Below are some questions that I am generally asked about me and my approach to teaching. If you have other questions, please feel free to
A: My dream was to play on the PGA Tour. As a kid I had great feel on and around the greens but my full swing was a weak fade. I knew I needed improvements and I sought out to find the best instruction possible. Enter Hank Haney. I took lessons from Hank for the next seven years and I played professionally for two of those years but I had to stop due to a torn tendon in my left wrist. So, I began teaching as a way to still work on my game while my wrist healed. That was in 1998.
A: There is great satisfaction in helping people enjoy a game that can be so frustrating. To be a little part of making someone feel better is nice. I especially enjoy helping other teachers with their teaching. I had help with my teaching and it is a way to give back to the game that I enjoy.
A: Hank Haney was recommended to me by my Head Pro who was a great player and Mark O'Meara's college roommate. I had a few other guys in mind but I researched all I could on his thoughts about the golf swing by reading his articles so that I could be confident in choosing him as my teacher. People don't investigate teachers enough in my opinion. Hank was by far the most logical person I had ever been around.
A: Two ways really. First, you have to educate yourself by reading and preferably watching great teachers teach. Second, you have to teach a lot to see what works and what doesn't so you have a full understanding of the golf swing. Always be open to new ideas and the how and why it works. Ultimately, you are trying to improve ball flight not make a swing pretty.
A: The better a student is with what swing they have, the less need there is for change. I only make changes based on ball flight not some method just to have a pretty swing. It is all about lower scores, i.e. results. I mean Jim Furyk is pretty good with what he does. I want to improve a person's weaknesses and help them understand what causes their misses so they can help themselves hit better shots immediately if they are not playing their best.
A: When teaching better players, my goal is to help them shoot lower scores. That means, helping them improve their ability to hit better shots and also to keep from throwing away shots by poor thinking, strategy, etc. For example: If I make a tour player's mechanics one shot better and 1/2 a shot or more better mentally, then over four days that's a six shot improvement. It's always about lower scores and increased consistency. And it all starts with a plan.
I do have students that fly me in to their club, but if you can't do that then we can do a video lesson. Just send me a video of your swing either by email or regular mail and I'll watch it and demonstrate as I voice over the motions and send it back. I actually do this a fair bit for my students that live out of state and can't see me regularly.
A: No, you should get fit first and find out if golf is something you will like. This will save you money and you really only need one club to learn the fundamentals. If your clubs don't fit (length and lie), you’ll have to sacrifice your posture to hit the ball. To be your best, your clubs need to fit you with good posture.
A: Sure. I teach anybody with a good attitude that wants to learn and improve. Good teaching at an early stage is so advantageous for a player's future ability. It doesn't mean we are immediately making a champion but laying the foundation to later build a champion when a player is ready to pursue the next level.
A: Improving lag putting and eliminating penalty shots. I always ask my junior golfers what they shot minus the 3 putts and penalty shots, that's what we could have shot. Course management can help both of these. It is amazing how many shots young players needlessly throw away.
That is a great question. Most students slice and want to know how to fix a slice. One of the components that attributes to slicing is too much tension. Golfers by and large grip the club too tightly which tenses the muscles and tends to cup the wrist, slows down the arms, and hinders the release of the club which can lead to anything from a top to a slice. See my article on How to Fix a Slice.