Meet Rory Young

By: Simon Reynolds

Rory YoungMeet Rory Young, a PGA professional golf coach at The Golf Academy Bali, at New Kuta Golf Club.


I had the pleasure of playing 9 holes with New Kuta’s resident Scottish PGA Professional Rory Young. It seems rather fitting that New Kuta have their very own Scottish golf pro from the highlands teaching golfers the tricks and the trade of links golf and how to keep the ball below the wind at New Kuta. The Links experience is very much unique in Indonesia and holes 14 & 15 will leave you breathless with the views of the ocean and with the strong winds blowing Rory gave me some great tips how to play golf the Scottish way. Teaching has allowed Rory to visit and teach in many unique locations all over the world and now he is very much settled and calls Bali home.

Rory, it’s a pleasure to play the famous New Kuta back nine with you, how did you become a Golf Coach?
Like all pros I started out with the dream to become a player, but through the British PGA training programme you are given the skills to help others to get better. In the end I realised I was a better teacher than a player and I love helping people to improve and learn the game of golf.

Who was your main inspiration to become a golf pro growing up?
Tiger Woods would have to be one, I watched him win the 1997 Masters and he made golf look cool, from then I started to play golf. My parents were a huge support to me also.

Who are your favourite golf pros that you follow today?
Louis Oosthuizen has a great swing it’s so simple to watch, I also enjoy watching Martin Kaymer, Nicholas Colsaerts and of course Tiger. All have very different swings but good to see how the top professionals get it done.

What is it about golf coaching that you find the most rewarding?
I think it’s just helping people to get better, either they are just starting or planning to turn pro. The excitement you get from people when they first strike the ball properly is a really boost, let you know you are doing your job right.

Golfers often find themselves watching videos on YouTube™. Which pro golfers swings, past and present, do you recommend to watch and learn from?
I would say you could learn from all top professionals – they all play at the highest level for a reason. I would be cautious over copying swings though; look for players with the same height, body shape you have then you can find a good model. The old swings are great for rhythm and how fluid they were, but the modern swings are technically better. A mix of both is what we should strive for.

You are from Inverness in the Scottish Highlands—where has your golfing journey taken you before touching down in Bali?
I have been a professional in a few places, but the most notable ones would be working on a cruise ship for 10 months, teaching golf into a simulator and doing golf excursions when we arrived at port. That was a lot of fun due to the diversity in people, places and cultures. I also worked for our parent company in Malaysia “The Golf Academy Borneo” for just over 12 months before moving to Bali to open and be the Head Pro at “The Golf Academy Bali.”

How old were you when you first broke par?
I was just about to turn 17, had many rounds beforehand where I had bogeyed the last few holes but to final do it was a relief and took the pressure off. I shot 69(-3).

What did you have for breakfast this morning?
This morning I had toast and coffee. I am really bad at having breakfast, but when I do have it, I prefer to have something quick and easy.

Have you ever recorded an albatross? Describe the event for our readers.
Yes, I have had five; probably the best one was during a school championship event. I holed my 9 iron on the par 5 16th hole. The green was in front of the clubhouse and people started cheering. It also got me back to level par and I birdied the last to shoot -1 for the round. I am still waiting on my first hole in one, maybe it will be a Condor?

What are your other interests outside the game of golf?
I enjoy being with friends, watching movies and all sports. I am an Arsenal fan, so try to watch as many games as I can, they have not had the best of times over the last few years but a new season is like a new round of golf, it’s full of hope and anticipation.

What are your three golden rules/fundamentals to become a better golfer?
1. Seek proper advice on how to play in the beginning; it will make it easier to fix your problems when they occur.
2. Most mistakes are made in the set-up and first takeaway of the club, focus on these areas and you will improve.
3. Hit the ball, sounds simple, but many people don’t do it, preferring to try and guide the ball. Trust your swing and hit it.

It’s fitting that New Kuta, with its Links conditions has a resident Scottish golf instructor. What advice would you offer golfers, who are looking to play golf in these difficult links conditions?
Use your imagination, sometimes the wind can make a difference up to three clubs, varying the height of your shots and using the slopes to feed the ball to the hole. Try and visualise how the ball will react and then you have a better chance of executing the shot.

Does playing Links golf make you a better golfer?
I would say yes. Knowing how to manoeuvre the ball and play it high and low to suit the needs of the shot will only improve your control and the understanding of your swing. However, playing a mix of courses is the best way to become a complete golfer.

About Simon Reynolds

Simon fell in love with the game of golf at an early age. Watching Happy Gilmore when he was 12, Simon was hooked, and to this day thanks Adam Sandler's genius in the film for his passion for the game. His golfing hero is more refined and mature these days, and he continues his spiritual quest to model his golf game on Ben Hogan's perfect golf swing.

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