Chris Tilbury - Foundation Golf Center
Chris Tilbury was elected into PGA Membership in April 2012. He strives to take your game to the next level. Working with his students to create a unique game plan for each player. He works with all ability levels, swing types, and physical limitations.
Chris has been nominated twice for the Indiana PGA Junior Player Development Award. Chris has utilized programs such as PGA Junior League, First Tee Program, Operation 36 Golf, and PGA Sports Academy.
Chris was part of a team of club fitters that was named a Top 100 Fitter by Golf Digest. Chris lead the Foundation Golf Center to become recognized as a Top 100 Fitter in the United States. In 2021 Chris completed his PGA Specialized Professional training in the area of Teaching and Coaching along with becoming an Operation 36 Golf Certified Instructor.
How old were you when you got started in golf and what eventually pulled you into becoming a golf professional?
I was a little later to the game as I was 12 years old when I started to play the game of golf. Up until this time, I spent almost the entire summer playing baseball and fishing with my grandpa. He passed when I was 12, so living on a golf course I was drawn to learning this great game. I was very lucky in my early years to be guided by a club manager and he imparted his knowledge and love to learn. I realized very quickly that I wanted to become a golf professional to help people enjoy the game that I love. Like most people getting into the industry, I had no idea of the different career paths that were within the industry. I found a passion for teaching and helping people get better. I feel my knowledge of science helps me gain a better perspective on why people react the way they do and why club fitting is so important in the process.
How do you stay current with the latest developments in teaching methods?
I stay current with the latest development trends in a couple of different ways. One way is the internet. I am constantly looking at social media, internet blogs, and forms to gain the views of other students and teachers. If I better understand the methods that are out there and how students react to those methods, then I can help them navigate the correct path for themselves. I also learn a lot from other teaching professionals in the game. I have several respected teachers in my area that I can bounce ideas off of, or attend the PGA Teaching and Coaching summit to gain a better idea of the new methods out there. This game is going to consistently change. There will be methods that come and go, but in a holistic approach, the game gets better and better each year.
What are 2 trends in golf that you’re excited about?
Two trends in the industry that I am excited about are the use of technology and the uniqueness of each golf swing.
I think technology can be a good thing in teaching. I utilize Flightscope, video, and SwingU in my lessons to help the students get a better grasp on what I am teaching them along with using measurable metrics to show a student’s improvement. Gone are the days where we say I think that was better. We can gain accurate data that proves how that swing was better than past swings.
The uniqueness of each golf swing is becoming more and more common. I feel in the past we made everyone swing the club one way or another. My focus is on impact and how can I make you more consistent with each swing so that impact can be repeated. Every day on the PGA Tour we see players swing the clubs differently, but with one common goal and that is to return the club back to impact in a predictable fashion.
Is there a highlight from your career in golf that stands out above the rest?
I feel that I have several highlights during my professional career that stand out above the rest. This great game has put me in contact with people that I would never have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. I have helped NFL players, PGA Tour players, and political figures. I am very lucky to be in the spot every day where I get to meet new people. Each of these opportunities was excellent and a time in my life that I will never forget. One of the best highlights in my career was working with a junior golfer that was about to give the game up. I was able to give some timely advice that allowed this kid to continue to play the game that he fell in love with at the beginning. In my playing career, a highlight was playing the second stage of US Open Qualifying in the same field as people that I have admired. It was an awesome experience and I was able to share it with my father.
Any advice for someone considering pursuing a career as a golf teaching professional?
This is one area I am passionate about. I think the first thing I would pass on is to take the time to shadow a golf professional in the area of expertise that you would like to pursue. A large consideration is what are you willing to give up to become an excellent teaching professional, and what level are you hoping to achieve. You must work when the customers want to meet with you or someone else will. I spend time every day learning new ways to stay connected to my clients and doing everything I can to meet them when they need me. When I got into this business, my philosophy was I was going to help whoever I can. The more people I was able to help the larger my client base would be. The other thing is to have a goal for your career and work to achieve those goals. Remember there are only a select few that are PGA Tour teachers and club fitters.