Teaching gig teaches Allenby about himself


NAPA, Calif. – After a third straight missed cut ended his 2013-14 campaign at The Barclays, Robert Allenby was left with some time on his hands before the new season began.

He opted for an unconventional activity to pass the offseason, but the choice has helped the Aussie contend at the Frys.com Open in his first event back.

With his 15-year-old son, Harry, vying for a spot on his high school golf team in Florida, Allenby put his own clubs to the side and pitched in by taking on the role of assistant coach.

“I coached 35-40 kids for about six weeks, for three hours Monday to Thursday,” he said. “I watched them all play and kind of became an assistant coach for the school.”

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While the role allowed him to spend some extra time with his son, it also gave the 43-year-old a chance to reflect on his own game and identify ways to improve.

“As I’m teaching them, I was like, ‘Why aren’t I doing the same stuff?’” he said. “I’d go and practice for three or four hours the next day, after working out or running or whatever trying to get into shape, and finally I was like, ‘I’m going to start working on what I’ve been telling these kids.’ And that’s all I’ve been working on, and my swing has just slowly been coming around.”

The proof is in the performance this week at Silverado, as Allenby moved into a tie for 11th with a third-round 66 as he looks for his first top-10 finish since the 2013 FedEx St. Jude Classic. Much of the credit for the turnaround, he explained, goes to his former pupils.

“I was doing something that I loved, and it just made me relax,” he said. “These kids that I’ve been helping have just been a great bunch of kids to deal with.”