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Regents Golf Coach Lloyd McWilliams Earns National Recognition

Monday, March 03, 2014  
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ROCKFORD, Ill. - The past twelve months have been very rewarding and busy for new Rockford University Head Golf Coach Lloyd McWilliams. The year started with the Illinois PGA naming him the winner of its Junior Golf Leader Award. Then in late summer, Rockford University tabbed McWilliams to take the reins of its men's golf team. Shortly thereafter, McWilliams was nominated as one of the Top 50 junior golf teachers in the world. Finally, this past January began with the announcement that McWilliams had indeed been chosen as one of the Top 50 junior golf teachers. Along with the announcement, he was invited to the PGA Golf Show in Orlando, Fla. where he was presented with his award on the main stage.

The U.S. Kids Golf Top 50 Kids Teachers Award recognizes the world's most outstanding youth golf instructors each year. There were nearly 800 applicants for the award in 2013 with the winners including golf professionals from twenty-one states, Canada, Costa Rica and Mexico. The application process requires each individual to complete an online survey and then the winners are chosen based on their contributions to junior golf. Some of the deciding factors include: time devoted to teaching young golfers, innovation, creativity and fun in their programs, communication, parental involvement, and overall effort to grow the game.

"My style of instruction, with kids, college athletes or adults is really simple," Coach McWilliams stated.  "I try not to teach them, I try to let them learn. If I over teach, then they do not learn anything. My job is to make sure that kids have fun and want to come to practice, lessons or class. Whether I am coaching college players or juniors, my philosophy is the same. You have to get each of them to do three things. First, get them to think positive. Second, make them believe in themselves. Third, teach them that all successful people set goals," said McWilliams. "Once I get can get each of them to learn and understand those three principles, I know they are ready to succeed not only on the golf course but in life as well."

Since arriving at Rockford University in August, McWilliams has made great strides with the RU golf program. In the past, the team has consisted primarily of players who were recruited to Rockford to play another sport. However, after meeting with the players and seeing them practice McWilliams had a very positive outlook going forward. "I was pleasantly surprised with the talent and potential of each of the players," McWilliams commented. "Once we started working
together as a team at practice, everyone began to understand my philosophy and I could see each of them improving." Rockford had one of its best finishes at the first half of the NACC Championships this past fall and looks to continue to make strides this spring at the second half of the conference championships. "They all worked very hard and the results showed in everything they did last fall. Even though I did not recruit these guys, I could not have been more proud of what they did in our first season working together," McWilliams said. "I could not have picked a more hard working, honest, good bunch of golfers. I am really looking forward to my future with these players and at Rockford University!"

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