Tag Archives: Young Golfers

Episode 76: Gamification Makes Learning The Golf Swing Fun | Nancy Dunn Kato, Published Author and CEO at SwingPlay.com

Nancy Dunn-Kato is a very well respected golf instructor, one ot the top junior golf instructors in the country. In our interview she talks about the gamification of teaching the golf swing; how she makes these simple little games to help kids learn the golf swing. There’s a movement in education about gamification, working to make the learning experience more fun and enjoyable.
Nancy Dunn-Kato of SwingPlay.com talks about the Gamification of the Golf Swing
Nancy Dunn-Kato has been a Certified Class A LPGA Teaching & Club Professional Member since 1989. She has played and taught golf for over 24 years.

Nancy’s company SWINGplay and its concepts are a direct result of her dedicated work with junior golfers and a real, practical, understanding of what works best. SWINGplay’s unique programs are specifically designed to focus the learning needs of young and adult golfers at all levels from beginner to advanced players. The SWINGplay systems and methods reinforce the play in golf – to keep the learning experience fun, positive, and filled with success that grows naturally out of children’s play. Skill and ability grow quickly through the game-play!

SwingPlay fun ways to teach the golf swing.Zeb’s Take

It’s obvious that Nancy really understands the golf swing, and how to teach the golf swing. She made a lot of good points; young golfers teaching other young golfers how to play the game and how young kids can teach parents and how valuable that can be and how you can bring the family together.

The thing she talked about that I want to expand on is making the golf swing fun. She talked about breaking it down into little smaller components, and then teaching that in a fun game type of way – gamification. She’s talking about making rainbows, knocking out shark’s teeth, dragons, Leprechauns, shooting spray guns. I’ve actually had a chance to see some of the stuff she is talking about and it’s very cool. I can see how young people can accept and understand it all very quickly because of the way she sets up these little games.

In education, we get so much information from so many different resources. Before the internet, teachers were more on their own. Now, there’s someone like Nancy who creates this killer program about how to teach the golf swing to young kids. She can take that and give that to golf instructors across the country and they can understand. I think this gamification of learning coincides with our social culture and the way that we are able to share knowledge today. It really enhances the learning experience, I think education needs to go that way. Having a teacher that stands in front of a class and lectures is like if Nancy were a golf instructor that stood there and just tells you what you’re doing wrong. Versus, talking about rainbows and dragons, you can imagine the difference that would have on a little child. You can teach the golf swing, just like you can teach anything else, through this gamification process.

What do you think about this gamification process?

Find out more about gamification of the golf swing, Nancy, and SwingPlay

Visit SwingPlay.com or email Nancy at Nancy@SwingPlay.com

Quotes

  • “It was really frustrating. I never wanted anyone to feel that way. I believed in my heart that I could find a way to make it much more easy for other people.”
  • “Golf has been made too hard to understand and it doesn’t have to be that way; it could be easier.”
  • “I love teaching teachers.”
  • “They’re learning and they don’t even know their learning. That’s the fun part.”
  • “I really really wanted to create something different.”
  • “People helping people and using golf as a way to get the community together.”
  •  “I just wanted to make something that makes the world a little better.”

nancy

 

More From the Interview

Nancy got involved in golf in college when a couple cute guys invited her to play at Torrey Pines. She borrowed a pair of clubs that morning and finished the day with a couple pars. When she told her golf buddies it was her first day, they were impressed. She checked out the golf scene and had the idea to become a pro in one year. She found a golf instructor, worked hard and reached her goal in a year and a half. She made several mini tours and was on the top ten list.

After her swing, put a coke can on her pitching wedge and she had to balance it, that was the start of all the games she began creating. It was about finding a way to make it fun after the lesson so she could understand it.

“When we were on the mini tour, none of us could afford golf lessons. So whoever would go get a golf lesson they would come and teach us what they learned.”

She got to train with Derek Hardy, who taught her a lot, she could have gone on and qualified for the tour, but she wanted to get better and shoot under par more often, but that wasn’t happening. She changed her path.

Golfs Greenland Book by Nancy Dunn-KatoShe wanted to become a teacher, so she could understand why the lessons were so confusing. “I would cry in front of Derek Hardy all the time, because I couldn’t understand what he was saying. It was really frustrating. I never wanted anyone to feel that way. I believed in my heart that I could find a way to make it much more easy for other people.”

She joined the LPGA, started as an apprentice, and was able to move up. She was lucky to be able to study under Chuck Hogan. He was part of the LPGA teaching them how to become better teachers. He was all about making things fun, and to do it through games. When she asked him how to be a better teacher, he said don’t just tell people what to do, they need to know why they should do it.

She started on a path where I broke down the whole game.

