A teacher who has as his motto, “We want you to have fun playing golf,” is sure to be a successful one, and that fits London, Ontario’s, Dave Heald to a “tee.” Heald has been a CGTF member since 2004 and is currently the head professional at East Park Golf Gardens in London, Ontario.
Over 400 juniors attend his camps every summer, and East Park sees plenty of beginners. Heald provides a “Get Golf Ready” 5-day program for beginners, and he also has an introductory lesson plan that includes him caddieing for nine holes for the beginner. He explained that, while swing lessons are great, beginners do not know how to actually play golf. He finds it valuable to go on the course with them to show them the etiquette, rules, customs, etc., of the game.
Heald does not believe in a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all teaching methodology, and instead tailors instruction to the individual’s strengths and weaknesses. His main goal going forward is in growing the game, and certainly he is doing his part. The beginners at East Park consist mainly of ladies who want to play with their husbands, and businesspeople who find that playing golf is a valuable asset to possess.
Heald came to the CGTF after a career in retail. He said it was simply time to make a change. He had been involved in coaching other sports, and thought it would be interesting to teach kids golf.
He lives at home with his wife of 29 (soon to be 30) years, and has three children, all of whom play golf.