As Executive Director of Education and Global Development, Dr. Kyle Phillpots has for 18 years spearheaded the education department of the PGA, always seeking to find the best information, courses and platforms to deliver to keep PGA members on the leading edge of knowledge related to the game and their business.
Dr. Kyle Phillpots
For many years he had been searching for a putting course and in 2010 he visited Frank Thomas and Valerie Melvin at their Frankly Golf Putting Studio in Orlando Florida, and was most impressed by what he learned.
“Our PGA curriculum had nothing specific about putting, yet if the professional can help you eliminate 3 putts from your game and help you hole more putts it is going to make a difference to you as a golfer and how you feel about your game. The information that Frank presented to Sandy Jones and myself had a structured approach and no-one else I had ever listened to talk about putting approached it this way. It was based on scientific principles, and in its approach was similar to the laws, principles and preferences that we use in all our training.”
Shortly thereafter, Dr. Phillpots asked Frank and Valerie if it would be possible to build an online course that PGA members around the world could access, as it was apparent that the knowledge delivered in such a course was a wonderful opportunity for the PGA professional to add to their business services.
“The CPI Course is a business opportunity for our members. Every professional has a putting green and the CPI adds an extra component to what they can offer.
“It’s important in business to get people engaged and putting is the easiest way to do it. When club members see their pro giving putting lessons on the green it presents an opportunity for them to learn more and the pro to do more for their members.”
According to Dr. Phillpots, the CPI Course also allows the professional to specialize and differentiate themselves, with business benefits.
“The CPI Course is of benefit to our members because of the structure and the opportunity to operate in an untapped area of putting. The pupil can be confident in the knowledge passed on by the professional. The professional is not demonstrating to the pupil, rather he is empowering the pupil.
“What separates one pro from another? The CPI course provides not only a certificate but a structure to help the pro market his services.”
The other huge aspect of the CPI Course is the fact that the certification is conducted online, which according to Dr. Phillpots, is the future of education.
“Online learning is a big thing in education. It allows the learner to study at a time and place they determine as structured by the teacher. In our time pressured society this is very important.
“As an example, to deliver the information presented in the CPI Course, Frank and Valerie would have to travel around the country and deliver to a large number of people, repeating themselves at each stop. This is very inefficient. The essence of online is that people learn in their own time, they can replay the videos, re-read the text until they feel comfortable with the contents. Research suggests that if a learner focuses in a class, they retain 20% of the information. So, with online learning, the ability to go back and review it is very beneficial. This opportunity is not available in face to face learning, not to say that face to face learning doesn’t have its place in education.
“As online learning and IT become more and more sophisticated, online learning can be done very effectively and it is only going to grow into the future, especially because people can learn when they want to. “
Dr Phillpots sees a bright future for the CPI Course as it grows into other continents, being adopted by other PGA’s around the world, most recently launched in a fully translated version for ongoing education in Japan.
“I am very pleased that the CPI Course is achieving the international recognition it deserves. I am hopeful and optimistic that it will continue to expand around the world, delivering good information about putting and building the professional’s business.”
Frank Thomas, founder of Frankly Golf, longtime USGA Technical Director and inventor of the graphite shaft is delighted to see the CPI Course develop and evolve internationally.
“We are privileged to have worked with Kyle to develop the online CPI Course which is gaining momentum as more professionals reap the business rewards of the course and are seeing the benefits of the course,” said Thomas.