How Danny Maude became a golf coach to millions

Today’s Golfer speaks to Danny Maude, the YouTube coach and PGA Pro who has amassed 1.16 million subscribers

Leeds-born Maude doesn’t get the attention that some other YouTubers receive, but his ability to simplify the game through understandable concepts has seen him gain more than 250,000 subscribers this year alone, cementing his position for the second year running in the top 60 of golf’s most influential people.

Alongside his YouTube channel, he offers a host of coaching plans on his website and continues to provide group and one-to-one lessons as the Head PGA Pro at Canterbury Golf Club in Kent.

We caught up with Danny to see where his passion for coaching started and how he’s helping golfers around the world improve their game via his online coaching platforms.

Danny Maude is an online golf coach with 1.16 million subscribers.

Creativity was at the heart of the way I learned the game. I grew up on a dairy farm in Leeds. Its fields bordered Alwoodley GC, and my first shots were hit with balls found in them. I had found some clubs around the farm and to this day I don’t know what they were; I just got them to perform whatever shot I wanted to hit.

Getting technical almost ruined my game. I did well as a youngster, winning several junior opens. I’d got down to a one-handicap at 17. I was a member at Garforth GC, and an assistant used to watch me practice.

“Your swing’s terrible,” he’d always tell me – never anything positive about where the ball was going!

But I started to look at my technique. I realized it was a bit unorthodox, and started to change it. This was the era of Faldo and Leadbetter, an extremely technical time for golf coaching, and I got lost in the minutiae of mechanics. I would play in competitions and because I didn’t feel I owned my swing anymore, I started to struggle. I had always played with flair and creativity, all the things I had learned on the farm, but I lost that natural way of doing things.

It took a book to recover my game. A good friend, Aran Wainwright, had recently broken through, winning the 1997 English Amateur. I asked him what had made the difference and he gave me a book – Timothy Gallwey’s The Inner Game of Golf.

The book asked golfers to think back to the times when they played their best golf and the advice on what they needed was always the same – a decluttered and simple outlook, focusing on the shot in hand… all the things I didn’t have.

I adopted a ‘See, Do’ approach – picture the shot, execute, and accept the consequences. It decluttered everything and I began to play the best golf of my life, finishing third out of 150 players in Final Qualifying for the 2013 Open.

There was a freedom in my golf. But from a coaching perspective, I started to understand the marriage between having good technique and having the ability to allow that technique to flourish on a golf course. There is a way to learn, a simple process of learning, but unique to every one of us.

Technique is important, but how you learn it is more important. This learning is the foundation for everything I do now, and I try to bring it into every video I shoot.

I shot my first YouTube videos in 2016. I could barely say my name. I was just rubbish… and that’s probably why I only shot two videos that whole year, and not many more in 2017. But then I stopped thinking about how I presented and started thinking about helping golfers…and things got a whole lot better. Watch my videos and you’ll hopefully feel like you are there, with me. I’m just talking to you as a student.

I would describe my style as genuine, earnest, and honest. I don’t believe there are quick fixes in golf. That may seem at odds with 10-minute internet videos, but you’ll often hear me say: “Now this is hard, it’ll take some work,” or to start slowly, for example with half-swings. I’m also honest in saying a video may not work for everyone.

The key objective for every video I shoot is to make the complicated simple. What is the real pattern we are trying to create here? And what’s the best way to help a golfer relate to that move?

My ‘Catapult Swing’ concept – explaining how we create power in the golf swing – is probably the best example I can give. Positions are important, but they need to be coached in ways they can be understood and achieved.

You can only do so much on YouTube. The platform has been great for me and I’m very grateful to every single subscriber. But psychology, visualization, strategy, how you perform on the course…those key elements don’t sit well on the platform.

You have to meet people where they are… and right now, that’s a quick tip. My plan is to deliver something consumable that works and then, hopefully, bring people across to my website, for a fuller picture. Right now, it seems to be working.

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