Rick Bradshaw, Golf Channel Instructor, 2004 and 2006 North Florida Section PGA Teacher of the Year and Director of Instruction for the Jim Dent Rick Bradshaw School of Golf Heritage Isles Golf and Country Club, Tampa (813 220 8099)
Over the last 31 years as a golf teaching professional I have treasured the time I`ve spent teaching the fundamentals, techniques and game of golf to kids. I`ve taught juniors from 3 years old on up, including my daughter Brittany Bradshaw a 3 handicap , who plays golf for the University of Tampa. The age you start teaching a junior will determine your teaching techniques, length of lesson, and goals of that particular lesson. Attention spans vary with juniors, their bodies are growing, and minds are very impressionable, so it`s extremely important to instill quality into your lesson content designed specifically for juniors.
I`ve been fortunate to have many success stories with my juniors. Many have gone on to become High School Champions, Collegiate Golf Stars, and PGA Golf Professionals. Many years pass as you watch your juniors grow. Jim Dent Jr. was 14 years old when I started working with him and watched him become a 3 time college all American, national minority champion, and at 30 years old James is now a very talented mini tour professional and knowledgeable instructor for our golf school. There is a long list of all my juniors who are all very special to me in their own ways. I LOVE TEACHING JUNIORS!
The secret to teaching juniors is making golf, fun, entertaining, and challenging, while you instill information and techniques.THE BENEFIT OF STARTING YOUNG IS THAT THE GOLF CLUB WANTS TO SWING ITSELF. Meaning, a young kid`s arms and shoulders are not strong enough to manipulate and force the club at the ball. The golf club is heavy enough for the juniors to sense its momentum and they generally catch on very quickly reacting to the club swinging around them. Juniors are not mentally bound with geometric thoughts of how the club moves around their bodies. Starting at a young age like so many tour professionals almost insures a free wheeling swinging motion immediately. The junior`s hands develop dexterity, and reactive skills as a result of the club heads momentum swinging and their bodies instinctively react as well. Once this motion is achieved, the comparison being similar to the first time you learn to not fall riding a bike, you can build and instill techniques and fundamentals, shaping and sculpturing an art masterpiece.
The smiles on the juniors faces the first time they see the ball ignite off the club face, or the intense look of achievement when a junior hits their first shot with true authority is a PGA Professionals reward. This is why we are PGA Professionals, extremely committed to growing the game of golf.