PGA master Professional Candidate

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Location: Dorado, Puerto Rico

President of the PGA Island Chapter

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Approved Project



JUNE 19-20, 2008


Current Teaching Position…………………………………………………………….. 4
Facility………………………………………………………………………………… 5
Teaching Philosophy…………………………………………………………………. 14
Teaching Mission…………………………………………………………………….. 20
Forward on Golf and Golf Instruction……………………………………………….. 20
Swing Model…………………………………………………………………………. 23
Golf Biomechanics…………………………………………………………………… 27
Club Fitting…………………………………………………………………………... 31
Popular Modern Swing Models……………………………………………………… 33
Lesson Structure……………………………………………………………………… 37
Learning Styles………………………………………………………………………. 50
Teaching Tools/Aids…………………………………………………………………. 55
Evaluation Methods………………………………………………………………….. 63
Communication……………………………………………………………………… 69
Marketing and Promotion……………………………………………………………. 71
Nutrition……………………………………………………………………………… 71
Golf Fitness………………………………………………………………………….. 75
Mental Game………………………………………………………………………… 78
Coaching/Long-Term Player Development…………………………………………. 80
Growth of the Game…………………………………………………………………. 89
Technology…………………………………………………………………………... 90
Best Practices………………………………………………………………………… 91
Dorado del Mar Performance Review……………………………………………….. 94
My Ping Web Fit…………………………………………………………………….. 101
2008 Ping Color Code Chart………………………………………………………… 102
Lesson Advertisement “Caribbean Golf Magazine”………………………………… 103
Hole in One Golf Magazine, Are you Ready?............................................................. 104
Leadership Planning Worksheet…………………………………………………….. 105
May Free Golf Lesson Month………………………………………………………. 108
Dorado del Mar Night Range……………………………………………………….. 109
Hole in One Golf New Profile, Aaron West………………………………………... 110
Current lesson brochure…………………………………………………………….. 111
Dorado Beach lesson flyers………………………………………………………… 113
Dorado beach lesson brochure……………………………………………………… 115
Tip of the Week…………………………………………………………………….. 117
Do you Slice?............................................................................................................. 121
2006 Chapter Awards……………………………………………………………… 124
Member’s lounge menu advertisement……………………………………………. 125
Aruba Pro-Am Newspaper Article………………………………………………… 126
Puerto Rico Sports Magazine……………………………………………………… 128
Aaron West with Natalie Gulbis…………………………………………………… 132
Aaron West with Oscar De La Hoya………………………………………………. 133
Aaron R. West Professional Resume……………………………………………… 134
Bibliography……………………………………………………………………… 137
General Management and Retail Certification letter…………………………….. 148
Playing Ability Test Examiner letter……………………………………………... 149
2005 Puerto Rico Open Letter……………………………………………………. 150
Section Award Finalist Letter 2006……………………………………………… 151
PGA President’s Council Letters………………………………………………….. 152
Current Teaching Position
My current teaching position is as Director of Golf (A-4) at Dorado del Mar Golf Club (DDMGC) in Dorado, Puerto Rico, 00646-2339. The site was designed by Chi Chi Rodriguez in 1998 and has 174 hotel rooms (Embassy Suites), 250 members and a healthy local play tee sheet.
I give approximately 400 golf lessons per year and am one of three full time employees who teach golf on a regular basis. My direct supervisor Viola Cortes (General Manager) recently left and I have also taken over the duties of General Manager. Golf instruction takes up approximately 20% of my work day. We have an 18-hole golf course where water comes into play on 14 holes. We play approximately 28,000 golf rounds per year. We regularly host corporate, charity and P.R.G.A. tournaments. Across the street we have a four golf course complex Dorado Beach and the Plantation Club. The Plantation Club at Dorado Beach has two championship golf courses called the Pineapple (pina) and the Sugarcane (cana de azucar) and Dorado Beach which has two golf courses, the East course and the West course. I was most recently employed at the Dorado Beach courses as head professional and left after the club transitioned to a management company. The Plantation Club (36 holes) currently employs two full time golf professionals. The head professional, Robert Birtel, spends approximately 25% of his time working in the area of instruction and the assistant professional carries the overflow (very minimal). The Dorado Beach club has an active lesson business and I won the Island Chapter teacher of the year 2005 and 2006 working at the facility.
The driving range and practice area at Dorado del Mar Golf Club (DDMGC) is relatively small by modern standards. It includes a grass hitting area approximately 60 yards long and 80 yards wide, with a set of 24 mats at the back edge. It can hold 24 hitting spaces comfortably. There is a 3,000 square foot putting green but currently no chipping green or practice bunker.
My teaching business has evolved over the first five years of service in Puerto Rico. The professional staff at Dorado Beach shrunk from six golf professionals during the high season when I arrived in 2003, down to the current four who work at the 72 holes of Dorado Beach and the Plantation Club. The area of Dorado has also lost seven hundred and sixty four hotel rooms since my arrival. In July of 2003 the Hyatt Regency Cerromar Beach closed the doors on its 502 hotel rooms sighting economic viability of the aging property. Also, on May 31st 2006 the historic Dorado Beach property closed its 262 seaside rooms. Currently there are 90 timeshare units in the Hacienda del Mar Hyatt vacation club on property, and the plans are to demolish and rebuild the Cerromar hotel. The final plans for the original Dorado Beach property have yet to be finalized, but a more residential concept has been proposed and a small boutique hotel if constructed would be well into the future for the property.
In the past in the area of Dorado, the golf professional staff could sit idly back and wait for the hotel guests to call the golf shop and schedule lesson after lesson with the staff. The market however, has obviously changed in Dorado, as well as, in Puerto Rico where 108 golf holes have been added in the past 5 years and three standalone practice ranges have popped up. Four new golf retail facilities have been added to the Island in the past five years, Center Court Sports, Golf USA, Pro Golf and Golf Etc., three of the four employing golf teaching professional at those sites. There is a plan for the David Leadbetter Golf Academy to have an operation in Carolina, Puerto Rico in late 2008. The Rio Bayamon practice range recently opened a nine-hole golf course, the city of Vega Baja has an 18-hole facility in its plans, the city of San Juan held the grand opening of their practice range/golf course on their former dump-site on July 9th, 2007, the lazy beach town of Isabela (North-West coast) has plans for a high end facility and an existing golf course that has laid dormant for two years Cayo Largo has recently been purchased and scheduled to open in early 2009. Puerto Rico was the host for the 2004 World Amateur, a Tour de Las Americas (Latin American) tour event in 2005 (Puerto Rico Open), and the PGA tour will grace our shores, hosting the Puerto Rico Open presented by Banco Popular in March, 2008 at Coco Beach CC opposite a World Golf Championship event.
All of these expansions, reductions, and changes have had a direct and indirect effect on my personal teaching business. Maintaining business has required more promotion, price sensitivity and cross-marketing techniques. My current business is 40% members, 10% San Juan hotel guests, 20% Embassy Suites guests and 30% local Puerto Rican people who are not members of the Dorado del Mar Golf Club properties. A far cry from 80% hotel guest, 20% member lessons of just a few short years ago. This requires constant exposure in a variety of publications and media outlets. A raise in the quality of the average golf lesson to include teaching aids, video and computer assisted lessons not common in Puerto Rico as little as five years ago. (See appendix I for example of golf teaching advertisement)
I teach 20% junior golfers, 20% tournament players and 60% beginner to intermediate adults trying to get into the game, or improve their game mostly for yearly corporate events, or their weekend games at the club. I have a weekly ladies clinic Friday mornings from 10-11 a.m. summer junior camps from 9-11 a.m. from March-October and four summer vacation style week long junior camps that help approximately 120 kids per year develop enjoyment for the game of golf. There is also a Wednesday afternoon short game clinic popular with the beginner and a senior clinic on Sunday afternoons that has yet to be a roaring success.

