Profile: Liam Mucklow – coach, trainer, entrepreneur
Liam Mucklow appears to be anything but your average golf professional. The 36-year-old Barrie resident is now a two-time PGA of Canada award winner, but his success story won’t likely stop there.
Ever since the Edmonton, AB native joined the PGA of Canada in 2001, one year prior to graduating from the University of Alberta where he was an all-star volleyball player, a medalist in badminton and a member of the varsity golf team, Mucklow has been driven to find his place in the game.
While in university Liam coached junior high, high school and college volleyball and was on his way to becoming a physical education teacher when he learned he could smash a golf ball like few others on this planet. One day in 2003 at a long drive competition in Sacramento, California he launched a 474-yard drive – an all-time personal best.
“We were at elevation. It was hot, dry and down wind and there were a handful of balls that went over 500 yards that day,” says Mucklow who was in Orlando, Florida in January at the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show to receive the 2015 Tex Noble Award for Professional Development from the PGA of Canada as the 2015 PGA of Ontario winner for Professional Development. A year earlier he was named the 2014 PGA of Ontario Teacher of Year and subsequently the 2014 PGA of Canada Teacher of the Year.
Mucklow spent four years wandering through Asia playing various professional tours and impressing folks with his driver and rubber tee, but the traveling road show came to an end when he moved back to Canada in 2008. “It can be an exhausting lifestyle and I just wasn’t making enough money to justify being on the other side of the world. It was fun for a while, but I was ready for a new challenge.” He landed a teaching position with PGA of Canada member Bruce McCarrol as they launched The Golf Institute at The Club at Bond Head. “I knew I wanted to get into full-time coaching and at the time the Golf Institute was the first place in Canada that had an integrated coaching model, so it was the place I wanted to be,” says Mucklow who honed his skills as a coach at the Golf Institute. Then it was on to Taboo. Liam spent two years as the Head Professional at the fabulous resort in Muskoka as he learned he didn’t want to be a shirt folder. He did however meet the lady who would become the love of his life – Wendy – on the lesson tee. They actually got married on the same tee seven weeks later and today they’re enjoying life with five-year-old Callum.
Mucklow’s entrepreneurial spirit drew him back to teaching and more particularly coaching and training golf athletes. He co-founded The Golf Lab – an ambitious 26,000 square foot indoor golf facility that opened in Toronto in 2009. This was the first time a public facility fully integrated all aspects of the Titleist Performance Institute model with onsite coaching, physical, medical and equipment services. It quickly gained a reputation as Canada’s premier game improvement center and has since evolved into the Peak Performance Golf center, as Mucklow has moved on to other adventures. However it was the technical tools provided by The Golf Lab allow Liam to continually do high level research focused on quantifiable game improvement by analyzing the swings of thousands of golfers.
The more he learned about the golf swing and the way people learn themselves, the more he wanted to share the information with colleagues and fellow golf professionals. It lead him to refocus his energy on education and further research with the goal of empowering golf professionals around the world to earn a better living. His vision is to have a positive impact on the golf industry in changing the way teachers learn and the way golfers learn, so that they both understand that if they follow this process people will improve. “On my very first conversation with Liam I discovered his most valuable trait as a professional. He was open and willing to share his knowledge and experiences with me and all of his fellow professionals. Liam truly understands that by sharing his knowledge he is helping his fellow professionals and the game while also benefitting his own driven quest for knowledge,” says Cory Kartusch, Head Professional at St. Charles Country Club in Winnipeg, MB.
Liam helped the Titleist Performance Institute launch its worldwide Power Coach Certification program in May of 2013. He made his first presentation at the 2014 World Scientific Congress of Golf in Gold Coast, Australia – 30-minute podium talk – Technology based learning models. This summer Liam will travel to St. Andrew’s Scotland in July to lead a three-hour workshop – Speed set driver fitting protocol at the 2016 World Scientific Congress of Golf. “It’s a huge honour to be invited back to the World Scientific Congress of Golf,” he says. I feel it is the biggest possible stage to introduce research to the world and having a three hour workshop is exciting because I will have the opportunity to show people how to perform this fitting protocol.”
Liam continues working with the PGA of Canada to provide the highest level golf coaches in Canada with support on analyzing performance with technology. In 2015, Mucklow launched The Golf Lab Certified Education seminars in Beijing, China followed by Reykjavik, Iceland. For 2016, he’s entering into partnerships with St. Charles CC and Royal Colwood Golf Club in Victoria, BC to offer The Golf Lab teachings to members.
If you’re looking to find him, he’s just set up a very cool “Swing Studio” at ClubLink’s King Valley Golf Club or visit www.mucklowgolf.com for more info.
One thing is for sure, this story is not anywhere close to being finished.