Leona Maguire’s (pictured above) recent success in the professional ranks highlighted once again the guiding hand of her long-time coach, Shane O’Grady.
The Advanced Fellow PGA Professional who celebrates 25 years in post at Black Bush Golf Club this year has often found himself in the spotlight during his time working with the Maguire twins Leona and Lisa.
O’Grady believes at the elite level, coaching is a challenging environment that tests the professional just as much as the pupil.
“You question what you are doing, is it the right thing for them?” said the 49-year-old born Galway native.
“If the player hits a little dip in form, do you continue what you are doing? Do you believe what you are doing is part of the long term pathway that the player is on?”
O’Grady has long been one of the most sought after coaches in Ireland counting amongst his students the Maguire twins and European Tour player Gavin Moynihan. He eschews social media, but players continue to beat a path to his door because he produces results.
“It’s all word of mouth. If you are getting wins you must be doing something right,” he added.
“I love taking a kid at 10 years of age and bringing them through the whole way to reach elite level. To get them from a 20 handicap to 10 to five and then scratch. To become an Irish International, win a national championship and maybe turn professional, that’s coaching.”
In some 20 years at the coalface, his players have amassed 100 recognised amateur and professional titles, including most recently Leona’s Symetra Tour victory in the Windsor Golf Classic.
“The girls were very special from the start and that keeps you at the top of your game. You can’t wing it, you have to know what you are at,” added Shane.
“Leona has achieved every goal that was set for her. We have always returned to the fundamentals, what we set in place at day one at the bottom of the pyramid. It is very satisfying to know you made the right decisions.
“Of course, sometimes you make the wrong decisions but you don’t know until the outcome.
“Lisa’s game has stalled a bit but I believe she will come back and I think Gavin will have a very successful season.”