“It’s just taking old terminologies and making everything easier and something that people can put their thoughts around and understand really quickly and it’s kind of amazing if you can use games or sensory perceptive play, which is what I love to do.”

What is SwingPlay?
She took every part of the game and separated it into modules. Then broke it down into simple understandable sensory perception with a skill game, a sound game or anything with the senses. She uses story telling. With young kids she teaches them how to make rainbows and their club is the paint brush; there’s all kinds of different rainbows for the different golf swings. She is telling them how to make rainbows, but they’re learning about a golf swing.

Kids have hands-on experiences and they become more self aware. They get to experiment all through play and self discovery. The kids have a great time. They’re learning and they don’t even know they’re learning. That’s the fun part.

She says, the educators of the world, they get it. It’s the 21st century of learning; it’s more hands on and discovery, let the people figure it out for themselves.

I’ve had high school kids and college kids help mentor these younger kids with table top projects. These kids get to be mentors and as they are helping the younger kids they are learning too.

What do you enjoy most about teaching golf?
Watching people’s reaction when they get it.

What life lessons and values do you think golf teaches?
Patience, love, respect. One thing about a golf course is, it’s like a park, it’s green and beautiful. Teach them to pick up trash and take care of the golf green. It’s a place where kids can go and be in nature.

Her book, Golf Greenland, is a 4 hour lesson all about putting, through story-telling and games. The fundamentals you learn in putting just go larger as you go up the game.

She wants to find a good home for her program. She’s really excited that Newport Beach YMCA is excited about it. She’d like to see it at more places libraries, schools, and places like restaurants. Maybe even try to standardize golf using everything she has created, make it more fun and get more people involved.

 

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Episode 60: Golf is Social | Kevin Flanagan President of USGLL

Golf is social. Kevin Flanagan is the President of the USGLL which is a golf league for juniors.  Kevin talks about the social aspects of golf and how golfing can help bring people together.  Learn how Kevin is helping to grow golf by listening to Episode 60 of the Defining Success Podcast.

Kevin Flanagan Golf is Social USGLL

Kevin Flanagan

USGLL, Inc, is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing national team competition for young golfers.  Since 2008, their Team Match Play format offers boys and girls, ages 6 to 18, the opportunity to compete at all levels. Players receive instruction in the etiquette and rules of golf, learn mutual respect and teamwork and develop important social skills. These relationships and sense of integrity are a solid platform that will last them the rest of their lives.

Kevin was in the trade show and transportation industry for over 20 years.  Once he retired he decided to get involved in golf and became a teaching professional.  He realized that a lot of young golfers were leaving the game.  He approached the city and said he wanted to start a golf little league and they worked on a way to figure out how to manage it.

The USGLL opened in April 2008 and now Kevin is running the business and the USGLL is growing rapidly.

The USGLL is trying to get more and keep more kids in the game of golf.  We’re targeting the 85 – 95% of the kids who haven’t had the opportunity to expose kids to the game.  The matchplay format helps young kids and parents understand the game.

One of Kevin’s mentors, Tom Addis, the president of the Southern California PGA and a former president of the PGA.  And he asked “What are you going to do to grow the game?”  Kevin really took that to heart and he decided to start this junior program.

The biggest obstacle Kevin faced was missing out on money that was promised to him before the economy tanked in 2008 for the USGLL.  He then committed to multiple programs and faced a lot of roadblocks due the economy.  Currently, other programs have started up which are similar to Kevin’s, but they’re taking away from the focus of the USGLL.

Kevin is always looking for sponsors to see how they can make golf affordable for some of the parents.  Some companies realize if they get a kid interested in golfing when they are young that there is a lot of potential for their businesses.

When Kevin was in business, you could decide on the golf course whether you wanted a guy to go in business with.  It’s a sport that all ages and all groups can play together.

The first child that teed off in the USGLL program in 2008.  He made multiple All-Star teams and lost his father last year.  They mentored him in the program and the child is going to be their first inductee into the USGLL Hall of Fame.  Another girl, who’s a freshman is playing in the finals in High School.

The national website is being changed over so it will be a lot easier for golfers to get in.  Parents can go to the USGLL.org to work to set up a golfing program for younger golfers.

Kevin Flanagan USGLL Golf is Social

Kevin Flanagan

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • How important do you think being social can help a business?
  • Do you think golf is social?

Links to Great Stuff:

  •  USGLL – “Our national strategy endeavors to increase our footprint from coast to coast, in all 50 states. Along with the USGA, PGA, LPGA and the NGCOA, we are committed to increasing youth involvement in the game of golf throughout the U.S., its territories, and, eventually, internationally.”