The facility at Dorado del Mar GC is in a transition faze. The property has recently made a conscious decision to become more exclusive. This change includes a redesign of the 51 bunker complexes, a purchase of a new golf car fleet and maintenance equipment fleet, as well as, many other expensive but necessary upgrades to the facility. Currently, I have a lesson scheduling book inside our golf shop which may only be accessed by telephone, e-mail, or in-person. The golf professional and golf shop staff are the only ones with authorization to access this information and schedule golf lessons. Information taken includes, full name, club member number, room number, or credit card number, telephone number and e-mail address if available. Spaces are divided into half-hour segments and run from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. seven days a week. The lesson pages are made up by me in Microsoft Office bi-monthly and the information is saved after the lesson in a desk top computer in my office.
The agreement between the golf professionals and the operation is, the golf professional is available for golf lessons during regularly scheduled work hours (7:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.), 5 days per week. The lesson book is blocked off for tournaments, meeting, or events that would prohibit the golf professional from devoting time to teaching. The golf professional may give lessons on their days off. The golf professional receives 70% of lesson income and Dorado del Mar Golf Club receives 30% and removes taxes and any other applicable fees. All check and cash lessons are to be reported to the IRS on yearly tax forms. The golf professional must purchase their own teaching aids and supplies to give the guest the best possible PGA golf lesson. Currently the business model and organizational chart for the golf teaching business of Dorado del Mar Golf Club is simple, Aaron West, teaching professional, Director of Golf PGA A-4, and Jose Rodriguez assistant golf professional and Mario Rivera assistant golf professional.
However, the key to running a successful overall golf teaching operation in an environment without available, qualified PGA assistant professionals and apprentices is leadership. The three main factors that apply to effective leadership within a teaching team include establishing a firm direction, building relationships and directing the effort. When establishing a firm direction with the assistant professionals it is important that we maintain a clear vision. Accomplishment of teaching business goals is impossible without the commitment of Jose and Mario to the vision. In order to obtain commitment I have made sure that I provide clear expectations, solicit questions, overcome objections, as well as, ask for and expect full support from my two subordinates. I always do everything I can to establish a positive culture which transfers into the teacher student relationship. It is also very important to be very decisive with the methods and ways myself and my assistants run the teaching business. I make sure to use any power I have positively. Using positive reinforcements involves using praise and reward. It occurs when one is able to reinforce decisions and opinions based on expertise, support references and information, or endorsements of others who are respected. The fact that I am a PGA professional, as well as, a certified PGA professional in instruction, goes a long way to prove my expertise in teaching golf. I also use widely respected golf publications and my position as the Island Chapter President to reinforce my lessons with my assistants. The four ways my assistants and I have been able to build our relationships are, leading by example, fostering innovation, instilling discipline and maintaining those relationships. Leading by example involves holding myself to the same, or higher standard I would hold a subordinate in the teaching business. I allow my assistants to explore alternate teaching methods, training aids and ideas to foster an environment of innovation. Discipline in the Dorado del Mar Golf Club teaching business is incorporated in our standard operating procedures and in the fact that we expect positive results. The golf operation as a whole maintains it relationships through a motivating environment that fosters mutual respect, where we express appreciation for each others accomplishments. We are very aware that providing regular praise to individuals and groups, recognizing and openly acknowledging contributions, providing needed training and becoming aware of and attempting to support the personal goals of the staff is extremely important. As the leader, I am expected to actively and visibly direct the effort of my staff. It is my responsibility to ensure that all personnel focus on the key objectives and priorities. I see that resources are properly directed, all decisions implemented effectively, and overall results are acceptable. Keys to working off our teaching plan include defining what it expected and how it will be achieved, empower the assistants and ensure communication and coordination. (appendix 2 leadership planning worksheet)
The business model for Aaron West at Dorado del Mar Golf Club is also very simple. The plan is to generate revenue and make profit from service operations. The model includes the components and functions of the business, as well as, revenues teaching generates and the expenses incurred by the golf professional. The goal is to take in for the service of giving golf lessons, $50 per half hour, or $100 per hour for a 1 on 1 individual range based golf lesson. To provide other services including junior camps, clinics, and theme based lesson models. All while keeping expenses down, yet still providing video and computer based lessons, and teaching aids to assist with kinesthetic learners. A typical lesson is approximately 92% profit, or about $4.00 per lesson is used for overhead and expenses. Basic assumptions include $2,000 per three-year period spent on technology based golf lesson aids. $1,500 per three-year period spent on traditional physical, feel based teaching aids. $1,500 per three-year period spent on perishables and direct/indirect golf marketing and promotion, including paper, ink, business supplies, radio and print advertising, travel to golf related promotional events where golf instruction is at least a partial topic.
$60,000 gross income from teaching
($2,000) technology expense
($1,500) traditional teaching aids
($750) perishables
($750) Marketing
Cost of promotion is unusually low in Puerto Rico due to the demand for golf and the use of my position as Director of Golf at Dorado del Mar Golf Club and Island Chapter President in bargaining for marketing. A four factor systematic approach to golf instruction is the basis for excellent instruction and includes; excellent planning and follow-through, strong customer service orientation, a self motivated and proactive staff, as well as, a commitment to ongoing learning and self improvement.
Teaching Business Plan @ Dorado del Mar Golf Club, Dorado, Puerto Rico 00646
Facility description:
Dorado del Mar Golf Club is an 18-hole semi-private resort facility located 22 miles west of Luis Munoz Marin International airport. It is the closest 18-hole golf facility to the San Juan metro area to its west. The golf season is 12 months, 365 days. Weather permitting the facility is scheduled to be open every day of the year. The golf course offers, driving range with both mats and 24 grass hitting stations as well as, practice green, snack shop, 3 beverage cars, fully stocked golf shop, member’s lounge, member’s locker rooms, golf bag storage and GHIN handicap system. The teaching staff consists of three professionals, one PGA director of golf and two assistants. The golf course was re-designed by Chi Chi Rodriguez and re-opened in 1998 to rave reviews. Rounds over the years since reopening include; 1999 (27,719), 2000 (31,653), 2001 (36,689), 2002 (36,823), 2003 (35,528), 2004 (33,430), 2005 (28,976), 2006 (22,508) and 2007 (23,081).
Facility Mission:
To be the best 18-hole semi-private resort golf club in Puerto Rico, focusing on personalized services for our members, guests, resort and public play and striving for best in class products and services at all times.
Teaching Mission:
To work with your ability, body type and golf experience to develop a golf swing and routine that will allow you to reach your desired goals on the golf course. I will give you the tools to succeed whether it is playing golf for enjoyment, learning the finer points of the game, or competing at the highest level.

