Those wanting to lose weight or get fit know it takes more than one session in the gym with a personal trainer. Budding musicians who want to play the guitar or piano understand that learning the basic chords and frets is just the beginning. So why is there an underlying expectation that one golf lesson is enough to achieve your goals on the golf course?
Jack Macleod is so focused on developing long-term relationships that deliver continual improvement that he has changed the vocabulary with which he offers his services.
He has steered away from the coach/student description and adopted a moniker as a golf trainer.
In an age where people have embraced monthly subscription services for their workouts and entertainment alternatives, Macleod offers a range of golf training subscriptions starting from $60/month that establishes a routine of constant engagement.
“I say this to the guys at work when they’re recommending my service, it’s just like training with the pro,” says Macleod, who is based primarily at X-Golf Mentone in Melbourne.
“Instead of saying ‘He’ll give you a lesson,’ rephrase it to say, ‘Jack trains with a lot of players and they really improve.’ It’s almost like a cooperative wording of, ‘He’ll train with you to help you get better.’
“That’s my business model anyway, try to engage with people that want to improve.
“Hopefully they’re nice people and we get along really well and we share the journey together. And have a bit of fun along the way.”
Key to that cooperative approach is a focus on goal setting.
When Macleod takes on a new client the first session is typically spent defining goals, the areas of improvement they are looking for and the first steps necessary to achieve those goals.
Whether the client is training with Macleod weekly, fortnightly or monthly, there is a WhatsApp connection that not only enhances accountability but provides a constantly open line of communication.
“My point of difference over a lot of other coaches is I do a training program for my clients,” Macleod explains.
“Whether they’re training in X-Golf or go to a range, I give them just a little sheet to work off, similar to that of a personal trainer.
“They provide the list of exercises and how to do the exercises. Say there’s a focus on driving, I’ll give them some exercises to do on the range, whether it’s getting 70 per cent of swings through the target and then try the same at 100 per cent. Whatever the fault is, we try to give them some games and things to play.
“And when they play, I ask them to send me their stats using WhatsApp.
“Just to try to keep that conversation thread going, but also just to make that goal a bit more tangible because they’re a bit more dialled in when they’re training.
“Over the weekend I might get 30 or 40 WhatsApp messages come through and at some point I’ve got to write back to them.
“It is a lot of extra work but that’s trying to be best practice of being a coach.”
A PGA Professional since 2009 who boasts a Diploma in Sports Coaching and is graded by the PGA of Australia as an Advanced Level Coach, Macleod is adamant that his approach is beneficial to both he and his clients.
“It would be a very clear number of people that engaged really closely with their drills and their training program and have an eye on their stats that they’re poor at, train for that and improve it. They would improve tenfold than someone that wouldn’t do that,” Macleod says.
“And a lot of that’s the lesson follow up. A bit of a training program and just having those all based around the player’s goals really. It all starts and ends with the goals.
“The general engagement absolutely has to lead to retention. Certainly in my experience, when I’ve just taken a bit more time to engage with my customers, it just improves tenfold.”
To connect with the PGA Professional who can help you to achieve your goals in golf, visit www.pga.org.au/find-a-pga-pro/