Ron Beck's Major 
Coaching and Teaching 
Influences

Playing the game, understanding the game, respecting the game and a desire to share and grow the game are the foundation of my eventual commitment to teaching and coaching the game of golf.

 

I had the good fortune of being introduced to the game at age four when my parents moved our family to within walking distance of a modest private golf club in Central Illinois.  A victory in the club Pee Wee Championship at age six set up a lifelong fascination and love affair with the game of golf. A successful competitive junior golf run netted dozens of local and state championships, qualifying and competing in two national tournaments and a fruitful High School record both on a team and individual level. An active amateur competitive schedule was culminated by playing college golf at Jacksonville (FL) University. My infatuation of the game led to professional golf where I played a couple winters on the North Florida mini-tour followed competitive schedules in the Illinois Section and Connecticut Section PGA’s. I’ve been fortunate in a life of golf to play most of the great golf courses in the USA and British Isles. Anyone can teach the game of golf but it is my opinion and observation, for many reasons, that the most effective golf teachers and coaches are the ones that have experienced the game at the highest levels. I bring that experience.

 

I cut my teeth in teaching and coaching as an Assistant PGA Professional in the Chicago area, first at Joliet CC where I had an active lesson book and a thriving Junior Program and later at the prestigious Skokie CC in Glencoe where I gave 500 plus private lessons in each six-month season. In the winter months I worked one season at John’s Island Club where I got to assist in Jimmy Ballard golf schools and then five seasons at Innisbrook Resort where I taught in nearly 100 three-day golf schools (Innisbrook Golf Institute) as well as giving private lessons and clinics when possible.

 

It was also at Innisbrook where I was exposed to arguably the finest collection of golf teachers in history. Golf Digest Schools contracted to bring their home base to Innisbrook and I had the good fortune, once again, to be the liaison between the two entities. In order to assure proper coordination between the Golf Digest Schools and Innisbrook I spent countless hours assisting and also observing their instructional team which included but was not limited to; Jim Flick, Bob Toski, Davis Love Jr, Paul Runyan, Dick Aultman, Peter Kostis, Tim Mahoney, John Elliott, Scott Davenport, Dede Owens, Gayle Peterson, Mark Wood and Bob Rotella. These celebrated instructors were more than generous in sharing their experience and expertise and their influence would greatly shape the way I approached teaching and coaching.

 

The late great Bill Strausbaugh would often quip “those who dare to teach must never cease to learn”. As Education and Professional Development Director for the Connecticut Section PGA I took that to heart and created the Northeast Teaching and Coaching Summit, a bi-annual two-day program in which three renowned instructors are brought in to present to the 60-100 Golf Professionals in attendance. The program, established in 1992, has become one of the most heralded gatherings in all of the PGA and is now called the Northeast Golf Instructors Conference. As the program administrator I have the privilege of securing and coordinating the presenters. Among those who have presented are; Mike Hebron (twice), Jim McLean (twice), Dr

Bob Rotella, Fred Shoemaker (four times), Chuck Hogan, Charlie Epps, Bill Strausbaugh, Dr Cary Mumford, Ken Ellsworth, Peter Croker, Dr Gary Wiren, Rick Martino, Ed Ibarguen, Darrell Kestner, Dr Jim Suttie, David Orr, Peggy Kirk Bell, Randy Smith, Mike Malaska,

David Leadbetter, Craig Shankland, Charlie Sorrell, Eric Johnston, Steve Bann,

Hank Haney, Henry Brunton, Jim Hardy, Stan Utley, Jim Hackenberg, Joe Hallet, Andrew Rice, Michael Breed, Gayle Peterson, Michael Napoleon, Todd Anderson and Martin Hall. Spending time in the trenches with these great teachers and coaches has been a great privilege and the takeaways from each has been invaluable.

 

The opportunity to positively impact a student’s golf game and life is a privilege and responsibility which I take to heart. To that end I am committed to continual self-improvement through reading, watching videos, attending educational programs and learning about and using state of the art technologies. In fact, I approach every lesson as an opportunity to learn something new from a teaching and coaching perspective. While I don’t believe in teaching a method, I make it a point to understand all of the methods out there that are being taught. That practice has gone a long way towards helping me understand and work with students that come with a particular mind set.

 

I look forward to learning and growing as a teacher and coach with the Northeast Performance Institute. We have outstanding facilities, the latest in technology and a team of coaches working together within a culture of learning, performance and enjoyment. Through all of my development as a teacher and coach the one constant I’ve learned is that learning to play great golf is a process and that the journey is to be enjoyed. I look forward to being a part of your journey.

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