The best PGA player coach you never heard of

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - GARRY MCKAY Garry McKay is a veteran, award-win­ning golf jour­nal­ist and ex-sports­writer with The Spec. Gar­rym­ckay1@rogers.com

He coaches five play­ers on the PGA Tour who this sea­son alone have two wins and more than $9.5 mil­lion US in earn­ings.

That may mean that Ralph Bauer from Turkey Point, On­tario, may be the best coach that few peo­ple out­side the golf in­dus­try know any­thing about.

His cur­rent coach­ing sta­ble in­cludes Kyle Stan­ley, and Adam Had­win, both of whom have won this year, as well as Lu­cas Glover, Nick Taylor and Brant­ford’s David Hearn (short game).

He also coaches Matt Hill and Burling­ton’s Blair Hamilton who are both on the Macken­zie Tour/ PGA Tour Canada.

Asked about the no­tion that he is a bit anony­mous, the 48-year-old Canadian doesn’t em­brace it but doesn’t take ex­cep­tion to the state­ment ei­ther.

One of the rea­sons that many Canadian golf fans may not know Bauer is that he’s sel­dom, if ever, men­tioned on TV broad­casts when his play­ers are talked about — even when they win. And he doesn’t give a lot of in­ter­views. That’s be­cause, he will be the first to ad­mit, he doesn’t have a lot to say.

“I’m not su­per com­fort­able talk­ing about my play­ers and what they’re work­ing on be­cause, al­though it makes for a good ar­ti­cle, I don’t feel it ben­e­fits them any,” says Bauer. “I know one of the things peo­ple like to hear about is the wrist an­gle and I don’t like get­ting into that.

“And hav­ing a high pro­file is not a big pri­or­ity of mine, ei­ther.”

So he goes along, some­what qui­etly, achiev­ing his goal of mak­ing good play­ers bet­ter.

“I started teach­ing about 2001 and I was lucky that my first job was go­ing with play­ers to tour­na­ments to help them shoot lower scores as op­posed to work­ing at a driv­ing range (with be­gin­ners),” Bauer says. “I came at the in­dus­try more from a coach­ing per­spec­tive which is a bit unique and I’ve al­ways kind of stuck to that model, help­ing play­ers with a holis­tic ap­proach, such as prac­tice pat­terns, nu­tri­tion, course man­age­ment, that sort of thing.

“I try to give them what­ever they need.”

Bauer has been the Golf As­so­ci­a­tion of On­tario’s head coach and was an as­sis­tant coach with Golf Canada’s Na­tional team be­fore head­ing out on his own. “I knew Nick and Adam from when I was a na­tional team coach and I was with them from when they were juniors,” says Bauer. “Stan­ley, I knew from col­lege when he played with Matt Hill and Lu­cas was a buddy of mine who needed some help.

“Five is a lot but I’ve never had a day when they were try­ing to get a hold of me and couldn’t.”

Bauer has used both Heron Point and Mys­tic as a base in the past but is cur­rently teach­ing out of Ot­ter Creek when he isn’t on the road.

“Since my main fo­cus is the elite play­ers, I go where they are,” says Bauer. That means he goes to about 25 PGA Tour events a year to work with his guys.

That in­cludes next week’s RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey in Oakville where he’ll be busy with Had­win, Taylor and Hearn all in the field. WHOLE-IN-ONE: Busy week with five aces re­ported from two golf clubs. Jerry Provencher had his with an eight iron on the 124yard sixth hole on the Gold Ea­gle nine at Chippewa Creek. There were four at Wil­low Val­ley; Kevin Brom­stein on the eighth hole from 126 yards with a sand wedge and Michael Brit­ton on the same hole from 127 yards with 52-de­gree wedge; Tom Moore aced the 13th hole from 135 yards with a nine iron; and Jim Win­ters had his sin­gle­ton on 13 from 145 yards with a five iron.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF RALPH BAUER

Ralph Bauer gets a very up close and per­sonal view of a putt.

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