Podcast about Laura's Life Growing Up!

Check out this link to Laura's interview with GolferMom.com.  Although not a Mom herself she offers great insight on what it's like to grow up in a golfing family and tips she's learned from working with a lot of Mom's.  This is the first interview in a four-part series that will debut over the winter of 2013/14.  Be sure to check it out!

Do you need a lesson or a coach – and what is the difference?

Do you need a lesson or a coach – and what is the difference?

Definitions from Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

Lesson – a piece of instruction, a reading or exercise to be studied by a pupil, a division of a course of instruction, something learned by study or experience.

Coach – one who instructs or trains, one who instructs players in the fundamentals of a sport and directs team strategy

Aside from the actual definitions of the two words, let’s look a little deeper.  Professional athletes have coaches, most youth programs have coaches, most sports in general have coaches, yet the average golfer doesn’t have a coach.  At best they take an occasional golf lesson…or worse, attempt to diagnose and fix their own swing.

Most golfers are fixers instead of improvers.  Somewhere in the golf industry we’ve failed golfers because we’ve led them to believe they are just one golf tip away from “fixing their swing” and reaching their goals.  Unfortunately, this assumption could not be further from the truth.  Yes a golf tip or two can be helpful, but golf tips never really stick and represent only a very small piece of your game.  A coach has the ability to tell you why you are not shooting the scores you want to be shooting, identify the areas that need improvement, make changes to the areas that will have the biggest impact on your game, and then continue to build upon those skills to help you reach your goal.  A good coach will truly help your game improve.


Here are three thoughts on lessons, self diagnosis, and game maintenance:

1. If you are feeling sick, would you march into the doctor’s office and demand a certain remedy based on what you have decided is wrong with you, or would you ask the doctor why you are feeling this way and then proceed through different tests to truly find out why you are sick?  What if you had a pain in your arm and decided you pulled a muscle but it turned out to be symptoms of a heart attack?  Lessons correct symptoms while coaching helps to diagnose the underlying problems and create a plan for improvement.


2. Would you ever walk into a pharmacy and take the first drug you see?  If you took the wrong drug, it might not help at all…or could even kill you?  Self diagnosis combined with self correction can be deadly.  There are many ways to swing a golf club and each way has compatible and incompatible pieces.  Choose the wrong fix and it could make everything worse…and you could even injure yourself.


3. Would you take your car to the mechanic to get a strange noise fixed and then not change your oil for 50,000 miles?  Even when you make changes, it’s good to keep up with maintenance on your game.  You never know what problems might creep in if you don’t perform regular maintenance, and Murphy’s Law states that it will most likely blow up at the worst possible moment.




Laura Teaching Silhouette Wide


Coaching often looks beyond the golf swing because there are many factors that can affect performance.  A half hour lesson can only address so much.  It is the coaching relationship that allows for true diagnosis of underlying causes of poor performance. How can you be sure that the reason you don’t play well on the back nine is because you didn’t swing your driver well?  With long-term students I often find that the area where they are struggling is not just caused by their inability to swing the driver well on the back nine, but a combination of many things that causes them not to drive the ball well on the back nine.  Maybe they don’t drink enough water, they don’t fuel their body correctly, their legs get tired, they are using an improperly fitted driver, they start focusing on their score instead of the shot at hand, they make an incorrect club/strategy choice, they don’t account for an increase in wind speed, their mind starts to wander to what they need to do after the round, or they tell themselves they never drive well on the back nine creating fear and anxiety over the ball.  If they only work on their swing with the driver they may never identify the underlying cause of why they actually don’t hit their driver well on the back nine.

It is the student-coach relationship that allows for correct identification of the challenges that causes a student to not perform as expected and for improvements to be made over time.  Yes, maybe there is a change that needs to be made to their swing, but often times there are unidentified issues that have a huge impact on their ability to succeed.  Coaching golf is complicated – for the coach, not the student.  It takes years of education from a playing and teaching standpoint to be a great coach.  A golf coach has to not only learn what it truly takes to improve at golf, but they also have to develop a relationship with their student over time that will allow them to learn about their student’s game and then tailor a plan that will help that individual student improve.  Once you find a great coach, you will have a consultant and a friend (who truly understands you and your game) to guide you along your journey to an improved game.  You will work side-by-side with your coach to help create your unique road map to success – factoring in your personal preferences and styles for learning.