My teaching philosophy embodies my most general beliefs, concepts and attitudes about the game and how to teach it. Each teacher has an underlying philosophy that guides the way they go about instruction, whether they are consciously aware of it, or not. As with any good teacher, I can describe and defend my teaching philosophy. My teaching philosophy acts as my reference point and tells my students why I am teaching, what I think is valuable, what we are trying to accomplish and the best way to go about it. I work within the bounds of good teaching and learning principles while allowing creativity, fun and intuition to help my students master this skill we call golf.

The state of DDM’s teaching business today:
DDM has a healthy teaching business, three teaching professionals who completed approximately 1,200 lessons in 2007. Private lessons accounted for 85% of teaching revenues and group lessons the other 15%. There are numerous group programs, including developmental classes, junior camps and numerous clinics and golf schools. In 2007, the DDM teaching program introduced 250 newcomers to the game. I purchased a new video system for swing analysis and improvement. New video technologies make it more practical to include video in lessons. I believe this is an area where we can increase customer value and enhance our business at the same time. The teachers are booked but still support the facility through merchandise sales, outside operations and tournament operations.
Objective for the teaching business:
Increase gross revenue by 7% in year one and 10% in years two and three
Maintain net operating income percentage to the facility at 30% of gross revenues
Increase lessons using high technology teaching aids from 250 (base year), to 500 by year two
Improve customer service each year as measures by verbal feedback and formal surveys
The local teaching market:
Puerto Rico is a 30 mile wide by 100 mile long island. There are 25 golf courses at 18 locations across the island. The island has a large percentage of both upper and lower class income levels. There is and has been a large corporate and professional presence. There are currently no successful fully private facilities on the island and DDMGC’s business model follows that of all the semi-private facilities on the island. Currently the economy like that of the United States is stagnant, however interest in golf remains stable. Using proper customer retention efforts, the market for golf instruction should remain strong. In the past year DDMGC has seen a consistent influx of newcomers and the teaching business draws from the regular clientele playing DDMGC. Statistics are similar to national in that only a small percentage of current golf customers have taken a lesson in the previous year, so with proper marketing the business can still grow in a down economy.
Our customers:
Due to highly rated customer service and reasonable pricing, DDMGC is a stable golf course that serves a diverse group of golf customers. The practice range being open until 9 pm, 5 days a week is a great draw for western suburban golfers trying to hit golf balls after work and a unique advantage DDMGC owns in the immediate area. The course is frequented by customers who play each day, as well as, those playing only a few times a year. DDMGC regularly receives positive feedback about the convenience and customer service offered at its facility.
Our competition:
There is a 4 golf course complex in the same general area, which has a strangle hold on new memberships. DDMGC is more accessible to local groups including senior league, WPRGA, PRGA, Roosevelt Roads and Tropical Golf. DDMGC does not however have the same perception of exclusivity as the Dorado Beach complex. The ability to use the practice range at night gives DDMGC an edge for general public and their choice when hitting range balls. Our teaching staff has done an adequate job of reaching different community groups and organizations.
The addition of more facilities to the island has not increased customer demand so rounds have decreased across the board at the facilities on the island. The broad range of instructional programs at DDMGC have allowed us to maintain our instructional business over this same time period. A focus on instructional services that integrate practice and playing opportunities will offset the business loss through the slow economic times.

In order to maintain a successful golf instruction business a PGA Master Professional needs to be a sophisticated consumer of information about golf’s economic vitality and the growth of the golf industry. It is particularly important to understand how specific elements of the golf business have changed over the last 92 years. Knowledge of the entire golf economy and how each function affects the next provides extensive information for developing a strategic perspective from a local standpoint, and in the Puerto Rico market as a whole. While often overlooked, this golf economy market information will greatly affect Dorado del Mar’s golf instructional business. The number and type of lessons given at Dorado del Mar Golf Club as compared to national averages, is an important way to gauge how my staff and I are performing our instructional functions.
Nationally, participation in golf instruction is low but not due to a lack of lesson availability. According to the PGA’s “All About Golf” study, 90% of surveyed golfers stated that golf lessons were readily available. However, only 50% of customers had ever taken a lesson. Also, of that group, 70% did not take a lesson in the year prior to the survey. The numbers vary by customer segment but this information suggests that less than 20% of customers participate in a golf lesson in a year. Other data from the PGA of America confirms these findings. The 2000 Facility Operations Survey found, the median number of ½ hour lessons at private facilities was 300, while only 100 at daily fee, resort and semi-private facilities. Also, the 2002 PGA of America Compensation Survey indicated that most PGA professionals receive lesson income, yet the annual number of 30-minute lessons is low. Median levels for directors of instruction are 700, 500 for teaching professionals and approximately 100 for directors of golf, head professionals and assistant professionals. Numbers for group lessons and other instructional services are much lower. Financial compensation is also very low for teaching professionals compared to those in management positions. This brings up opportunity to expand and improve the business of golf instruction. The National Golf foundation report, “Operating and Financial Performance Profiles of golf Practice Facilities in the United States 2001” indicated that 98% of the highest revenue generating practice facilities of any size, derived revenues from golf instruction and club fitting services, while less than 50% of low revenue facilities of any size offered these services.
An important way I have increased my golf instruction is by offering a comprehensive menu of options and services. The past few years have seen a change in the way golf instruction and player development programs are positioned in the golf industry. I’m trying to create an environment where programs of instructional services, not just golf lessons, are continually a part of the golf experience. At the end of the day, healthy golf instruction and golfer development programs are good not only for the game and the business but to the individual instructor as well. A well run program creates higher levels of satisfaction in the game, which drives play and revenue to golf facilities. At its core it is about offering a broad spectrum of services to meet the specific needs of the Dorado del Mar Golf Club membership, Embassy Suites guests, other hotel play and local players willing to choose Dorado del Mar Golf Club over the other twenty 18-hole facilities on the Island of Puerto Rico.
Understanding the $67 billion golf economy provides the framework for analysis, however a closer look at the local economic conditions of Puerto Rico and the municipality of Dorado also gives us the ability to recognize patterns of change and adapt quickly.
Key elements in the local Puerto Rico golf economy;
Local population numbers (4 million residents, only 6,500 with a GHIN handicap card)
Principal businesses and employers in the region (tourism, pharmaceuticals, shipping, manufacturing, banking, retail and housing)
Major recreation alternatives to golf (water parks, malls, other sports, beaches, dining)
Major golf related community clubs and organizations (private club memberships, PRGA, WPRGA, Roosevelt Roads, Golf Channel Amateur Tour, Senior League, Tropical Golf)
Educational system (public schools, private schools, colleges)
Golf facility types and services (public, private, semi-private, resort, teaching facilities, practice ranges)
Golf offering directly related to destination travel and real estate (Caribe Golf, GSI)
Dorado del Mar Golf Club’s offerings and capabilities.

