Ryan Train - Tedesco Country Club
Tedesco Country Club is an 18-hole private, member-owned golf course located in Marblehead, MA. Marblehead is a close knit boating and beach community located on the North Shore of Massachusetts. TCC is 6,500yd course known for high winds, tall fescue, and slick greens. Tedesco was also co-host of the 2020 New England PGA Section Championship with the Myopia Hunt Club back in August, the 100th year of the event.
How old were you when you got started in golf and what eventually pulled you into becoming a golf professional?
I was a late bloomer to golf with a focus on baseball most of my youth, so I was one of the kids that was “too cool” for golf growing up, and have only been playing the game for seven years. I also coached high school varsity baseball in Connecticut for 6 years, and that’s really what drove me into golf. I had been working in private country club Food & Beverage for 11 years, and missed coaching. I viewed golf as an avenue to get back into teaching and really started to focus on my game. I got to a point where I was comfortable and took the PAT (Player Ability Test) on a whim and passed to get into the PGA PGM 2.0 program. From there I hit the reset button on my career, and made “the switch” to the golf side and haven’t looked back since.
How do you stay current with the latest developments in teaching methods?
I do my best to continue my education every winter. As all “Northern” golf pro’s know, it’s 7-8 months of 6-7 days a week and little free time, so you need to make the best of your free time in the winter to continue your education. I am scrolling through Instagram about 40 times a day looking for new tips and tricks from top level instructors (Mike Bender, George Gankas, Shauheen Nakhjavani, Andrew Rice, James Jordan) to keep my instruction relevant. I am also someone that likes to go watch other instructors in my area teach (Sean McTernan, Eric Barlow, Adam Koloff, Pat Bigelow) and personally take lessons from them too. I find it an invaluable way to learn ways to not only improve on my game, but improve my teaching philosophies.
What are 2 trends in golf that you’re excited about?
I am really excited to see where the fitness game in golf is headed, I like seeing people being rewarded for the extra time they’re putting in off the golf course and range. Getting TPI Certified in order to understand the body-swing connection has been a tremendous asset to my understanding of physical flaws leading to swing flaws.
Secondly, where are we going with digital coaching? We live in a different age right now, so how do we continue to develop students from a distance.
Do you specialize in teaching any facets of the game?
I wouldn’t say I specialize in anything, but I feel I am most comfortable in basic chipping and pitching. I think I have a pretty simple approach to that aspect of the game that translates very well to beginners or those with the “yips.”
What sets you apart from other golf professionals?
I think my ability to translate information in a variety of ways. I often times am set up with a launch monitor and training aids and video equipment, which can scare some beginners off because they feel it’s too “technical.” But then I get them for some time and they start to see that I can tailor a lesson to fit the student, rather than have the student fir my lesson.
What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you personally or professionally?
I’m still only four years into my “golf” career, so to me it’s all exciting. Coming to Tedesco this year has been a life changing experience as my responsibilities have increased dramatically. I feel I’m building a great foundation here to be a Head Professional down the road, which is my end goal for sure.
What has been your most challenging experience with a student and how did you handle it? How did you overcome it?
I hate seeing my students struggle with a drill or a concept and you feel them get deflated. You feel the shoulders slouch and the body language change and it can be tough to motivate them to stay positive. I will generally try to move onto a different area to get them feeling positive. On the flip side, calming down a student who has grasped a concept quickly may be even tougher. They always want “the next thing,” but you need to make sure they master that first thing first. I’ve had guys booked for an hour and after 20 minutes I will end a lesson because they just latch onto the concept.
Do you actively play competitive golf? Any recent bragworthy performances you’d like to share?
I do play in NEPGA Section events, but nothing noteworthy of yet. Those who can’t do teach, right?
Is there a highlight from your career in golf that stands out above the rest?
My greatest golf highlight is definitely passing my Player Ability Test as the Low Medalist, and only participant to pass that day. It was my third ever round of competitive golf so just to pass was amazing, let alone to be the Medalist.
Any advice for someone considering pursuing a career as a golf teaching professional?
Take the rose colored glasses off and realize it’s a GRIND. Sure, we all want to have the PGA credential on standing behind Dustin Johnson and Tiger Woods, but it all starts teaching Mr. & Mrs. Havecamp and their 3 year old grandson. You have to work your way up the ladder within your club even to get the 15 handicappers, so be patient and put in the work.