Man who works at Lake Oswego club named top golf coach
Growing up, Scott Erdmann knew exactly what he wanted to do when he was older.
So it was no surprise that his schooling and career path landed him as a golf coach at Oswego Lake Country Club — though he's worked in some capacity as a golf professional at the country club since 2005.
But what did come as a surprise, though Erdmann remains quite humble, is that he was recently announced in January as Top 50 Golf Coach at the PGA Merchandise show in Florida by Operation 36 — a golf player development program.
"It's cool. It's always fun to be recognized for something that you're passionate about, something that is what you do; that's my livelihood," Erdmann said. "To have that recognition, your club succeeding, it's great for the club."
Erdmann, a Tigard resident, said when he signed up to use Operation 36 three years ago to help teach golf beginners, he was about the 50th golf coach in the country to sign up. Now around 700 golf coaches have signed up and are working with the program.
Essentially, Erdmann said, he pays a monthly subscription fee and has a user profile for the mobile app. Then, when he's coaching classes like the junior and ladies classes he teaches at Oswego Lake Country Club, he uses the app to input their scores. People using the app will engage with the leaderboard, which is almost like a Facebook for the club, and there are points awarded for logging your practice and actions like chipping or putting, logging play time and more.
According to a press release, Operation 36 uses quantitative measures to determine who is making the largest impact on golf and the golfer's journey through the program.
"Golf Coaches are evaluated by their use of formal golf matches throughout the year, application of the Operation 36 curriculum, assessing golfer's progress throughout the season, and the use of online social tools to encourage more practice and play," the press release reads.
Erdmann said Operation 36 is essentially a platform for learning.
The goal is to shoot an even par over nine holes. People will start out a distance of 25 yards from the holes, then 50, then 100 and so on until they are good enough to shoot par at the normal distance from the hole.
"It takes a lot of time. There's this pressure to keep up with the group in front of you and that's all very intimidating, which makes golf one of the sports that's kind of on the decline. It's expensive, it's time consuming. Operation 36, when it comes to introducing people to the game, it's modified to where when you play you play nine holes and your intent is to shoot even par for nine holes," Erdmann said. "For people that are new to the game you instantly learn the strategy of golf and that golf is a score. It's not about hitting perfect shots. The best players in the world hit awful shots all the time."
Erdmann, who's had a passion for golf since he was a child, enjoys coaching because he enjoys sharing his passion and love with others.
And by being around instructors when he worked at a driving range as a teenager, it helped expose him to the sport and the value of instructing.
Erdmann attended the Professional Golfers Career College in California after high school and received his degree in professional golf management. He completed a PGA apprenticeship program and has been a golf professional since 1997.
As assistant golf professional, he's worked at the golf shop, in teaching, running tournaments, everything you could think of that happens on a golf course.
"But my passion's always been playing and teaching," said Erdmann, who is now an independent contractor and director of instruction since he decided to pick up the Operation 36 program a few years ago.
Erdmann said he enjoys playing and teaching golf to his two sons, though he said Zachary, 14, is quite "obsessed" with the sport.
And any chance the golf professional gets, he's competing and playing.
His most significant highlight was being runner-up in the PGA Professional Championship. Though he does travel and compete in national tournaments, he also enjoys staying in the Pacific Northwest and competing at smaller, local tournaments.
Ultimately, Erdmann said Operation 36 has changed his life.
"It gave me an avenue to seek out what I've always liked to do, which is teach," he said.
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