Jeff Chambers – 2018 PGA of Canada Coach of the Year
Jeff Chambers, PGA of Canada – Saskatchewan Zone Professional at Elmwood Golf and Country Club in Swift Current, is one busy man. And it’s most likely not going to slow down anytime soon.
Jeff traveled down to Florida in January, 2019 to accept the 2018 PGA of Canada “Ben Kern Coach of the Year” award, one of the most prestigious awards in the Canadian Golf Industry. Mark Patterson, current PGA of Canada President and Head Professional at Harbor Golf Resort in Saskatchewan, was there to personally present Jeff with the award. A truly special moment for the PGA of Canada – Saskatchewan Zone. Immediately after the well-earned trip to Florida, Jeff was back home in Swift Current at the Jeff Chambers Golf Academy, continuing to develop some of Saskatchewan’s top golfers.
This dedication to his students, combined with ongoing learning and training from some of the world’s best Golf Coaches, are just a couple of reasons why Jeff’s peers acknowledged him as the 2018 PGA of Canada Ben Kern Coach of the Year. Well done Jeff!
We sat down with Jeff recently to discuss his passion for growing the game of golf.
SaskGolfer: First off, congratulations on earning the PGA of Canada “Ben Kern Coach of the Year” award. What does this mean to you?
Jeff: It’s hard to put into words the feelings I have gone through since the announcement. At first, total shock that I would be honored Nationally, then worried about what it meant and what I would need to do to be worthy of such an honor. I know that sounds strange, but as a National Award winner comes expectations and I just wanted to make sure that I was up for the task. Good news is I believe I am! I have had countless discussions with top Teachers and Coaches around the world and realize that I do have what it takes to provide a great experience for all my players. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters to me is that my students are getting the best care and service possible. The award is special but it’s the thank you’s and appreciation from the players and parents that mean the most to me.
SaskGolfer: The golfing community throughout Saskatchewan continues to appreciate your dedication and passion towards growing the game of golf. How did you get into Coaching?
Jeff: I Started as a hockey coach for about 5 years in Manitoba when I was still attending High school. I loved it! Then I instantly loved teaching golf when I started in the profession and it’s just grown over the years. My Provincial coaching roles with Golf Saskatchewan really helped me realize how much I loved to coach at more elite levels and I have stories for a lifetime from Provincial and National events with the kids. Then my Coaching went to a new level with the Maple Leaf Junior Tour. They entrusted me to travel internationally with our Canadian Team. I have been to Scotland three times, Australia four times and this year took our team to Finland and then to Estonia to compete. Every year I continue to learn more to provide for better experiences for the athletes and for this I’m very grateful and look forward to the future.
SaskGolfer: How has technology enhanced your Coaching methods in recent years?
Jeff: Without technology, a current teacher or coach will not keep up with the demands from students. No matter how good we are at listening and watching, there is no way to truly see parts of the swing and movements that can help our players. I use the number one ball and club tracking equipment in the world. The GC Quad is used by many tour players and is most common in Europe where their seasons are similar to us. It’s the only equipment that is truly accurate to use indoors and half of our season is unfortunately indoors. I also use Blast golf for tracking timing of the swing and I now have the latest boditrak mat for seeing ground pressure, and just recently entered into the 3D world with K Motion (KVEST). There’s nothing I can’t see in the swing with these tools, so there’s nothing stopping myself and my students from learning and improving. Granted, no matter how much technology we have, it’s still about getting the ball in the hole so most of our energy is still about how to do that on the course. It’s just that players have more confidence because they understand their swing better than most.
SaskGolfer: Walk us through a typical day of Coaching at Jeff Chambers Golf Academy located at Elmwood Golf Club in Swift Current.
Jeff: No day is typical! Every day is a new day and every lesson or session is different. One thing I know, and technology proves it, is that we all swing different. Technology helps us to understand how each of us can improve our unique swings to hit the ball better. But, we also all learn differently so I may have five two hour lessons planned in a day and each one could be entirely different to one another. One of my biggest strengths is adapting. I can adapt to situations quickly and that’s very handy when working with so many age groups. The key to effective coaching is to know what each player needs and with so many students, it can be tricky and overwhelming but drives me to figure it all out.
SaskGolfer: You were recently voted in as President of the PGA of Canada – Saskatchewan Zone. What are you looking forward to as the new President?
Jeff: I look forward to continuing the great work from our previous Presidents and board members. The Saskatchewan Zone is a very well organized zone and I purely want to do my part to keep it going forward and be prepared to adapt to change as needed. Doc (Ken Morrow) is our Executive Director and he does a terrific job and I am just there for support and assist as needed. The golf world is changing and we are very aware of that. We are always in discussions and are ready to do whatever necessary to move in the right direction. I’m proud to be leading our zone but it is a team of us that are making the difference.
SaskGolfer: What do you feel has led you to being so well known and now awarded in the Coaching world?
Jeff: My players and my relationships with them. The players trust me and know I care and I give them all I can. The players talk to each other and word of mouth really has excelled my teaching and coaching numbers. Parents are looking for every advantage possible for their kids and are willing to travel. They also talk at all the events and it’s again the word of mouth that goes around quickly. I have significantly grown in numbers of students and I just hope I can keep up with the demand. It’s time for Saskatchewan to start earning respect in the golf world and I’m going to do whatever I can to make sure that happens again. I’m confident with the young players I have that in the next few years to come, SK will make its way back up the leaderboards at the National level. I’ve bragged about how awesome the athletes are that I work with and I truly mean it. Many work so hard and I love to see the effort put in, and for those students I will do whatever I can to help them in their journey.
SaskGolfer: Thanks very much for your time Jeff, have a great 2019!
PGA of Canada – Saskatchewan Zone Professional Jeff Chambers can be reached by contacting the Elmwood Golf Club in Swift Current at (306) 778-4653