Sean Cain, 44, is an award-winning golf professional who currently is the lead instructor for The Reynolds Kingdom of Golf at Reynolds Lake Oconee. From Winder, Ga., Cain played on the golf team at Shorter University, where he was all-conference and earned a degree in business management and marketing. He began working in 1990 as a 16-year-old at The Legends Golf Club at Chateau Élan in Braselton, Ga., returning in 2004 as the head golf professional for 12 years. Cain was named the 2013 Georgia PGA North Chapter Professional of the Year.
THE CAIN STORY —
My life and approach in the golf industry began to change in 2011, some 20-plus years into my career, with my passion for teaching. Golf can be incredibly rewarding to the soul. Helping people achieve that became my manifesto.
I began researching and studying the game more in depth, setting out on a fact-finding mission. In 2014, I attended a seminar on BioSwing Dynamics conducted by Mike Adams — 2016 PGA Teacher of the Year. Within the first 30 minutes of the introduction, I knew my life would never be the same. I began studying the game of golf through a biomechanical lens and everything began to make sense to me.
That seminar with Mike Adams formed the foundation for the principles in which I instruct today. Four years later, I have landed a dream job that gives me the tools to succeed every day and I am ecstatic about our future here at The Kingdom.
You wake up in the morning — what’s the driving passion?
Somehow make a difference someway somehow every day.
You’ve had a good degree of success with junior golfers — describe the process you follow.
Developing a relationship of trust is paramount and acts as the catalyst for all future development. I have also been blessed with gifted athletes and that never hurts.
How can golfers go about finding the right teacher for them?
Word of mouth and research. Instructors carry a reputation based on our technical aptitude, instructional style and personality. If a player consults their peers and does some research, they should be able to ascertain who might be the best match for them based on those factors.
What telltale signs indicate when the student / teacher relationship is working?
The efficiency of communication and trust level with be great both ways. Courteous honesty is essential! One can’t solve a problem unless you’re honest about what it truly is.
What are the signs when it’s not working?
A lack of trust on one or both sides. The student not trusting the information or not responding to the style of communication or the instructor not trusting the student is putting in the time and effort required.
When does instruction become paralysis by analysis?
Technical information can be very complicated to the average player, but communicating it should never be. It’s basically what separates someone with information versus someone who has the gift to teach that information clearly and concisely.
Over the last 25 years golf has reaped the benefit in better club and ball technology but the handicaps for those in the doubt digit range has remained relatively unchanged. What’s been missing in getting these golfers to play better?
I think there are several factors, but mostly golf in general has focused entirely too much on the swing and not enough on the other factors of the game, because it is easier and for most more fun to just beat balls off the range. We need to emphasize strategy and creativity inside 100 yards.
If you could change one thing in golf unilaterally — what would it be and why.
The changes coming to the Rules of Golf in 2019 are a good start to making them simpler and easier to implement. I hope this is just the tip of the iceberg.
What golf teachers have served to motivate your approach in developing your craft?
When I attended the BioSwing Dynamics conference with Mike Adams and EA Tischler in 2014.
Best advice you ever received — what was it and who from?
“Never underestimate the essence of a recovery shot, it only takes one good shot to make a par and remember you can make a putt from anywhere”. Gene Sarazen in 1994 — This was his advice to me after riding along with me and his grandson while we played 9 holes.