Already from my childhood I’ve felt sport is my destiny. I was playing icehockey and tennis at top level for quite a long time. I stopped when I had finished University and continued playing just for fun. I started to play golf quite late, when I was 33. In former Czechoslovakia it was almost impossible to be active in this beautiful game. My time came after changes in 1989.
In 1991 I took a golf club in my hands for the first time. It was in the days when we had only 1500 golf players and some 7 golf courses in the Czech Republic. Today we have 65,000 players and some 70 golf courses!! The first year I spent 5 – 6 days a week, 3 – 4 hours a day on the driving range and was lucky I met a very good golf teacher. In fact I have to say I spent all my free time on golf. When I got some good results and thought about further steps, a car accident stopped me for two years in 1999. From that time I couldn’t play as much as I had wished. I was practising and playing less but still spent a lot of time in resorts, watching others play and talking to ‘golf’ people.
In 2005 I passed some courses to become a ‘Golf Teaching Assistant’. In 2007 they were opening a new, beautiful golf resort in Kuneticka Hora (designed by Graham Marsh) and my friend was responsible for kickstarting it. He asked me if I could try to bring some good golf coaches and establish the Golf Academy. I didn’t hesitate for a second, finished my consultancy business and brought Simon Holmes to the Czech Republic. I helped him to establish his Golf Academy in Kuneticka Hora and stayed there as the Manager for one year. I have been working with Simon for three years and thanks to him I have discovered the fantastic Arcos Gardens Resort in Spain where you can meet and see a lot of Tour players practising, or English and Swedish National squads. All the time I’ve spent there was not only great but also very interesting and important. To find friends like Joakim Haeggman or Freddy Andersson-Hed and have the possibility to talk to them, watch them practice and play with them is a gift which you don’t find every day. Particularly the time I’ve spent with Joakim in Arcos has helped me to get a lot of knowledge about golf at top level.
In 2010 I met Clive Tucker, working with him for some time and I organised for him to become Head Pro in a new golf resort in Prague (Black Bridge Golf Resort). Clive helped me to understand a lot of golf technical details. But I was still looking for a teaching system which could suit most of my clients. 80% of my clients play golf twice a week because they don’t have more time, and I discovered the EGTF with the possibility to pass their golf teaching diploma course which I completed in February 2012. During the course in Spain I met Bill Abbott and Paul Tolley and realised I had found exactly what I was looking for. Simple teaching methods, top Professionals and great people. I have appreciated what and how they taught us and particularly they gave us a lot of arguments as to why this or this method works.
I’m happy I could become a member of the EGTF family and now I’m working as an independent golf teacher at four different places (2 Resorts and 2 Driving Ranges). I coach a few single handicap players and a couple of scratch ones, but I feel my most important role is to help to establish golf as a game, sport, fun and life philosophy, also in smaller cities and particularly to kids. So, Bill and Paul, once again thanks a lot, you have helped me to understand so much.
Why did you become a golf teaching professional?
It’s simple, I love it and I’m happy I could put together my hobby and profession.
Where do you work?
Right now I’m working at four different places. Two Golf Resorts (Golf Karlstejn and Golf Botanica) which are both close to my house. Two Driving Ranges (Prague and Jicin). During the winter season I work in two different indoor facilities.
Where do you play golf?
When I find some free time I usually play Karlstejn Golf Course which is one of the most beautiful in the Czech Republic and quite challenging.
What is the best thing about being a golf teaching professional?
I think to have my office under the sky with fresh air and shower. I love and appreciate to communicate with people and help them to be better in their activity, which means for most of them to have fun and relax. I think it’s a great feeling if you can try to help people to solve also their other difficulties brought on by daily life. I’m sure golf was born exactly for this reason.
What is the worst thing about being a golf teaching professional?
I had to think quite a long time to find something. Probably when you can’t find a communicating connection. Thank God it happens very rarely.
How many lessons do you give in the Summer and the Winter?
In the Summer between 100 and 120 hours and Winter between 60 and 70 hours per month, but I do a lot of travelling during the Summer.
What do you consider is the most important lesson you could give someone and why?
I think it’s not the technical but mental one. I always tell people when they go on a golf course or play a tournament – “you don’t have to play, it’s fun, just go and play”.
What is your favourite drill and why?
My favourite drill is the one I got from a Coach of one of the top Tour players. It’s simple, works for everyone and helps to avoid more basic troubles. You don’t even need a golf club and you can do it anywhere. Stay in the basic golf posture against the wall and lean head on the wall (forehead). Cross arms on your chest with plams on shoulders and slowly turn shoulders like in backswing, forwardswing, impact, followthrough and impact. It’s great for head position, shoulder turn and angles, and weight transfer.
Who is your favourite player and why?
I can’t say I have only one favourite player. I like Padraig Harrington, for me he is still the best ball striker. Lee Westwood because of his approach and personality, and also Rickie Fowler because he does a lot for kids. He reminds me of a young Freddy Couples who is probably my most favourite player.
Who would be in your ideal fourball and why?
Padraig Harrington, Freddy Couples and Rickie Fowler. Why? I like these players, no other special reason. It could be a lot of fun.
Which is the best golf course you have played and why?
Arcos Gardens Resort. It is on 160 hectares under olive trees. You feel like you are playing golf in Eden. Great architecture, a linkup of holes makes sense and playing is like reading a perfect book. Big and tricky greens bring fun and emotions to the game. On top of that, excellent practice area and nice people so I think it’s enough for one Resort.
What is the best and worst experience you have had in golf?
Actually I have two best ones. The first one – when I played in Sir Nick Faldo’s team against Tony Jacklin’s team at Wentworth. The other one was when my 11 year old pupil Ondra halved match play with Joakim Haeggman during our camp in Arcos Gardens.
The worst one (I wouldn’t say as worst but regrettable). I was playing Arcos Gardens back nine, four ball with Freddy Andersson-Hed against Joakim Haeggman and Simon Holmes. After six holes we were 6 points in the lead and my game was so good, but…………….last 3 holes total collapse and we halved the match. But we really had a lot of fun.
What is the best tip you could give a junior golfer?
For all of them, not looking as a fact which level they want to reach in golf. Use golf as a means to be a good person, play fair and be honest in your life.
What’s in the bag?
Driver (9.5) Titleist 910 D2 and 3W (15) Titleist 910 Fd, using Graphite design YS+ stiff shafts
3I – PW Mizuno MP60 on Project X 5.5
Wedges (52, 56 and 60) MP T Series, standard shafts
Putter Scotty Cameron
Balls Bridgestone B330S
Small plush leo for good luck