I ask that you approach your game improvement as an investment – one that can truly help you reach your goals.  Before spending $300 on a new driver or $800 on a new set of irons, ask yourself if your money would be better spent by learning which areas of your game you need to improve and creating a plan to improve them.  Remember – golf clubs are the only thing you will ever spend hundreds of dollars on that don’t come with an instruction manual on how to use them.  Give yourself the gift of better golf today and invest in a good coach.

What can a better game do for you?

Call Laura Patrick, LPGA Professional at 763-267-7531

Want to Help Your Teenage Son or Daughter Achieve Their Goals?

Want to Help Your Teenage Son or Daughter Achieve Their Goals?  Hire a Coach Who Understands What Your Son or Daughter ACTUALLY Needs to Know to Achieve Their Goals.

Once teens understand the basics of golf, they often become frustrated when they aren’t doing as well as their peers, their parents, or their own expectations for their game.  Golfers in their adolescent years (especially athletes) believe that they should be able to play well almost immediately.  After all, how hard can it be to get the ball that isn’t moving into a hole?

Maybe your child needs help understanding the basics of how to get the ball in the air consistently so they can play with their friends, maybe they are frustrated that they lose a gazillion balls each time they play, or maybe they are trying to take their game to the next level so they can play on the golf team.  There are many reasons why your son or daughter wants to get better!

My Player Development and Personal Coaching packages are designed to increase your son or daughter’s knowledge of the how the game is actually played – from skill development to emotional management.   My coaching packages not only teach the basic knowledge of the game, but will help your child understand cause and effect in their golf swing/short game, the importance of a healthy body, decision making skills, positive emotional management, and how to evaluate a situation to make a plan for success.  Each student comes to me with a different set of knowledge and needs that I will evaluate to make their game and approach more successful – and more fun!

I have a lot of experience teaching and coaching at the junior high, high school, and college level.  I really enjoy working with this age group in a one-on-one setting.  Most teens tend to become more self conscious as they age, and there tends to be a lot on their minds when standing over the ball.  I help them to sort through the metal clutter, to create a positive outlook, to deal with worry and negative thoughts, and to blend that with their improved golf skills.  I also make sure to communicate with this age group as equals to make them part of the learning process.  I ask a lot of questions, collaborate with them, and explain concepts allowing for them to help create their own improvement plan rather than me merely telling them what to do.  By teaching students “how to think” rather than “what to think”, they are empowered to grow beyond what we cover in lessons…and that is the true beauty and potential of golfers in this age group.

Here are some topics I will cover with your son or daughter in my coaching packages:

  • No one plays “perfect golf” – how do I play imperfect golf and still have success.
  • Creating a golf swing that produces adequate distance and repeatable results (based on age and goals).
  • How to get the ball in the hole around the green (and why it’s important).
  • Decision making skills – measuring risk/reward and evaluating strengths and weaknesses to create a strategy that works for you.
  • How to practice to improve – and that doesn’t mean hitting 500 balls in 45 minutes.
  • How to react when things don’t go your way – managing thoughts and emotions to improve results.
  • You can only control what is actually under your control, but you can influence the outcome based on proper execution of the things you can control.
  • Managing performance anxiety, expectations for yourself, and what you think other people expect of you.

Not only will your child have more fun and success while playing, but they will also be less stressed and upset about their golf game – and who doesn’t want a happier, less stressed kid in their house!

Contact me at 763-267-7531 to sign up for a coaching package today.  To ensure quality of instruction for each student, I am limiting my coaching packages to the first 20 participants who sign up.

Laura Patrick

LPGA Teaching Professional

P.S. If requested, “parent time” can be scheduled the last few minutes of each lesson to talk about your son or daughter’s  improvement plan so you and your golfer are speaking the same language.


About Laura Patrick

Laura Patrick          Laura Patrick, a Class A LPGA Teaching Professional and Titleist Performance Institute Certified Instructor, has been nominated for LPGA Midwest Section Teacher of the Year (2011 and 2012), LPGA Junior Leader of the Year Award (2015) and Golf Digest’s Best Teachers in the State of Minnesota (2013 and 2015).  Laura is a licensed HeartMath Coach and is trained to help students increase on-course performance. She is also a Certified Light Therapist and helps people with health and wellness by using light therapy.  She believes in helping her students with their golf skills, how emotions and thoughts affect performance, and how to work with your body through life's challenges.  In addition to teaching at Baker National Golf Course, Laura offers off-season improvement packages at the PGA TOUR Superstore in Minnetonka.

