TEMPLE TERRACE — Almost every day, Megan Younkman shows up at the Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club, ready to do what she’s wanted to do since she fell in love with the game of golf.
She understands that golf is a strange game that baffles people from youth to their later years. It’s a game that can’t be beaten. Tiger Woods can’t beat it, and neither could Jack Nicklaus, or Ben Hogan.
Younkman believes that, even if the game can’t be beaten, she can do all she can to help kids learn the game. She’ll teach the game to anyone, but her passion is working in the junior camps and with young kids, some who don’t even know which hand goes on top of the grip.
Younkman, who grew up in Ohio, is a Class A member of the LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals. She has served as the head coach for Florida’s Junior League World Series Team and has won numerous awards for teaching junior golfers. She currently owns MYPRO, which hosts golf-teaching programs throughout Central Florida.
She’s been at Temple Terrace since 2009 and has more than 16 years of golf experience. She is not the head professional, but she doesn’t care.
“I love teaching juniors,” Younkman said. “Here I am doing what I love to do, teaching kids how to play golf and nothing could be more rewarding. I love knowing that the kids love coming to class and want to learn, and love the game.”
Younkman teaches adults as well, as evidenced by her adults short game boot camp, a ladies-only skills clinic, and beginner golf clinics.
But when it comes to kids, she focuses on a developmental approach to the game, teaching kids that they are not necessarily going to be the next golf-based multizillionaire, but that they can enjoy the game.
“I was called to this game,” Younkman said. “The kids who come to my camps are here all day, but we make it fun. The kids are the highlight of what I am doing now. This game is habit forming and I love seeing it when the kids understand what this game can be all about.”
Younkman didn’t start playing until she was 14. She played plenty of other sports, but once she started playing golf, she was sold. It led to college, and then the chance to play in some pro-ams.
“I was hooked,” Younkman said. “Nothing else counted.”
She started working her way up the professional teaching ranks and eventually had to make a decision: she could pursue a career as a player, or she could go after a life as a teacher. And she hasn’t looked back.
“I could still play competitively now but I would have to sacrifice the time I spend with the kids,” Younkman said. “I couldn’t do that. It’s a huge responsibility, but I can do this forever.”
Younkman doesn’t confine herself simply to women golfers. She said more than 78 percent of her adult students are men. She is also a published author, recently publishing a book, “Managing Your Business Game,” which is designed to help people develop their business without wasting time and money. It uses golf as a strategic business tool.
It’s a busy life, but the sight of a kid smiling after hitting that perfect shot makes it all worthwhile.
“I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Younkman said.
For information on Megan Younkman’s golf instruction, call (813) 967-1828 or (813) 988-2001.