Robert Kotowski - Olde School Golf School
Bob Kotowski PGA has been a golf instructor and personal coach to over 15,000 students, and offers experience gained from over 55 years of hands on, “dig it out of the dirt” golf history.
“Coach Bob” has had a diverse and extensive golf and athletic background, as well as formal education and mentoring from some of the greatest golf instructors in the world. His focus at Olde School Golf School sessions is always a genuine, caring effort to communicate a better understanding of the game of golf to each player. The method of instruction is individual attention to each player’s unique style and abilities, in a comfortable and productive environment. Several venues are available for this unique on course learning experience, including Zaca Creek golf and Learning Center, Sandpiper Golf Course , Pebble Beach golf Links and thre Alisal.
The Olde School philosophy has evolved through the years from experience gained from preparation and play in over 500 professional tournaments, countless clinics and lessons given, as well as his association with some of the games greatest players and instructors.
His students range from Jr golfers to super senior, and all receive the benefit of thousands of hours of experience in golf.
As a youth, Bob go his start in golf shagging practice balls and caddying in Melrose, Massachusetts, near Boston. He developed a passion for the game, played more than 36 holes a day, and had successful junior and high school career. Later, after attending U C Sacramento, he became an apprentice to several PGA Professionals.
After 8 1/2 years of tournament golf he returned to the club pro ranks and established a reputation as a fine instructor. Bob has served as the head golf Professional, Director of Golf, and Director of Instruction at several clubs and golf schools, In addition to coaching over 30 men’s and women’s golf teams, hockey teams and baseball teams, he dedicated 20 years as a college golf instructor. Bob has played along side, observed and associated with great players, and renown instructors.
Throughout his career, Bob was able to work with blind, disabled and adaptive golfers. This presented the opportunity to learn from, and develop The Blind and disabled adaptive golf program, and be able to help all players, regardless of limitations. The Olde School teaching philosophy has developed further and become refined over the years from these experiences, association and observation of so many great players, instructors, golfers, athletes from all sports, peak performers in all aspects of life.
Bob has had long list of prominent students and mentors. He made it a point to seek out and garnered advice, direction, and high performance habits common to great achievers, including PGA Pros Bill Train, Olin Dutra, Bo Toski, John Hardy, Eddie Noak, Jack Okeefe, Larry Mowry, Mike Sucheck, Al Geiberger,Paul Harney, Bob Tway, Mike Bender, baseball greats Ernie Banks, Pete Rose, and hockey greats Jean Belevieu and Gilbert Perrault, George Johnson, Tommy Mcginnis, Gary Player, and John Havlecec. His process is always looking for, and noting common denominators, characteristics, habits and keys shared by successful persons from all walks of life. The objective is to pass these along to anyone who wishes to perform and live better.
The Olde School teaching and coaching philosophy has developed over the years through these experiences, and is ongoing. By far the greatest influence can be attributed to the guidance and direction of the great Bob Toski PGA. “Mr Toski is the foundation of my teaching.” His unique combination of personal ability, hands on learning, experience, knowledge of the swing and playing the game , and genuine concern for the growth and performance of the student, make Bob Toski the greatest golf instructor of all time. He is engaging, entertaining, able to capture compete focus from the student, and ultimately identify, and communicate to the individual, exactly what he or she needs to do to improve and enjoy this great game better. Time spent with Mr Toski is a life lesson as well as a golf lesson!
Another strong influence has been time spent with another great instructor, and PGA top ten teacher, Laird Small at the Golf Academy at Pebble Beach. Laird is a wonderful communicator. The same qualities are evident, and the experience and results are second to none. To witness the enjoyment of the students, and the transformation of their golf ability is amazing. At Olde School golf school our goal is to perpetuate this type of learning experience. The opportunity to participate and experience what Laird Small and the Staff at Pebble Beach have to offer, at what most will argue to be the greatest golf venue in the world, is extraordinary. It should be embraced by everyone who enjoys golf, at least once in their lifetime.
