As a PGA professional for over 30 years, Steve Smith has a unique perspective on the industry and the teaching of the game. The PGA of Great Britain and Ireland member became a Certified Putting Instructor (CPI) over 5 years ago, and is the proud owner of a Frankly Frog putter. Now, as Club Manager/Pro at Dragsholm Golf Club in Denmark, looking after its 750 members, he doesn’t have a lot of time to teach but does see the benefits of becoming a CPI.
“The CPI Course is a good way to structure your putting lessons. It provides a sequence for the pro to follow, rather than just trying different things. In the PGA curriculum the content about putting is very little compared to the long game, so this is a good course for younger pros to take as it provides a reference point that you can always go back to.
“The CPI is a standardized way to help golfers putt better. When you use it regularly it becomes second nature to follow the teachings in your lessons.”
CPI Steve Smith receives his CPI certificate from Frank Thomas
Smith, who started playing the game at 12 years of age and has been based in Denmark since 1991, sees the clear advantages of a focus on putting to help improve student’s scoring.
“Everyone would like to hit the ball like Thomas Bjorn or Tiger Woods but that is not realistic. With putting most golfers can do what you ask them to do. Physically, nearly everyone is able to putt as good as Pro´s, whereas the full swing is very difficult for most golfers.
“Teaching has changed a lot over the years, compared to 25 years ago. I think professionals understand their students better and try to find what can help them. The best thing is knowing when your students have had their handicap cut and have learned a lot.
“I like to share the happiness of being able to help them,” said Smith
Frank Thomas, founder of Frankly Golf, former longtime USGA Technical Director, inventor of the graphite shaft and the person who introduced the Stimpmeter to the game, said
“When someone with Steve’s knowledge recognizes and endorses the structured approach based on scientific principles that the CPI Course offers it is encouraging for us. He has many years of experience and clearly sees the benefits that becoming an expert putting instructor will have for professionals and their members.”