Oct. 4, 2012
Watch Coach Goss' Acceptance Speech
GLENVIEW, Ill. -- Pat Goss, the men's head coach and director of golf at Northwestern University, has been named the 27th recipient of the Illinois PGA Teacher of the Year Award. Since 1986, the Illinois PGA Teacher of the Year Award has honored outstanding teachers of golf among the PGA of America membership.
Goss will be honored along with all 2012 Illinois PGA Award winners at the Illinois PGA Special Awards Reception on Thursday, Nov. 15, at Medinah (Ill.) Country Club.
Goss, 42, who earned his PGA membership in 1997, has been the head coach of the Wildcats for the past 17 seasons and serves as the swing coach for PGA Tour Professional Luke Donald, who played under Goss at Northwestern from 1997-2001.
Goss picked up the game of golf when he was seven years old. He would hit his father's 7-iron in the family's yard for hours on end. The next summer, his parents signed him up for a junior golf program at Twin Towns Golf Course in Crystal Lake, Ill. His parents would drop him off at the course where juniors were allowed to play nine holes for one dollar - a deal Goss took full advantage of.
Had it not been for a kidney defect, however, Goss may have never gotten into golf as seriously as he did. He was prohibited from playing contact sports at the age of 12 due to kidney surgery, which turned his focus to golf. From the age of 12, Goss admitted he was a "24/7 golfer." He said he still keeps with him today a paper that he wrote in 8th grade explaining he wanted to be a golf teacher.
As he got older, he began playing golf at Crystal Woods Golf Course in Woodstock, Ill. He noted that the Craig family, who owned the course, was very generous in letting him and other juniors utilize their facility.
Goss attended Crystal Lake Central High School and competed on the golf team for four years, while taking lessons from and working for Jay Anderson, who was the PGA head golf professional at Crystal Lake (Ill.) Country Club. Anderson, who played collegiate golf at Marshall University, was very influential in helping Goss choose Marshall for college as well.
The summer following his freshman year at Marshall, Goss started taking lessons from Dr. Jim Suttie at Medinah (Ill.) Country Club. With the help of Suttie, Goss' game saw gradual improvement, allowing him to seek out other playing opportunities at a school more fit for his liking.
Goss completed his college career at Northwestern in 1992 and graduated with a degree in economics. He played for two seasons under head coach Jeff Mory, who Goss listed as one of his biggest influences within the game. Mory did not have an assistant, but was able to get enough funding to hire an assistant coach. He approached Goss in the fall after he graduated and he's been there ever since.
In 1996, Mory left his position to become the head golf professional at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Ill., so Goss stepped in as the interim head coach after serving as an assistant for five seasons.
Goss knew that Donald was a huge get for the program, so much so that he gave him a spot in the team's first event before he ever set foot on the Evanston campus.
Donald achieved instant success and had a record-breaking career at Northwestern in his four years there. With Goss at the helm, Donald became a 4-time All-American, including three first-team All-America selections. He won the NCAA Championship in his sophomore year in 1999 and was named National Player of the Year. Goss still serves as Donald's swing coach to this day and admits it has been an experience that has benefited both parties.
Goss couldn't pinpoint his greatest accomplishment to date, but said that seeing his players make progress and utilize the strategies he's instilled in them is rewarding enough.
Goss and his wife, Lindy, live in Evanston, Ill., and are the parents of daughters Allison, Claire and Madeline.
This release is courtesy of the Illinois PGA.
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