         Since 2003, Laura has worked as a Teaching Professional for the Golf Academy of Three Rivers Park District at Baker National Golf Course in Medina, MN. Laura conducts private, semi-private, group lessons and golf schools to adults and children of all skill levels.   She is a teacher and a coach in every aspect of the game and dedicates her career to creating an environment that is comfortable and welcoming to everyone. She also enjoys working with all levels of golfers, ranging from competitive golfers to those who have never played before.Laura Patrick Golf Coach

         Laura works with programs of The First Tee, is the Co-Site Director for an LPGA-USGA Girls Golf Chapter, and is the Volunteer Coordinator for The First Tee of Three Rivers Park District. Before moving to Minnesota, Laura was an instructor for several junior golf camps and women’s clinics while an Assistant and Teaching Professional at Mt. Hawley Country Club in Peoria, IL.

         Laura also served at The Women’s Golf Coach at Augsburg College from 2005-2010.  As Augsburg’s Coach, her team recorded the best MIAC finish in 2009 and lowest 54-hole total in school history.  Since beginning her coaching career, Laura improved the team’s scoring average by 25.5 strokes and improved each player’s stroke averages by an average of 7.1 strokes per player.  In her final year of coaching the Women’s Golf Team also earned most improved team of the year from the Augsburg College Athletic Department.

         While coaching, Laura helped the scoring averages of her players drop as much as 10 strokes in one season and her players have taken home numerous honors.  These honors include two NGCA Academic All-Scholars, two MIAC All-Conference Honorees, two Most Improved Players of the Year (MN Women’s College Golf Association), and our MIAC All-Academic Honorees.  In order to create this high level of success, Laura spent a lot of time with each player to develop a plan to maximize each player’s potential.  Her teaching focused on fundamentals, course management, and mental approach.  Through her extensive competitive background, she also understood the demands and stresses of competing at a high level.  Throughout the season, she worked with each player to ensure they were having a positive experience at Augsburg on and off the course.  She has helped players with time management, overcoming nervousness, dealing with internal (and external) pressure/expectations, being a well-rounded student-athlete, etc.

    Laura Patrick LPGA     As a player, Patrick has earned numerous honors in the LPGA’s Teaching and Club Professional division. She tied for 29th at the 2003 national championship and tied for fifth in the division’s team national championship in 2004.  In the division’s Midwest Section championship she has consistently placed in the top ten (T5th – 2005, 5th – 2006, 7th – 2003 and 2004, and 9th – 2007). As an amateur, she played twice in the LPGA’s State Farm Rail Classic in Springfield, Ill., and twice in the SBC Futures JWA/Anheuser-Bush Futures Golf Classic in Decatur, Ill.

         Patrick competed collegiately at Bradley University (Ill.) after competing in her first season at Ohio State. At Bradley, Patrick set school records for low season scoring average and low 54-hole tournament scoring and was a two-time All-Missouri Valley Conference honoree. She was team captain and team MVP for a Bradley squad that claimed its first-ever MVC title in 1999. She earned Laura Patrick Ohio StateMVC All-Academic Team honors multiple times and was named to the National Golf Coaches Association Division I All-Scholar team in 2000. She was a finalist for Bradley’s Watonga Award, an athletic department honor for community service, academic achievement and athletic success, in 2000.

         At Ohio State, Laura set a new freshman scoring average record in 1998, took rookie of the year honors in 1998, and earned medalist honors at the 1997 Lady Buckeye fall invitational. Patrick was an Illinois high school state champion in 1995 and was ranked 23rd nationally among junior girl golfers in 1996 by Golfweek magazine.  Laura also earned all-state track and field honors in shot-put and discus throughout her track and field career at Rochester (IL) High School.

         Patrick earned her bachelor’s degree in business marketing from Bradley in 2001, graduating magna cum laude. She received the Dean’s Scholarship from Bradley, was inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma National Business Honor Society, and received the Marketing Excellence Award from the school’s marketing department in 2001.

         Laura lives with her husband Joe, two dogs, and three cats.  In her spare time, she enjoys taking her dogs to the off-leash area, photography, hiking, canoeing, and gardening.  She also has a photography website called Life by Laura so be sure to check it out.

To request more information call Laura now at (763) 267-7531!