Another key aspect of systems thinking as it relates to golf instruction is to take a long-term perspective on business development. My goal is creation of instructional programs that have staying power and provide repeat clientele. The most successful instructional programs lead to customers for life. The bottom line is I can not just sell ½ hour lessons. Dorado del Mar Golf Club needs a program with enough variety and excitement to take golfers through their golfing life cycle. This balanced approach is adaptable to market shifts and offers many different types of player development. The “average Joe” instructor is replaceable because he/she fills a very small market niche. Master instruction professionals have a “Staff Bag” full of instructional program options/variables currently available, using a diverse set of elements which include;
· Time of day, week, or year
· Length of instruction
· Target group
· Skill level
· Skill set focus
· Location
· Group structure
· Group size
· Fee structure
· Various technologies

All Master professional level instructors should feel like they, or a member of their team, can teach anyone at any time, however this is not the point. More importantly golf instruction consumers have more options available in 2008 then ever before. They can shop around using the telephone, or even the internet. They will not purchase from me unless they feel my instruction meets their exact needs. Therefore, I need to tailor my programs to specifically target the groups that need instruction at particular times, prices, student ratios and with the technology they are after. Based on Dorado del Mar Golf Club’s mission, I need to provide instruction to people looking for, “the best semi-private 18 hole golf club in Puerto Rico, featuring personalized services for our members, guests, resort and public play, striving for best in class products and services at all times”.
Also since I am the PGA Director of Golf and my duties involve more than instruction, it is important that I create value for both my instruction customers and my employer. Value, however, isn’t simply the fees charged to a student, or the total revenue generated by a particular instruction program. It is a function of the features and benefits my students and facility owner perceives as a result of both my instruction programs and my day to day facility operational duties. For example, golf instruction students will pay a premium and return often if they have an exceptional experience, rather than a typical one. This holds true despite location, technology, amount of time and experience of instructors are equal. Bottom line, perceived value is of utmost importance!
Creating value involves discovering each customers personal needs and then providing golf instruction to directly meet those needs. Golf instruction customers may need a variety of different skills including;
Just enough competence to avoid embarrassment
Connection with other players
Advice on practice routines/strategies
Long-term development

A key to meeting each golf instruction students goals are measurable results. Make sure the student sees improvement toward their personal goals which can be proven through some type of visual, video, verbal, or numerical feedback. If I cannot illustrate to my students they have improved, I am not creating perceived value as discussed earlier. In order to take students through the golf life cycle it is important to take an interest in all aspects of the student’s game. Short game, club fitting, playing lessons, classroom sessions, launch monitor work, rules and etiquette are all ways I can take a more holistic approach to the customer’s development.
Congruently, to create perceived value to Dorado del Mar Golf Club, I always try to keep the clubs objectives in the back of my mind. I collect data from every student, lesson, clinic and camp, which is used to communicate with Dorado del Mar Golf Club’s owners and operators to highlight the benefits of the program. Golf instruction revenues are not always easily correlated to facility revenue generated. However, the instruction business generates new players, more rounds, new members and an enhanced level of play of the membership. Data suggests instruction leads to other facility area revenue and various magazine, radio and newspaper articles I create help prove credibility and deliver the perception that my instruction provides high value and is of expert level.
To maintain expert level skills in the teaching arena as the director of golf of a semi-private resort it is important to use the opportunities presented to me by the PGA of America and its certified professional program and the Master professional program. It is impossible to be at the top of the game without constant and consistent learning and refinement of skills. Since I am not full time dedicated to instruction and in order to succeed professionally and financially, it’s important to consider teaching the game one of my primary professional roles and not just an activity that helps me make a little extra money. I put a lot of effort to produce instruction of the highest quality and produce results to compete in the industry. Ways I stay abreast of the newest teaching techniques and enhance my skills include;
PGA Teaching Seminars
Attendance at the 2008 PGA Teaching and Coaching Summit in Port St. Lucie, Florida December 2008
Attendance at the PGA merchandise show, browse teaching technologies, as well as, trends in equipment, fitness, programs and associations related to instruction.
As President of the Island Chapter I strive to provide learning opportunities that provide and emphasize teaching philosophy and practice and feature leaders in the golf industry.
Enhance and review my instruction goals and skills through the Master professional project.
Certified professional online classes and testing.
Seminars from golf equipment and teaching technology manufacturers, including fitting programs and video/computer swing analysis technology.
Master’s degree in Sport Administration and the continuing education opportunities available from Central Michigan University.
Bachelor’s degree program from the original Professional Golf Management Program at Ferris State University and the opportunities continuing to work with the program offers me.
Use of the Titleist Performance Institute at and my continuing education with Dr. Patrick J. Cohn and his Mental Game Coaching Professional certification program.
Seminars and conferences offered by allied associations including golf 20/20, LPGA, NCGOA, The First Tee, PRGA, USGA and the GSCAA.

These are some of the ways I keep up on instruction in the industry as a whole. Professional development is an important part of my career as a thirty-one year old golf professional. These formal education programs help compliment the various informal education and training activities that take place with my staff at Dorado del Mar Golf Club.
As a future PGA Master professional I realize I am perceived as a leader in the golf profession, particularly in Puerto Rico as Island Chapter Teacher of the Year 2005, 2006, 2007 and as the only certified professional in instruction on the Island. I use my position as certified professional, Director of Golf at Dorado del Mar Golf Club and Island Chapter President to be involved in developing the instruction business at Dorado del Mar Golf Club, supporting the growth of Island Chapter apprentices/player card holders, and reaching out to the Puerto Rico community to convey the benefits of the game of golf and opportunities to learn how to play it. My position as education committee chairman from 2003-2008 has allowed me to conduct programs for other PGA professionals, golf instructors in Puerto Rico and the PRGA to stimulate interest in golf in general, as well as, my personal business at Dorado del Mar Golf Club. Golf instruction involves more than standing on the practice range tee for hours. The other aspects of the teaching business, including this project itself, allow me to grow and sustain a long term program of instruction.
Planning is key in my instruction program but before I can get down to the nuts and bolts of daily, weekly and monthly planning, an overall golf instruction business plan is a must. The ability to create and adjust a business plan, as well as, make realistic financial projections, promote and market the instruction program and cultivate customer relations is paramount to my instruction business. An effective golf instruction business plan is based on clear goals that reflect the goals of Dorado del Mar Golf Club as a whole. Answering questions about Dorado del Mar Golf Club has allowed my staff and I to tailor programs to various groups at specific times to maximize enjoyment and revenue. The foundation of my instruction business is a clear understanding of what we are trying to accomplish over the long-term. We have been much more effective since we have quantified our goals and put measures in place to evaluate and gauge there completion. While my plan is not as complicated as most it clarifies our objectives, communicates those objectives, motivates me and my staff, develops financial projections for the operation, measures success and increases my credibility to ownership. The key element of the plan is that it acts as a roadmap for the year in instruction for Dorado del Mar Golf Club. The steps involved in creating the business plan for Dorado del Mar’s teaching program include;
Understanding of Dorado del Mar Golf Club and its mission.
The current state of Dorado del Mar Golf Club’s teaching business.
Specific objectives for 2008-2010.
Customers and competitors.
Financial forecasts
Identifies marketing, promotional and operational strategies that allow us to accomplish those objectives.
Performance data to consider when establishing the teaching business, business plan include;
Revenues from different categories of lessons, clinics, camps and schools.
Revenues from club fitting and equipment purchases by DDMGC students
Total number of students taught, with a breakdown by age, sex, or other criteria
Number of lessons taught, on which days and at which times.
Types of lessons, clinics and golf schools offered.
Number of teaching staff and number of teaching hours logged per teacher.
Correlation of the number of lessons with rounds of golf, or practice sessions.
Customer complaints, requests and other feedback.
Feedback and recommendations from teaching facility staff.

