The best PGA player coach you never heard of
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.
Ralph Bauer gets a very up close and personal view of a putt.