[box]This edition we are profiling EGTF Professional Betty Sworowski and below you will find an update on what Betty has achieved so far in her new golf teaching career.[/box]
Betty was born in Ecclesfield, a small village outside Sheffield, South Yorkshire. She says, “This is where I grew up with my parents and older brother. My brother is the reason why I am so competitive.
My athletics days ended in 1992, immediately after the Barcelona Olympics. Injuries prevented me going on to achieve future goals in marathon running. I then decided to try golf which my husband was already playing and he became my first aim. Within a short period of time I achieved my goal and I was totally hooked on my newfound sport. My next aim had to be my brother who was playing off a handicap of 12 at the time. This was a real satisfying feeling when I managed to beat him.
My son Steven was becoming interested in the sport and I could see he had a very good swing, so I wanted to help him the best I could. I saw the EGTF advert on a wall calendar in our Pro Shop and decided I would give it a go for Steven’s benefit. My teaching ability has since developed beyond anything I ever imagined. I now have regular adult students and a large junior academy which I run every week.”
In July 2007 at Trethorne Golf Club, Cornwall.
Where do you work?
Day job as an Accountant. Evenings and Saturdays I teach at Windsor Driving Range (formerly Loxley Driving Range) 3 nights per week and all day Saturday with my BYG junior academy.
Where do you play golf?
Wath Golf Club in Rotherham.
What is the best thing about being a Teaching Professional?
Watching people improve with my guidance – such a satisfying feeling.
What is the worst thing about being a Teaching Professional?
Teaching in winter when the temperature is freezing.
How many lessons do you give in the Summer and the Winter?
Approx 15 during the week (evenings only) and 3 junior academy lessons on a Saturday.
What do you consider is the most important lesson you could give someone and why?
The setup position – The grip, stance, the posture, the aim and alignment. Without the basic setup position, the student doesn’t have a solid foundation to build on.
What is your favourite drill and why?
The two ball drill. I believe once the setup position is correct, the next most important part is the first quarter of the swing. This drill helps get it right.
Who is your favourite player and why?
Male – Sergio Garcia, not only is he a brilliant player, but is always immaculately dressed! Not afraid to smile when playing – has a good sense of humour. Female – Lorena Ochoa, it just goes to show you don’t have to have an orthodox swing to be No. 1. She also looks very petite, and so am I.
Sergio Garcia, Laura Davies and Henrik Stenson – wow! What a laugh that would be.
Which is the best course you have ever played and why?
There are too many to choose from, but I really enjoyed Grand Cypress in Florida – just for the immaculate condition.
What’s the best and worst experience you have had in golf?
Best – hole in one this year at Oulton Hall, Leeds, 6th hole. Worst – playing bad.
Why did you become a teaching professional?
To help my son Steven develop his game.
Do you still strive to improve standards?
Yes, always! My next aim will be to complete the EGTF Masters Course. I am hungry for more knowledge, but other things in life sometimes take priority.
What’s the best tip you could give a junior golfer?
To get as much enjoyment out of golf as you can and if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again, with a smile!
What’s in the bag?
Taylor Made Driver, Woods and Irons (4-PW)
3 Snake Eye Wedges 51, 56 & 60 degree
Ping Craze-e Putter Balls – Titleist Pro v1 unless I’m going for the longest drive, then it’s any distance ball 🙂
For Teaching – I use the ProStance and Leaderboard for balance. Impact stickers. An extension rod for the butt end of the club to aid the correct swing path. A grip aid to ensure the hands are on the club correctly. A left handed club for complete beginners.
For Putting – putting rail, putting mirror, putting lines. Reduced hole insert and the oval putting ball. I love golf aids, it makes teaching more fun for the student, especially kids.
“Within a few weeks of qualifying I had the opportunity of working from a driving range as their sole Professional. It was a case of ‘being in the right place at the right time’. I couldn’t believe my luck as the existing pro was about to go and work abroad leaving a vacant position. I have a daytime job as an Accountant, therefore this was going to be my ‘paid’ evening interest.
As a newly qualified EGTf Pro with no experience of teaching whatsoever, I felt like a fish out of water, but something was telling me to go for it. There was only one thing holding me back and that was giving up my amateur status. As an ex-athlete and Olympian from the Barcelona Olympics, giving up the competition side of my new sport was a very difficult decision to make. Competing is in my blood whether it be athletics, golf or even tiddly winks, I would always go out to win!
I felt like my emotions were pulling me two ways, one was to go with my new found qualification and build up on the teaching experience that Bill had taught me, or keep within my comfort zone and continue competing at my club which I had been doing for the past 10 years. I still couldn’t decide between them, so I did both! I taught for the first four months for free and asked my pupils if they would like to donate a token amount to the Alzheimer’s charity. This allowed me to keep my amateur status, gain some experience, build up a good client base and decide if teaching was for me.
The end result was – I LOVED IT! I have not looked back. I now have a children’s academy held on a Saturday and I teach adults on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.
My BYG (Betty’s Young Golfers) Academy has been a huge success. See www.byggolfschool.co.uk
I wrote 5 levels of Achievement and both the kids and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Each team is given a binder with the first level of information, a free baseball cap and a goody bag. My main emphasis is ‘fun’ with plenty of competitions, prizes and well done stickers!! A child’s smiling face on the way home is a satisfying achievement for me.
As my confidence grew with the kids and vice versa, I decided to organise a team competition on a local par 3 course. This really did test my organisational skills but thankfully the test was a success. All 22 children really enjoyed turning their lesson practice into reality and ALL want the competition to be repeated this year.
I have now written 4 more levels of Achievement at an Advanced level due to start at the end of April. I am proud to say all but 3 of my original beginners are coming back – I must be doing something right!
The range has been renamed by the new owner from Loxley Driving Range to Windsor Driving Range and renovated to a modern standard.
I am now looking forward to the spring and summer months to improve on my newfound experience and improve my own game….and winning of course!
A special thank you to Bill Abbott for helping me achieve all what I have done so far. Greatly appreciated Bill.”