Justin Rountree - Eagle Lakes Golf Club
I have been teaching and coaching golf and sports for many years. I got my start in 2003, and it has led me to Eagle Lakes Golf Club in Naples, Florida. I came here in 2015 as a seasonal professional and was promoted to Head professional this summer once I earned my PGA credential.
My teaching style is unique as I believe in an all around approach to improvement for most players, rather than just focusing on swing mechanics. My lessons represent that and so does my philosophy.
How old were you when you got started in golf and what eventually pulled you into becoming a golf professional?
I first started playing golf when I was 14. I was introduced to the game by my dad, but played baseball, basketball and football. I became addicted to the game in high school and eventually the game became my passion in life. I played golf in college and worked in the industry here and there. In 2015, I dedicated my career to the game and was elected to the PGA this summer.
I love to coach and teach golf, as well as other sports. I also love management and sales, so together my skills set works great for the industry.
How do you stay current with the latest developments in teaching methods?
I stay in touch with current teaching methods from a variety of resources. One saying I learned in PGA Level 3 that I have found to be quiet amusing, is “The more your know, the less you know”. Here is how I interpret it. Basically, golf instructors are popping up everywhere like poker players did in the mid 2000’s. They have all the latest technology, know the fancy technical terms for forces and more, but they can’t relate the information to their student or teach the same methods over and over.
I have a nice library of books and they all start the same with the grip. When I watch different shows on the internet or golf channel, its all the same stuff that I have read in books for years. What is different is the person who is teaching or coaching and how they communicate or diagnose. The best ones are the simple ones.
What are 2 trends in golf that you’re excited about?
The trend that I am happy about is knowing, is that research is finding that we need to spend more time teaching and coaching on the course and less time teaching people how to swing the club on the range. The best lessons I have done are on the course, and I get great feedback. Sometimes like, “This is the best lesson I have ever had”.
Another trend is not being trendy. I like to keep students swing within “parameters” and work on “eliminating disaster shots”, not swing like a tour pro.
Do you specialize in teaching any facets of the game?
I like to think I specialize in several areas.
1. Playing Lessons
2. Short Game Combines
3. Adding levers and wrist hinge to Senior and Female golfers swing to give them added distance.
What sets you apart from other golf professionals?
I know what it takes to take a golfer’s game to another level. From a beginner to aspiring tour professional. Believe it or not, it is the same for all.
What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you personally or professionally?
I was just elected to the PGA this summer. I am excited about the future. My golf club, Eagle Lakes Golf Club in Naples is headed in a positive direction.The community around the club is growing and we have ideas to take it to another level.Next, I am going to continue competing and working on my game.
Finally, with season in the near future, lessons will be picking up and i will get a chance to see my students and meet new ones.
What has been your most challenging experience with a student and how did you handle it? How did you overcome it?
One is teaching a single lesson to a student who is educated on the swing and does a lot of research. They come with many questions and end up asking questions on several tangents of the swing. I find it difficult to keep them focused on one thing.
For me, I always listen to them, but I stress the importance of one or two points or “Meat and potatoes” as I say.
Do you actively play competitive golf? Any recent bragworthy performances you’d like to share?
Yes, I just played in the PGA Chapter and section championships in South Florida. I reached some of my goals and I know I am not far off. I feel my best golf is still ahead of me.
Is there a highlight from your career in golf that stands out above the rest?
I have 14 hole in ones, two with a driver. My first two were 8 days apart.
I have two course records one is 57(-13). and I also have three other rounds in the 50’s.
Any advice for someone considering pursuing a career as a golf teaching professional?
Yes, there are several factors that contribute to success. Maybe most important to getting off to a good start, is having some credentials and being at a club or region where there are plenty of prospective customers.