The 2018 Colorado Player Development Award is being presented to Trent Wearner, PGA, Owner and Director of Instructor at Trent Wearner Golf Academy. He looks at every hour of every day as being uniquely different and doesn’t know how anything he chose to do could be better than what he is doing.
“I certainly have those before me to thank for the level of success I have achieved,” shares Wearner. “None of this happens without the great people I have had the good fortune to work with during my 22 years of coaching nor does it happen without the students who have chosen to share their journey with me.”
Wearner, a Colorado native, has been working in the world of golf since the age of 16 when his mom encouraged him to get a job. Part of high school and all through college he worked at Hyland Hills in Westminster first tending to the driving range and then moved into the golf shop. His first summer out of college, a friend recruited him to work as an Assistant Professional in Illinois where he was in charge of the junior golf program.
“It was truly a blessing in disguise that I was given the responsibility of the junior golf program that first summer,” remembers Wearner. “Frankly, it set everything in motion for me and my career. Although I love working with golfers of all ages and skill levels, junior instruction is at the heart of what I do.”
Returning to Colorado from Illinois, the first order of business for Wearner was to figure out how to teach or coach on a full-time basis. He was indirectly introduced to Keith Lyford, PGA, a top 100 Golf Magazine Teacher, who ran a golf school in New England in the summer and his own school in Scottsdale in the winter. For three years, Wearner traveled between the two locations and would have continued but he and his wife desired to get back to Colorado. He considers himself lucky to have found a place with Mike McGetrick, PGA, teaching at his facility at Meridian Golf Club. After three years, McGetrick moved on to do other things in the golf world and left Wearner at Meridian to continue the golf school. That was 19 years ago.
“I was busy teaching from the start at Meridian because of Mike,” comments Wearner. “I was fortunate to be on the receiving end of his reputation. Slowly but surely, I have been able to build my own clientele and now students are calling the Academy because of the reputation I have built. I have been very privileged and humbled to be a part of the careers of so many great golfers at every level in their development of the game.”
Wearner sees no redundancy in what he does each day. He has never seen what he does as a j-o-b but as an outstanding profession and career.
What does it mean to you to receive the 2018 Colorado Section Player Development Award?
I consider this award one for the entire academy. I am honored to be recognized as someone who creates a wide-range of programs that develop people into new golfers and current golfers into better players. We take what we do at the academy very seriously and just try to help them manage themselves because the game can be demanding and frustrating. We’ve all heard about the cross-over between life and golf a zillion times. We use that as the focus of our teaching to help develop our players.
What do you believe are the qualities you possess that support your nomination for this award?
I think it’s all about our students – nothing happens without them. Our focus is around the accomplishments of our students as they are at the core of everything we do. For my part, it is imperative to build an environment that encourages hard work while being fun and entertaining. It is an honor to be their coach and their guide along a small part of their journey.
What are some tools you use in your profession that you wish you had known when you were beginning your career?
It would have been nice to have had access to the mental-game tactics we have now when I started. I don’t think it is possible to teach the fundamentals of the game of golf without working on a student’s mental game at the same time. We know that the mind leads the body so teaching some high level mental tactics is helpful. At the same time, I realize new golfers have a hard enough time getting the ball into the air so it becomes a real balance.
As it relates to golf, what is the best piece of advice you have received and what advice would you give to others?
The best advice I received and the advice I would give to others are:
- Don’t just work on a student’s swing, there is so much more to the game, and
- Don’t try to teach the same thing to every student.
What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?
If I could be 18-years-old again, I would put less pressure on myself and really try to learn from my mistakes. Making mistakes is part of the learning process and we’re all supposed to make them. It’s okay. We are here to help our students fix their mistakes more quickly. We talk to our junior golfers about this all the time. Unfortunate as it may be, making an 8 on the last hole and throwing the tournament is quite normal for all of us to do at some point. It’s about how you react and rebound that will make or break you. Making mistakes makes you stronger and makes you want to work to improve your game.
What is your proudest moment as a golf professional?
I get an immense number of letters from students and parents just thanking me for my time or being a part of their golf journey. The fact that they took the time to send something to me is touching and heartwarming.
Also, our student’s accomplishments truly speak to the level of teaching we provide. We currently have 35 students who have made it to National USGA events and 14 individual high school state champions. We are extremely proud of the successes our students achieve and are so honored to be given the opportunity to be along for the ride.
Tell us something about yourself that others may not know.
I enjoy a lot of educational pod-casts and a lot of Jimmy Buffett Music.