Any golfers out there know how challenging and even frustrating the game can be. But we’re not here to talk about a blow-up hole or spending too much time in a sand trap.
Instead, we’d like to take a step back and consider what golf gives back to players and the larger golf community, especially to those working at the highest levels of the sport, and our guest has a unique perspective on all this and more.
A fully certified David Leadbetter instructor, James Anthony Ferraby trained at the Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy, where he was coached by Hank Haney himself, former coach of none other than golf great Tiger Woods.
As a young golfer, Ferraby competed all around the globe, winning IJGT Parris Island 2009 and competing in multiple European Tour Events and Challenge Tour Events.
Ferraby is now a professional golf coach, and he’s coached celebrities and even organized events for the likes of Michel Preudhomme, Dwight Gayle, and Phil Foden.
Since Ferraby has dedicated his life to the sport, we knew that he would have some excellent insights on the relationship between golfers and the game itself, so we reached out to set up an interview, and now we’re ready to share that interview with our readers. Enjoy!
Table of Contents
- First up, we have to ask, what was it like being coached by Hank Haney?
- You’ve also worked with a number of celebrities. Have you ever felt intimidated when working with a celebrity, or is it easy to focus on the work?
- What has it been like competing all over the world?
- What advice do you give golfers who have trouble with nerves during competitive play?
- Have you always been highly motivated as both a coach and a player? Do you have any tips for staying motivated?
- What are some of the lessons you’ve learned throughout your career so far?
- Who would you say is your biggest inspiration?
First up, we have to ask, what was it like being coached by Hank Haney?
I mean it was a dream come true, something that doesn’t happen every day. At the time, he was Tiger Woods’ coach so it’s definitely an honor having the same coach as Tiger Woods himself. Not everyone gets that opportunity in life.
You’ve also worked with a number of celebrities. Have you ever felt intimidated when working with a celebrity, or is it easy to focus on the work?
I’ve never felt intimidated by any celebrity, the reason being I tend to just treat them exactly the same as anyone else I normally coach. I’m focused 100% on the task at hand, which is getting them to enjoy the experience and making them better, that’s all.
What has it been like competing all over the world?
It was an amazing experience. I’m so glad I had that opportunity to do the thing I love while traveling the world. Someday I’ll be telling my son about seeing all these different countries.
The only negative aspect was that when I was traveling alone, it could get a bit lonely at times, especially when the matches were tough, but you learn how to deal with it.
What advice do you give golfers who have trouble with nerves during competitive play?
So this is something I also got to experience during my time at the Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy. We had mental coaches working with us weekly, helping us develop strategies and trying to control our nerves.
Breathing is very important. Learning how to breathe correctly really helps to calm someone down. Next, having a strategy or a plan really helps to keep you focused and can help you deal with the nerves. It completely slows you down.
Have you always been highly motivated as both a coach and a player? Do you have any tips for staying motivated?
I’ve always been motivated in both aspects, although I had a time as a player when I worked really hard and didn’t see the results I wanted, and that was frustrating. So, I decided just to take a bit of time out and regained that motivation.
As a coach, I’ve always been motivated to deliver new ideas, work on new projects, and deliver even more detailed lessons. There’s so much you can learn, and in order to grow, you have to constantly be learning. The most important thing is to not stay in the same routine all the time.
I think in order to stay motivated, you need to keep developing by learning new things that will always help you grow, and by doing that, you’ll always be motivated to achieve more.
What are some of the lessons you’ve learned throughout your career so far?
I’ve learned a lot of lessons so far in my career, but some of the most important ones that I’d touch base on are, first of all, don’t depend on anyone else to make you better. Only you can do that.
Secondly, you have to fail in order to succeed. You’ll always get stronger in the process and eventually get to a better place.
Third, not everything will go the way you want it to at the start, but if you work hard enough, you’ll get what you want. Sometimes, things don’t work out at the start, but if you’re patient enough, you’ll achieve your goals. It’s a process.
Who would you say is your biggest inspiration?
Obviously, being a golfer myself and growing up playing golf, it’s impossible not to say Tiger Woods. I mean, it was just amazing watching him. You felt like in every tournament he would play like he was going to win. That’s how good he was. Then, having the same coach gave me a lot of inspiration for my career in golf and for getting to where I am today.