PGA Professional Greg Baresel grew up in the Chicagoland area and has become one of the top young golf instructors in the country. His innovative approach to golf instruction has made him a popular teaching professional at Cantigny Golf in Wheaton, along with the ground-breaking products, ebooks and online educational tools on his GolfWithGreg.com website.
Interviewer: Walter Lis. Running Time: 18:20
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WL: Our guest this episode is PGA Teaching Professional Greg Baresel. Greg is a professional at Cantigny Golf in Wheaton. You can learn more about Greg at GolfWithGreg.com.
I’d like to kind of get a little bit of a background about you if you could kind of tell our readers when you decided that golf was your calling. When did it hit you that you might have something here?
GB: You know, as a kid growing up I always wanted to be a professional athlete just like any other kid and baseball was always my sport growing up. I played every sport. I played football, hockey, basketball. I picked up golf around nine, ten years old more for recreational. Just going out to play with my mom and dad and family and you know, when I got to high school is when I made a decision it was either football or golf. And I was too small for football so I went to golf and that’s when it really hit me that I had something there. I had a real desire to play was in high school.
And then I was still gravitating towards baseball but my senior year in high school I had a really good season and started to get some interest from some smaller DC schools. And that’s when I kind of made the choice to stick more to golf. And then I went to Elgin Community College on a golf scholarship. Played golf there and then I got into the PGA Golf Management Program after that.
And really working at a golf course was my only job. So I started out as a caddy at Barrington Hills Country Club at 13. Then I went to Randall Oaks Golf Course when I was 16. I worked in the cart barn. I worked my way up to the pro shop, assistant golf professional position. Then kind of went from there.
WL: So, how does it feel, you know, you talked about how you were an athlete growing up and you were a participant basically. So how does it feel now where your job is primarily teaching the skills you have to other people and teaching them how to learn? How does that mesh with your personality?
GB: I think it works out really good. So, I always thought if I didn’t make it playing as an athlete, whatever sport it would be, that I would love to do more coaching and you know, really help people develop their skills whether it was baseball or golf or whatever sport it would be. And I just knew I always wanted to be around a sport and help people get better. And what makes golf so much fun is that I’m able to help anybody and everybody. So it’s really a good sport to work in.
WL: So talk a little bit about what you do now and kind of where you’re involved. I know you’re at one of the top courses in, well actually in all the Chicago Land area. So, how, where are you stationed at and where to you work right now?
GB: I’m currently out of the Cantigny Golf Academy in Wheaton. I feel very fortunate to be there because it’s a year round academy. So to be able to work year round, teach lessons, coach people during December, January or February when the weather isn’t so good is very nice. We have heated bays, indoor putting green, two studios that hit into a net or hit out toward the range, a full fitting area and we even have fitness and physical therapy in there too. So it’s more luck how that happened, how I got down there and I definitely feel very fortunate to be at one of the nicest places in the Chicago Land area.
WL: So how does that help then as far, and I know it helps you as a teacher because all of the different benefits that you’ve talked about. But for your students how does it help them to be able to work with you at such a top flight, not only course, but just a phenomenal teaching area and practice facility?
GB: What really makes Cantigny nice is how we’re able to make one on one instruction very private where it’s just the instructor and the student and the player working together. We have a teaching area is really designated whether it’s at the end of the driving range on the main side or at the back of the driving range where we can also do lessons. And we also have a private team area that’s just for instruction too. So, you know, to not have to worry about other people either sharing space with them or being real cramped into a small area and teaching lessons makes it very nice and very helpful for the student to learn without distractions.