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Jacobs takes pride of place in PGA Training Academy

6.58am 3rd June 2011 - People - This story was updated on Sunday, June 5th, 2011

John Jacobs in front of the plaque commemorating his contribution to coaching (picture Dave Warren)

John Jacobs was a guest of Dr Kyle Phillpots, PGA director of education and career development, where the 85-year-old unveiled a four foot high image of himself, inscribed with a message from another coaching great, Butch Harmon.

PGA chief executive Sandy Jones, former European Tour executive director Ken Schofield and PGA captain Eddie Bullock, PGA tutors plus training academy staff gathered to mark the unveiling.

The plaque, with a caption Dr Golf, has a Butch Harmon quote which reads: “John Jacobs wrote the book on coaching. There is not a teacher out there who does not owe him something.”

His face adorns the swing room where modern-day PGA professionals develop their coaching skills through the Foundation Degree and a lifelong education programme.

“When we talked about developing the swing rooms we wanted to make them have a real wow factor, to have them as modern and as cutting edge as we could to reflect the advances in PGA training and coaching education,” said Dr Phillpots.

“But we also wanted to recognise the heritage of the education programme and in particular John Jacobs who is the founding father of all the coaching systems that the PGA and the European Tour have benefited from come.

“We continue to use much of John’s coaching philosophy starting with the importance of ball flight for every single coach. It is from that perspective that everything else grows.

“John has been an invaluable source for the PGA Training Academy. When I first joined the PGA and we re-wrote the swing manual, John played a key part helping us to achieve that so we are delighted to have this special plaque recognising his contribution to golf coaching.”

Jacobs enjoys a worldwide reputation as a coach which he developed after a successful playing career as both a Ryder Cup player and captain.  He is also credited with playing a pivotal role in the development of the European Tour in the early 1970s.

“Everyone is always so generous to me, I just followed my nose trying to play the game better and lost so many balls to the left at Lindrick in the process!” said Jacobs. “My coaching philosophy is simple, it’s all to do with the ball flight and you can virtually know what a player’s ball flight will be when they address the ball.”


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  • I had the pleasure of meeting John Jacobs,during the late 1960’s, whilst I was a senior architect for the Robert Trent Jones group. Better yet, I watched him carefully play his way, not around, but through the infamous Cypress Point in a round of golf we shared together. His play was awe inspring, as he brought one hole at a time to its knees. One of my favorite possessions is an autographed “Practical Golf” book he signed and presented me with the comment, to “grip with the right, and clear with the left”, which I have never fogotten. Bless him, as my swing has always remembered his comment. I wish I could have designed a golf course for him in “our native land”.

    I hope he shall have an opportunity to see my comments.

  • Kyle Phillpots

    I will send your comments on to John. I am sure he will be really pleased to read your recollections of him. Kyle

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