Women Play a Big Role in Golf Instruction
Not so fast.
While some women may feel more comfortable receiving golf instruction from other women, a growing number of men have opted for women teachers.
“I’ve had women take lessons and their husband comes along and ends up getting lessons from me, too,” recalls Reese-Quayle, who played on the LPGA Tour for several seasons before a wrist injury ended up playing career. “A lot of guys seem reluctant at first, but then they see me hit the ball and figure I know what I’m doing.”
“The men I work with are mainly self-taught,” says Molly James, a longtime instructor at Windsor GC. “Because of that, a lot of them come to me with faulty fundamentals.”
Molly, like Jessica, says the ratio of women-to-men students for her is about 60-40 percent but has steadily grown to include more men.
Will Trbovich, who had seen Jessica playing at Oakmont since she was a teen-ager, said he was struggling with his game, that it had leveled off.
“It was unique for me, but I scheduled a lesson with her,” recalls Will. “The driving range was closed so we went out to the first hole.”
What impressed Trbovich is what both Jessica and Molly stress — getting to know your student.
“I was impressed with Jessica because she asked me a lot of questions about myself that had nothing to do with golf,” explains the 69-year-old Trbovich. “She asked me about hobbies, what I did for a living . . . she really made an effort to understand me as a person, not just a golfer. She made me feel comfortable.”Jessica remembers one male student who had lived with a serious slice for as long as he had played golf.
“By the end of his first lesson, we had gotten his slice back to a nice draw,” she says. “He sent me an email later saying ‘my life has changed,‘ which meant a lot to me.”
“He kept coming to me for lessons even though I think his friends continued to give him a tough time,” says James.The reality is that there are good and not-so-good teachers, male and female, and the key is finding one who really gets to know you, one who helps your game and just isn’t it in for the money.
“I would never change my teaching style based on gender,” explains James. “I adapt to the student, who are all different for various reasons. Women tend to listen better and don’t rely on brute force. They rely on more technical swings, not just creating force.”
Reese-Quayle, married (CJ) with a 4-year-old son (Austin) and living in Kenwood, started out at Chardonnay but now teaches at Foxtail and Oakmont. She has also worked with her longtime friend, Val Verhunce, a pro and SSU’s golf coach, helping the Sonoma State women’s team.James, married in 1995 (Chris), turned pro in 1990 and has been working at Windsor since 1989. The James have two daughters — Kasey, a 17-year-old senior at Windsor High and Jessica, an 11-year-old fifth grader. She has also worked with the SSU women’s team as well as local high school players, much the same as Reese-Quayle.Molly was an all-round athlete at Terra Linda High in Marin County, playing soccer, basketball and softball and also playing soccer at St. Mary’s during a period in 1984-86 the team won two national titles.
“I was slow to learn golf but my teachers were patient, which is what I try to be,” says James, adding that the most exciting element for her a golf teacher “are breakthroughs, and just about everybody has one . . . the key is playing well, not just shooting a low score.”
“Male or female, you have to get to know your student as a person,” she explains. “As a golfer, that’s what you need to improve, and as a golf teacher, that’s what you need to provide.”* * * * *
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