As a true performance coach, I evaluate and improve all pillars of golf performance: full swing, short game, putting, course management, process, mental, fitness, nutrition and more.

Josh Apple

Senior Staff Instructor
Raspberry Golf Academy
Leesburg, VA

Golf Professional Since: 2016

How to Find Josh:

Credentials / Certifications:

• PGA Class A Member
• TPI Certified- Golf Fitness
• Raspberry Golf Academy Certified Performance Coach
• 2020 Raspberry Golf Academy Coach of the Year

Josh Apple - Raspberry Golf Academy

I am a PGA Member and Certified Performance Coach at the Senior Staff Instructor level with the Raspberry Golf Academy, a Northern-Virginia based company with six locations. As a true performance coach, I evaluate and improve all pillars of golf performance: full swing, short game, putting, course management, process, mental, fitness, nutrition and more. I was recognized by my peers as the 2020 Raspberry Golf Academy Coach of the Year.

My approach to golf instruction is taking what each person does naturally and making it better. No two people are the same mentally or physically, so no two people should have the same lesson. I want to optimize each person’s unique abilities. I also believe that golfers do not need to get worse before they get better. I want you to leave better than you came after each lesson.

As a TPI Certified instructor for golf fitness, I place a high value on physical health and the body. I connect nearly all of my full swing teaching to exercises that can be done both with and without a golf club.

I played golf professionally full time before making the transition to coaching in 2016. As a student of the Raspberry Golf Academy myself as a player since it opened in 2007, coming on board as an instructor was a smooth transition. I spent one year as an apprentice with the Academy, learning under the director and founder Patrick McGuire. Through my training, I have become an expert on quickly identifying what a player needs to work on and how to work on it.

Before playing professionally, I played Division I golf at George Mason University and later served as an Assistant Coach for George Mason, and have also served as a coach for two different high school teams.

I currently serve as the Instruction Editor of the Virginia Golfer Magazine, the official magazine of the Virginia State Golf Association (VSGA). I also serve as the social media manager for the Raspberry Golf Academy.

With my extensive playing and coaching background, I enjoy helping golfers get to the next level. I am eager to share my knowledge and to improve anyone that is willing to listen, whether a beginner, intermediate, or elite player.

How old were you when you got started in golf and what eventually pulled you into becoming a golf professional?

I always played golf, I’m not sure I could even say an exact age as to when I started but it was very young. I started taking golf seriously and playing seven days a week during middle school, and competed on my middle school golf team. I made the varsity team as a freshman in high school and then started playing in national junior tournaments at age 15. By my junior year of high school my I was averaging under par and then during my senior year I committed to play at George Mason University. After graduating from college in 2012, I played professionally full time until 2016. At that time, I went to work for my coach as an apprentice instructor, a role I served for a year before becoming a staff instructor. I quickly discovered that I was in the right career path for me and that teaching was my passion.

How do you stay current with the latest developments in teaching methods?

I’ve now been coaching since 2016, but I still meet with my mentor Patrick McGuire once a week for a two-hour training session because I know I can always learn from someone who has been doing it for significantly longer. My PGA and TPI Certifications help keep me updated with teaching methods and in the golf industry in general. I also regularly attend teaching workshops in the Middle Atlantic PGA section. Beyond that, I heavily use social media to stay updated on the latest trends, including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. I also watch the Golf Channel and read golf magazines. I actually serve as the Instruction Editor for the Virginia Golfer Magazine, so I have to stay current with that role.

What are 2 trends in golf that you’re excited about?

The obvious and most exciting trend in golf has been the overall boom in the sport over the past 1.5 years since Covid. Certainly it came with unfortunate circumstances, but the golf industry has taken off and the sport is in a great place. The amount of new students I’ve picked up over the past year has been remarkable, many of whom are playing golf for the first time ever and many others who are lapsed golfers returning to the sport.

