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Home » Coach Profile: Toby McGeachie

Coach Profile: Toby McGeachie

Having played professionally & coaching for the past 10+ years, Toby McGeachie understands what it takes to make the next step in your golf game. The Australian native shared his experiences from initially getting into golf, his approach to coaching, and the time he played a round with the late Shane Warne.

Toby has 4.99-out-of-5 star rating on Skillest, having completed over 1,800 lessons.

Zach Gray:
When did you start golfing?

Toby McGreachie:
I started playing when I was 14. I got into it when my parents kind of forced me because I had a bit of a motorbike accident. They wanted me to try something else. My brother was playing golf, but I was also playing cricket. Truth be told, I was really bad. My mom asked me one year if I’d be playing cricket again and I said yeah I’d love to. And she goes, “I think we should try something else.” So I got more into golf from there.

Zach:
Did you have aspirations to play in college?

Toby:
Not really. I finished school early, so I didn’t have any aspirations to go to college. I was good at golf, but I wasn’t that good. It’s difficult to have those aspirations when there’s kids training for the Masters at 14-years-old, and I’m still trying to work out how to grip the club. But I did play professionally for four years.

Zach:
So what got you into coaching?

Toby:
I started helping other pros with their short game, and I was making more money doing that than when I was playing. I was living in Manly, Australia and the Manly Golf Club offered a job. So at that point, it was either risk my future or take the job. That was kind of my turning point.
I’ve always been obsessed with working at the “why things happen and how to fix it” stuff in a golf swing. I just love the complexity of it and helping people.

Zach:
What’s your average day look like?

Toby:
I go to the gym at 5am. After I come home, get my son out of bed, have breakfast with the family, all before 9am. I then start work by either coming down to the studio in my garage or I go to the golf course and do online lessons. I go back to all my messages, emails, social media, all that stuff, and then start coaching. At lunchtime, I’ll go for a skate to break up the day. Usually I’ll jump on the electric skateboard to go get a shake from the coffee shop and come back to do some lessons in the afternoon.

Zach:
How has the Skillest experience been?

Toby:
It’s been great. What I like about it is that we can focus on one or two components at a time. For instance, when someone comes for lessons with me, it’s difficult to catch me in person because I’m booked up a lot. So I like that we can really work on building a golf swing from the ground up and work on the fundamentals, while at the same time it’s cost effective. The cost of one lesson in person is the same amount as a monthly subscription on Skillest.

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

Toby:
You just have to give it a shot because it’s pretty cheap. But to me, find someone who you like who you get along with and more importantly who cares about your golf game more than you do. Book a Zoom call, organize a single lesson with someone, outline the goals. Give it a shot.

Zach:
You have some students on the Indian & Australian Tours. What’s it like coaching someone of that skill level compared to a causal golfer?

Toby:
There’s a lot more conversation on execution, preparation, and training because they’re pretty good as it is having gotten to that stage. I generally make sure their habits are matching their goals. Professional golfers generally know what it takes to make a swing change. So if I go to a pro and I tell them to work on a component of their golf swing, they usually report back to me and say “I did 5,000 reps. What’s next?” Whereas if a casual golfer comes in and says they want to be at a high level, but they’re sleeping in until 10am and eating KFC every day, well guess what? They’re not going to get there. A lot of work is needed.

Zach:
Who are some of your biggest golf influences?

Toby:
Robert Rock, Jason Day, Sean Foley, and Mac O’Grady.

Zach:
If you could pick three people dead or alive for your dream foursome, who would you play with?

Toby:
The Dalai Lama, Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan.

Zach:
Who’s the most famous person you played a round with?

Toby:
Shane Warne. I can’t publicly say much that he said, but one story I do share is from us doing some work for William Hill. There’s all these Sydney TV stations taking photos and videos during our round together. He says to me, “Toby, these cameras aren’t like the ones on the TV. They can’t see where the ball goes. So any time I hit a shot today, you need to clap and say good shot.” So I hit my first tee ball in the right trees. He goes “great shot, just keep posing!” He hands me a beer & a cigarette, I get down to my ball and say, this is going to be a fun day.

Zach:
If you had a normal 9-to-5 job, what do you think it would be?

Toby:
I’d probably do something involving health. I got some friends in the holistic health community. Even now, I got organic coconut water, lemon water with Himalayan salt, and organic decaf coffee. I’m generally a bit of a health freak. I haven’t drank and smoked in six years.

Zach:
Being sober, do you feel a difference when you play or swing?

Toby:
No. So to kind of reflect on it, I was an addict when I played golf. My addictive personality helped me get good at the game quick. By the time I was 16-years-old, I was a scratch golfer. When I stopped playing professionally, that’s when things got off the rails. But I’m definitely a lot calmer and more relaxed since becoming sober. If I had the same skill level, I would be a thousand times better golfer now than when I was playing before.

Zach:
Where can people follow you on social?

Toby:
I’m on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.

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