There is a renewed energy at Deerpath Golf Course. And, once you meet Richard Franklin, the course's director of instruction, you'll know why.
Richard Franklin, in his third year as instructor at Deerpath, has tripled the number of players to enroll in his programs by bringing in state-of-the-art technology to the course year-round. After touring with the Canadian Professional Golfers’ Association for two years, Richard founded Circle Systems Golf—an instructional and golf event planning company—and is a MORAD and Flightscope certified instructor. Richard was Head Golf Coach for Lake Forest Country Day School this past spring and has created, implemented, and taught more than 20 unique junior programs during his tenure at Deerpath.
“I knew when I was playing on the tour that I was more into the process of the game than the actual events themselves,” explains Richard, who says transitioning from the tour to teaching was a natural one for him. A graduate of Hinsdale Central High School and the University of Arizona, Richard has been golfing since he was 5 years old.
Richard spent some of his childhood in Zimbabwe. “My parents were good friends with Nick Price, and he gave me my first set of clubs. It was love at first sight. I took those clubs everywhere—even slept with them. Golf has been an obsession for me, a real passion for as long as I can remember,” he says.
Having spent most of his life in one type of golf instruction or another, Richard believes he has a good feel for how to help players improve their game. “The technology we now have has greatly accelerated the learning curve,” explains Richard. “We’re quickly able to quantify specific elements that will improve a golfer’s swing. The kids I coach who have only known this new-age technology come in with a different vocabulary than I had when I was learning.”
The words describing golf aren’t the only things that have changed since Richard was learning the sport. “It used to be that you’d go out to the range and hit balls for hours. It was all about the repetition,” he says. “But now, with strength and speed playing a bigger role in golf, it’s equally important that golfers spend time in the gym building their strength.”
Richard also finds golf to be a good barometer for what’s happening in his life. “Because it’s a sport that requires such discipline, how I play tells me many things. Am I practicing enough? Am I taking care of my body? It’s a culmination of so many aspects in my life. I try to help my students see this in their own lives, too.”
Richard feels as if he’s been set up to succeed in his role at Deerpath. “Golf in 2012 is a different animal,” he explains. “You really need one person to manage the pro shop and one person to focus on teaching. That’s what Deerpath has done. They’ve been very forward-thinking.” In addition to Richard teaching on the course, he now has a weekly golf instruction program on LFTV.
While Richard “misses the heat” of competitive golf, he’s very happy setting the tone for a higher level of play at Deerpath Golf Course this summer. If you haven’t played at Deerpath, he encourages you to check it out. “We’re a first-rate course with high-quality people in charge of its day-to-day operations. We care deeply about our golfers and their experiences here. The atmosphere we’ve created is very unique.”
To make an appointment with Richard Franklin, call him
at 847-219-0200, or email him at
— Ann Marie Scheidler