Mark Smith - TPC Treviso Bay
Mark has made his way to Naples, Florida!! He is a full time Assistant Professional and Teaching Professional at the prestigious TPC Treviso Bay Golf Club under Head Professional Ben DeArmond. He loves working all aspects of the golf business and in high demand as an instructor.
Mark is proud of his 6 year tenure as a PGA Assistant Professional at Highland Meadows Golf Club. He built a small junior program into the program it has today. Three PGA Junior Golf Teams, doubled the size of the Friday Clinics, and introduced SNAG for beginning golfers.
Highland Meadows is host to the LPGA Marathon Classic.
Mark was the Head Boys Golf Coach at Bedford High School for 25 years. He started and coached the BHS Ladies Golf team for 15 seasons. The girls team have reached the STATE Finals seven years in a row and has won numerous Monroe County Championships. Mark also coached the Boys Golf Team. In the fall of 2006, the Boys Golf Team reached the STATE Finals for the first time in 20 years and ranked 11th in the State of Michigan!!! The team has reached the State Finals three more years and their best finish in 2010 placing 4th in the state and produced the Individual MHSAA State Champion 2009, Nate Gonring. Mark was inducted to the MIGCA Golf Coaches Hall of Fame on March 8, 2015.
Mark’s teaching style is simple and complete with analogies that the student can relate to. He strives on building lasting relationships with all of his clients that leads to great results; one on one instruction, high speed video analysis and the use of training aids enhances the learning experience. You can watch Mark on WNWO NBC TODAY every Thursday morning as he gives golf tips during the “Tee Time Thursday” segments. Also, check out his YOUTUBE Page for more video tips and online instruction information.
Mark is a Class A Member of the PGA (Professional Golf Association) South Florida Section, an active member of MIGCA (Michigan Interscholastic Golf Coaches Association), Inducted to the Michigan High School Golf Coaches Hall of Fame 2014, USGA (United States Golf Association) and a US Kids Golf Certified Instructor. He has been teaching golf for over 25 years professionally at The Claire Batista Golf Academy, Monroe Golf & Country Club, Highland Meadows Golf Club and TPC Treviso Bay Naples, Florida.
How old were you when you got started in golf and what eventually pulled you into becoming a golf professional?
I’ve played golf all my life starting with an introduction from my dad hitting balls in the backyard. I grew up playing a lot of different sports and attended Junior Golf Clinics at Crab Meadow Golf Course in Northport, NY on Long Island. Both my folks were the Club Champions there. I never played on a golf team through high school or even college. I played other team sports, Baseball & Soccer. Golf wasn’t “cool” at that time! I always played golf casually yet I was always very competitive, especially playing with my brother. I never though of becoming a Golf Professional until late in life. I’m a retired Public High School Teacher for 32 years and I coached both the Girls & Boys Golf Teams for 25 years. I enjoyed every minute of that and of course working with juniors and helping them improve. I decided to pursue PGA classification in teaching. The best thing I could ever do. MY goal was to obtain my Class A PGA Card before I turned 50, which I did! I would retire from teaching into the golf business. Great choice! I have worked with great coaches and PGA Professionals for many years and there has been many opportunities.
How do you stay current with the latest developments in teaching methods?
As a PGA Member, there are many opportunities available to me online through our PGA Community. I enjoy working on various certifications that will help enhance my teaching and my performance as a teacher. I am a certified US Kids Golf Instruction (Honorable Mention), V1 Golf Certified Instructor, Eyeline, SpeedGolf and currently PGA.Coach and SpecializationCertification in Teaching through the PGA. There are many programs as a PGA Professional to choose from.
What are 2 trends in golf that you’re excited about?
Teaching and the Growth of the Game. PGA.Coach is a new direction in teaching through the PGA of America. It’s a wonderful program for PGA Professionals to enhance their teaching programs. I have, along with the staff at TPC Treviso Bay, have totally committed to this and have created brand news learning programs and options for all of our members. This in turn, will give many new golfers different opportunities to come to the game and improve.
Do you specialize in teaching any facets of the game?
I would say that I specialize in teaching Juniors and beginners. As a public school teacher for 32 years working with every age, I have easily related to young people. I like to work with individuals or groups of new golfers and give them the best opportunities to improve and feel comfortable around the game.
What sets you apart from other golf professionals?
My experience as a teacher. I am “old school” but I am also very keen on the new technologies of today. I love to continually learn and stay up to date with new ideas and technologies. As a retired public school teacher, I have been confronted with many situations, experiences and opportunities that many golf professionals will not encounter.
Do you actively play competitive golf? Any recent bragworthy performances you’d like to share?
I love to compete! I have played in many amateur events prior to becoming professional. As a professional, I will play in as many PGA Section tournaments and events as possible. I feel that if you can not play the game and experience the competitive nature of the game, how can you teach it. I’ve had my share of wins, loses and placing in the middle of the pack. Playing competitively is very different then playing casually. My senses excel when playing competitively. Nothing “bragworthy” but I know what it takes to get someone to that bragworthy state.
Any advice for someone considering pursuing a career as a golf teaching professional?
My best advise for anyone pursuing a golf teaching career is to be open minded and learn from everywhere and everyone! don’t get stuck with one teaching method like the Jim Mclean method or David Leadbetter, etc. Learn them all and others… I believe every golf professional should know everything about the golf business. PGA of America offers this opportunity. Go to PGM Management college or go through the program individually. Stick with it and get the bookwork done!