Teaching others comes naturally to Ryan Robillard.
Even when it comes to educating himself.
“I’m highly invested in my development and learning, and I’m very transparent about that with my players”, says Robillard. “I don’t ever want my players to be complacent, and therefore it’s important to set the standard that I am never complacent”.
“The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know. There are so many incredible people in the golf industry, and I want to absorb as much knowledge as possible from them”, says Robillard. “The ability to apply the information I’ve learned and witness a student hitting the best shot they’ve ever hit, achieving their lowest score ever, or winning their first event is what motivates me to keep going”.
Robillard started teaching golf in 2012 on a part-time basis. In 2020, he made the transition to teaching and coaching on a full-time basis, and he hasn’t looked back.
To date, he has completed over 3,500 hours of teaching and coaching, with players ranging from beginners who have never touched a club, to high-level junior and collegiate players. He estimates he has invested over 400 hours of professional development and acquiring certifications.
Robillard uses a holistic approach when it comes to training, and breaking it down into specific goals for each of the seasons.
In the winter, the focus is more on the technical side of the swing with access to a fitness and medical professional. “It’s a great way for a professional to identify possible limitations in their bodies that can affect their golf swing”.
In the spring, it’s less about the golf swing and more about playing golf, but with an introduction to a sports psychologist. “It’s important for the players to have a clear mind, and having someone to talk to about their game and health is helpful”, says Robillard.
In the summer, which is the competitive season, the focus is on helping players prepare for tournaments, watching them compete in events, and using what we have learned from those events to develop the next steps to help them get ready for their next competition.
Lastly in the fall, he starts to spend time reflecting on the year, identifying what his client’s biggest opportunities are for the winter, and where the most time will be spent heading into the off-season.
“I believe this holistic approach gives players the best opportunity to shoot better scores because it’s not just one component, we are looking at their development from a wide lens”.
He is committed to providing his students with the tools they need away from the golf course to get themselves in the best position to improve their game and shoot lower scores.
Robillard believes that clear communication in teaching is very important.
All his client lessons are tracked using an app called CoachNow, and each lesson summary is stored for client access at any time.
“It’s an app built for coaches, by coaches”, says Robillard. “The state-of-the-art video analysis provides immediate feedback, and the private communication channel is a big plus”.
Born and raised on a family farm in the small town of Belle River, Ontario, about 20 minutes outside of Windsor, Robillard didn’t start playing golf until he was 16. He credits his dad as his biggest motivation and support.
“He’s been helpful as a part of my support group (along with my wife). They help me develop the ideal balance that’s worked for me in my career”, says Robillard.
Ryan had not won any previous PGA awards until being named the 2023 PGA of Ontario Teacher of the Year, and he says his first one is special.
“We all spend so many hours developing our craft and continuously enhancing our skill sets. Being recognized by my fellow PGA of Ontario professionals means a lot to me. There are so many incredible professionals, teachers, and coaches in this province from whom I’ve learned so much”.
If you are interested in contacting Ryan, he can be reached at email@example.com.