The most exciting trend specific to golf instruction has been that it’s okay to be unique and different. Think about some of the most successful players currently in the world- Jon Rahm, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau, Tony Finau, and Daniel Berger just to name a few- all of these players have massively unique and interesting swings. Coaches like George Gankas have gained popularity for their unique approaches to instruction, and Gankas’ credibility was aided by the success of Matthew Wolff. I love taking what each player does naturally and maximizing their potential, rather than building the cookie cutter swing for everyone.

Do you specialize in teaching any facets of the game?

As a true performance coach, I evaluate and improve all pillars of golf performance: full swing, short game, putting, course management, process, mental, fitness, nutrition and more. I do not specialize or consider myself an expert in any one facet of the game, I try to be as knowledgeable as possible in all facets. From my playing background, I know how important each phase is for performance. That being said, my biggest passion is coaching short game and feel like I can help anyone in the world improve in this area of the game. I separate short game into three categories- chipping in close to the green, pitching in the medium range, and wedging for fuller wedge shots. I have a unique approach to teaching these skills that has had great results with my students.

What sets you apart from other golf professionals?

The top thing that sets me apart from other golf professionals is my background playing professionally. I experienced playing the game at a high level and that helps me better related to my players who have those same aspirations. Beyond that, my well-rounded nature as a coach sets me apart. I truly value working on all pillars of performance, even those outside of golf skills like process, mental game, fitness, and nutrition. Another thing that I believe sets me apart is that I spent an entire year training to become a golf instructor after I stopped playing full time. I spent an entire year observing and learning under my mentor Patrick McGuire before I started coaching, and I continue to meet with him weekly to expand my knowledge. I would also say my roles as the Instruction Editor with a golf magazine and the social media manager for the Raspberry Golf Academy, as well as being heavily active with own social media accounts, sets me apart.

Do you actively play competitive golf? Any recent bragworthy performances you’d like to share?

I currently compete in the Middle Atlantic PGA section events, which I consider to be a significant part of my role in the golf industry. I was the 2019 Assistant Player of the Year in the section with a long list of great finishes. I had a successful 2020 campaign as well, finishing Top-10 in 10/11 events, highlighted by a victory in the Assistant Pro Championship and a runner-up finish in the section Match Play Championship. In 2021 I finished 6th place professional in the Virginia State Open and finished T12 in the Middle Atlantic Section Championship, just one shot out of qualifying the National Professional Championship (2021 was my first year eligible to try to qualify for nationals as I became a Class A PGA member in January 2021).

Is there a highlight from your career in golf that stands out above the rest?

From my background as a player, I have few highlights that stand out. First of all, I was a four-year starter at George Mason University, and was actually the top player throughout my four years. In 2012 in my last event before turning pro, I competed in the US Amateur at Cherry Hills, where I was paired with Justin Thomas for 36 holes. I qualified for Second Stage of Web.com Q-School twice in two attempts (now Korn Ferry Tour). I had career low rounds of 63 twice in competition and shot a first-round 64 to take the lead in the tour championship of the pro tour I competed on in 2014. From my years playing, I have played with many current PGA Tour players beyond Justin Thomas, including regularly with Harold Varner, Mackenzie Hughes, and Lanto Griffin.

Any advice for someone considering pursuing a career as a golf teaching professional?

My first piece of advice for someone considering a career as a teaching professional would be to spend the hours learning the craft before jumping into lessons. Even after a full year of training before I started actually coaching, my first few lessons were a little rough, so I can’t imagine would it would have been like if I jumped straight into teaching. Being a good player doesn’t guarantee you will be a good coach, but it absolutely helps. Going off that point, it is so important to keep playing golf after you become a teacher. Since I continue to compete, I feel like I can better relate to my players and can better help them prepare for tournaments. Good players respect coaches who are good players. As long as you are a better player than your students, they will listen to what you have to say, and once you get to the level that you are coaching players better than you (which should be the goal) you need have better knowledge!

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