By Karen Billing
Andrée Martin, the new director of golf instruction at Fairbanks Ranch Country Club, is easy to find on the golf course — she’s the one in the cowboy hat, enthusiastic and ready to improve your golf game.
The Maine native is enjoying being spoiled by San Diego’s “awesome” weather and the fact that in her first three weeks at Fairbanks she’s already held 12 clinics.
“There is a very active membership here and that makes me very excited because there’s a lot of room for growth and development of their games and making it a more enjoyable game,” Martin said, making special note of the very active Women’s Club. “There’s also some untapped, new golfers and almost-ready players that I need to convert into raging golfers.”
Martin is a Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Class A professional and a certified golf coach. She was recently inducted into the Maine Golf Hall of Fame and has over 30 years of golf expertise to bring to the tee.
Her goal as an instructor is to take good care of golfers that want to play their best, whether they’re just looking to play socially, need to play for business or want to play tournament golf.
“I want everyone to be able to achieve their personal golf goals,” Martin said.
Martin started playing golf when she was in high school. She was introduced to the sport by her father who played in a league at Purpooduck Club in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.
“I just thought it was fun,” said Martin. “I had no one to play tennis with and I wasn’t good at laying on the beach. I wanted to be active so I went out golfing with my dad.”
Eventually she got a job in the bag room at the club and worked her way into the pro shop where the ladies at the club encouraged her to enter as many golf tournaments as she could. She played on the boys team for her high school because there was no girls team at the time.
In college, she tried out as a walk-on at the University of South Florida in Tampa, beating out 30 other girls to make the team.
“I loved collegiate golf, it was a blast,” Martin said.
Unfortunately, Martin blew out her shoulder so she gave up the thought of playing on the tour and went the corporate route, finding a lot of success.
She worked for Ping and for Titliest, helping promote new product lines. She was also an executive director for the LPGA Urban Junior Golf program, now The First Tee of Los Angeles. The First Tee is an organization that aims to promote values, self esteem, academic excellence, healthy choices and a sense of responsibility through the game of golf.
“I was fortunate to be a part of that organization and help make it happen,” Martin said.
From Los Angeles, Martin went to Denver to become the director of the Denver Junior Golf and Girls in Golf programs, enhancing and restructuring programs at more than 89 city courses.
From there she was in North Carolina, heading up golf instruction at the brand new Holly Ridge Golf Links.
Over the past 20 years she’s guest taught for the “First Lady of Golf” Peggy Kirk Bell’s Golfari Golf Schools and for Craft-Zavichas Golf Schools.
“I honed my teaching ability because I’ve worked with a lot of great instructors to form my style and philosophy of teaching,” Martin said.
“I work with people on what their goals and needs are…I’ve taken some players and elevated their game to levels that they never thought possible. I find ways to do that effectively but simply.”
In her instruction, Martin shoots to make great golfers on the range also become great golfers on the course. She teaches everyone, any age and hopes to get people excited and motivated to want to play more.
“It’s all about keeping people in the game, wanting to stay and enjoy it,” said Martin.
Understanding golf can be a challenging game, she knows how so much of it is mental and helps people to compete, not be frustrated and get out of their own way.
“Get it airborne and have a blast,” Martin says, simply put.
Martin loves teaching families because she believes golf is a great sport to play together and she also specializes in instruction of people with injuries, working around and with injuries so that people can continue to play the game for a lifetime.
“I love teaching and I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon,” Martin said. “I’m thrilled to have found this area and make it my home for a long time.”
For Fairbanks Ranch Country Club membership information, visit fairbanksranch.com or call (858) 259-8811. For more on Martin, visit andreegolf.com.