The hard data needed to prepare an accurate assessment comes from lesson scheduling books, the point of sales system, the accounting system and our customer evaluation forms. Without these record keeping systems in place an accurate business plan is virtually impossible. The hard data allows me to communicate the instruction business value to stakeholders and ownership. Also, accurate records will help the instruction program use yield management to maximize revenues and reduce downtime. Just like with the overall facility business plan, a SWOT analysis is helpful in determining the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of Dorado del Mar Golf Club’s instructional business. Strengths include highly booked days, full clinics and camps, while weaknesses include disappearance of regular students, or having to cancel clinics, or camps due to lack of participation. Threats include other qualified, marketable instructors in the area and opportunities are the ability to improve on existing programs, or start new ones. Based on the mission of Dorado del Mar Golf Club and the assessment of performance in 2007, the business objectives for 2008 made use of our strengths (healthy local clientele) and attempted to eliminate our weaknesses (half full junior camps, poor yield from Embassy Suites hotel). Basically, the goal is to capitalize on any marketing opportunities and counter perceived threats. It is important to state in plain words, what both instructional business intends to accomplish, by when and through what set of efforts, using promotion, training, operational changes and other measures to reach specific, measurable goals in an agreed upon timeframe. It is important to measure not only the basics but include things like customer satisfaction. This can be accomplished by conducting phone interviews, or gathering customer feedback forms requesting appropriate information. A way to give the operation a chance to succeed is to make any goals set realistic and achievable within the market for the customer base given the pool of competition. Objectives gain usefulness when shared with ownership and staff to make sure each party is on board with the goals of the instruction program. The key is to have as much data at my disposal as possible. Using chamber of commerce data, National Golf Foundation, PGA research reports, US census data and continually monitoring new media for golf related information will help the plan in its usefulness.
A key in any business is to know the customer. The more I know about the potential customer for my instructional business and what they want in a golf lesson, the more accurately I will be able to clarify objectives and target precious marketing efforts. Each facility is different. The key is understanding existing and potential new customer groups. Certain markets are saturated, others untapped. Getting existing customers to take more lessons, or play additional rounds takes totally different promotional efforts than pulling new customers to the facility. Targeting a group the competition does not is a simple way to give the facility a competitive edge. During the planning process it’s key to think about the customers targeted and who the facility and its teaching staff are most qualified to serve. Opinions and preferences regarding the facility in general and the teaching program in particular will help set prices, types of instruction efforts and the time of day each program is offered. Taking each customer segment I intend to market to and brainstorm from their point of view. Are they price driven? Would they respond to packages? What types of lessons would benefit their game the most? As far as competition is concerned, know them! What types of lessons do they offer? When and at what price? How many teachers do they have? How busy are their teachers and what effect do they have on the operation? I compare the quality of their instructional facilities, types of tools and technologies used with my own. I track programs, rates and packages offered by the competition in the region. I scan local newspapers, listen to the radio, watch for television advertisements, collect the competitions brochures, flyers and program announcements. Monitor the promotional efforts of competitors who are unsuccessful, and asses what they are doing incorrectly to be sure not to fall into the same traps. It is important to note other golf instructional facilities are not the only competition. Other recreational alternatives, time commitments, work and family factors keep potential customers from playing golf even if they would like to play more often. Planning and understanding the secondary competition will provide growth opportunities for the instructional business.
All legitimate business plans are supported by financial forecasts which include revenues, expenses and profits. Financial analysis explains how projected results compare to existing and past performance.
Promotion is a misunderstood element of most instructional businesses. It is important to convey a message to potential customers that triggers them to get involved in the instructional program offered. The key is to inform the customer about the services and programs offered, any incentives provided and most importantly the benefits the instruction program will bring to their golf game. Promotion for Dorado del Mar Golf Club’s instructional business includes a variety of advertising, publicity and public relations approaches to draw business to the facility and away from competitors. Basic guidelines for marketing any teaching business include;
· Know the Customer.
· Know the Product.
· Know the Competition.
· Know why People Buy.
· Make Selling an Activity.
· Commit to Service.
· Provide Superior Instruction.
· Compete.
· Care.
· Improve.

Augmenting the regular marketing efforts with conventional promotional methods is paramount. Special mailings to current/past students, membership and the general public is a tried and true way to stimulate business. Other ideas include press releases, advertisement in local newspapers, advertisements on the radio, information in the yellow pages, newsletters, brochures distributed to golfers/local business people, or inclusion in real estate packages and travel guides. Dollars broken down by category and time of the year for these promotional activities should be included in the golf instruction budget. Once all options are reviewed, select the best ones for the facility and create the yearly promotional plan. The plan should be similar to the business plan and include specific tasks, timeframe, person responsible and amount of budgeted dollars.
Each and every PGA professional should have a business card, as well as, a written profile about their professional experience for teaching brochures and local human interest pieces. Anyone devoting significant time to instruction should have a brochure that details the teacher’s general offerings, philosophy, successes, training, as well as, rates. Posters or other signage in the golf shop can produce traffic to the instructional business. Also, use of the newly unveiled PGA logo introduced at the 91st annual meeting strengthens the marketing/promotion’s credibility.
Most golf instructors do not spend large amounts on paid advertising. However, if the advertising is targeted to the correct audience, in the right publication and provides the desired “hook” to the potential student, it can be well worth the price. Whenever using direct mailing a targeted mailing list is the only way to reach enough potential clientele to make the upfront costs worthwhile.
More often I use publicity, or soft advertising in newspapers, on WOSO 1060 radio, or in Dorado del Mar Golf Club’s weekly and quarterly newsletters. Cultivating the media contacts in Puerto Rico has been worthwhile both to my teaching business and to Dorado del Mar Golf Club. Media outlets will be interested if I can convince them of the benefit of the “news” I am announcing. Swapping expertise, lessons for advertisement, or the equivalent is a simple way I get my name out there. Producing the instructional column for “Hole in One” golf news, “Caribbean Golf” and the “San Juan Star” has also been a free way to generate/draw attention to my instructional business. Dorado del Mar Golf Club’s position as a semi-private resort gives me tremendous opportunities for promotion since I can hit the membership, resort guests staying at the Embassy Suites and our weekly local play. A main concern for anyone out there is the cost effectiveness of the many promotional possibilities out there. Web based information and advertisement are extremely important in this day of immediate information at any time. A growing portion, myself included, are using the internet as the primary source for information and services. Other events that have been successful include career days, or “Golf Para Todos”,, classes at local elementary schools in Puerto Rico, golf demos at community events and presentations at private companies as part of their physical fitness, or staff activity programs. A final note on promotion is return on investment. It is easy to use ten different promotional types with various costs. However, asking people how they heard about my program is an automatic part of my discussion with a first time student.
During my time at the PGA’s PGM program at Ferris State University, I was introduced to the customer service module I use everyday with each student. This GEODE model presents guidelines for greeting students, discovering their needs, offering quality service and evaluating how well the lesson went.
GEODE Model: Main Points

Teaching Philosophy
The golf swing is a controlled, aggressive motion. Without balanced weight, consistent flex in the knees and steady tilt of the spine, an aggressive golf swing will not give the golfer the desired result.

