Jessica Dailleboust is the only member of her family who played golf at the collegiate level, but none of them are strangers to the game. “It is in my blood,” she says. “My father started [teaching me and my siblings] at a young age.” She picked up the game quickly and started to actively compete at the age of 8. While both her father and brother still play recreationally, Dailleboust has been lucky enough to turn her passion into a career.
A quarter Navajo, Comanche, Ottawa and Mohawk, Jessica Dailleboust, a registered Comanche, is an Assistant Golf Professional at Talking Stick Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, which is owned by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. She has been a LPGA instructor for almost five years and has been with Talking Stick for a little over a year. With fellow golf instructor, Jason Montoya, Dailleboust coaches monthly Native-only instructional sessions at Talking Stick.
Even though she showed her talent for the game early on, her parents pushed her to pursue schooling. In 2008, she received her Bachelor’s in Sociology from the University of New Mexico and, two years later, a Masters in Business Administration and Management from Western New Mexico. You might say that she’s not using her education now, but she’d disagree: she says her knowledge of sociology informs how she coaches her students and her business management skills will help her achieve her professional dream: her own teaching facility.
Dailleboust grew up in bustling life of the urban city, but she still has roots to her Native heritage, and her grandfather, Navajo Leader Peter MacDonald, plays a large role in her life. “What inspires me about [him] is when I’m watching him during those speaking engagements and I look around the room. The way people admire him and are engaged in what he is saying is incredible to see.”
Dailleboust tries to inspire all her student; she coaches men, women and children of all ages. Through coaching, she can connect to everyone and share her zeal for golfing with people of every skill level.
However, in this modern age, Dailleboust is also tapping technology to her advantage. She uses apps to enhance her students' experience, particularly the V1 app, which uses the camera function on a phone to record your swing while analyzing and comparing it to swings in the V1’s archive of tour professionals.
Although Dailleboust finds the V1 app helpful, she has discovered limitations. During her employment at the PGA Tour Superstore in Palo Alto, California, she was able to use cameras for front and side views of her student’s swings. She would then use those videos to show what was happening that the students couldn’t see. She knows this is a crucial learning tool, because students often don’t really understand what their bodies are doing once they are in motion.
Dailleboust hopes to create a new app and break through those limitations in V1; she envisions an app that will be interactive through both image and audio recording, while also being able to send files directly to other devices or platforms. She says this is important for learning, and for making sure a player is using the proper equipment.“Technology in golf has come a very long way in club-making. Whether a beginner or a more advanced player, it’s important that they are playing with equipment tailored for their height and swing needs.”
Dailleboust is also looking at coaching golfing from another side, focusing on its social element. After learning that a large group of women were interested in being taught together at a beginning level, Dailleboust began creating what she calls her “ladies group.” The session begins with a short instructional clinic in which women of all ages and skill levels are steered toward a modified (depending on experience), six-hole course. Afterw completing that truncated round, all the women are served cocktails and given both time and space for a bit of socializing, what Dailleboust hopes will create “a social networking kind of feeling.”
There is no name for this “ladies group” approach yet, but Dailleboust hopes that it will spark the interest of women who are looking to get back into the swing. She sees that women are often intimidated by the game, so she is hoping to create a fun environment for them.
Dailleboust has started integrating her idea with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, hoping to bring in more players, and inspire more people to love golf.