Nobody can claim Conor O’Shea is your typical teaching pro. O’Shea, who was mentored by Sean Foley, teaches out of Piper’s Heath near Milton and has recently created a video series called “WhyGolfTV”. The online video series is all high-concept, part acted mini-series, part reality show using various characters derived from the students O’Shea has taught. O’Shea talked to CanadianGolfer.com about the his show, and what he’s trying to accomplish through his unusual project:
G4G: Explain how you came up with the concept of WhyGolfTV?
The concept evolved from conversations with Chris Stanley who owns of Precision Golf and Taylor Prestidge who runs a start up media company. Both are friends of mine with a passion for golf and telling stories. We ultimately wanted to create something that would reduce the barriers to entry to learning golf as we understand the game itself is changing along with its culture. We see the show as a good vehicle for promoting its change.
G4G: How are you getting the word out and what are you expecting?
Season 1 of the show is done. We have aligned ourselves with some of Chris’ contacts at Microsoft as well as are working closely with an Internet marketing firm out of Waterloo. The show is floating around currently on some blogs and on youtube. But we don’t plan to really launch this thing until our online curriculum and new website are finished, which will be early spring.
G4G: Using actors as students is intriguing, but might some see this as not quite reality?
That’s the best part our characters in the show aren’t actors. As golfers learning the game however they have to dealt with a lot of similar issues. Butter’s lost his way by reading too many golf books and watching too many golf DVDs. His journey back to trusting his instincts is what we all as golfers deal with.
Vicki in real life is learning golf to better position herself for success in the working world. Vicki’s on-camera conversations really hit home with our female pilot audience. Vicki speaks to the emotional struggle for acceptance in the game often a conversation golfers avoid for fear of embrassment.
Aaron is the perfect example of someone golf has historical hasn’t included. However his courage and willingness to try has introduced him to a whole new world.
G4G: You seem to have a unique teaching perspective, how does it manifest itself in this venture?
I’m a product of wonderful mentors Sean Foley being one of them. I think the teaching generation before me was obsessed with branding their self-image and telling the world how smart they were. I believe the old quest for ‘universals’ robbed many students on their own creativity. If me pouring pop on the floor in a convinence store helps one of my students imagine a golf concept, then who cares what my peers think.
G4G: Where do you take the concept?
We want to be a leader in online learning as well as be true to our mission statement (see video 1). We believe the show has the ability to talk to non-golfers and excite them about the game. If things go our way Why Golf will be a hybrid of the Real World, Chappelle Show and Haney Project in season 2. I’m excited.