Charlie King PGA from Reynolds Plantation in Georgia developed a great checklist for master golf instructors.
A Master Instructor:
Sets a program for improvement, not just a single lesson. Goals are set and a realistic timeframe is given
A short game skills test is turned into an understandable short game handicap
The instructor check’s the student’s equipment to make sure they have, the proper lie, shaft length and shaft flex
The student is given a basic set of stretching exercises
The instructor will check for physical limitations
There will be an equal emphasis on the short game and the full swing
Teach the game of golf, not just the swing. This includes the mental side, course management, speed of play, rules and etiquette
Concepts will be explained, demonstrated and shown in an understandable manner and in bite sized pieces. Information overload will be avoided
The student will be given drills, and/or training aids that will turn these concepts into habits
The instructor will use video analysis as a feedback tool. When used properly, video is a huge help in bridging the gap between fact and feel
The instructor will convey a passion for the game of golf

Mr. King also mentions the traits that define a poor instructor and should be avoided:
The instructor sells the student on quick fixes
The focus is exclusively on the full swing
The instructor comes late, or unprepared for the lesson
The instructor tells the student “you have eight swing faults, and we might be able to work on one of them today”
The students equipment is not checked
There is no evaluation of the student’s flexibility
The instructor hits more balls than the student
The student is given the entire method in one lesson
The student is told the instructor’s way is the only way
If the student is taking lessons from someone like this, they need to find a new instructor!

According to PGA professional Jim McLean there are five traits that make up an exceptional teacher.
Golf knowledge- having a high “Golf Intelligence Quotient”, developed by golf books, personal playing, other teachers, seminars, golf schools, taking lessons, personal conversations, talking with top players and studying video.
Communication skills- great teachers are great communicators who use resources and techniques including, good demonstrations, teaching aids, visual aids, books with photos, have the ability to say the same thing different ways and the ability to relate to other sports students play.
Motivation- Great teachers inspire. They make students feel good about their game and chances for improvement. Instill within the student a desire to practice.
Energy and Enthusiasm- Great teachers, teach a lot and it takes energy to teach a lot. Great teachers love the game of golf and are enthusiastic about it.
Credibility- The teacher has a high level of believability. Credibility is earned through teaching success and the ability to be a competent performer. Teacher credibility predisposes the student to success because students will listen more and have a higher level of commitment.

Craig Shankland also has a list of traits that describes the exceptional teacher.

Ambition: To be the best

Articulate: Can verbalize clearly and precisely

Businessman: Advertise and promotes lessons

Communicator: Transmits information in a simple manner

Compassion: Is kind and understanding

Discipline: Gives pupils needed discipline to stick with their learning plan

Demonstrator: Has the skill to show corrections

Enthusiastic: Always projects excitement about the game of golf

Environment: Establishes a comfortable atmosphere

Eye: Able to pick up flaws quickly

Image: A role model, particularly for young people

Experience: Possesses a knowledge of golf that isn’t in any book

Innovator: Invents drills that fit the problem

Knowledge: Is master of mechanics

Motivator: Able to inspire, stimulate and influence the student

Organized: In schedule, method and procedure

Passion: Has passion for instruction

Patience: I guiding students and urging students to be patient with themselves

Personality: Demonstrates a style, a smile and individuality

Psychologist: Has a basic understanding of the way humans learn and the inner game

Specialist: Focuses on being the best at teaching golf

Understanding: Knows the student perspective and reflects that in their method

Worker: Knows it takes hard work to be outstanding

Common sense customer relations practices that work include; be visible, making sure the customers at Dorado del Mar Golf Club know that Aaron West is available, walking around the practice range during heavy traffic periods, spending time around Dorado del Mar Golf Club, on the course, greeting people, giving tips and asking about their games. Offering playing tips before group outings, responding promptly to complaints and suggestions, in person, or in writing. Sending follow-up notes, making phone calls to students. Preparing user friendly manuals for each student to take home. Training all instructors and staff in professional phone procedures and etiquette. Maintaining good customer relations when giving hundreds, even thousands of lessons can be difficult and therefore many successful teachers cultivate a core group of students in order to provide a great customer service atmosphere for their nucleus of repeat clientele.
Unfortunately in Puerto Rico at this time there is not a core group of PGA apprentices, A-8’s, or aspiring PGA professionals looking to work up the ranks. At the twenty facilities in Puerto Rico there is one A-8 and he has been a Class-A professional for only three months. In the entire chapter there are eight apprentices, however, not one has attended a single checkpoint. Of the twelve former apprentices in the past five years, four are Class-A Directors of Golf, one is an A-8 and eight have been suspended. The attrition has made it difficult to hire qualified assistant professionals and have them progress to higher positions. This fact makes in house training for communication, interpersonal skills, sound technical skills related to instruction and general golf related operational knowledge of the utmost importance. Puerto Rico has 6,500 golfers with a registered GHIN handicap and most are high handicap golfers, so like most areas, instructional professionals are not teaching extremely good players. Their primary job requirements are the ability to communicate in a clear and simple fashion in both Spanish and English and the ability to understand and empathize with students. Things I look for and train in my staff of instructors include strong motivation, good organizational skills, good work habits, stamina and compatibility with Dorado del Mar Golf Club’s instructional philosophy and way of doing business. The skill set I am looking for in a golf instruction professional is written down and explicitly outlines the skills and experience Dorado del Mar Golf Club is looking for. The skill description helps during the recruiting process, when evaluating individuals during an interview and with current assistants for periodic evaluations. When interviewing for a position as important as the role of assistant golf professional at Dorado del Mar Golf Club it is important for me to obtain clear, specific and unbiased information from an applicant which will allow me to evaluate against my skill set criteria.
Asking open questions to reveal a potential assistant’s prospective before they get shaped by my opinions.
I let potential golf instruction employees tell their story before I tell mine. Rather than telling them what I expect in a lesson plan, I have them describe their idea of what good lesson structure is.
Asking questions as neutrally as possible to avoid signaling the answer I expect.
Support the flow of information by being open. Actively listen and I show that I understand what the applicant is saying.
Ask the applicant to demonstrate skills and role play typical scenarios that occur during normal operations at Dorado del Mar Golf Club.

With any employee, assistants included, job responsibilities and expectations are clearly stated before the hiring process is finalized in the formal contract, or letter of agreement. The written contract defines job responsibilities, terms of payment, advancement, job reviews, health benefits, sick leave, vacation time, liability issues, as well as, conditions under which an assistant professional would be let go. The formal agreement protects both the employer and the employee.
Performance reviews should be a regular part of the golf professional and assistants job, as it is a two way street. All teachers need to evaluate whether Dorado del Mar Golf Club is providing the desired support and the program coordinator needs to provide timely feedback to individuals on the staff. The ability to give feedback falls back to the hard data including lesson income and written student evaluations. This data acts as a springboard for subjective discussions about customer service, employee relations and teacher development. Performance reviews are a basic three step process. The first step involves identification and discussion of a common set of job performance objectives that satisfy the employer and employees needs. Secondly is the performance of essential job tasks by the employee, while accruing objective information about performance and making adjustments based on the information. The final set is the summation of the year from both parties perspective, making final adjustments to job responsibilities, modification of compensation and revision of objectives for next year.
Of the important skills to develop as a golf professional is the ability to motivate and supervise people. The success of the operation hinges on the willingness of the team to carry out important objectives. The key principles that affect an instructor’s motivation include;
· Using a variety of skills (the more skills an employee is able to use while completing a task, the more involved the performer will be.)
· Being given a whole task (the ability to complete a task from beginning to end makes the task more engaging than if the employee is given a fragment of the task. It allows the performer to feel ownership for the results of the work.)
· Performing significant work (Employees are more likely to dedicate themselves to tasks they believe have significance rather than tasks with little impact.)
· Being given autonomy (Employees who have acceptable levels of freedom to best determine the way to perform a task are motivated more than those who have little, or no discretion on how to complete a task.)
· Receiving Feedback (Employees who received timely, clear and unbiased feedback about their work in relation to goals are more likely to strive from improvement than those who fail to receive any such feedback.)

