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Coach Profile: Jordan Bazzone

Imagine dropping out of school as a teenager, then working part time at a golf retail store, eventually putting enough work into the game to consider playing full time, and finally becoming a coach at a prestigious club? It’s an unconventional journey, but the exact one Jordan Bazzone took to get to where he is today.

Jordan’s passion for golf, both physical and mental, has helped hundreds of Skillest users improve their game. The UK native has a 4.96 out of 5 star rating on Skillest.

Zach Gray:
How did you get into golf?

Jordan Bazzone:
I played football (soccer) when I was younger, but I kind of got into golf through football. We used to do a “dads vs lads” type of thing every year and one of the years was golf at a par 3. I was messing around with the lads and started playing with a few of them after that. I was around 10 or 11. It was definitely more of just a social thing back then. Never really had any ambitions to play golf or anything like that. There wasn’t any other real big golfers in my family, so I was kind of one of the only ones that played golf.

Zach:
So how about coaching?

Jordan:
I actually dropped out of school when I was 16. My mom and dad said something along the lines of, get your ass off the sofa and go work. At the time I was playing golf socially at about a 15 handicap. An American Golf retail store opened up where I live in Milton Keynes and I managed to get a part time role there. After about three years, I went full time. I was spending a lot of time playing golf at that point, like three or four times a week. Handicap shot straight down to like two or three. Then my dad said I could fill out some PGA forms and could possibly do this kind of as a career. I wanted to play full time originally. When that didn’t work out, I fell into into coaching. I never set out to be an instructor or anything like that, but now couldn’t imagine doing anything.

Zach:
That’s pretty incredible. What’s funny is one of the questions I usually ask coaches is what do you think you would be doing if your had a “normal job?” But I assume the answer is nothing else.

Jordan:
If I didn’t get that job at American Golf, I have no idea. None. I could’ve been working at KFC, I don’t know. Just something that gave me money at the time.

Zach:
Who are some of your biggest influences in golf?

Jordan:
I remember playing the Tiger Woods games a lot, so him when I was younger. Where I’m based at Woburn Golf Club is where Ian Poulter is a tour ambassador, so I was quite lucky to meet him a few times and get to know him. Then someone for me when I was playing more was Justin Rose. Reading his story, missing 21 straight cuts, I remember as a player latching on to that story.

Zach:
What’s your average day look like now as a coach?

Jordan:
As a full time coach, my average day is spent at Woburn, an amazing facility. Day is split with short and long game coaching, taking advantage of the facilities we’ve got. Depending on how much stuff I’ve got coming through online, I set time aside to do some of the online coaching. I do coach in the evenings two nights a week at an indoor unit just down the road from Woburn.

Zach:
How has Skillest helped you and your students?

Jordan:
It’s been fantastic. I actually met Baden when Skillest first launched years ago, but I was also just launching my my own coaching business at the time. So it wasn’t really anything on my radar. I was very much just in-person, as I couldn’t see the online side of it just yet. As my business started to evolve, I started to use Skillest more. It helped clients massively with feedback anytime, anywhere. It’s very useful for going back to things. As a coach, it’s helped me massively with communication in terms of how to get something across to certain individuals halfway around the world. You have to be able to explain that concept in a way that they can understand and then take into into practice.

Zach:
What would you say to someone who is hesitant to take lessons?

Jordan:
I would say there’s no harm in trying. I think golf has gotten a bad rap for going back as we go forward. But I think those days in golf instruction have changed because of the guys that come on tour with the quirky swings and the way the industry has adapted. For someone who’s hesitant, I’d just explain the process and what I can do for them. I don’t think many of us coaches will put pressure on people to say, you got to do this you’ve got to do that. Some people want to play socially, while others are very competitive. Either way, there’s no pressure.

Zach:
What’s your favorite course you’ve played?

Jordan:
Kingsbarns in Scotland. It was absolutely amazing. Over in the United States, I was very lucky to play Bay Hill about two weeks before the Arnold Palmer Invitational, so we got to play it with the stands up. But Kingsbarn is my number 1.

Zach:
If you could have a walk-up song for the 1st tee, what would it be?

Jordan:
It’s funny, I was joking about this with someone the other day, like songs in own head on the 1st tee. It has to be “Let It Go” from Frozen. I like to talk a lot with players about trying to work on letting go so they can really play. Especially some of the top players I’m fortunate to work with that face a lot of pressure and a lot of perceived consequences of bad outcomes. So I talk a lot about how to work on letting it go. I said to someone on the first day, “Just imagine Frozen in your head constantly.” So it has to be that.

Zach:
What’s your favorite club in your bag?

Jordan:
My hybrid, it’s my safety net.

Zach:
What’s your dream foursome?

Jordan:
Arnold Palmer would be one because I was lucky enough to meet him at Bay Hill two years before he passed and he was such a good guy. Random one, but Will Smith. After seeing some clips on his recent YouTube documentary and reading a bit of his book, I’d love to spend time with him. Not sure if he plays golf, but he can drive the drinks buggy if he want. And for a present golfer, I’d love to play with Justin Thomas actually. Looks like he really enjoys the game for what it is and has fun.

Zach:
Going back to Arnold Palmer, how did you even meet and what did you talk about?

Jordan:
When we went to Bay Hill, we had a reciprocal with them at the time. When we went there, we met the vice president who was essentially running the club for Palmer at the time. He said Arnold was going to be around and he would try to see if we could say hello. So we went up to his office afterwards and he was sitting in this massive leather chair in his office with all his memorabilia around and I was amazed. At the time, we were all trying to play full time, but Arnold had a very big interest in our lives such as our families and things like that. He said very little from a golf point of view. He just said, “if you believe you can do it, keep going. But most importantly, make sure you enjoy it. If you stop enjoying it, you’ll stop wanting to achieve.” I was a bit more baffled by at the time thinking “that’s it?” But looking back on it, the advice Arnold Palmer gave was actually invaluable.

Zach:
I have to know: was he drinking an Arnold Palmer?

Jordan:
He wasn’t, actually. No.

Zach:
Where can people follow you on social?

Jordan:
On Instagram @jordanbazzonegolf

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