Director of Instruction/ Teaching Professional
WHY DO I TEACH GOLF? Simply, PEOPLE. I love helping people. I don't just teach to play better, but I truly believe every player can increase their enjoyment of the game. Golf is such a fascinating game that allows us to connect with the people we love and complete strangers in a unique way. I am forever grateful for the people I've met through the game and have built lasting relationships through teaching and coaching.
I also believe golfers get more enjoyment out of building their awareness of their own golf swing. From fundamentals to advanced techniques, different personalities and interactions, my students and I are constantly learning. I believe Professional Instruction benefits the player greatly by utilizing different perspectives to help us achieve our goals.
Youth and Junior instruction is a major passion of mine. The future of our game is very bright! Kids are starting younger and younger. It is simply amazing to see the skills coming from Junior Golfers!
I truly enjoy helping students of all abilities find their maximum enjoyment of the game. Whether you're a beginner, an experienced golfer, or you're maintaining a scratch handicap, I think there is always something more to experience within the game. With over 10,000 hours of instruction experience, I feel like I've developed an evolving perspective on what connects my students to the game.
I am thrilled that SGS calls The Royal Golf Club home! I have been mentored and taught by some of the best instructors in the state and across the country. I feel like these different perspectives have shaped my teaching and coaching philosophies into where they are today, and I am very grateful!
Steve Friedlander, PGA
SGS Lead Instructor/ Teaching Professional
As a PGA Member and Golf Professional since 1975, Steve Friedlander is driven each day to pursue perfection! This is the lesson Steve had drilled into him each day by his parents while growing up in St. Paul’s Midway neighborhood. They continually prompted their son to be the best he could be, at whatever he was doing… everyday!
For the 1971 Cretin High School grad, success came early on the baseball diamond, he earned a scholarship to be a pitcher on the University of St. Thomas baseball team. Before his career aspirations turned to golf, Steve played baseball with St. Paul immortals, Dave and Steve Winfield, Jack Morris and Paul Molitor, who remain his friends today.
Steve says, “When I was a kid we all played golf… whenever we had nothing else to do. When we played, we played at Como, Highland and Phalen. I think it cost about 50 cents a round. During those summers when I caddied at Town and Country, we were allowed to play on Mondays at that beautiful old course.” He had never considered a career in golf until he taught golf as a PE class while earning his masters at Arizona State, where he also served as an assistant coach on the university’s baseball team.
After graduation, Steve returned to Minnesota and took a job as a teaching pro at Mendakota Country Club. From there he moved to Minnesota Valley, Forest Hills and finally took the head pro job at Lost Spur. “From the time I was recruited away from Minnesota to become the Director of Golf at Ventana Canyon in Tucson until today, I have had the privilege of working with some of the finest owners and the world’s best golf properties.”
Steve’s resume includes eight years at Ventana Canyon, three years managing the five courses at Doral (including the famed Blue Monster), as well as Doral’s three sister courses at Grand Traverse Resort in Michigan. Next Herb Kohler, owner of the Kohler Company and several golf courses in the town named after his family, recruited Steve to become general manager of Whistling Straits, and Blackwolf Run as The Straits prepared for the 2004 PGA Championship.
“During the preparation for the Championship, I was with designer Pete Dye every hour he was on the golf course,” Steve states with pride. “I wanted to learn everything I could from one of the best.” In additional to his duties as manager of the Kohler, WI courses, Steve managed, from across the Atlantic Ocean, The Duke’s Golf Course as part of The Old Course Hotel and (Kohler owned properties) in St Andrews, Scotland.
Next, The Irvine Company came calling and convinced Steve to move to Newport Beach, California to manage Pelican Hill Golf Club at the Resort at Pelican Hill. Friedlander worked closely with course designer, Tom Fazio, to “re-perfect” the 36 holes overlooking the Pacific Ocean at Pelican Hill.
He left Pelican Hill after 10 years and worked for Johnny Morris at Big Cedar Lodge managing 5 golf courses for a couple years before he retired to become a Golf Consultant and Teaching Professional when he moved back home to the Twin Cities.
When asked how Friedlander has achieved such success he answers with the message taught by his parents in St. Paul years ago. “Make it better everyday! I worked closely with the owner of each property. I wanted to understand exactly what their vision is for each property. Then, I communicated that vision to each staff member, top to bottom. Each new day we, as a staff, made every effort to improve on the previous day’s perfection.”
Steve has a proven philosophy to successfully help golfers pursue perfection, which he says is a journey that never ends. He believes that any golfer can achieve their own defined success with proper fundamentals and the belief that golf is not a hard game unless you’re trying to be a professional.
Steve believes that there is a swing that works for every golfer and the job of a teacher is to find the best parts of those swings and help them get better. Steve stated, “Golfers want to come to a golf course and have fun. I feel that my job is to provide every golfer with some thoughts that will let them go have fun!”
"The Road To Success is Always Under Construction."
- Arnold Palmer
"The Most Important Shot In Golf Is The Next One."
- Ben Hogan
"Of All The Hazards, Fear Is The Worst"
- Sam Snead