To get a high level of performance from the golf staff, an operation needs good people who are given the resources needed to carry out a task effectively. When performance suffers it usually is not just the failure of the employee but a failure of the performance system itself. Each element of the performance system needs to be working for the department to function well. The system works best when supervisor and team members are sharing the responsibility for clarifying expectations and exchanging feedback. The complete performance system includes resources, feedback, consequences and performance expectations. Resources are the means made available to help employees complete an assignment. Resources may be human, financial, material, or something as simple as an adequate amount of time to complete a task. Feedback is the information the employee and the golf department head receive about the results of the employee’s actions. The information may be obtained in a variety of ways including written records based on direct observations of the employee, indirect reports from others and student evaluations. Feedback can be delivered in a variety of ways, from the yearly performance review to casual comments. Consequences are the effects of the employee’s actions on their experiences. Consequences can be internal, or external. Performance expectations reflect what the director of instruction expects in terms of quality, timeliness and initiative on the part of the performer.
Delegation is a key skill to learn as the teaching business grows to the point where it would be impossible for one person to control every aspect of the operation. Delegation is about empowerment. Empowerment is the process in which members of the team are enabled to make decisions and take responsibility for the functions under their control. Delegation sets up performers for success in their jobs and helps them increase their effectiveness in the future. Delegation by nature is a partnership building process between director of instruction and assistant professionals. The choice of strategy depends on two attributes of the employee, their capabilities and their willingness to undertake the task. The four strategies that can be undertaken are the directing, involving, convincing and supporting strategies. The directing strategy may be used for an inexperienced but enthusiastic performer. The involving strategy is used for the experienced but resistant performer. The convincing strategy is used for inexperienced and resistant performers. The supporting strategy is used for the willing and experienced performer.
Providing ongoing education and training for both the staff and I, pays dividends. With changing technology, the value to continue to learn about more effective teaching methods, computer teaching tools, the business side of golf instruction and new promotional techniques may make or break a teaching business. A teaching operations manual helps staff learn about the facilities mission, the teaching mission, job advancement, marketing ideas and details on classes, schedules and booking procedures. Providing ongoing training and education for the Dorado del Mar Golf Club staff:
· Helps them stay fresh and energized about their work
· Ensures that staff members understand, and put into practice, methods and teaching goals established for Dorado del Mar Golf Club
· Helps the teaching staff grow by creating a more qualified and skilled staff
· Supports and encourages career advancement
· Improves the quality of the teaching program offered to customers
· Helps retain good teachers, showing Dorado del Mar Golf Club is committed to furthering their careers

Lesson scheduling procedures need to be accurate, dependable and fair to teachers and students in order to run a successful teaching program. Before starting out, it is important to define how scheduling will be tracked, who will handle it, how teachers are assigned and how no-shows are handled. In an operation as small as Dorado del Mar Golf Club’s, our professional shop staff and even instructors themselves staff the check-in desk, answer the phone and do the scheduling. Using an accurate lesson scheduling book allows us to develop a customer database, which is a valuable marketing and communication tool. The teaching operation needs a policy for all types of extenuating circumstances including but not limited to, call in cancellations, no-shows, weather delays, weather cancellations, vacations, sick-days and planned absences. All policies should be clearly communicated to customers. Instructors should have some open time for rescheduling missed lessons. A policy should be established for walk-ins, and/or when a potential customer does not request a particular instructor.
Pricing lessons is a process that should begin from the facility mission statement. Pricing should be competitive in the market, while also reflecting the worth of the instructor. In Puerto Rico competition is intense for the 10,000 or so consumers and consumers have the ability to shop around to find the most qualified instructor, or the best deal. Dorado del Mar Golf Club frequently surveys the competition to find out what other facilities are offering for programs and prices. At Dorado del Mar Golf Club, in all printed materials, the pricing structure and payment procedures are clearly marked, and/or posted. While there are different fees per program and instructor, the fees are set to discourage negotiating and charging different people different rates based on mood. Offering a variety of packages at different prices ensures that Dorado del Mar Golf Club meets the needs of a wide variety of customers, offering inexpensive group lessons and clinics to spur growth in under represented segments. Dorado del Mar Golf Club’s instructional mix includes;
· ½ hour and 1 hour private lessons
· Group lessons at various skill levels
· Camps for juniors and impoverished youth
· Parent/Child classes
· Packages of buy 4, get the 5th class free
· Lessons which include video and swing analysis technologies
· Unique packages for special groups, executive women’s league, WPRGA and the Liga de Golf de seniors
· Individual and group playing lessons
· Group practice sessions and regularly scheduled clinics
· Coaching for the PRGA and high school teams

Good record keeping is an absolute must for Dorado del Mar Golf Club’s teaching operation. Accurate record keeping and tracking impacts profitability and liability, as well as, good customer relations. It includes all written records of the teaching operation, including staff performance reviews, safety procedures, student evaluation forms and most importantly financial tracking and budgeting. Record keeping must address lesson descriptions and financial management and each involves daily, monthly and yearly records. Dorado del Mar Golf Club tracks the names of students, the date of the first lesson, address, telephone number, e-mail address and some basic information about their golf game. It is important that each teacher records the date and time of the lesson, what was covered, the learning goals and what the progression will be for the next lesson. These records help both the teacher and the student remember and understand what has been attempted and achieved in the course of the lessons.
The financial performance of the Dorado del Mar Golf Club operation is covered in three financial management components, budgeting, accounting and financial controls.
· Budgeting is the essential planning tool for controlling resources and expenses. It allows a snapshot into the operation and adjustments on the fly, before the items translate into hard costs. Budgeting dictates staffing levels, projects the level of lesson sales generated, projects revenues and expenses for the year and determines monthly cash flow projections.
· Accounting is the bookkeeping method used to capture and maintain financial data for analyzing operating results, assets and liabilities. It is as simple as it is practical and is kept in the golf shop office and administration computers. The accounting system records all lesson income and expenses, monitors overages and shortages and is able to retain key information. Dorado del Mar Golf Club uses a combination of the cash and the accrual accounting methods.
· Controls are the mechanisms we use to guide the operation of the system. Including receipts, expenditure documentation and tracking of received goods such as teaching aids and equipment.

