It’s important to document the impact that individuals have on the next generation of golfers. So many teachers give untold hours on the lesson tee, and immeasurable moments of true attention, to the work of their students. Ronald Langhorne is one of those teachers, and we suspect that you’ll want to learn a bit more about him. Langhorne works with local legend Jim Horne, as he learns the golf teacher ropes. He answered our questions recently, and for that, we are grateful. From one Ronald to another, it is our pleasure to present nine questions with Mr. Ronald Langhorne.
1. Tell us who you are, how you got involved in golf, and what you currently do in golf.
My name is Ronald Langhorne. I learned golf from my father and was competitive from a young age with some local kids for fun. At around 10 years old, I became part of an organization called the Buffalo Inner City Youth Golf Program. Through this program, I was able to play in tournaments and as a result fuel the fire within to compete. There was always a thrill I felt playing better golfers. They always brought the best out of me. Currently, I’m training for a potential coaching position with the First Tee of WNY while making hopeful attempts to build the Jim Horne Golf Foundation.
2. You work with a legend. What have you learned from Mr. Jim Horne?
Mr.Horne is definitely a legend. I met him while I was still part of the Buffalo Inner City Youth Golf Program and the first thing he said to me was “Do you want to learn how to play golf?”. He taught me how to break 80 for starters haha. But more importantly, he taught me how to teach. He taught me how to network. He always saw the best in me, and in a weird way, taught me how to live. He taught me the importance of giving back. He taught me the importance of family and a young child’s life, how valuable they are, they need for structure and discipline.
3. What is the first thing that you do when working with a new student?
When working with a new student, the first thing I try to do is build rapport. Typically a sport, hobby or interest. I’ve found great results, especially with younger students compared to adults, that relating a thought or movement tends to be understood better when compared to an already existing passion or interest.
4. Every golfer has time to practice putting before a round, but not everyone has access to a range. What drill should golfers do on the greens, before they tee off, to improve their putting?
Personally, I love and teach what Phil Mickelson taught concerning putting. Line up 10 balls around the hole at a 3′ radius (aka the length of the putter). Go around to get a feel for the green and build confidence. Then go to 6′. Notice the speed and break compared to the 3′ putts. After that go for some long putts aiming withing 3′ of the hole to get a feel for long/lag putts. And lastly go around the 3′ circle again.
5. Every golfer manages the physical and mental games. Which mental tips do you have for your students?
Stretch, stretch and stretch again. Not just when warming up, but incorporate it into your daily life. Meditate, practice visualizing yourself playing a golf course, and most importantly, study videos of their own golf swing. The more they know their own golf swing, the more sense the tips we give will make to them and the easier it’ll be to implement them.
6. What are the strengths and weaknesses of your own game?
My strengths in golf would be my distance off the tee, my putting, and in my opinion, being a “feel” type of player vs a “technical/mechanical” type.
7. Describe in depth the ideal student for you.
My ideal student would be someone who truly loves the game. Someone who wasn’t the natural prodigy, but who wasn’t the most talented but worked hard to become great. Someone who loved the game so much, that they would take the mantel from me and teach the next generation and share the love and passion for golf that started with the great Jim Horne.
8. What has been the most challenging competitive situation for you and how did you handle it? What did you learn from it?
Coming back from injury last year made competition rough. In my mind, I was just as capable as ever once I could swing again, and although swinging was similar to riding a bicycle, the self inflicted pressure became a major hurdle. For a time, it made golf stressful instead of fun. Every missed shot became frustration instead of a laugh and fun challenge to birdie the next hole or just end the round on a strong note. From the experience, I learned the importance of patience. I had to take a step back, stop going after par 5s in 2. And honestly enjoy getting better, understanding the journey that much more.
9. Which question haven’t we asked, that you would love to answer? Ask it and answer it, please.
As for a question, I would ask any and every golfer what they are doing for the next generation a golfers coming up behind us.
And to answer said question, beyond my efforts with the Jim Horne Golf Foundation, I also teach on my own. It could be a random person I see at the dome, or someone who messaged me on Facebook or Instagram. I try to share the love of golf with everyone and also specifically for the youth, im trying to imagine a golf cartoon/anime. Something to make learning golf easy/fun.