RON BECK, PGA
What are some of your earliest experiences in golf?
I started at age 4 and won the PeeWee Championship at my club at age 6. My family moved on to the club grounds of South Side Country Club in Decatur, Illinois when I was 6 and I was just a five-minute walk to the clubhouse. I pretty much played every day as a youngster.
At what point did you know that you wanted to become a teacher and focus on instruction?
I found out very quickly after starting my first Assistant Professional job that teaching and coaching was the most gratifying part of the business. I found that I had a good aptitude and that I was able to get very good results.
What is your best golf memory?
Playing an alternate shot Father-Son tournament when I was about 13 and realizing I could hold my own.
Who has had the greatest influence on you in the game of golf?
Frank Lovrine. He was the golf professional at the club where I grew up and ran the first junior program I was involved in. He was a stern gentleman of Scottish descent who taught the game and more importantly how to behave and carry yourself on the course. Out of the dozen kids in my initial junior program nine went on to play professionally and otherwise make a career in golf. I guess you could say he instilled in us a love and appreciation for the game.
How has technology impacted your role as instructor?
I find myself using technology more and more. I use it to validate and measure the changes and improvements I am trying to implement. When used appropriately tech motivates and gives confidence to the student. Video used to be a luxury, now it’s pretty much a requirement. Because of the way people live, learn and communicate tech is something students are looking for and really enjoy.
Do you feel you can help anyone play better golf?
Yes, anyone can play better with the proper coaching and motivation. Better golf can come from a lot of different sources – better technique, better short game, better course management, better practice regiments and maybe most importantly better self-management. No one is “hopeless." Some are not as strong, not as flexible, not as athletic but you work with what they bring. Anyone can improve.
What makes you so passionate about teaching?
In a sense, it’s a way of giving back to the game for all the great things it has given to me. It’s a gift that we can give to others that can become a valuable and enjoyable (in some cases the most valuable and enjoyable) part of their lives. It is rewarding knowing you’ve made a positive difference in someone’s life.
30 Years as Director of Golf for Fox Golf (Crumpin Fox Club & Fox Hopyard)
Head Professional with Lake of Isle at Foxwoods Resort and Casino
Elected into the Connecticut Section PGA Hall of Fame 2013
Annually rated as One of the Top Ten Instructors in Connecticut by Golf Digest Magazine
Top 50 Junior Golf Instructors in U.S. as ranked by U.S. Kids
4x CTPGA Merchandiser of the Year
National PGA Merchandiser of the Year 1994
CTPGA Teacher of the Year 1996
CTPGA Golf Professional of the Year 1997
2x CTPGA Bill Strausbaugh Award (peer mentoring)
5x CTPGA Horton Smith Award (peer education)
Originated and coordinated Northeast Golf Instructors Conference (originally Northeast Teaching and Coaching Summit), a bi-annual two day program attended by hundreds of PGA Professionals with some of the best golf instructors in the industry.