Director of Instruction, The Phoenician Golf Club
Current position: Director of Instruction, The Phoenician Golf Club, Scottsdale, Arizona.
Previous position: Director of Instruction, The Academy at La Cantera, San Antonio, Texas.
Years as a PGA Professional: 41.
Top achievements / honors: 2016 Southwest Section PGA Teacher of the Year and 2004 Southern Texas PGA, Southern Chapter, Harvey Penick Teacher of the Year.
SOCIAL MEDIA / ONLINE
What app is a must-have on your phone? V1 Golf.
What book(s) would you recommend? "Ben Hogan's Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf," by Ben Hogan; "The Golfing Machine," by Homer Kelley; "Harvey Penick's Little Red Book," by Harvey Penick.
Who are your favorite golfers? Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods.
What is your most memorable round of golf? Augusta National.
The First Call: What made you want to pursue a career in golf?
Michael Lamanna: Love and passion for playing and teaching the game.
TFC: What is your favorite instructional tip to share with a golfer?
ML: Focus on P.G.A. — posture, grip and alignment.
TFC: What advice do you have for someone considering a career in golf?
ML: The golf profession can be very rewarding if you work hard, follow your passion for the game and the people who play. You may not play as much golf as you would like, but inspiring and helping people enjoy their game is very satisfying.
TFC: What is the best advice you have received on your career path?
ML: Teach people not golf.
TFC: Is there a particular area of your job that you find most rewarding?
ML: The best part of my job is meeting and interacting with people. My job is to communicate vital information and coach in a digestible way for each unique student.
TFC: What is one challenge you currently see in the industry? Thoughts on how to address it?
ML: Right now our industry is flooded with golfers. COVID inspired 6.5 million new and lapsed golfers to take up the game. As a result, courses are packed, green fees are extremely expensive and private clubs have long wait lists. I do not see this situation as sustainable long term, so we must be prepared to adjust.
TFC: Do you have a preferred style or philosophy for teaching golf?
ML: My teaching philosophy is to be simple, clear and engaging as possible when communicating and coaching. I focus on fundamentals and coach with compassion.
TFC: Where is there room for growth within the industry?
ML: I believe the two most important areas of growth in the industry lie in teaching the game and in communicating via social media.
TFC: When you look at your career, in what area(s) do you believe you have evolved for the better? And how so?
ML: I am much better at evaluating students' physical capabilities thanks to TPI. When I asses a student with TPI's evaluations, I am better informed as to the students assets.
TFC: How does being a PGA Professional add value to your brand?
ML: The PGA of America is one of the most recognized brands in all of sports. It carries clout and gives credibility.