AUGUSTA | In his training center in Saint-Laurent city this week, Shauheen Nakhjavani is paying attention to the Masters Tournament. The instructor spies on two clients in Augusta.
However, it is impossible to name them publicly, because identifying them would wreak havoc in the coaching ecosystem. One is in the world top 50 while the other has tumbled close to the 100e echelon due to a problem in its swing.
That said, the 30-year-old instructor counts golfers from many professional tours among his clients. Of these, Dylan Wu and Seth Reeves finished in the top 20 of the annual ranking of the Korn Ferry Tour, the lobby of the PGA, this year. He also put the Canadian Stephen Ames back on the right track in the Champions Tour. And he gives his advice to the American Annie Park, champion of the LPGA circuit who participated in the prestigious Solheim Cup in 2019.
This is without counting the numerous one-off consultations requested by both golfers and reputable American colleagues. The pandemic leads him to work remotely, he who often traveled south of the border to join his charges.
Nakhjavani does not want to move there, because he does not train the elite. He also advises Sunday golfers, affectionately known as “Average Joe”. Exercising his profession for nine years, he adapts wonderfully to the golfer in front of him. In the past few years he has delivered over 5,000 lessons annually, in person and virtually through apps. He works over 100 hours a week.
And yet, he remains a complete unknown in the fauna of golf in Quebec. He estimates that 95% of his clientele come from outside the province. Golfers come to its state-of-the-art Montreal headquarters to repair their swing.
Virtually an analysis has three segments. It includes a commented video of the swing with instructions, an explanatory video of the tips and exercises to be performed.
Social media star
Why does he remain in the shadows?
“Everyone asks me where I come from, says the one who has become a star of the medium on social networks. I am known in the United States and elsewhere in Canada, but in Quebec, not at all. I have my little idea why.
“I didn’t grow up in the golf industry,” he continued in an interview with The Journal of Montreal. When I was younger, I was playing top soccer, explained the man who got his teacher cards in Ontario almost 10 years ago. Most of the known trainers started very young in specific programs.
“Another reason is the language barrier that frightens a certain clientele, because I am English speaking. ”
Again, this is just an illusion behind his build and serious features, because Nakhjavani speaks impeccable French. Of Iranian and Italian descent, her mother tongue is English.
At the bottom of the ladder
The coach alluded to it. Without a serious knee injury that ended his soccer career, he would never have fallen into the world of golf.
It was during his convalescence that he became interested in the little white ball. Active on social networks, he has gained ground. On the courses, he progressed in a dazzling way, reducing his handicap factor to 0 in no time.
It was then that he launched headfirst into teaching in 2012, starting out in the fields of practice of public courses in the greater Montreal area. Very active on social networks and collaborating on podcasts, it is after a presence at On the Mark that his career exploded.
When he looks at his journey, he admits that this knee injury changed everything. For the best and without any regrets.
The only downside is that he would like to be recognized by golf organizations in Canada. With his background and his career up to the elite, he believes he deserves some consideration. However, he would not change his methods to satisfy them.
Man has proven his techniques, less conventional of course, since he relies on statistics and mathematics.
“Traditional methods make me cringe. I have a background in science. My philosophy is to combine the numbers with the movements of the momentum to make it functional. I am not advocating a particular model. The idea is to keep the good movements and stop the bad ones. “
A technique that allowed him to enter a select circle of coaches.
“This community is very small. These coaches have become friends and when you know a player, you come to know them all. “