I was born and raised in Jackson Heights, New York (a.k.a. Queens). I lived one block from the 7-Train in a six-story apartment building, and the closest thing to green space was St. Joan of Arc's L-shaped asphalt parking lot. AND, no one in my family had ever played golf. I was a first-generation city girl whose chances of ever being exposed to golf were slim-to-none.
Yet, five subway stops away, when I was eight years old, my parents stumbled on "Pitch & Putt" in Flushing Meadows Park. We spent the next two years swinging in the shadow of Shea Stadium before ever stepping foot on a "real" course. When we did, we were hooked for good.
Self taught primarily until age 15, I played and won junior golf events locally and regionally. As luck would have it, I met an amazing PGA Professional named Frank Darby whose encouragement and mentorship helped me earn a college golf scholarship to James Madison. I graduated in 2002 with a B.S. in Marketing, a continued passion for golf, and a strong desire to work in the industry.
I worked for American Golf Corporation, in management, but along the way I was roped into some teaching by Steve Loesher, PGA Director of Instruction at one of the properties and loved it. I became a PGA Class A Member in 2006 while working at International Country Club in Fairfax, Virginia. In 2010, I opened the Larkin Golf Learning Community at Stonewall Golf Club in Gainesville, Virginia where business grew, I added staff, and earned accolades as 2012 MAPGA Teacher of the Year and one of Golf Digest's "Best Young Teachers."
In 2016 I became the first Director of Instruction at The Club at Creighton Farms in Aldie, Virignia and I wrote my first book, "A True Swing." I started my journey on social media (which has grown tremendously!) and gained attention from many media outlets these last few years. Check out more here!
In 2020 I expanded my footprint and joined an amazing team of coaches with GolfFanatics.com to offer exclusive instructional content and destination golf schools. It has been great collaborating and traveling with this crew and meeting students all over the country!
Another first for me happened in May, 2021 when I attended my first PGA Tour event, as a Coach! My player, Larkin Gross (no relation) qualified for the PGA Championship at Kiawah. After an amazing 2 seasons, he earned the 2022 "PGA Professional National Player of the Year" Award! ... I can't wait to see where he goes next along with several other competitive college bound juniors I have recently had the privilege of working with. Learn more about some of my standout students here.
December 2021, The Stable (state of the art Learning Center at Creighton Farms) opened! What a game changer that has been for coaching throughout the year in Virginia. Since then even more blessings have found me. I was hired as one of Golf Digest's "teaching staff" as a regular contributor and was voted by my peers as one of the "Golf Digest Top50 Teachers in America" (#46) and #1 again in the state of Virginia since 2014! I'm so honored and thrilled to be in the company of so many great coaches and to continue to do what I love everyday at an amazing home base. All of this makes me want to work even harder and see how else I can continue to grow!
With a lot of heart, a little talent and a few kind people along the way, I am excited at how far I've come and where I am going. At 42 years old, I still have a lot of goals and time ahead of me to impact the audience I hope to reach... more golfers like you!
Erika Zwetkow Larkin, PGA