FEBRUARY 5, 2020
RICHMOND, BC (PGA of British Columbia) – Will Robins has made it his life’s work to help his fellow PGA Professionals grow their coaching businesses, and next week he’ll be passing on his valuable insights to PGA of BC members at the Association’s 2020 Spring Education Seminar presented by ESI Industries.
The PGA of BC’s signature professional-development event returns Monday and Tuesday to Tsawwassen Springs Golf Course, which is hosting the event for the fourth time since 2016. Approximately 150 Golf Professionals and guests will be on hand for the two-day event, which will feature four engaging presentations covering instruction, club management and more.
Robins, CEO of Robins Golf Logistix (RGX) and creator of The Scoring Method course management system, will be closing out the seminar schedule on Tuesday afternoon. His talk will follow another acclaimed teacher in Jeff Smith, PGA Tour coach and founder of the Course Kings online instruction platform, who opens the program on Monday morning.
In between, attendees will get to draw on a wealth of experience from George Pinches, a longtime club executive and director for Global Golf Advisors, and Glen Daman, a highly sought-after business and life coach and owner of 10th Degree Consulting Inc.
Robins was chasing a career as a touring pro after college, and spent his honeymoon with wife Amanda in Thailand over Christmas in 2004. The newlyweds were on their final day of the trip when the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami hit the small island where they were staying. Both were badly injured but lucky not to be among the 230,000 people killed in the disaster.
Once he was able to return home to Sacramento to recover, his focus shifted from competitor to coach, with an emphasis on course management as opposed to technical elements of the swing, and teaching in groups rather than one-on-one lessons. The results were dramatic, with his first group of 16 players who made a 12-week commitment to his program seeing their scores drop by more than 10 strokes on average.
It wasn’t long before he started sharing his methods with fellow Professionals, PGA member and good friend Gene Bakkum being the first. When Bakkum’s daughter – Robins’ goddaughter – was dealing with illness, his instruction business had to take a backseat and could no longer generate sustainable revenue, despite teaching up to six days per week.
“I said, ‘Let me show you what I do, copy it and we’ll help you put it together,’” said Robins. Using Robins’ approach, Bakkum quadrupled his revenue while working only on Saturdays.
“To see him still be able to do what he loves on the weekends and continue to be a great coach, and at the same time be a great dad, it was like, ‘OK, this is what I should be doing with my life: helping people reach their potential as a coach.’
“It transforms lives.”
Robins has received some significant recognition for his efforts, being named a Best Young Teacher in America by Golf Digest and making the publication’s Best Teachers list for California. He’s also been named a Top 50 Teacher by U.S. Kids Golf and earned multiple PGA Youth Player Development Awards for Northern California.
In his talk Tuesday, Robins said he’ll focus on shifting to the mindset of being a coach, simplifying down golf to guarantee results, and understanding the importance of sales in every aspect of working with students.
“Sales is a part of coaching,” he explained. “You’re selling people on the idea that they should take a bump-and-run rather than a lob shot. You’re selling them on the idea that they need 10 sessions to improve. So how do you get away from this fear of selling and struggling to fill people into your programs?”
Smith, who will open the seminar schedule on Monday, has a unique backstory of his own – one that didn’t follow the traditional path to success for most golf coaches. A Tennessee native who has been a close associate of 2019 Spring Education Seminar star Joe Mayo since their teenage years, Smith got his foot in the golf-industry door not long after completing college, taking an interest in golf instruction while working in outside services at premier facilities in Southern California.
With a young family to support, Smith soon opted for a position with retail giant Target. He had a meteoric rise through the company, becoming a store General Manager in his mid-20s. But the grind of the job left him feeling unfulfilled, and he would walk away from a $200,000 USD salary to start teaching golf after 10 years out of the industry.
Smith was an early adopter of the measurement technology that is now commonplace in golf instruction, and much like in his experience with Target, quickly rose to prominence. Charles Howell III, Pat Perez, Brian Gay, Scott Piercy, Mike Weir, Kevin Na, and Aaron Wise are just a few of the PGA Tour stars he's worked with.
“My No. 1 skill set as a coach is the ability to take in a lot of information at one time and process that information quickly, and from there being able to adapt,” Smith said on a recent episode of “The Secrets to Winning” podcast hosted by sports psychologist Dr. Bhrett McCabe. “I’ve done that across many mediums in my life. I wanted to be a store manager at Target and I did it in almost record time.”
Social media has played a key role in Smith’s ascent, known to many by his @RadarGolfPro handle on Instagram and Twitter. But he also credits the exchange of ideas amongst today’s new generation of coaches as an important cog in his success – something he’s excited to do himself for PGA of BC members next week.
“There’s so much sharing of information out there, you can do what I did – which is elevate very quickly – because you now have access to so much information. When you look at my story and say, ‘This guy went from retail to teaching on the PGA Tour in a matter of 10 years? That’s not even possible, how did that happen?’ In my opinion, that wasn’t possible 20 years ago,” Smith told McCabe.
“If you weren’t introduced to a tour player, a relative of a tour player, you weren’t getting out on tour. It was a good ol’ boys network, a club, and now … I’ve had major champions come to me because they saw videos I had on Instagram. That’s what’s available to coaches now.”
Pinches, who will follow Smith on Monday afternoon, owns an extensive résumé that includes more than 30 years spent as a private-club GM/COO, with Point Grey Golf & Country Club, Hamilton Golf & Country Club and Royal Mayfair Golf Club being among the facilities he’s overseen. An expert in club governance, he’ll be sharing best practices in that area, as well as the executive search process and guidance on professional ethics.
Daman will open the schedule on Tuesday, starting things off with his “10th Degree Morning” before moving on to his “Leadership Recipe” for attendees. Daman, author of the critically acclaimed Master Your Life to the 10th Degree and a longtime auto-industry executive, has mentored and guided many business leaders and professional athletes as both a business and life coach under his 10th Degree Life method.
Click here to view full Spring Education Seminar details via the event page.
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Communications & Marketing Manager, PGA of BC