PGA Professional Jak Hamblett sees his role as being more than just a golf coach. After bouncing back from his own personal trauma, Jak is on a mission to help and support others through his role as a golf professional. Here’s Jak’s story in his own words…
My name is Jak Hamblett and I am a PGA Professional based in the Midlands. I see my role as a ‘coach’ a far greater calling than just ‘teaching someone to swing a golf club’.
As coaches we have daily opportunities to form relationships with people. As coaches we can empower, console and motivate people. This is an aspect of coaching I feel is overlooked. From my personal experiences I can give you three examples:
- I coach a seven-year-old girl who one year ago was very timid, very shy and would break down in tears if she hit a bad shot. These days she’s running around high-fiving everyone and brimming with confidence. I would like to think our Sunday morning group sessions have contributed to that.
- I coach a gentleman in his 70’s who lost his wife recently. As his golf coach I try to create an environment where he feels comfortable and safe. He sometimes opens up to me about his struggles and gets upset. I feel honoured and privileged he can do this in front of me and like to think it helps him having someone to talk to, to get things off his chest. I bought a house recently not too far from his, I invited him round to have a cup of tea one of the days and his face was a sight I hope to never forget.
- I coach a gentleman in his 30’s who suffers with anxiety and depression. He went through a rough patch lately. We only had a brief conversation, but I know from my personal experiences: some of the briefest conversations I’ve had with people have had the biggest impact.
If you follow me on social media (@jakhamblettgolf on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter) you will see it’s all smiles and success stories. I’m thankful to have a lot of players on the books who are winning tournaments and playing great golf. This, therefore, gets a lot of airtime. But I know from playing golf at a high level and having many personal battles over the years there’s much more going on behind the scenes.
My sister passed away when she was 17, I lost my way for many years after, I’ve had battles with anxiety, depression and many other things. I learned a lot of lessons during these times.
We all have fears. We all have bad days. Golf is you, against you. It can be a lonely place out there when you are struggling with your game and struggling with your thoughts and emotions. Even the best golfers in the world crack under pressure.
I think as a golf coach it’s not just my duty to help people improve their golf, but also my calling to help improve them. By building them up, reaffirming they are good enough, just as they are and assisting them in overcoming their fears and failures.
If you’re in a better place mentally and emotionally, it’s amazing how this can impact your golf. A coach is there to congratulate and console. Show empathy and encouragement. Correct and construct.