More than a Game

Rick Shiels
Absolutely fell in love with teaching golf

Rick Shiels

Rick Shiels

One might think the PGA Tour or maybe The Open might have the biggest YouTube channel in golf, but far from it. With almost three million subscribers, Rick Shiels is the undisputed king of YouTube golf.

An incredible feat for someone who did not pick up a golf club until the age of 11. But young Rick loved the game almost instantly, and the ongoing Tiger Woods hype of those times did the rest. But having started so late, Rick quickly realised that becoming a tour pro was no realistic option for him.

“From 11-16, I played junior golf, then went to Golf College in Preston, did two years there. Even at 16 years old, I realised that I was nowhere near the best player, even in a group of 30 students. So I started to look at other options. I turned professional at the age of 18 with a handicap of 3. I got a job at The Mere GC in Knutsford and thought that being a club professional or a teaching professional could maybe be the way forward for me. I did consider delaying doing my PGA qualification."
Working with one of his fellow club pros who specialised in teaching beginners, he saw the satisfaction successful teaching lessons meant not only for the golfing novices but also for the teacher. "I absolutely fell in love with it. I was coaching kids, beginners, more established golfers. So, for two or three years, I got my head down and built a very loyal and fairly large clientele. I went out to coach at schools and recruited kids from there who took up the game and came to join the golf academy."
Rick started to work as a full-time teaching professional at the Trafford Golf Center in 2011, one of the biggest driving ranges in the UK, and realised that all his clients came from a 10-mile radius around Manchester. “At the time YouTube was becoming popular, I was an avid YouTube fan, as a young man working anti-social hours I relied a lot on YouTube as the source of my entertainment. I thought, 'hang on a minute, I could maybe try this'. I came out of school with two qualifications - PE (physical education/sport) and drama and I somehow turned that into a job! I set up a camera, I didn’t know anything about videography or editing or anything but I had an iPhone and I knew there was a way of telling the world what I did as a coach. So, I started making videos, simple tips, nothing too crazy."

Over the next couple of years, those humble beginnings turned into a golfing media juggernaut. In June 2020, he became the first golf content creator to crack the one million subscriber benchmark and widened his appeal by not only posting teaching videos but also club tests, destination films, and golf rounds with celebrities like Robbie Williams or former Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond.

Today, Rick Shiels' media empire boasts an impressive audience of more than 5.8 million across all platforms, receiving 50 million views per month. In his talk show/podcast format "The Rick Shiels Show," he interviews a wide variety of guests from the golfing world like Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup legends Sir Nick Faldo and Annika Sörenstam but also current stars of the game like Tommy Fleetwood, Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia, Bryson DeChambeau, Viktor Hovland, Ian Poulter, or Adam Scott.
But despite this immense worldwide success, Rick is still a teaching pro at heart who loves to pass his knowledge of the game and the golf swing on to others, whose favourite tip appeals to golfers of all ability levels: "I feel like too many players don’t monitor strike enough, it’s essential. I think too many golfers try to get into these textbook perfect positions and they forget where the club hits the ball. You don’t have to have the perfect golf swing to hit the ball properly. Evaluating strike, many golfers would see a big improvement."

ECCO GOLF and Rick Shiels share a mutual appreciation of each other's expertise, skills and passion in Golf. The launch of the exclusive Rick Shiels ECCO BIOM C4 is testament to that.

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