Scott Tarnow, who coaches the golf team and teaches in the Special Education department, displays the teams trophies in his classroom.

Courtesy of Scott Tarnow

Scott Tarnow, who coaches the golf team and teaches in the Special Education department, displays the team’s trophies in his classroom.

Golf: Q&A with Coach Tarnow

Golf is an interactive and engaging sport to take part in. Scott Tarnow, who also teaches in the Special Education department, does his best tohelp student athletes at Newport Harbor be the best golfers they can be while still having fun and experiencing the active competition. This creates a positive atmosphere for students either already enrolled or interested in golf on campus. 

KS: What sport do you coach?

ST: I coach girls and boys golf.

KS: What is your experience with golf?

ST: I have coached for 22 years. I am a pretty good golfer myself; I have won a few tournaments. I started in college.

KS: Why did you want to coach golf?

ST: At first I wanted to coach baseball. But I started golf in college, and my experience in college was pretty bad and not very fun, so I want to provide a setting that would make golf fun and not overtake students’ lives. Make it part of something they do but not a job. 

KS: How can students try out for golf? Do you cut students?

ST: We do cut boys; we almost never cut girls because there’s just less girls. Students can come and see me any time throughout the year, and if they want to play we will give them every opportunity. 

KS: What is a typical practice like?

ST: It could be playing nine holes or chipping and putting and giving them tips on what I’m seeing them do, either correct or incorrect, and giving them different drills that they can try. I look at their swings and make corrections.

KS: What skills are necessary for golf?
ST: Clear thinking, calm, level-headed, being able to understand your strengths and weaknesses, and knowing what works for you and what doesn’t.

KS: What are students expected to do outside of practice?

ST: Some have their own private coaches, but they are supposed to go on their own to ranges or golf courses and practice chipping and putting. So they are consistently spending time golfing.

KS: What can students do to get better?

ST: The only way to get better is time.

KS: What feedback do you usually get from students about this sport?

ST: They like the fact that I don’t force them to be out there five days a week, and there’s a lot of leeway. They like that it’s fun and competitive but I don’t scream at them.

KS: What benefits would students obtain from playing this sport?

ST: I think it’s something that you can play for the rest of your life.

KS: How can this sport help students in their future?

ST: There’s a lot of business connections through golfing. It can bring family and friends together and it is sensitive to your time. It doesn’t have to be all day, it can just be a couple of hours. 

KS: Is there anything you want students to know about golf?

ST: It’s a lot harder than it looks. And it takes a lot of time and effort to become an accomplished golfer

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