We are delighted to welcome former touring professional and 2014 LPGA Northeast Section, Teacher of the Year, Tiffany Faucette, as part of the team of expert LPGA instructors contributing lessons and playing tips to help you improve your game.
Tiffany, let’s introduce you to our readers… What do you enjoy most about golf?
Overall, the best part about golf is the beauty. The beauty in the golf course, the beauty in the movement of the swing, and the beauty in the flight of the ball. I just love how you can get so absorbed in the beauty of the surroundings and hitting shots that you can forget about everything else going on in the world for a brief bit of time.
In terms of my favorite part of the game, I enjoy wedge play. Chipping is my most favorite part of golf. If I was told I could only have one club for the rest of my life I would ask for my sand wedge. You can be as creative as you want and it is so rewarding when you chip a ball in the hole.
Do you remember when you realized that golf would be so important in your life and that it would be your career?
I can’t recall a particular day when I thought that golf would become my career. However, the more I played, golf just became part of the fabric of my life. No matter where I went, people reacted to me in a special way because I played golf. It was exciting for me to establish a bond with someone I barely knew anywhere in the world just because we shared the love of trying to hit a ball into a small hole far away.
What are the fundamental principles of the way you teach golf?
My teaching goal is to make all my players more confident and powerful. In any sport, the mentally tough do the best. I strive to make my players smart and tough.
I make them smart by teaching the student what they don’t know. I strive to educate my players to understand cause and effect in the swing. I teach them that they are in control – and how to manage their minds, body, and golf ball.
With that goal in mind, the approach I use is foundation and movement. The majority of the shot is dictated before the club even moves so I spend a lot of time on grip, posture, and alignment. Then we get into all the fun movement stuff.
Is there a favorite player or golfer who has influenced your approach to the game?
I’ve been fortunate to be around many of the best players and coaches in the world. Generally, the people that make the most impact on you are the ones you meet when you are young. I hadn’t been golf long when I lucky enough to meet and practice with Moe Norman. If you don’t know who Moe Norman is, he is a legend in the game and Ben Hogan even referred to him as the best ball striker ever.
He would come to Florida in the winters and he used to do clinics with Craig Shankland who was my coach at the time. Moe and Craig would put on free clinics every week. I would religiously watch those clinics learning everything I could about golf: swing, mechanics, mentality, humor etc.
Occasionally they would let me participate in the clinics which were a huge treat. What was so memorable was after the clinics Moe would tell me to follow him and we would walk out to the parking lot to his car. He would take out a ton of books and magazines and lay them out on the trunk of his car. He would show me different players in different swing positions and things that intrigued him.
What amazed me most was his passion, to this day no one loved the technique of the golf swing more than Moe or derived more pleasure from hitting balls. He was a true inspiration to me and not a day goes by that I am teaching that I don’t reflect back on to those clinics.
If people could experience just 10% of the joy that Moe had for hitting shots, everyone on the planet would play golf.
Moe Norman was about targets, and hitting it straight. He would always say he was the only player that could play at night because he would be the only player who knew where his golf ball was.
Could you tell us about your role in the Global Education Team (GET) and how it is helping international coaches and their students?
The LPGA Global Education Team works to pass on the educational content assembled by the LPGA to the instructors that are wishing to obtain a LPGA teaching certification. By making sure that the new LPGA teachers are armed with the proper knowledge and teaching skills we are working to improve the level of golf and the level of participation around the globe.
Finally, the important question we always ask. How do you think we can keep encouraging more young women to take up and enjoy the game?
The more women that play…the more women will play. I didn’t start playing golf until I was 17 years old because I didn’t have any friends that played.
I think the best way to get women playing is from an invitation from one of her friends to go putt or hit balls on the range. If people are introduced to the game in a low-key, welcoming environment by a friend they generally enjoy it and want to come back. The lure of the game is the beauty and the challenge. If a woman gets to experiment for a while on her own, she will find some occasional success and catch the golf bug, from there she can get more involved in formal lessons and playing leagues.
Once she catches the golf bug, it won’t be long until she is participating in clinics, leagues, and tournaments with a bunch of other people, strengthening her network and making friends. At that point, she will realize how golf has been a benefit in her life…and then she will want to introduce someone else to the game.
With the emphasis on LPGA Girls Golf and making the game more welcoming to women overall, I think more and more women will take up and stay with the game.
Thank you so much, Tiffany, we are really looking forward to featuring your instruction on womensgolf.com. Where can readers find you to book some coaching or just to follow you online?
I am available for coaching at the 1757 Golf Academy in Dulles, Virginia. Call 703.444.0901