JASON King has experienced the ups and downs of being a golf pro, but the new Lynwood Country Club coach hopes his charges will only see the ups as they learn from his experiences.
King spent a career on various golf tours across the globe, before settling into coaching in 2012 and has recently made the move to the Hawkesbury.
As a junior playing representative golf he was in the same class as Geoff Ogilvy and Brett Rumford, before turning pro in 2002.
His pro career is what he hopes to tap and draw on his experience to guide budding golf players who come to Pitt Town to better their game.
“What is important is the journey I've been on to get to this point,” King told the Gazette.
“Some of it is good and some of it is bad. There is a lot of stuff in there that can be passed down to junior golfers and elite golfers who are dreaming of embarking on a career of their own.”
King said he had never thought of coaching as a career option.
“I always wanted to play the tour and become a touring professional,” he said.
“The idea of travelling the world playing golf seemed like a fantasy.
King turned pro at 23, and despite playing alongside some very talented golfers, his career, he said, never quite reached the heights of some of his peers.
“I played quite well in my first Australian Open round. I fell away in the back nine and finished 20th and that is what kept me playing pro golf longer than I should have,” he said.
“I found myself playing with guys like Aaron Badley or other superstars but never felt like I really was one and at the end of the day that is the difference between winning and running 10th.”
So he has now turned to coaching, and hopes that he can put Pitt Town on the map.
He said golf as far as Sydney was concerned had always had an eastern suburbs bias, but his plan was to change that and show that there were places in the west that could produce quality golfers too.
“There is a lot of local junior talent I have been working with,” he said.
“My real vision is to put the place on the map and make it a home for learning the game of golf.”
King said training was different now that he had reached the age where he was a coach.
Technology had grown exponentially. He uses Trackman 4 and Boditrak, which can help identify problems with a person’s swing.
“The exciting thing for golf is it is based much more on evidence and science based performances, rather than a stab in the dark like saying keep your head down and the slow back swing,” he said.
But apart from the technological aides, King said a long time spent on various tours going through the struggles of a pro golfer had equipped him well to mentor young players about to go through the same thing.
“There is so much I have learned and I have a lot of knowledge that is valuable,” he said.
“I am just as passionate now as I was when I was a junior.”