Love for golf can strike at any time. For Kevin Cole, it hit hard barely three years ago after a shoulder injury sidelined his college baseball career, and in less than three years of taking up the game he's already breaking 70! Now he's on the fast track to a budding career in the golf industry. We sat down and asked him a few questions about his love for golf...
When did you start playing golf and why did you pick up the game?
KC: I started playing golf in 2014. Before that I played baseball as a first and third baseman in college and ended up hurting my shoulder, so I couldn’t play anymore. I started working at a golf course and after a few months I swung a club for the first time and I fell in love. I quickly became addicted to the game and the rest is history.
Why do you love golf?
KC: The reasons change—learning different shots, and playing all kinds of golf courses. It’s the challenge that makes it so fun—I’m a very competitive person.
How did you know you wanted to work in the golf industry?
KC: Baseball was my whole life and I got stuck in a rut, especially after getting injured. Soon after I started a part-time job at the Palos Verdes Golf Club in L.A., I literally googled how to get a career in golf, and the Golf Academy of America popped up. I took a tour and decided it was the right fit for me. I graduated from the Golf Academy in December 2016 and started working here at CGC and I love it. I always have fun working and I always go home happy.
Do you have a favorite golf moment so far?
KC: One of my best memories was when our entire CGC team played golf at St. Mark Golf Club together. It was pouring rain—probably the coldest, rainiest day of the whole year. The course was practically under water but it was a blast--the most fun I've ever had on the golf course.
You went from never playing golf, to shooting 68 four different times...have you improved so quickly?
KC: A lot of practice and playing with people who are better than me helped me learn how to play and hit certain shots. I would feed off their skill sets and mimick some of what they do and then add my own twist on how to hit the ball and go from there.
What would you say to a beginner golfer trying to pick up the game?
KC: Don’t get discouraged! Sure there are many challenges along the way, but keep in mind it's hardest for someone who is an advanced player to improve, but a beginner can actually make the biggest strides in a short amount of time with good practice drills and instruction. Also, don’t worry about the people around you or get self conscious, enjoy the challenge.
You're an avid baseball fan... who's your favorite team?
My favorite team is the Boston Red Sox because my mom took me to my first-ever baseball game at Fenway Park when I was 4.
Kevin is a certified clubfitter and assistant professional. Click HERE to learn more about Kevin and schedule a lesson.
Head clubfitter Monica Stratton has fit more than 4,500 golfers over the past decade, so we asked her to explain some of the most commonly asked questions when working with new customers...
I'm not an advanced or competitive golfer, I just play for fun-- so why does it really matter if I have custom fit clubs?
MONICA: Sometimes I get new customers who admit they are new to the fitting process. They see our fit center with all sorts of clubs and shafts, and they go, "well what's the big deal?" I tell them: When you buy a new pair of shoes, do you look at a wall full of shoes and just pick a random pair, buy them and walk out the door? No-- sometimes you try on a pair of shoes and think, “I can’t even stand up straight, these are terribly uncomfortable, I can’t walk in these shoes, I'll try something else”. Golf clubs are the same. Every manufacturer may have a club that fits certain profiles--like a beginner club that’s easier to hit or an advanced club that helps shape shots. It's important to be in the right shaft weight, shaft length, grip size, etc. One of the biggest things is having the right set composition-- and making sure you don't end up with multiple clubs that achieve the same thing or leave gaps between distances.
"At the end of the day, it’s going to come down to how it feels for you. Do you feel comfortable? Do you feel confident at address? We’re going to make sure the numbers are right and working for you, but it’s still a team effort between me and you to find the best clubs."
But I’m a beginner, do I really need a whole set of custom fit clubs?