Buying into the program
Dave Smallwood wants his Golf Performance Centre at Whistle Bear Golf Club in Cambridge, Ont., to be recognized as one of the best in the country. He also wants the junior golfers coming out of the centre to be recognized as some of the best players in Canada as well.
So it’s no surprise Smallwood has made the commitment to send himself along with four of his PGA of Canada coaches to this month’s Coach of Developing Competitors Workshop in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
“I’ve made the decision to completely buy into the PGA of Canada’s teaching and coaching programs,” says the nearly 30-year PGA of Canada member. “It's very important that our academy staff are educated and stay on top of everything so that we give our juniors all the tools they need to reach the highest levels.”
Established in 2007, the Golf Performance Centre at Whistle Bear is a 1,500 sq. ft. facility sitting on a 15-acre driving range complete with heated bays, flood lights, two putting greens, sand traps, pitching greens and target greens.
Smallwood says not only has the Golf Performance Centre's overall business grown in the past six years, but so have the Elite and Performance teams. So much so, that the he’s had to hire more PGA of Canada members to help guide the juniors.
“We’ve got a seven person staff here at the Golf Performance Centre, with the majority of them being PGA of Canada members,” Smallwood says. “And there are 48 juniors on our Performance Teams, which include boys and girls new, advanced and developing competitors.”
Smallwood oversees all the various team levels as the head coach, with individual team coaches looking after respective teams.
Performance Team coaches include PGA of Canada members Carrie Vaughan, Mike Martz, Mark Wilson and Mike Skimson, all of which are attending the CDC workshop.
“All of the staff headed to Florida for the workshop are absolutely thrilled and elated to be going,” Smallwood says. “Every one of the coaches at the Golf Performance Centre is passionate about juniors and advancing their games to the next level.”
Last year alone four junior golfers from the Golf Performance Centre earned golf scholarships to colleges or universities, with Smallwood saying he hopes six more juniors this year will continue the trend.
In addition to the juniors on the Performance Teams, the Golf Performance Centre also runs CN Future Links programs, winter programs, individual lessons and coaching programs aimed at golfers of all ages and skill levels.
PGA Tour Canada players Victor Ciesielski, Ben Moser and Alex Carrigan, along with Team Canada member Garrett Rank also work with Smallwood at the Golf Performance Centre at Whistle Bear. Smallwood is also the swing coach for the University of Waterloo Men’s Golf Team.
For more information on the Coach of Developing Competitors Workshop, CLICK HERE
For more information on the Golf Performance Centre at Whistle Bear, CLICK HERE