On Top of the Golf World

Eric Eshleman
Director of Golf, Country Club of Birmingham

2019 PGA Professional of the Year

This week’s guest is top PGA Professional Eric Eshleman. Not only is Eric a first-class individual, but he is also at the top of his field in the game of golf and has been an amazing mentor to me throughout the years. Eric is very well known as a teaching professional for PGA Tour players such as Graeme McDowell, Patton Kizzire, Smylie Kaufman, and Paul Dunne. Even former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, an avid golfer, turns to Eshleman for all of her golf swing needs.


But earlier this year, Eshleman, the director of golf at the Country Club of Birmingham, received an award that solidified him at the top. He was named the recipient of the 2019 PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award. This award is the highest annual honor given to a PGA of America Professional. If they could pick one person that was the epitome of what it means to be a PGA Professional, that person would be Eric Eshleman.


One of my teaching philosophies that I simplified over the years is that my students win. My students are always holding trophies. Whatever I teach them, whatever that may be, allows them to go perform well and win golf tournaments.


This episode is filled with great insight that transcends all sports. Great information as far as how to develop young athletes, navigating the college recruiting experience, and, one of the most important topic areas, how parents can best support their developing amateur athlete.


You are going to love this interview from my good friend Eric Eshleman!

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1:30 – The family-driven environment created at a Top 100 golf course


3:00 – Why do junior players get overlooked at most clubs and what makes Eric’s so great?


5:35 – Ways that the PGA of America can continue to grow the game


7:00 – Common trends among his students that struggle


8:30 – As an instructor, how do you keep students coming back if they are not seeing improvement?


12:30 – The difference between sport vs. hobby in golf


14:30 – How can we better educate parents on the collegiate golf process


17:00 – What would you tell young coaches NOT to do


24:00 – Eric’s relationship with US Open winner Graeme McDowell


26:30 – Advice for young professionals looking to grow their career


31:00 – To be a successful pro, you have to be yourself

If we’re not teaching juniors the game of golf, we’re not bringing in that massive influx of golfers moving forward. We have got to teach kids. They need to go through the good shots, and they need to go through the bad shots.
There are three things that are always said about golf - it’s too hard, it costs too much money, and it takes too long. Well, those three things have been said as long as the game has been around, and we have tens of millions of golfers who play the game. Those are the things that make golf so special.

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