HARTFORD, Conn. – One of the most comprehensive and technologically advanced golf improvement programming has been added in the state’s Capital City.
The Connecticut Section PGA introduced Northeast Performance Institute as the golf instruction and teach service providers for Keney Park Golf Course. NPI and its team of coaches, physical therapists and mindset professionals provide a comprehensive development environment with a pathway to enjoy golf for life.
NPI began in October under owner Peter Egazarian of Portland, a TrackMan Master, Titleist Performance Institute Certified and PGA of America professional golf coach. It has nine coaches, a physical therapy team and a mental coach whose mission is to provide a progressive and inclusive player development environment for all ages and genders to accomplish their goals. Services include PGA professional coaching, mental coaching, physical therapy, training professionals with premier club fitting provided by Chris Cote’s Golf Shop, which also operates facilities in Portland and Southington.
NPI is an expansion of a business that Egarzarian owned in Massachusetts that has provided Western Massachusetts and northern Connecticut with year-round coaching for the past six years. He has been collaborating with his current physical therapy and mindset coaching team for the past three years, and all of the resources have been pulled together under the NPI umbrella.
“The business was started to bring a comprehensive development experience that is normally only available to the top private clubs or players to all players,” Egarzarian said. “We seek to serve players of all ages, gender, race and ability to cultivate a truly inclusive development environment.”
Egarzarian, a native of Berlin, started in junior golf coaching in 2001 under Gary Reynolds at Hartford Golf Club. In 2004, he began as a professional under Ron Beck, then the pro at Fox Hopyard GC in East Haddam and now the Director of Golf Coaching at the facility in Portland. He first started offering comprehensive coaching programs in 2011 in Dover, N.H., where he met Ryan George, the former assistant fitness director for the NFL’s Chicago Bears who happened to live and train locally. They collaborated for two more years before Egarzarian moved to the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts, where he met accomplished physical therapist Robin Dufour in Williamstown at the Berkshire Fitness Company. They collaborated for Egarzarian’s four years at Taconic Golf Club, where the concept of NPI began to grow into what it is today.
The Titleist Performance Institute is based out of Carlsbad, Calif., and trains golf coaches, athletic trainers and medical doctors on how to assess and accommodate the physical abilities of each person’s characteristics. Egarzarian completed TPI’s level 1 certification in 2012 and progressed through all three levels of the Junior certification and two of the three levels of its golf coach certification. He holds 14 advanced professional affiliations and teaching certifications that include previous listed qualifications.
Egarzarian said the strength of the program is the quality of its professionals, who include mostly current or retired Connecticut Section PGA members. The new Keney Park program staff will be Egarzarian, Section PGA Hall of Fame member and former PGA Tour Champions player Dennis Coscina, PGA member Evan Lambert, who previously worked at Hartford GC, and a part-time coach to be named. Beck, Coscina and Lambert also will be working in Portland with Ryan Quinn, a PGA pro from Clinton, and Dick Bierkan, the longtime pro at Lyman Orchards GC in Middlefield. The Southington facility will be manned by former Watertown GC pro Ian Marshall and Kyle Gallo, a former All-American at Central Connecticut State University and four-time Connecticut Open champion who played on what is now the Korn Ferry Tour.
Jennifer Fritts, a Doctor of Physical Therapy at Integrated Rehab Services of Vernon, heads the wellness team that will have two members this year and grow as demand increases. The mental coach is Katina Steady of Steadfast Performance Consulting who previously worked in resilience and performance training with the Army and works with many athletes and companies.
While the Portland facility was being built in the fall and winter, the program was being taught out of Chris Cote’s Golf Shop and Virtual Golf. The Southington location is the former Golf Quest, and NPI has been coaching there indoors since Chris Cote purchased the facility and business in November. Eight coaches worked there until the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the facility. Egarzarian and his staff are now moving through safety protocols for the coaches and players, following the guidance of the Center for Disease Control and other science-based agencies. These policies will continually be communicated to the players and coaches, and the program will resume when it’s safe.
The three facilities will offer fun and safe youth programming and private coaching, and adults will be provided an opportunity to take private lessons, enroll in coaching programs or free beginner classes. Besides lesson packages, NPI will offer one-day events focusing on the physical, mental and conceptual aspects of the game to further guide a player’s development.
“This partnership and program will be great for golf in Hartford and the surrounding communities,” Section PGA executive director Tom Hantke said. “It’s a new project or new twist on PGA professionals in the business.”
The Section has been a business consultant at Keney Park, which underwent $10 million in restorations and renovations, and Goodwin Park Golf Course in Hartford, which had $1 million in upgrades, since March 2014. The relationship was the first of its kind between a municipality and one of the PGA of America’s 41 sections nationwide. The courses have hosted the Hartford Women’s Open for its first six years, and Keney Park has also been the site of the Connecticut PGA Championship and the 2019 PGA of America Boys and Girls Junior PGA Championships. Besides use of the practice facility, NPI will have limited access to the Keney Park course for playing sessions and PGA Junior League matches.
While waiting to resume activities, NPI has been doing periodic podcasts and will have two episodes per week moving forward with people in various areas. To participate in the podcast, visit https://www.gonpi.org/npi-podcast.