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IJGA Staff Profile: Jonathan Yarwood

side from the renovations we are making to the facilities here at Old Carolina, we are also making some changes to build a world class staff to provide the best possible experience for our students. We would like to introduce our new Director of Golf, Jonathan Yarwood. Jonathan brings years of experience building champions at every level in golf, from juniors to the elite level on the PGA Tour. We are excited to be able to offer than knowledge to our students and can’t wait to see the progress they make this year. Below are some fun facts to get to know Jonathan a little better.

Name: Jonathan Yarwood

Position: Director of Golf

Describe your role at IJGA? Responsible for the quality of the product and development of the students

What’s your favorite part about your job? I love the daily challenge of the organizational moving parts. I also love to see my team of coaches making a difference in young lives

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received? Get good and they will come along with a winner never quits and a quitter never wins

Favorite sport besides golf? I love all sports, anything that has a winner and a loser I will watch

What is your favorite home-cooked meal? Traditional British roast dinner with all the trimmings

What is always stocked in your refrigerator? Water! We sweat a lot!

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? Hilton head where I am now, It is just a magical place to live.

Is there anything you are addicted to? Or can’t live without? Golf

What movie do you watch again and again? Gladiator

Where is your favorite place to travel and why? The UK as I get to see my kids there

What’s three things we don’t know about you? 1. I love things with an engine 2. Nobody in my family plays golf 3. I love nature

Favorite quote? Roosevelt. “ The Credit belongs to the man in the arena….not the cold and timid souls that know neither victory nor defeat’

Advice for Golf Parents

It is not easy being a ‘golf parent’ or a parent of a young athlete involved in any sport for that matter. I have seen many anxious parents biting their nails and looking on in horror when things are not going how they envisioned. Conversely, I have seen and experienced the utter joy and fulfillment that achievement in sport can bring to a parent and child.

Firstly, you must understand that this is a long journey. It takes many hours, days and years to become a competent golfer with sacrifices both mentally and financially along the way. There are good times as well as bad times. Golf is a fickle game to play and even more so to watch. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to it sometimes!

It is easy to stand on the side lines and ask ‘why did they do that?!”. Believe me, they are often not trying to do that! Golf is a difficult game to play and a tough one to watch.

I believe that the sport should be used as a vehicle to create a lasting bond together. No matter what the outcome, that bond should never be broken or damaged. A game of golf is much less important than family love. The best players I know, all had a deep and unconditional love from their family which was not based on their scores.

Obviously, we all want every player to win every event they enter and to play to all of our expectations. The reality is that it will not always happen. Golf, and sport in general, is a teacher of how to deal with adversity and to create grit and resilience. These lessons can be taken far beyond the golf course and into life.

A parents’ job is to create the opportunities that allow the child to have their best shot at being their best. Their job is also to support and love them unconditionally.

From a practical perspective, I like the parents of our students at IJGA to be as involved as they would like to be in the development of their child. We often team up with and educate the parents who are heavily involved and make sure we are all on the same page and preaching the same message. We are very transparent in what we do and derive our changes and improvements from facts. These facts can then be shared with all in the team to ensure continuity for the child. Some parents do not want to get involved in the golf side, which is fine also.

I sat and though about my top twenty tips for golf parents. I have listed them below and hope they go some way to showing the joy, frustration and love that goes with being a golf parent!

20 Tips for Golf Parents:

  1. Provide unconditional love to your children
  2. Provide unconditional love to your children
  3. Don’t let score-outcome define them
  4. Don’t let them link their self-worth and self-esteem to their score
  5. Develop the whole person not just the golfer
  6. Don’t specialize too early
  7. Enjoy the bond that sport brings to a parent and child
  8. Let them be children!
  9. Understand it’s a simple game to watch and incredibly tough to play!
  10. Provide unconditional love to your children
  11. Understand it’s a journey. The best player at 14 is not usually the best at 17
  12. Look at developing skills and outcomes take care of themselves
  13. Look at developing mastery of skills
  14. Put emphasis on academic development
  15. Put emphasis on social development
  16. Understand that 1 in 1,000,000 makes it. Pros on TV are the 1% of the 1%
  17. Golf teaches great life lessons for business, school and sociability
  18. If you put too much pressure on them when you watch or if it’s too stressful to watch, don’t watch! Drop them off and let them just play
  19. Keep expectations low and simple
  20. Provide unconditional love

Lastly, form a team with their coach. Everyone should be without ego or agenda and on the same page for the good of the player and the person

Jonathan Yarwood – IJGA Director of Golf

2018 Assessments and Blueprinting

Assessments and Blueprinting

It is so exciting to enter the new semester here at IJGA. As you may know, our individual coaching program is guided by gathering facts on each player and creating a fact-based road map of improvement. At the start of the first semester we conducted a week long Assessments and Blueprinting study. We have done the same thing at the start of this semester to measure improvement and to provide the current location on the developmental map of each student.

During the Assessment process, the students go through a series of tests using the science and art side of the game. The science side includes TrackMan, 3D, BODITRAK, SAM PuttLab, and video. From this technology we can make an informed choice rather than an opinionated guess as to what the player needs to do. It also has the advantage of allowing us to measure progress. We measure the art side, although this data is less quantitative and more qualitative. We test putting skills, pre-shot routines, shaping shots, different lies, mental awareness as well as hold a two-day tournament. Along with a robust physical screening in the gym, we have a comprehensive approach which encompasses all the skills and disciplines in this complicated game.

Student Assessment Day Video

Students worked tirelessly to have renowned IJGA coaches observe their swing style, mobility, strength and overall golf abilities. This day is essential for coaches to determine where each student’s strengths and weaknesses lie. This data is then collected for the Blueprinting process.

Student Blueprinting Video

The road map we create is called a Blueprint. It is delivered in a round table format by the coaching staff and specialists involved during the testing. Each student has a consultation slot and listens to the evidence as well as the solutions to what they do. It is as enlightening for the students as it is for the coaches, and creates team collaboration which is what makes IJGA so special.

Following the Blueprinting Day, we begin to implement individual Blueprinting plans. We are currently undertaking two weeks of technical training. This where we make the changes and adjustments to gain a more reliable technique that can work under pressure. What follows is a period known as blending, in which we trust the new mechanics and start to use them.

It has been a well planned and well received process so far and we look forward to the continued improvement of our students.

Jonathan Yarwood, Director of Golf