Success Quotes:

  • “Success is finding something and someone that you love to do and be with all the time.”
  • “The motto of the USGLL is teamwork, respect and integrity.”
  • “Girls can now compete with the boys at this level.”
  • “(The USGLL) started on a paper napkin after a golf lesson.”
  • Between golf courses and golf players, we’re losing (golfers) left and right.
USGLL Junior Golfers Kevin Flanagan Golf is Social

USGLL

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Episode 26: Breaking Out of Your Shell | Kate Hughes from Vision FORE Success

 

Kate Hughes

Kate Hughes

Teaser:

Kate Hughes was unbelievably shy when she was younger, but grew up into an amazingly charismatic woman who was able to succeed on the LPGA Tour and help youth golfers develop a strong mental game.  Learn more about Kate and how you can break out of your shell in Episode 26 of the Defining Success Podcast.

Recap:

Kate Hughes is a former LPGA Tour Player with 2 top 10 finishes and 1 victory in Japan.  She’s now mentoring, counseling, and guiding young men and women golfers to become great High School players, top student/athletes at all collegiate levels and by those who want to become Tour Professionals.

Kate Hughes picked up golf at an early love for sports.  Her parents would often bring home sports equipment for her brother and she would always end up playing with those.  Her first experience golfing, she took a swing and connected and fell in love with the game at an early age.

She used to be a professional LPGA player, and could have been a lot better but had to have five surgeries during her time as a player.  She played golf in Minnesota at the collegiate level and broke several records while she was there and they encouraged her to go out on tour and she made it in her first try.  As a result of making the tour she gained self-confidence, maturity, friendship and camaraderie.

In golf, you’re your own business and in the end you’re the one that’s responsible for your own destiny and it’s a great mind game.

In college, Kate was playing in the NCAA Championship and on her last shot everything just stopped.  It was an uphill shot and Kate visualized herself shanking the shot.  For whatever reason, she turned her back on the hole and took five steps away and looked up at the sky and saw a plane flying through the clouds and it calmed her.  She told herself she was going to knock it next to the pin and make the putt for a birdie and she did and finished in third place.  To her, it didn’t feel like anything.

Kate is the owner of Vision Fore Success.  Vision Fore Success helps younger players with their mental game to help them improve their golf game.  Kate has been on the journey from High School, to College, to the Professional tour and she wants to help young players make the transition from High School to College to the Pros as well.  She helps players get in touch with their anger, frustration and get them into a better frame of mind.

Kate Hughes and Ken Venturi

Kate Hughes and Ken Venturi

Kate also does a lot of networking to help her golfers get more exposure and she also shares every bit of knowledge she has to help them “play from inside out.”

Kate belongs to the Aliso Viejo golf club and a lot of her friends at the club recommended she pursue this path.  A young person at the course continually lost her cool on the golf course and she sat down and chatted with her and her handicapped dropped and she become very successful.  That student then began telling others and word of mouth helped her decide to turn Vision Fore Success into a business.

Word of mouth and social media have really helped her grow her business.

Young golfers have a lot of pressure.  They often have a lot of external pressure from parents and the parents want their kids to achieve certain things that their kids don’t wan them to achieve.  The pressure and stress are huge for students competing to make teams.  At times, Kate has had to sit down with parents to teach them how they can help their young player.  Sometimes they get so frustrated that they start to give up.

If you look at scholarships there are six scholarships for women and four for men, because there are more scholarships available for football.  The pressure, intensity and stress they put on themselves early on is too much.  One experience Kate had was with a player who could have been a top 10 player in the world, but her father would stand behind her and yell at her for not being able to execute a shot that he wanted her to take.  She left the game because it wasn’t fun for her.

Kate used to be very, very shy.  She could not speak in high school and college classes. And to graduate she needed to take a speaking class and getting inside the ropes and helping to find her own person she was able to blossom.  She learned self-respect and confidence.  She learned that people can literally do anything they put their minds to.

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • How important is the mental game in business?
  • How do you think you can help others “break out of their shell?”

Links to Great Stuff:

  • Vision Fore Success – “Kate’s experience and success enables her to provide real world expertise to the next generation of World Class golfers. She utilizes her knowledge and Mental Training Certification to assist her players in developing skills sets to optimize their playing potential into the collegiate golf arena and beyond.”
  • Bunkers Paradise – “To provide a community to give golfers the ability to learn from other golfers who enjoy and love the greatest game in the world!”

Success Quotes:

  • “Success is something that you make on your own, you can have help, but it’s really up to you.”
  • “Being successful is going to bed every night knowing that you’ve done everything you can to achieve your goals.”
  • “Building the confidence with younger players from the inside and projecting it outwards so they can be and do anything they want.”
  • “With the iPhone or the Androids . . . we can continue to stay connected, but we’ve got to shut it off at some point.”
  • “Social media is where this world is going and it’s going to continue to grow.”
  • About golf – “I just love the fact that everything you do comes from inside of you.”

Special Requests:

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