40,000 Students Attest To Golf Instructor's Dedication


January 12, 1992|By George Taylor

WESTMINSTER — When it comes to teaching golf, it is said there are just two types of professionals -- those who like to teach and those who don't.

In the case of Bill Madonna, director of golf instructions at the Wakefield Valley courses, there is no question which side of the fairway he walks.

From the outset of Madonna's golf career, he was intrigued with teaching the game to others. As a result, he became entrenched as a golf specialist.

Unlike most golf pros, whose duties cover a wide span, Madonna concentrates solely on teaching. In football, Madonna would the considered the extra point kicker, or in baseball the designated hitter.

Testimony that his commitment as a teacher never wavered is reflected in the fact that he has had 40,000 pupils in the past 20 years.

A native of Harrisburg, Pa., the 45-year-old Madonna started his teaching schools in Clearwater, Fla. They included clinics and classes, plus individual sessions.

It was just a year ago that Madonna became aware of Wakefield's extensive expansion plans and he was welcomed to the operation by owner Hank Majewski and head professional Bill Horney.

While Madonna is new to this area, it was his close association with former Baltimoreans Irv Schloss and Bill Strausbaugh that prompted his interest in moving to Westminster. Both Schloss (now deceased) and Strausbaugh of Columbia Country Club long have been ranked among the nation's leading golf instructors.

"As a young pro," said Madonna, "I was so impressed with the teaching methods of Schloss that I'd travel all over Florida for the chance to attend one of his seminars."

Madonna, a class A member of the PGA of America and National Golf Foundation consultant, says teaching fundamentals have not changed over the years.

But, he notes, methods of presentations now offer dramatic changes. The use of videotapes is probably the biggest modern contribution to golf instruction.

Madonna strives for simplicity in his teaching. Among the pledges he asks of students are:

* I will never swing harder than complete balance willallow.

* I will always be in the present tense.

* I realize that during every round of golf something will happen that I don't like.

* I realize golf is only a game and if I can't enjoy it, I'll quit.

* I will practice with my driver, wedge and putter to best develop my game.

* I will avoid to the best of my ability missing greens with eight irons or less.

Golf tuition fees vary with numbers of participants in each class and the number of hours pupils attend.

Madonna operates his golf schools on a year-round basis.

At Wakefield, he has full indoor facilities with nets available for teaching. He actually is conducting indoor chipping competitions through thewinter months.

Winners of the monthly events will meet in a "chip-off" next month in Wakefield's new, spacious ballroom.

Madonna, who lives in Westminster, is married with two children. His wife, Bonnie, is a fifth-grade teacher at New Windsor Middle. His daughter attends Loyola College in Chicago and his son is a senior at Westminster High School.

For full information on Bill Madonna's golf school, call 876-6662. For out of state students seeking more than single day-classes, Madonna will supply information regarding Westminster area bed-and-breakfasts and motels.

The Wakefield pro staff even has theconvenience of a left-handed instructor in Darrin Schildt.

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