Friday, August 9, 2013

Get to Know Your Pro... Nicole Weller, PGA Head Teaching Professional at Deer Creek

Get to Know Your Pro…

This series of articles will allow you to gain an insight into the Landings Club's Golf Professional Staff’s teaching styles, training preferences and tips.

Nicole Weller, PGA Head Teaching Professional at Deer Creek

What is your favorite part of the game to practice:
I like practicing mid irons with a pre-shot routine, wedges and hybrids.

What is the part of your game that needs the most attention:
As my body and swing change over the years, I need to maintain flexibility in my left hip to stay in posture. A tight/sore left hip create a change in posture that results in toed-shots that draw and I like to fade the ball. The ability to create center contact with a slightly open clubface is my main goal. Second would be putting. I get some great results on the practice green but they don’t hold up as much as I’d like on the course… back to more practice!

What is the one way a student can practice better?
Stick to one goal that is measurable. Vary the percentages of blocked practice (repetitive practice) when developing a skill and then random practice for applying that skill on the range. Most golfers think they get an idea after blocked practice only to find that it doesn't hold up on the course because they haven’t transferred practice or practiced under pressure or play conditions. Read Easier Said than Done by Dr. Rick Jensen.

List your top 3 teaching specialties or favorite skills to teach:
My 3 favorite areas are working with the Mental Golf Profile (mental game), short game and on-course strategies. While I really love it all, I’m very partial to our Get Golf Ready programs introducing new people to the game and also teaching youngsters ages 2-6. 

What are your preferred training tools or technology?
I love working with any training tool that helps a student get it, whether visual, auditory or kinesthetic. I use many different systems because I never know what will work, plus it’s fun for me to keep learning as well!  Eyeline Golf Putting & Short Game (Ball of Steel, Mirror/Track, Landing Rings, Track Circles), Teach N Towel, Tour Tempo Bluetooth, video, Slapstick, US Kids Golf Speed Sticks and Tempo/Speed Radar, TAG Teach, ParKit Games, SNAG, Birdie Ball, Star Putter, 3-D feedback, AimPoint, Spray Paint…..

What percentage are you teaching a new concept to a student and what percentage are you coaching that student? 
Over the past few years, I find that I teach maybe 40% of the time and coach 60% of the time, hence more emphasis on my Coach & Train series, Practice with a Purpose and discussions on HOW to practice what one is developing. 

What are your goals as a teacher and coach?
I strive to educate golfers and enhance lives and golf experiences. I help a student attain a goal that is agreed on or discussed to make sure it’s realistic. I’m a Socratic teacher, helping the student become self-sufficient in observing, learning, evaluating and adjusting. My hope is that people will learn a lot about themselves through golf and find ways to better both their life experience and their game.

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