153: Jerry Haas: From a Family of Golfers to Coaching a Golf Family

By on August 15, 2017
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Today I am very excited to announce our guest, Jerry Haas. Jerry is a former Wake Forest All-American and is in his 21st season as head coach of his alma mater.

A former PGA tour member, Haas has rebuilt the Wake Forest program back into a perennial contender for ACC and NCAA championships. His Deacons have finished in the top-10 at the NCAA Championships three times since 2001. Under Haas, Wake Forest has been a fixture in the national rankings, including a No. 1 ranking in 2001.

Over the last 13 years, the Deacons have won 20 tournaments, including three out of the last 13 NCAA Regionals. Despite the success, Haas’ appetite for ACC and NCAA titles continues to grow. He has put together a string of blue-chip recruiting classes. Thirteen years ago, the class of Dustin Groves, Chris McCartin and Webb Simpson was one of the best rookie classes in the nation.

Jerry Haas’ Background

  • Haas is a long-standing member of the Wake Forest golf family, and Wake Forest golf is a big part of the Haas family.
  • Jerry’s brother, Jay Haas, led Wake Forest to back-to-back NCAA championships in the 1970s.
  • Jerry is a former member of the PGA Tour, playing in 115 events from 1990-92 as well as in 1995.
  • He is also a veteran of the Nike Tour (now the Web.com Tour) and the European Tour. Haas won three times on the Nike tour in 1994 and finished ninth on the money list that season.
  • The 2009 class included a pair of talented freshman — Evan Beck and Charlie Harrison while the 2010 class featured John Varol and Beau Cutts.
  • The current team features young stars like Will Zalatoris, the 2017 ACC Player of the Year, and Cameron Young, who won two titles during his first semester as a collegian in Fall 2015.

Highlights from this Episode

  • The difference between a college golf coach and a swing instructor. Most college players will have a number of coaches and mentors they work with, and it’s important they all work together properly to make sure they’re benefitting the player in the best way possible.
  • How Jerry’s coaching style has changed in the 21 years he’s been with Wake Forest.
  • How Jerry views a player’s background and life outside of golf when factoring in his decision to take on players. There is a lot more to becoming a great golfer than just being technically good at the game. Motivation, focus, fitness etc. are all important factors to take into account.
  • When to start looking at players to bring into college golf. Jerry is often scouting players who are as young as thirteen if he sees potential in them.
  • The role that fitness, strength training, and mobility plays in the college game these days. Jerry places a huge emphasis on the health and fitness of players and sees direct results coming from working on the body as well as the swing.
  • The importance of flexibility in golf, especially as you get older. Every golfer should be thinking about their stretching, and be implementing a program in whatever way they can.
  • How to get more out of your swing by staying “tall on the ball”. Listen in to get the details…

Caddy Shack or Happy Gilmore?

Caddy Shack

What would be your “walk-up” song to the tee?

 Nelly Furtado – Say it Right

Who would you want to spend a day on the course with, and where? 

My uncle Bob at Pebble Beach

Last words of advice?

If you do one thing: stretch.

Where to find Coach Jerry Haas and Wake Forest Golf:

Wake Forest Men’s Golf 

To continue the conversation and ask any questions you may have, head over the 18STRONG Facebook page.

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Jeff Pelizzaro

About Jeff Pelizzaro

Golf Fitness Professional | Physical Therapist | Golf Enthusiast. I love playing golf and training golfers. I get to do this stuff for a living (training that is, not playing). I hope this site encourages you to take some action so your time on the course is much more enjoyable and productive. If you're on Twitter, say hello: @JeffPelizzaro

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