(Originally published in The Chronicle on November 18, 2014 and online at http://chronicle.durhamcollege.ca/?p=2895 )
Not just anyone won the 2014 OCAA Coach of the Year for golf.
The winner has also won titles at both 2004 and 2006 OCAA provincial championships when he played for the Durham Lords. With his team the coach also won the provincial title with the Lords in both 2004 and 2005 and his team finished second in 2006. The coach then went on to win the PING CCAA national championship and even played on the PGA Tour Canada.
Tyler Martin, a 29-year-old Port Perry native, Durham Lords’ golf coach, won Coach of the Year.
“I was in complete shock,” said Martin. “Being my second year it was completely out of left field, but such a tremendous honour.”
But for his friend and assistant coach Don Shaw it is warranted.
“He definitely deserves all the recognition he’s getting that’s for sure,” said Shaw. “He doesn’t like to pressure the kids too hard. He kind of sits back and if they need help then he lets us approach him.”
Martin’s experience comes into play when he is coaching his team.
“He really has so much experience with competitive golf that it really gives him a knowledge bank of how to prepare for tournaments,” said Shaw.
But Martin doesn’t know everything. If there is something he doesn’t have an answer for he will make sure it doesn’t last long.
“He’s a really big study. If he doesn’t know something he’s the one to look it up right away on Google and figure it out. So he’s always a student when it comes to a lot of stuff. When he’s not doing well he always makes sure he learns a way to do better,” said Shaw.
Shaw and Martin have been friends since they were young. They have played many a golf game together. Shaw has been able to see Martin grow through his life and his golf career. Martin caddied for Shaw for eight-years before becoming his assistant coach for the last two.
Martin’s history is filled with golf stats and experience but when he isn’t on the golf course he is exploring the outdoors, fishing, enjoying the lake and spending time with his fiancé and dog named Jake.
Martin is like two different people on and off the golf course. When he isn’t coaching he is doing hands on work with contracting projects.
“He works in the trades of the living so it’s kind of as far away from the golf course as you can get,” said Shaw. “He’s always one to get down and dirty and then we are at the golf course he’s very clean cut and proper.”
Before Martin was given the opportunity to coach for the Durham Lords he worked for Top End Contracting and BM Windows.
“I know he really misses playing, and coaching really fills that void for him, ‘cause without the coaching he wouldn’t be able to be at the golf course very much,” said Shaw. “When you play professionally you are at the golf course every single day and when you get out of it and you get a real job it makes it so you can’t be around it nearly as much as you were. So when this opportunity came up it really worked as a gateway for him to get back in the game.”
The coaching job came to Martin after Mike Duggan, the former golf coach, retired in 2012.
“I always knew he was a great player but just because you are a great player doesn’t make you always a great coach,” said Shaw. “He’s very good at explaining how to help guys, how to make them better and explaining how he played the game to other people.”
Martin not only wants to do his best for himself but for his players as well.
“I always wanted to mentor young golfers and pass on the knowledge and experiences I have learned along my journey as a professional golfer,” said Martin. “My favourite part about coaching is seeing the players achieve the goals we have been working on. Bringing the best out in each player is very gratifying.”
Martin is also selfless and thinking of others in his spare time as well as when he’s coaching.
“I was looking for a place to live and he went out of his way to get a place in his house and rent it out to me,” said Shaw. “In my own case he has helped me numerous times just like that.”
Martin gets his inspiration from golf itself as well as his own students.
“My favourite thing about golf is that it is a game that can teach you so much about yourself, and the lifelong friends you create on the way,” said Martin. “Their willingness to grow as students and athletes is exciting. I remember being in their shoes and love the idea of being able to enhance their college experience, as well as helping create memories hopefully they will never forget. They are inspiring.”
Next year Martin will have almost an entirely new team with only one returning but the difficulty isn’t going to make him shy away.
“It will be difficult but I am up for the challenge,” said Martin.