9: Coaching Deaf Golfers

– Always face the players when you are addressing them.

– Make sure all of the players can see you.

– Do not cover your face and mouth when speaking to the players.

– Speak slowly and clearly.

– Be aware of your body language and facial expressions.

– Make sure the players are not looking into the sun/ light.

– When using an interpreter, face the player when you coach them and speak to them and not the interpreter.

– When calling for the player’s attention, tap them lightly on the shoulder. DO NOT throw a ball towards them or use the golf club.
If you are indoors you can call for attention by stamping your foot on the floor or flipping the light switch off and on.

– Make sure that the environment is safe to teach in. The players cannot hear when a ball/car is coming from behind

– Wear plain clothes. Do not wear something with patterns or lots of jewelry that will distract the player from what you are saying

– Show and do more, speak less. First let the players observe you before they need to do the action. They cannot do and look/ listen to you at the same time.

– Ask questions to check for understanding.

– When you have more than one hearing impaired player to coach, allow for time in the beginning of your lesson for a meet and greet. Deaf people will concentrate better when allocated time to do that.

– Speak in clear, plain language, don’t make wordplay jokes or jokes that depend on a person to know spoken language well.

– Not all Deaf people can lip read and not all of them can read and write well. Don’t depend on that to be able to coach.

– Many Deaf people have added disabilities. Be aware of that. Many Deaf people also struggle with balance issues.

Below are a selection of key sign language golf phrases which you may wish to learn:

Thank you
My name is..
Golf Course
First Tee
Driving Range
Practice Ground
Short Game area
Putting Green
Golf bag
Golf glove
Golf shoes
Golf balls
Ball marker
Golf trolley
Golf buggy
Golf clubs
Tee shot
Golf Club – Wood
Golf Club – Iron
Golf Club – Wedge
Golf Club – Putter
Great shot!
Pitch shot
Bunker shot
Chip shot
Putt the ball into the hole
Golf coach
Grip – Hand position
Swing the club
Forward swing