Although Zoë North teaches a wide range of people, her passion is ladies and girls golf. She loves to see the look on people’s faces when they find out they really can play golf and that’s it’s something that they can do with their friends. She's determined to change the perception of golf and give more people the golf bug!
Social Media: Twitter @ZoeJN26 Instagram @zoenorthpga
Where: Based at Rugby Golf Club and Leam Valley Golf Centre since November 2018
Q. How did your journey to become a PGA Pro start?
A. I turned pro in 2011 and became a PGA Professional through The PGA Training Academy where I studied for my foundation degree whilst working as an assistant pro. I was initially based at my home club Kilworth Springs and then I moved to Lutterworth Golf Club where I spent the next 4 and half years. I’ve only recently started my new position at Rugby Golf Club but I’m already really excited about what the future holds there.
Q. What part of your job do you enjoy the most?
A. I obviously love the coaching side but the best part for me is the events side, where we’re getting new people through the door. It’s brilliant to see the look on people’s faces when they find out they really can play golf and that’s it’s something that they can do with their friends. I find it so satisfying to be able to change perceptions and see others catch the bug.
Q. Do you have any female specific programmes?
A. I coach all abilities and genders, but my passion is ladies and girls golf. I offer three specific ladies sessions every week that run on a Monday, Friday and Saturday. I run them at different times so that I can hopefully fit into everyone’s schedules. I have found that running it on a pay as you go basis has worked really well, people don’t often want to commit to a block of lessons and with everyone having busy schedules they might have to miss a week here or there so it takes the pressure off having to be there every week.
Q. What structure does the programme / sessions take?
A. I used to follow a specific structure which revolved around two 5 week blocks but over the years I have changed what I do. Generally, with beginners I will dedicate the first couple of sessions to the basics and then week by week we work through different techniques – putting, chipping and so on. But I will also listen to what my class are wanting to look at, so that may mean introducing a couple of lessons on driving in place of the ones I had planned. I like to be flexible.
During this time, I will encourage those that can to get out on some of the great local Par3 courses that are available. Quite a lot of the people I teach are already familiar with them as other family members play. I always make sure that we get out onto the course as quickly as we can to show that it really is nothing to fear. I like to use a Par 3 course so that the intimidation factor is less, and we usually play Texas scramble to make it more fun.
Q. Tell us how you communicate with your ladies groups?
A. I use WhatsApp and have one big group chat with all the women I teach. This has worked so well as it’s provided a place for me to communicate information to them but also for them to ask questions, talk amongst each other and get to know each other better. We talk about everything from rules, to what to wear and to decide what’s going to happen in the next lesson. I also give them some homework each week to keep them busy!
Q. How do you tell people about your lessons and free taster sessions?
A. We’re lucky that word of mouth has helped a lot, bringing along friends and the ladies already in the group constantly promoting my classes. We have a Free Taster session coming up and we’ve produced a poster for it which we’re using on social media. I love to use social media as it’s such a great platform to promote yourself, for free and I learn so much from it. But it’s also really important to go beyond your core group, so we’ve also made sure that it’s been given to WI groups, sports centres and girl guide groups in the local area.
Q. Is there a pathway to membership from your beginner groups?
A. My main classes are held at Leam Valley Golf Centre, which is a pay as you go facility which has a Par 3 course. I’ll be using Rugby Golf Club to help transition beginners to a proper length golf course. What’s great about Rugby is that there are Academy tees, which makes the leap from a Par 3 course much easier. The Academy membership offered is based on half the fee for lessons and half to play. This means that you get on course instruction, to help you get used to playing on the course, which I think is another great way to make sure people gain confidence when playing.
Q. What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
A. My Dad has always told me “hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard”! It’s a motto that I have always lived by. I try and instil this in all my pupils too. It really drives me to work hard and be the best I can be at my job.
Q. What’s the best advice you can give?
A. Apart from what my Dad said, I believe it’s really important to give back. I was given a lot of opportunities through golf growing up and I want others to have those opportunities too. That’s why we should be running free sessions, as we look to the long term gain of having more people playing golf.