Name: Katie Futcher
Coaching at: The Assistant Women’s Golf Coach at James Madison University
TrackMan User since:
When and why did you start playing golf?
My dad travelled a lot for his work and when he was home he liked to play golf on the weekends. I wanted nothing to do with the sport, at first thinking it was slow and boring. He encouraged me to come with him by promising me I could drive the cart AND paying me for each ball I found in the woods. From time to time on the course he would hand me a club and my curiosity set in. I fell in love with the challenge of the sport.
What was your HCP when you turned Pro?
I turned pro in 2005 and +1 or +2. I can’t remember honestly.
Which is your favorite golf course?
I love playing the links style courses. I enjoy the challenge of the course but also the challenges the weather conditions bring. The British Open was always my favorite tournament to play because I really enjoyed the creativity the course and conditions pulled out of me.
Do you have a favorite coach you follow and why?
My absolute favorite non-golf coach would be John Wooden. His focus on preparedness, balance, disciple, faith, and leading by example are hard to find nowadays. By being intent on the things you can control he created teams that strived for daily personal bests and left behind any notion of results or winning national championships. Amazingly, they won 10.
My favorite golf related coach would be Alan Hodde from Axis Golf Academy in Magnolia, TX. I think really good coaches are flexible in the way they present information to best connect with and help the student. Also, in my opinion, good coaches make players INDEPENDENT…not dependent. Alan is constantly asking questions to his students, making sure they can describe skills and fundamentals in their own words. Alan strives to have each player understand personal tendencies and patterns and cause and effect. He is balanced in the way he coaches placing importance on technique and skill and also personal fitness, proper equipment, the use of technology, and sound mental strategies.
Who is your favorite player and why?
My good friend, Angela Stanford. You will not find a fiercer competitor and she plays with a lot of heart.
What is your best golf related achievement?
I played 9 years on the LPGA tour and played in over 25 majors, best finish being 3rd at the Kraft-Nabisco (now the ANA).
As a golf coach, what is the most common mistake among players you see?
At this level, most mistakes come from flaws in the basic, static fundamentals (grip, posture, alignment, balance, ball position).
What are your greatest professional strengths?
As an assistant golf coach I can relate to each player I coach. I played Division I golf at Penn State, and I know what it is like to be a student athlete. Having played collegiately and professionally, I know all the emotions and feelings the players experience and have a deep understanding of how HARD the sport can be. My past experiences, no doubt, help me to be a better coach.
I would like to think I am good at building relationships with my student-athletes, knowing that trust and mutual respect are keys to pulling out the best in each player. In addition, I enjoy helping student athletes become more self-aware of their tendencies and I enjoy helping them provide structure to their practice and the way they organize their time. I am also very inquisitive, love to learn, and embrace feedback.
What’s in your bag?
A lot of old equipment, embarrassingly! Ping driver, Callaway woods, Ping irons, Edel wedges and putter.
How often do you play golf yourself?
I’m lucky if I play once per month…
What has changed since you started working with a TrackMan?
I understand cause and effect more because TrackMan provides immediate feedback for every shot. As a coach, it enables me to work with my players on understanding curves, trajectory control, and distance control. We have implemented wedge variance testing using TrackMan and conduct semester distance control testing. Another thing that has changed since using TrackMan is understanding equipment and how important proper equipment is for the success of the player.
Which is your favourite TrackMan feature, and why?
Live shot analysis is an amazing tool to help build awareness. But I also love the test center where we can challenge the ladies and keep them better engaged during practice. However, I really love the normalization feature. For something so simple, it provides a great learning opportunity for my students. Say it’s 50 degrees and we are hitting balls, a normalized 8 iron for one lady might carry 130 yards but if I turn off the normalization feature they start learning how current conditions (temperature, wind, etc.) drastically effect the golf ball. Then they can transfer what TrackMan is teaching them on the course to better decision making and ultimately better shots.
How and where can golfers get in touch with you?
The JMU Women’s golf website is https://jmusports.com
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you have any suggestions, how TrackMan can do better or differently?
I feel like I’m still learning all of what TrackMan can do! I would like to get my level II certification but I’m having trouble finding info through TrackMan University on how to do that.
Would you like to be the next TrackMan coach of the month?
All you have to do is sign up on TrackMan University and complete Level 1,
we will randomly pick a new coach every month.
Disclaimer: The answers in this interview have not been modified or changed, nor do they necessarily represent the views of TrackMan A/S.