Jim Hardy Q&A!
James Hardy is the Academy Director for Longleaf Golf & Family Club in Southern Pines, NC. James, is a U.S. Kids Golf Certified Coach, PGA Professional and father of four.
We had the great opportunity to meet up with him in the last PGA Show and we got to see that Hardy is a talented and successful professional that has his heart youth golf. It is definitely a great role model as a golf professional and as a human being. The brand new U.S. Kids Golf Academy is in great hands!
Q – Why do you say you get the biggest thrill when you say ‘Learning has occurred’?
“Because that’s when I know I have made a connection and whenever I go into a session with kids I have a goal in mind that I want them to learn a certain thing whether it is putting around the green or whatever I have for the day, and when it happens, I get excited. Sometimes it takes a while other times it doesn’t, but when it happens is good.”
Q – What is the key to create a fun and enjoyable learning experience, while meeting every student’s individual needs?
“I think the key there is to set up before the kids get there with a few different games and then make sure that you appeal to the competitive nature of some kids, the social nature of other kids, the tradition and harmony some kids are driven by and then the perfectionism of other kids. Some kids have a hard time coloring outside the lines, if they don’t know the exact rules then they are going to be in trouble. If I set up a tick tack toe putting game and the game is there, and I explain the rules and what we are trying to do, then I’ve covered all four of those.”
“I think it really just goes to where your heart’s at to begin with. My heart is definitely in junior or youth golf, youths in general. My experience in adopting four children says a lot as far as that goes. It’s just kind of where my heart is and if your heart is not there, it’s hard to make it work. Because kids don’t learn like adults, it’s a whole different ball game.”
Q – What is going to be the parents approach in the US Kids Golf Academy?
“Well, in all of our activities with U.S. Kids Golf we invite the parents to be very involved, and they can be involved to as much of an extent as they want. We call them ‘co-coaches’, because we want them to know what it is that their child is being taught so they can echo it when we are not around in their practice.”
“We also really want to draw the parents into playing more, along with their children and individually. Let’s say in Longleaf (U.S. Kids Academy Headquarters) for example it’ll be great if a mom brings her son and he gets involved in golf and then the mom gets involved, and then dad has an excuse to come and golf, and know everybody is at the golf course. Then dad makes some new friends and he gets to play with his buddies and with the family. So it’s a win-win situation for everyone!”
By: World Junior Golf