Jet instructor Robert Saleh finds sanctuary in his obsession with golf

Robert Saleh had no concept on the time that he wanted to flee.

He was 29 years previous and dwelling his dream as an assistant coach within the NFL, newly married to his spouse Sanaa, and looks like he is dwelling off his again.

Saleh had no concept what golf may convey him at some point.

Then, a collection of kismet moments—beginning with Sanaa’s urging—convey Saleh into the sport and he is by no means seemed again, a person as hooked on it as many people are.

The one disgrace for Saleh, 43, is that he is so busy proper now – piloting the planes as a second-year coach and persevering with to construct lives for his six kids – that he does not have almost sufficient time to play. Usually as he likes.

NFL coaches have a really small window of unrelated free time between season, registration, free company, OTAs, mini camps, and coaching camp.

The present interval is that one window, between the final mini camp and coaching camp (which begins in two weeks), and match, on a moist summer season day final week, took time to play 18 holes with me at Suburban Golf Membership in Union, NJ

Jets coach Robert Saleh trains to play in front of a round of golf in Union, New Jersey.
Plane teacher Robert Saleh, like many people, is hooked on golf.
Mark Cannizzaro/New York Submit

Positive, we have talked about soccer, we have talked concerning the thrilling low season acquisitions the staff has made, the unknowns about which of those gamers may emerge as superstars, and the important thing ingredient Zach Wilson performs as a full-back in his second and third 12 months of left sort out Mekhi Becton. Gates success.

However we largely talked about golf. What brings him to the sport? Private milestones. One of the best tournaments he is performed. The most important pleasure. How he grew to become so hooked on golf that he grew to become a resident of Golf Digest.

Jets followers, you already know from what I’ve seen in favor of how passionate he’s as a coach and about turning your staff right into a winner.

Saleh can also be obsessed with golf. There have been a number of occasions throughout our tour when Suburban skilled Mark McCormick’s thoughts picked concerning the golf swing.

“Everybody wants a deputy,” Saleh mentioned. “It is a possibility to both get away from all of it, be on the observe alone, or be with individuals you get pleasure from being round. I’ve additionally used it as a possibility to attach with the children. I’ll get the children out of college and take one in all them every single day to go play 9 holes. It is form It is a getaway, it is a interest, and enjoyable, simply one thing I like to do.”

Golf is a legitimate escape.

Being a head coach within the NFL is traumatic. Being the top coach of the Jets, who hasn’t attended the playoffs since 2010 and had their final Tremendous Bowl look in 1969, is much more traumatic.

Jets coach Robert Saleh smiles during rehearsals at the team's training facility in Florham Park, New Jersey, Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
Jets coach Robert Saleh smiles throughout rehearsals on the staff’s coaching facility in Florham Park, New Jersey, in Could.

That is the place these nine-hole late afternoon classes along with his youngsters turn out to be useful to calm the soul.

Saleh didn’t play as a baby rising up outdoors of Detroit. He began the sport when his spouse noticed loads of his friends in coaching enjoying of their spare time and pushed him to hitch them.

Saleh remembers that Sanaa as soon as requested him what different coaches do throughout their spare time, and he mentioned, “Perhaps they play golf.”

“Effectively, why do not you play golf?” I requested.

“And the next week, the final OTA follow, we had a bowling alley with [Texans head coach Gary] Copec and I occurred to attain one of the best outcome among the many coaches.” Due to that, I received a $300 present card for a golf store. My spouse would encourage me to play as a method to join with different coaches and colleagues, so I took that as an indication for me to get into golf. That is how I acquired began in golf. I blame my spouse. ”

Robert Saleh hits his way during a round of golf.
Robert Saleh hits his manner throughout a spherical of golf.
Courtesy of Robert Saleh

Saleh smiled on the final line, as a result of what he is actually doing is thanking his spouse.

Use the $300 present card legitimate to buy a set of Cleveland Golf equipment. Then spend money on some classes.

“The primary lesson I ever had, I acquired pissed off – I could not hit the ball straight – and the professional stopped me and mentioned, ‘Hey Rob, I’ll provide you with your first golf tip: you may by no means be ok to be loopy, so simply benefit from the sport’ . “So, from that day on, it was nearly getting out and having fun with the sport. It is an escape, so if I am taking the time and I am feeling down, I am not having fun with the sport. That is the angle I took with it.”

“The second I hit one flush, it was over for me, I had the bug.”

Saleh, who has a incapacity that hovers round 10 proper now, had a incapacity as little as 6.

“I keep in mind the primary time I broke the 90’s – it was once we had been left in Houston as a defensive again [in 2010]Saleh remembers. “It was the day after we acquired fired and I had nothing to do and I used to be like, ‘I am simply going to go play myself. ”

“I do not keep in mind after I first broke the 80, however I do keep in mind after I broke the 70. I shot the 69.”

It was through the COVID lockdown and he was coaching in San Francisco. He took his eldest son, Adam, to play one afternoon at Almaden Golf and Nation Membership in San Jose.

“I used to be simply going to play 9 holes, however I shot a 34 within the entrance 9 — I used to be on hearth — and I used to be like, ‘You understand? Saleh mentioned. “We took the flip and she or he continued to play properly and shot 69. It was one of the best spherical I ever performed. It was very cool.”

How obsessed is Saleh with golf?

When he was coaching in Houston, Saleh met a man at Arcadia Bluffs Golf Membership in Michigan who was score the programs in Golf Digest, and Saleh wished to hitch immediately.

“I used to be on the brink of play and there was one other man coming off the sector and he acquired all these bag playing cards from very good coaching classes in his bag,” Saleh remembers. “We had a dialog and he instructed me it was a part of the golf course analysis course of. I instructed him I used to be and gave him my card.”

The man helped him get into the method and now Saleh is a part of a score of among the greatest programs within the nation.

Robert Saleh follows a shot of the road as the case looks on with a beacon in the background.
Robert Saleh’s objective is to achieve 1,000 golf programs.
Robert Saleh

“I’ve grow to be very obsessive about golf and course analysis, it has truly helped me within the sport with the belongings you would not know as an informal golfer – the issues they train you to search for like golf course structure, air con, bunker placement, shot values,” he mentioned.

Saleh purchased a bag for every of his kids. In his new house in New Jersey, he has a golf room, the place he homes his golf memorabilia, a Babylon US and Canada hockey desk and a popcorn machine for film evenings with the children.

There may be additionally a rack the place he retains the brand ball from each new spin he performs. As soon as we completed our tour, his first act was to buy a logoed Suburban ball from the professional store for his assortment.

“My objective is to get 1,000 programs,” Saleh mentioned. “I’m in my forties someplace now.”

So what is the subsequent step in golf for a man who’s already performed Pine Valley, Cypress Level, Shinnecock Hills, Nationwide, and quite a lot of the world’s most extremely rated programs and broke 70 whereas enjoying along with his oldest son?

“I simply get pleasure from enjoying,” Saleh mentioned. “I do not actually have a objective.”


“Clearly Augusta can be good,” he continued. “However I really feel like now we have to win right here first to have the ability to do this. Simply being in New York and having the privilege of interacting with followers and season ticket holders… This place goes to go loopy once we flip it over. It’s going to be superior.”

So will his first journey round Amen’s Nook in Augusta Nationwide.

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