Michael Weingartner - Walnut Creek Golf Preserve & Legacy Ridge Golf Course
As the Player Development Coordinator for the City of Westminster in Colorado I run all instruction programming for our two golf courses: Walnut Creek Golf Preserve & Legacy Ridge Golf Course.
How old were you when you got started in golf and what eventually pulled you into becoming a golf professional?
I started playing around age 7-8 thanks to my parents. I worked at golf courses as young as 16 and always looked up to the golf professionals. I appreciated their expertise and was fascinated with the game. In addition, we had a PGA Tour event in the area that I would attend when I was a kid and I loved following the players and picked up every little detail I could from how they played the game. Golf was never a primary sport for me throughout my youth, but in my late teens and early twenties I started investing a lot of time and effort into the game. In my mid-twenties I turned pro and decided to pursue a career teaching and playing the game.
How do you stay current with the latest developments in teaching methods?
I listen to podcasts, read books, and get lost down the YouTube rabbit hole every once and awhile. There are so many great minds that analyze and comment on the game. The challenge for the average player with all the content out there today is to apply what is relevant, and not everything they come across. A lot of times in private lessons, coaches have to trash information the student may be prioritizing but shouldn’t be.
What are 2 trends in golf that you’re excited about?
I am intrigued with the mental aspect of the game. There is great content out there (www.mentalgolftype.com). Understanding how you best focus is incredibly valuable as a player. For example, some people need to focus on all the steps in their swing to execute the shot, while others need to be target focused and let their creativity take over. Knowing what is more natural to you will help you reach your potential. I am excited to see what we will learn in the future and believe this will help many golfers.
Do you specialize in teaching any facets of the game?
Speed and athletic development in juniors. Understanding proper ground force mechanics and the 4 keys to maximizing power can help all players gain distance regardless of age or ability level. At times, junior golfers need athletic development more than golf skills. My junior program incorporates throwing, kicking, sprinting, jumping and other athletic principles that help in their golf development.
Do you actively play competitive golf? Any recent bragworthy performances you’d like to share?
I finished in the Top 10 of our Colorado PGA season long standings which exemplifies some fairly solid and consistent golf. Playing competitive golf for me, as a coach, is a must. Just knowing how to do something isn’t the same as knowing how to do it under pressure. You have to help people learn the game and the pressure that comes with it.
Is there a highlight from your career in golf that stands out above the rest?
I’ve been a Head Professional, Assistant Professional, Teaching Professional, and worked running charity golf events and hitting trick shots to raise money. I’ve enjoyed parts of all of it, but the moments that I enjoy the most now are when I see a junior golfer accomplish their playing goals. It is a lot of fun.
Any advice for someone considering pursuing a career as a golf teaching professional?
Find someone who knows more than you and learn what you can. Never close your mind to someone’s way of teaching, be willing to learn. Have enough confidence in yourself to be an effective teacher, but not too much so that you think you can’t learn anything more. Lastly, be an active player so you can always relate to the feel and pressure of playing the game.
Anything else you’d like to comment on while we have you?