Jacob Tilton - Ansley Golf Club
I started my PGA career at Ansley Golf Club in 2017 as an assistant golf professional. While learning all aspects of the operation as an assistant professional, I completed my PGA Class A in 2018. I was able to take the next step in my career to the teaching operation in January of 2019, taking over as Junior Golf Leader of Ansley Golf Club and Settindown Creek.
We have two facilities in Atlanta, GA; Ansley Golf Club is in the heart of downtown Atlanta our location makes us a unique golf club in the city, Settindown Creek is located just outside the city limits of Atlanta in Roswell, GA. Ansley is a 9 hole facility that is rated as one of the top 9 hole facilities in the Southeast. Settindown Creek is ranked as top 10 golf course in the state of Georgia each year and is our championship golf course. We have over 1750 members between both facilities.
How old were you when you got started in golf and what eventually pulled you into becoming a golf professional?
I was 3 years old when I first picked up a golf club. I was hooked on the game from a young age, but also played football, baseball, and basketball going up. I come from a golfing family; my brother, dad, and uncle all played collegiate golf. In high school I pursued collegiate golf, playing at Armstrong State University in Savannah, GA. After college I played professional for almost 3 years before pursing my passion for teaching and coaching.
How do you stay current with the latest developments in teaching methods?
I stay current with the latest teaching methods with certifications and education such as V1 Boditrak, and much more. I attend all teaching summits I can with Georgia PGA, I am a member of Proponent Golf Group, Staff Member with Golf Mental Type, and pursing more certifications this fall and winter. I listen to PGA instructors podcast such as Golf Guru Show, How’s My Hand Path, The Sweet Spot, Hack it Out Golf, and much more. Education through reading/listening to other top teaching professionals will allow you to continuously learn in this business. Our top instructors in the golf business are invaluable to the learning of younger teaching professionals such as myself.
What are 2 trends in golf that you’re excited about?
Strokes Gained information that we are able to calculate not just for the tour players, but for our club golfers, junior golfers, and anyone looking to improve a weakness in their own game.
Golf instruction is going back to the individuality of golfers, we are seeing less method teaching of and more teaching to the strengths of our students. Professionals on the PGA Tour are having more unique swings than ever before, mainly from their teaching professionals not changing their strengths in the swing because it did not look conventional.
Do you specialize in teaching any facets of the game?
I do not specifically specialize in any facets of the game currently, I enjoying teaching all facets to players from beginner golfers to advance golfers.
What sets you apart from other golf professionals?
The mental side of the game out on the golf course helps set me apart from other golf professionals. Coming from a playing back ground at a high level professionally before teaching and coaching full time has helped in this process. The ability to teach a lesson on the range is fantastic, but taking that information and being able to transfer it to the golf course sooner. This process is lowing scores faster, our club golfers are enjoying the game more and not having to over think out on the course. I am pursing not only the best technical information for our students, but the mental aspect in this process.
What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you personally or professionally?
The most exciting thing on the horizon from me personally is my growing family. My wife and I had our first daughter this past year in 2020. Their love, support, and passion for my career has pushed me to not only be the best PGA Professional I can be at work, but the best Husband and now Father at home. Professional I am excited to continue my education to help out members at Ansley and Settindown, I am looking forward to adding more tools to the tool box for these members this fall and winter.
What has been your most challenging experience with a student and how did you handle it? How did you overcome it?
The most challenging experience with a student was recently, their swing mechanics and range sessions were phenomenal. On the range their motion looked to be good enough to chase golf professional, however once they stepped onto the tee box their mental game was holding them back. So much so, they could not break 80 on their best days on the course. They did not want to hear about mental box, play box, pre-shot routine, post shot routine, emotional control, and much more. Slowly and surely, we would focus one lesson at a time on these issues. When we face set backs on the golf course, they would want to go straight to the range to address the issues mechanically, the trust they instilled in me to push them back onto the course helped us get through the root cause of their bad scores. It took both of us looking in the mirror and trusting each other to put the rounds together, the score they know they are capable of shooting. The result, was worth every second from both our ends.
Do you actively play competitive golf? Any recent bragworthy performances you’d like to share?
Yes, I play competitively in Georgia PGA Tournaments. 2019 GA PGA Assistant Professional Player of the Year. Top 10 PGA Class A Professional for GA PGA since 2018. Top 5 in my first 3 Section Championships for GA PGA finishing T3 in 2019, T5 in 2020, and 3rd this year.
Club Car Pro-Pro Scramble 1st, North Chapter 3Pro Scramble- Harbor Club 1st, North Chapter Pro-Am @ Legacy/Fox Creek 2nd
Best Career Results Georgia PGA
1st Place Finishes-10. 2nd Place Finishes-16. 3rd Place Finishes 9.
Career Records- 86 Events Played with 85 Cuts Made
Is there a highlight from your career in golf that stands out above the rest?
Representing the state of Georgia in the Junior World Championships at Torrey Pines South Course (15-18 age group) two weeks after Tiger Woods won US Open at Torrey Pines in 2008
Any advice for someone considering pursuing a career as a golf teaching professional?
Enthusiasm and Education, being a golf teaching professional requires you to bring enthusiasm to all lessons throughout the day no matter how you are feeling. It could be your first lesson of the day in the morning or your last lesson of the late afternoon with juniors after school, the enthusiasm needs to be there for each student. Continuing education also, realizing that no one has this game figured out for all golfers will require continuing education to improve your teaching and coaching each year.
Anything else you’d like to comment on while we have you?
Thank you for this opportunity to grow the game. I truly appreciate it.