Survey Says: Opting for a Coaching Career is a Sign of Ambition, High Expectations

Aug 16, 2023 | News, Uncategorized

By David Gould, Staff Editor

It’s surely correct to say that the world of golf coaching and training is dominated now by professionals 40 and over, but it’s also common sense to say that the future of the field belongs to coaches who are now in their 30s and 20s. To find out the current attitudes of the up-and-coming generation we surveyed our database of coaches under 40 years old.

Our total number of respondents was 42 (32 males, 10 females) and their median age was near 35. All but a couple have tournament golf records and, somewhat surprisingly, 47 percent have competed either in mini-tours or on the PGA, LPGA, Korn Ferry or Epson Tours. 

Though young in age, this group is mature in the sense of being free of confusion about career path: Over 81 percent are already devoting somewhere between three-quarters and all their time to teaching and coaching.

We asked a question very related to that “time spent” metric: “Which best describes your career path so far, and what you feel lies ahead?” In reply, 41 percent said, “I’m committed to coaching and would like to work at a top academy—and perhaps own an academy someday.” About 27 percent said, “I’m committed to coaching and I’m aiming to work mostly with tour professionals,” while 22 percent answered: “I’m committed to coaching and my main goal is a Director of Instruction position at a public course or private club.” 

Perhaps the crux of the research came at a question that asked: “Which best describes your feelings about being a golf coach in this era?”

The third of our three response options called upon survey-takers to express quite a bullish attitude toward the future. That response was: “Golf coaching is entering a Golden Age of technological advancement, expanding knowledge and increased credibility. A skilled, hardworking coach can really go places.” It very much caught our eye that 32 out of 42 respondents checked this box—a full 73 percent. Most of the others selected the second option: “It’s a good time to be a golf coach if you’ve got the requisite skills and I personally expect to do well.” 

It’s quite doubtful, in our view, that such sky’s-the-limit optimism was felt by young golf instructors of previous generations.

Did this group go a step further with their upbeat attitude by envisioning a handsome compensation for their coaching efforts? For the most part, yes. We asked: “Which best describes your expectation for annual earnings from golf instruction over the next five years?” An impressive 38 percent said they “expect to earn more than $200,000,” while another 46 percent said they expect to earn between $100,000 and $200,000—again, this is in just the next five years.

We invite our members to read the complete results of the questionnaire, which covers additional topics such as the perceived value of awards and certifications; the prevalence of professional websites for coaching; prospects for work-life balance; specialization in one or another sub-category of golf performance, and; prospects for handling the business-side challenges that any successful coach is likely to face. 

Click Here for Complete Results