Meet the Golf Professionals of Arrowhead Golf Club
For Arrowhead Golf Club Assistant Golf Professional Andrew Ogata, golf is about the one shot that keeps you coming back.
“It’s the only game you can never be perfect at,” Andrew says. “There’s days where you don’t miss a shot and get everything you want to,” and then there are frustrating days.
Golf is also about the teaching experience and the learning process, the success after a series of lessons, even when one may not expect it.
One of Andrew’s most memorable students was Luke, who participated in PGA Junior League Golf, a team format competition with children of all skill levels, ages 9 to 13.
“Luke was probably my smallest kid on the team. He’s on a green and he’s got this 40-foot putt. I pull him aside and say, ‘Luke, knock this in, bud,’ and he says, ‘Coach, I can’t. I’m not a good putter.’ I say, ‘No, you can do it.’
“Sure enough, [he] putts it, [it] rolls up the hill—it was not an easy putt to make—and he drained it. That look on his face is one of the reasons why we do what we do,” Andrew says.
Individual lessons are always different, each student unique.
“You never know what you’re going to work on that day,” says Andrew. “I love doing the individual lessons because it keeps you on your toes as an instructor.”
Junior and adult group lessons are “definitely more structured.”
“We’ve got to plan what we’re doing each day, a timeline of when we’re transitioning into something else. They’re all fun,” he says.
Andrew is a left-handed golfer. But when he started teaching three years ago, former Head Golf Professional Billy Klemz had Andrew take his adult group lesson—right-handed.
“It was to get an idea of what it felt like as a beginner,” he says. “These are the growing pains [students] go through. That was one of the best teaching tools anybody could’ve ever given me. You don’t know how the swing feels and you’re trying to explain it to somebody and you have no idea. It’s a whole new language to learn.”
Andrew started at Arrowhead as a cart attendant seven years ago, but he’s been playing golf since he could walk.
“My dad played, my grandpa played, so for me it was a nice way to hang out with them,” he says. “Then I played through high school, and it’s always been a part of my life somehow.”
Yet golf can be a frustrating part of people’s lives, without the proper mindset.
“It’s a difficult game as it is, but you’re playing a sport where the ball doesn’t move,” he says. “You get to tee it up. Nobody’s throwing a slider or a curveball, and the ball stays still. And yet this game is so difficult and frustrating.”
The best thing to do with golf, Andrew says, is “keep it simple: it’s a hard game, and the last thing you want to do is throw another curveball into it.”
To book a lesson with Andrew, please call 630.653.5800 or stop in at the Arrowhead Golf Club pro shop, 26W151 Butterfield Road, Wheaton.