Tales from the tee: narrative accounts of being coached in golf

Grecic, David orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-1487-8327 and Palmer, Clive Alan orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-9925-2811 (2013) Tales from the tee: narrative accounts of being coached in golf. Journal of Qualitative Research in Sport Studies, 7 (1). pp. 127-152. ISSN 1754-2375

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This paper consists of four short stories about being coached in golf by elite/professional golf coaches. The stories are first-person narrative accounts of experiencing, in action, different coaches‟ personal attitudes and beliefs about how golfers in their charge might learn best. The accounts demonstrate that the beliefs held and corrective actions implemented by successive coaches differed dramatically, but all directed at the same player (David Grecic) who presented them with the same stroke characteristics and frailties in personal technique. Written in an auto-ethnographic style, David‟s experiences richly disclose for the reader the varying philosophies towards coaching practice and eliciting improved performance in a competition environment. The stories also reveal dimensions of social positioning, perceived status and identity construction in golf that others may relate to. Above all they show what it feels like to be on the receiving end of such varied but well-intentioned reasoning in sports coaching, however effective it might have been. The paper closes with a reflection on how this method of getting close to the data, has invigorated the researcher‟s curiosity about a problem which he had become accustomed to seeing through relatively standard, if not limiting lenses of data collection.

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