Before Barry Goldstein was a renowned golf teacher, he played professionally for five years. However, when he became a single dad to two daughters, he knew he would not have the free time to travel. Looking for a way to make money while having time for his children, Barry attained a real-estate license. Unfortunately, this career was not for him.
“I was the worst real-estate person who ever lived. I had no interest in it. I was just all about golf,” Barry said.
Eventually, a door was opened for Barry to continue in his passion for golf without taking him away from his children. Barry became a golf teacher under the well-known Jimmy Ballard.
“I was a good player, but I wasn’t good enough to make millions on the course. When I saw that and had the opportunity to work for a real golf legend, I jumped on it,” Barry said.
After a year and a half, Ballard told Barry he was now prepared to go solo as a golf teacher. After 20 years as a golf teacher, Barry is now a big name himself. He accredits his success to Ballard.
One fine example of Barry’s success is his daughter and current Louisiana State University golf competitor Carly Rae Goldstein. From winning her first tournament at age 8 to competing in the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship, Barry has coached his daughter every step of the way.
“He’s definitely shaped me into the person I am today. Through golf, I just have a bond with him that’s different than most fathers and daughters. He’s my best friend and through golf, we’ve gotten so much time together,” Carly said.
When Carly left for college, their time together dwindled with her father still back in Florida.
“It was definitely a big adjustment with just being in college in general. Not having your golf coach around is also a big obstacle that I just had to adjust to. It’s a lot easier when you have your coach in your house verses a thousand miles away,” Carly said.
The distance has also been hard on Barry. Although he is proud of his daughter and happy to see her at her dream school, he misses his prize student
“It’s been a huge adjustment for us as father, daughter, teacher, student. I think it’s harder on me than her. I just miss her a ridiculous amount. It’s been a tough adjustment,” Barry said.
Barry and Carly have been through good times as well as bad over the years. Although they have an unshakable bond through golf, they were not immune from disagreements while on the green.
“Of course we had our moments. But I think we had very few. If you asked her, she would probably roll her eyes and say we’ve had our share,” Barry said.
Barry remembers the good times the most. On two special occasions, Carly made him so proud that he could not help but shed a tear. The first time was when Carly won a world championship at the age of 11 and ran straight into his arms.
“She jumped right on top of me and said, ‘We did it dad,’” Barry said.
Years down the road, Barry was proud once again when Carly won the Florida State High School Championship.
“She played just absolutely beautifully. When she came off the green, we had a good two-minute hug, and she was thanking me for what I had done for her,” Barry said.
Moments like this is why Barry loves what he does. Leaving behind professional golf to be a teacher was a decision that has paid off. Through Carly, he is able to relive those days that he once missed.
“I missed it until my daughter became a great player,” Barry said. “When I caddy for her and she’s winning all these huge tournaments, it’s the same feeling as when I was playing.”
Barry has coached various ages from as young as 5 years old to as old as 90. However, nothing has been as rewarding as coaching his own daughter.
“My whole heart is into it. It’s so much more than being her golf teacher. I feel like I am her golf teacher, her psychologist, her best friend, her everything,” Barry said.
Barry still puts effort when teaching any of his clients. He believes he would not be happier in any other profession.
“I’ve been really lucky and been picked by all these magazines as one of the top teachers in the country. Deep down I just really like what I do… I like helping people reach their goals whether it’s to get a college scholarship or play professional golf,” Barry said.