On a normal Wednesday in March, Conrad Shindler would be preparing for a Korn Ferry Tour event.
These days, normal seems like a foreign concept.
The coronavirus outbreak has forced the cancellation and postponement of professional tournaments and major championships around the world. Six of the next eight Korn Ferry Tour events have been canceled, with two postponed to a later date.
So what was Shindler doing awake at 6 a.m. on an off day? He was working.
Without the tour, Shindler needs an income. So the 31-year-old hopped on Twitter on Tuesday night and threw out an offer: $20 golf lessons via video.
I’ll be offering golf lessons via phone video for $20 if anyone is interested. I’ll give you a 5 minute video on what I think you could improve on and some helpful tips and drills. DM me if you’re interested!— Conrad Shindler (@CShindlerGolf) March 18, 2020
“I’ve probably had about 20-25 people go through and send a Venmo in,” said Shindler on Wednesday morning, 12 hours after the tweet. “I’ve got them lined up and I’ve written them all down. I’m going to start watching some swings here later this afternoon and get the videos cranking.”
Shindler’s first lesson was just 10 hours after his initial tweet. He helped his first client with his hands and alignment, and gave a few tips on how to make more consistent contact.
“I watched the video and then I set my iPad on the kitchen counter, and I’m there telling them what I want to see them do and feel in the different drills,” explained Shindler. “I’m showing them how to do the drill and I’ll send it back. I want them to visually see what I’m trying to get them to do.”
After the lesson, Shindler jumped on a workout bike for 45 minutes “so my wife won’t get mad at me,” and then it was off to the golf course. The winner of the 2017 Rex Hospital Open has three courses near his home in Dallas where he’s still able to play: Vaquero Club, the Lakes at Castle Hills and Colonial.
Without tournament golf, @KornFerryTour pro @CShindlerGolf is offering $20 video lessons. He let me share a snippet of his first one so you can see what you’re getting. $20 well worth it!
Story: https://t.co/y6xLiTxwNe pic.twitter.com/URTZDIUoUc
While on his way to play with some fellow members at Vaquero, the member of Texas A&M’s 2009 national title team reflected on what has been a wild few weeks for the golf world.
“It’s definitely a lot to wrap your head around,” he said. “You go from moving into the main stretch of the Korn Ferry Tour season, planning everything out, getting ready to hit the road, getting your final preparations underway and then you see the coronavirus move into the United States.”
“I personally overlooked it. I didn’t think it was going to be a huge impact,” admitted Shindler. “When we first made the decision to play tournaments without fans you kind of felt like something else was still coming. When they actually do start postponing and canceling events its just a experience you’ve never been apart of.”
In various group chats, texts and calls with other players, Shindler explained the mood among professionals as more eerie than somber.
“This is nothing we’ve ever experienced before,” said Shindler. “All we know is tournament golf, playing with each other and spending time together on the road. It’s an ever-evolving golf world we’re in, and it’s not just our world, it’s everybody’s. We’re adapting on the fly.”
As for what’s next, Shindler knows as much as we all do. Instead of worrying and fretting about a contingency plan if he can’t play or practice, he’s taking it day-by-day, hoping for the best and having fun with his lessons.
“It’s a joy for me,” Shindler said of his lessons and the positive response he’s received on social media. “I figured let’s give it a whirl. It’s exciting for me because I like to make anybody better at golf. I like to help people in this game. It’s done so much for me so to be able to help other players, and they’re helping me, it’s a nice tradeoff.”