Justin Parsons was a teenager living in Northern Ireland when he took a test offered in the book, “Eight Traits of a Champion Golfer.” This questionnaire promised to recommend a career based on Parsons’ strengths and passions. Parsons, like many young men, had aspirations of playing professional golf. The examination recommended a different path.
“It said, ‘You really enjoy the idea of movement and how movement works, and you would be a much better coach than you ever would be a player,” Parsons recalled recently. “I remember thinking, ‘Oh my goodness, this is kind of dampening my aspirations.’ But at the same time, I’ve always enjoyed people, trying to figure out how people tick and how to get the best out of them.”
He’s done that this year, helping several PGA TOUR players either reach new heights or find success after several tough seasons. He’s had a quick impact since arriving at the Sea Island Resort, host of this week’s The RSM Classic, last year. His current stable of students includes Gary Woodland, Louis Oosthuizen and Will Gordon, as well as Sea Island residents Harris English, Michael Thompson and Brian Harman.
This year, English qualified for the TOUR Championship for the first time since 2015. Thompson won for the first time since 2013. Gordon, a year after turning pro out of Vanderbilt, earned his first PGA TOUR card. Harman finished 37th in the FedExCup last season, his best finish in three years. Oosthuizen finished third in the U.S. Open.
“It’s about making them a little bit better and not detracting anything from them,” Parsons said. Or, as his mentor, Butch Harmon, told him, “Your first responsibility is to make sure you don’t screw them up.” That is sobering advice that Parsons takes seriously.
“You’re dealing with their livelihood,” he said.
Source: PGA tour