you grow your business, the more difficult it will be keep everyone satisfied.

The key to keeping satisfaction high is not by micromanaging your coaches, but by putting in place business systems coaches must follow to make customer satisfaction close to inevitable.

Step 5: Invest your money wisely

Whether you found a job as a golf instructor, or are self-employed, finding your own clients and charging however much you want, you need to invest your money wisely.

Job security is not necessarily assured, especially in the context of a Black Swan like the one in 2020, and starting your own business gives you variable income, which can feel risky.

For these reasons, you should not spend so much money that you are living paycheck to paycheck. Ideally, you would want to lower your expenses as much as possible so that you have money leftover to invest for your retirement.

Where to invest your leftover money? You should always keep 3 to 6 months worth of living expenses as cash in your bank account. Furthermore, depending on your level of risk, you can add an extra month or two’s worth in an emergency account.

Finally, after you have assured your survival in the short and medium term, a great place to invest is in an index fund, like the S&P500. An index fund is basically a collection of a set number of some of the biggest stocks (e.g. 500 stocks in the S&P500). An index fund is known to be a rather safe investment if you invest your money in the long term (10+ years).

If you plan to keep your money in the stock market for a long time, index funds can be a great choice to start saving for retirement, because they grow your investment by 10%, on average, year over year.

If you take your money out quickly from the index fund, you can experience a loss; this is why it is important to leave your money invested long term.

Once you reach retirement, your salary potentially drops to 0, and you will need money to pay your expenses. Assuming you have been investing in an index fund for 10, 20, 30 or maybe even 40 years, the money you invested will have grown very significantly.

If you invested enough as early on as possible, the money in the index fund will be enough to fund your entire retirement.

Disclaimer: nothing in this article is financial advice; you should do your own research.


There you go! You now know everything you need to know to become a golf instructor. If you need a reminder on certain golf notions, do not hesitate to use the search bar function on our website! Remember to invest your salary in a financially smart way, keeping a long-term perspective in mind!

We wish you a long, prosper golf coach career, that you understood how to become a professional golf instructor, and hope you foster many PGA champions in the future! We believe in you.

How long have you been playing golf? Let us know in the comments down below!