How I Develop PGA-caliber Golfers

Mark Blackburn
PGA Tour Instructor

Coaching the Person before the Player

A good coach is someone who is willing to listen, has knowledge and expertise in their area of coaching, and knows how to inspire and motivate their players. They have a drive to improve their knowledge base in how to coach each player and how to get the absolute most out of a player’s ability. Very simply, coaches coach players to find their best performance self.


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Our guest this week on The Secrets to Winning is PGA Tour Instructor and Coach Mark Blackburn. Mark’s accolades are nothing short of impressive. He was the Alabama/NW Florida Section PGA Teacher of The Year in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2015, a finalist for The PGA National Teacher of The Year 2010-2014, 2016, a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teachers and one of Golf Digest 50 Best Teachers in America. The PGA Tour clients who have utilized Mark’s coaching include; Kevin Chappell, Chez Reavie, Harris English John Peterson, Tyrone Van Aswegan, Chad Campbell, YE Yang, Andrew Putnam, Hudson Sawfford, Heath Slocum, Robert Karlsson, Arjun Atwal, Bill Lunde, Bobby Gates, Boo Weekley, Nathan Green, Brian Gay, and Richard Sterne.


Great coaches are critical thinkers, and solving problems is the true artistic part of coaching. Mark embodies this like none other. To consistently get positive outcomes as a coach there are tangible and intangible characteristics and skills required. These are the ingredients which create preach player’s process which can be repeated to yield continued successes. Across all endeavors great coaches create a culture which nurtures and develops their athletes.


If you are a coach, regardless of sport, there are plenty of gold nuggets within this episode!


03:15 – Mark’s overall perspective on player development

04:45 – Managing player expectations

07:00 – Gaining the trust of each player

09:15 – The greats are the ones that work through “the fog”

12:30 – Communicating with players by speaking their language

15:00 – Creating buy-in with players

19:00 – Ownership and accountability with players

21:00 – Coaching to each player’s strength

24:00 – Mark’s journey to being a Top 50 coach

27:30 – How he was connected to PGA Tour players

28:30 – How Mark developed his coaching philosophy

32:30 – The competitive side of coaching

34:45 – Being a lifelong learner and gaining information from other successful leaders

37:00 – Perfection vs. reaching excellence

40:15 – Mark’s secrets to winning

As a player, you have to be all in. You have to be relentless. I can’t want it more than you do.

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