[box]This edition we are profiling EGTF Professional Gary Stangoe. Gary became a teaching professional in July 2008 when he completed the EGTF Diploma Course. He now works at Costessey Park Golf Club in Norwich.[/box]
Why did you become a Teaching Professional?
It was more of a necessity than anything else. We wanted to promote golf to beginners and weren’t getting much response from PGA Professionals to take up a self-employed coaching role at the Club. We believed there was enough interest for such a role and I decided to do the job myself. Within three months of completing the EGTF Diploma Course, I was teaching thirty-five hours a week!
Costessey Park Golf Club in Norwich, where I work.
What is the best thing about being a Teaching Professional?
Helping people of all ages and abilities get more enjoyment from the game.
What is the worst thing about being a Teaching Professional?
Is there one? Seriously, look at what everyone else does for a living!
How many lessons do you give in the Summer and the Winter?
Within 3 months of completing the Diploma Course I was teaching 35 lessons a week. We have no covered facilities here so I’m restricted for Winter coaching, but I’m fortunate as I have other responsibilities at the Club so I have a wage coming in.
What do you consider is the most important lesson you could give someone and why?
That if you get your set up right and then take the club away properly in the first quarter of the swing, there is a much greater chance of it returning to the ball properly, allowing you to hit a good shot. That goes for beginners up to plus handicaps. G.A.A.S.P. is so important.
What is your favourite drill and why?
Any drill which helps someone improve. The feedback they give you at the point they feel an improvement is so rewarding.
Sandy Lyle. At his best even Tiger would have struggled to beat him. Pure raw talent. Sadly the 1-iron has disappeared from the game now, but no-one could hit the ball like him. It was a joy to see him do so well at last year’s Masters.
Who would be your ideal fourball and why?
Sandy obviously, Moe Norman (who died recently) undoubtedly the best ball striker ever but a complex character, and Kirsty Gallagher for obvious reasons! If you’ve never heard of Moe Norman, look up the various stories about him on the net, fascinating stuff.
Which is the best golf course you have ever played and why?
I’m fortunate to have played many top courses but Muskoka Bay in Ontario, Canada is the best. Perfect in every way.
What’s the best and worst experience you have had in golf?
The worst is easy, having to talk to people regarding their cheating! It’s just pointless. The best, I’ve had lots of great times, but have to say watching my little boy Brodie (2 1/2 years old) swinging a club, now takes some beating!
Yes, you must. I recently attended a session with Dr Paul Hurrion and Gel Golf and felt like a child in a sweet shop! I learned a lot and just couldn’t wait to put it into practice and improve what I could offer my students.
What’s the best tip you could give a junior golfer?
To have patience. Whether that is on the golf course waiting to play shots, on the practice ground or in their overall improvement. They all want it too quickly!
New Wilson Smooth 9.5 degree Drive Fujikura 360 Stiff Shaft
Wilson 15 degree 3 wood V2 stiff
Wilson 19.5 degree Fybrid V2 stiff
Wilson 3-PW C17 Irons V2 stiff
Wilson TW9 52 and 58 degree wedges (a lot of Harrington’s kit!)
Gel Golf Paul Hurrion signature Sedo putter
I also have a 31 inch Gel Putter for demo’s and a Gel Golf Putter Fitting Tool
Gel Golf Putting Mirror
ProStance Teaching Aid
Extended club for chipping practice and a Driver and 8-Iron fitted with UST tempo trainer shafts. I have other aids as well but these are the most common ones that I use