Winter weather has caused its share of flight delays, but for Lisa Schwinden of Osgood Golf Course, and Minnesota PGA’s newest Master Professional, it was a sign.
Last January, Schwinden was supposed to go to Orlando for some professional development the weekend prior to the PGA Merchandise Show. Due to snow, all connecting flights in Chicago were grounded.
“I found myself with all weekend free,” Schwinden recalled. “I said ‘this is the sign that I should just sit down and do it.’”
Schwinden had been going back and forth on whether she wanted to start the Master Professional Certification program due to the amount of time it required. Requirements for Master Professional completion include items such as a research project, reflection on coaching philosophies and methods, as well as an in-person presentation to mention a few.
Schwinden took a scientific approach to her research paper, looking to prove that there is a correlation with the perceived feel of hitting the ball with the amount of weight placed on your front foot. To test her hypothesis, she went to Golf Addiction in Fargo, ND, which has the ability to measure the amount of weight users put on their feet while swinging. For each shot, Schwinden would ask the golfer how they thought they hit the ball while recording the actual weight used. As a self-proclaimed science lover, Schwinden said that her final research paper neared 40 pages.
Once the research project was submitted, Schwinden started on step two, personal coaching philosophy. This step implores the candidate to assess what they look for in students, how they react to coaching, and what has shaped your philosophy, and then put those findings into another paper. This requirement, along with three, hour-long recorded lessons are then presented to PGA of America together with the research paper. Once accepted, the last remaining step is to give a lesson on the spot where they can see an improvement from start to finish. In December 2019, 11 months after she started the process, Lisa Schwinden’s project was approved and she was given Master Professional status.
The Minnesota Section is as proud of Schwinden’s accomplishment as she is. She is one of only 12 current Minnesota Section Master Professionals, one of only 12 current women Master Professionals nation-wide, and the first woman Master Professional in the Minnesota Section.
“Lisa has always taken the initiative to get involved at her facility, in her community and the Dakota Chapter of the MNPGA. As a Section and Dakota Chapter award winner, her focus on her profession shows daily. We are extremely proud of Lisa becoming a Master Professional in our Minnesota Section of the PGA of America!” Section CEO Jeff “JD” Drimel said.
If anyone is still on the fence about going after their Master Professional Certification, Lisa has some advice.
“Certainly [there] is a benefit. I think doing that kind of research and examining your own philosophy and doing that work is going to make you a better Professional. We all need to get better and keep improving and that’s the way to do it.