The Olde School Golf School objective is to perpetuate the Toski Philosophy, which is shared by all of the best instructors in the game. It’s all about full enjoyment of this great game. Relax, have fun, enjoy the environment and your friends. Learn to play better by understanding and practicing solid fundamentals, developing feel, timing, rhythm, balance, routine, self control, comfort and confidence.
Bob Kotowski PGA can be reached at [email protected], and will reply personally to your golf related questions and needs.
“This is a wonderful game. It should be an enjoyable experience whether its on the course, at practice, or on the lesson tee. The mission to improve your ability, perform better, get the most out of your self, and enjoy the game, is a lifelong journey. “ Mr Kotowski’s goal for each student, regardless of level of play is to simply play better and have more fun on the course.
“ I am just passing forward advice and information shared by these great teachers of golf and life.”
How old were you when you got started in golf and what eventually pulled you into becoming a golf professional?
Hockey players from Boston start shagging balls at 6 years old and graduate to becoming a caddy at 8.
A combination of just being involved, seeing the skill of top players , hitting a solid 7 iron, or draining a 30 footer got me hooked early. I loved everything about the game from the start!
How do you stay current with the latest developments in teaching methods?
I stay involved by attending, interviewing, writing, and discussing the game with PGA Tour players, LPGA Tour players, Champions PGA Tour players, European PGA Tour players, Korean PGA Tour Players , Korn Ferry Tour Players, Top college and amateur players, as well as our PGA Junior leaguers. I keep my ears open and the camera rolling!
What are 2 trends in golf that you’re excited about?
It is great to see so many new players coming to the game of golf. It is nice to have the variety of opportunities now to make the game accessible to everyone!
Do you specialize in teaching any facets of the game?
The importance of developing the short game as a foundation, building solid fundamentals , improving feel, and the confidence to score well is our main focus. When this core is established, it carries forward into confidence, control and power and a complete golf game.
What sets you apart from other golf professionals?
I have held every job in the golf business, including starting as a shag boy, parking lot bag attendant, bag room attendant, caddy from 7 years old to toting doubles 36 holes, LPGA, PGA Tour .Cart barn attendant /range picker and manager, shop assistant, apprentice, 1st assistant, Touring Golf Professional (9 Years) Head Pro, Director of Golf, General Manager, Owner, writer, and Director of instruction.
I believe I love and understand the game and the people involved as well as any one.
I believe EXPERIENCE is the best training anyone can have.
What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you personally or professionally?
I am looking forward to regaining my health after a few setbacks, and hitting the road to play in occasional senior events and opens with my Hickory Clubs, revisiting some old tournaments and sharing some meals and stories with longtime friends.
What has been your most challenging experience with a student and how did you handle it? How did you overcome it?
In Disabled golf, we face many challenges! There is nothing that we can’t adapt to, or handle. Everyone has some sort of limitations to deal with. Our experience helps us to work with every student to get the most out of their ability, disabled or otherwise!
Do you actively play competitive golf? Any recent bragworthy performances you’d like to share?
I made $500 dollars last for 9 years, playing in anything from mini tours, pro -ams and state opens, to the European PGA tour, South African Sunshine Tour, the Hogan Tour and PGA Tour, Mexican PGA, NGA Tour, Canadian PGA Tour, and any side game I could find along the way! I don’t play much these days, but I finished 5th recently in the section senior match play. Fun stuff.
Is there a highlight from your career in golf that stands out above the rest?
Hosting the California Blind and Disabled Golf Classic for over 25 years is what I am most proud of! Being able to introduce people with limitations ranging from paralysis, vision impairment, mental disabilities and amputations to this wonderful game is incredibly enjoyable and rewarding!
Any advice for someone considering pursuing a career as a golf teaching professional?
If you enjoy the game, get started somewhere. There are not too many things better than being able to do something you love as a career! Keep your eyes and ears open when more experienced Pros teach! Keep a good foundation of solid fundamentals and watch out for fancy accents and latest theories on the game.
Anything else you’d like to comment on while we have you?
Thanks Backswing, Brian and all . I like what you do! It’s good grassroots stuff, from people who really know the game.