While Dorado del Mar Golf Club’s teaching business is relatively small, we use the expertise of our in house accounting staff of three and our C.P.A.’s at Hotel and Leisure Consultants, a division of our parent company, Mora Development Corporation. As it has been well documented today’s society is extremely litigious. While I completed my Master thesis on Liability an Protection in Golf Course Litigation, I am sure to use the on staff lawyers of H&L Consultants, as well as, our contracted lawyers for liability issues. Mora Development and I are faced with the need to protect ourselves from lawsuits and other potential losses encountered in the course of doing business. The primary risks for the teaching professional are the loss of property and personal injuries to golf students, or staff. Through study in the PGA’s certified professional program, I have identified important areas of concern and have along with my staff implemented strategies to safeguard the business assets. Establishing clear, sensible safety standards and procedures is one of the most important means of reducing the risk of injury to students, staff, or bystanders, thus reducing the potential liability of the facility. The safety standards and procedures are spelled out in Dorado del Mar Golf Club’s employee handbook. The safe practice guide we explain to students before their first lesson includes;
· The safety zone and basic etiquette
· Only swing a golf club once the golfer has cleared their space
· Never walk behind someone poised to swing
· Never swing a club toward someone
· Never walk out in front of the hitting line to recover a ball

The human resources department at Dorado del Mar Golf Club spells out procedures and guidelines in the form of safety reminders in staff meetings, posters at the facility, posted safety rules on the practice range tee and the golf course, as well as, other informational signs and warnings. The management staff at Dorado del Mar Golf Club has an eight hour CPR and 1st aid course set-up for March 10, 2008 to limit the liability of the club in the event of an accident, or emergency. The hurricane plan was revised in 2007, by my office and we consistently partner with the Embassy Suites on procedures/training for other natural disasters, utility failures and serious crimes. Along with these sensible precautions, the facility also has insurance to transfer our remaining risk to Triple SSS and Marsh Saldana. Dorado del Mar Golf Club has documentation for incidents if and when they occur. These detailed records and forms help the facility in the situation of a loss, or a claim.
The facility at Dorado del Mar Golf Club takes care of the payment and benefits of the assistant professionals. However, I am aware of the laws of Puerto Rico and the federal wage and hour laws as they relate to the instruction business. Over the process of purchasing the library of PGA certified classes twice and certifying in instruction, retail and general management, I have become familiar with regulation of the FLSA, the IRS, OSHA and other issues. Dorado del Mar Golf Club currently does not have any employees working as independent contractors, but there have been in the past and the possibility is certainly open for the future, based on economic conditions.

Teaching Mission
To work with your ability, body type and golf experience to develop a golf swing and routine that will allow you to reach your desired goals on the golf course. I will give you the tools to succeed whether it is playing golf for enjoyment, learning the finer points of the game, or competing at the highest level.

My teaching philosophy embodies my most general beliefs, concepts and attitudes about the game and how to teach it. Each teacher has an underlying philosophy that guides the way they go about instruction, whether they are consciously aware of it or not. As with any good teacher, I can describe and defend my teaching philosophy. My teaching philosophy acts as my reference point and informs my students why I am teaching, what I think is valuable, what we are trying to accomplish and the best way to go about it. I work within the bounds of good teaching and learning principles, while allowing creativity, fun and intuition to help my students master this skill we call golf.

Forward on golf and golf instruction
The most import points about the game of golf include, the make up of a set of clubs and the individual golf clubs. Woods, irons, wedges, and putter, their individual features and how to best use them in order to play golf to the highest level capable. The make up of the golf course including tees, fairways, rough, greens, hazards, wind and the elements. The best way to play within each and how to deal with the ever-evolving golf course and golf shot. A third important point is staying true and learning the history and traditions of the game of golf. Where did golf come from and why is it so popular? Another important point includes the integrity of each individual golfer including, the rules of the game, club make-up and amateur status. All of these things should be integral parts of a golf professional teaching philosophy and model. It goes without saying that common business courtesy including, greeting the student on time and being prepared for the lesson are extremely important elements of a successful golf lesson. The first student and the last student of the day should be treated with the same respect and with an upbeat attitude and a learning environment conducive to improved golf. Teaching aids in like new condition, clean and ready to use before the beginning of each lesson. Advanced technology should be used to bridge the perception versus reality gap for beginners. Advanced technology should be used with experienced players to discuss the finer points of the cause and effect of distance, direction and trajectory of the golf shot. All of this should be carried out from greeting until close of the lesson consistently from student to student. These points are incorporated in every successful instructor’s teaching model and philosophy. They are the points that make golf different and great. Some definitions that will be helpful through the rest of this document:

5 laws
Speed- velocity with which the club head is traveling
Centeredness- exactness in which the ball contact on the face of the club (sweet spot)
Path- direction of the arc, club head traveling away from and back to the target
Face- degree which leading edge of the club is at right angle (accuracy)
Angle of approach- descending/ascending arc of the club head on forward swing in relation to the slope of the ground

Grip- placement, position, pressure and precision related to applying hands to the club (direction)
Aim- club face and body in relation to the target (direction)
Set-up- body position, ball position, weight distribution, muscular readiness (distance and direction)
Swing plane- tilt and direction of travel of inclined plane made by club shaft (direction)
Width of arc- degree of extension of hands and arms away from center rotation during swing (distance)
Length of arc- length the club head travels on back swing and forward swing (distance)
Position- relationship of back of left arm and left wrist to face of club and swing plane when player reaches top of swing (direction)
Lever system- formed by left arm and club during backswing (distance)
Timing- proper sequence of body and club movement to produce efficient result (distance and direction)
Release- allowing hands, arms, body and club to return to and through impact, while freeing power created in back swing (direction)
Dynamic balance- transfer of weight during swing, while maintaining control (distance and direction)
Swing center- upper spine, upper body rotation and arms swing takes place (distance and direction)
Connection- body parts and there relation to one another (distance and direction)
Impact- position of the body and club at moment of contact (distance and direction)

The above are the causes and the effects that allow a golfer to negotiate a stipulated distance to arrive at a selected target.

Swing Model

The grip is the connection between the golfer and the golf club. As simple as that may sound the golf grip is a very integral part of the golf swing. It sets the tone for the rest of the set-up and has a lot more effect on shot consistency and shape then the average golfer gives it credit for. The grip should be taken in between the fingers and the palm of the left hand. If we get the grip too much in the fingers we create a strong left hand and if we get the grip too much in the palm we create a weak left hand. The right hand should be slightly more toward the fingers and the club should sit diagonally across the finger of said right hand. If the grip gets too much in the palm of the right hand we create a strong grip, and too much in the fingers creates a weak grip. I propose the Over lap (Vardon) style finger connection be used, but interlock and baseball style grips have been used successfully by a myriad of golfers over the years.

Diagonal left hand Vardon Grip Three acceptable grip styles

Alignment is the second important element to discuss when talking about the pre-shot set up. We should think of the golf set-up like railroad tracks. The right side of the tracks includes the golf ball, the intended target and the golf clubface. The left side of the railroad tracks includes the player’s feet, knees, hips, shoulder and eye-line, all parallel left of the actual target line.
It is important the player’s weight is balanced on the balls of the feet, similar to a tennis competitor getting ready to receive a serve. Next important point to consider is the flex of the golfer’s knees. The exact amount of flex is not as important as the fact the flex remains consistent for the entire golf swing. Meaning the golfer has consistent flex at the set-up, consistent flex at the top of the swing and consistent flex in the knees when the golfer’s club face impacts the golf ball. Any inconsistencies in the flex will result in an off center golf shot.

The set-up is the next major point for discussion and includes the routine used to create the stance, as well as, the angle one prepares in the back (spine angle) for the golf shot. The posture of the student should include comfortably flexed knees, weight balanced 50/50 between the right and left foot, with the weight balanced from heel to toe in order to feel like the weight is on the balls of the feet. The player should tilt at the hip sockets, moving the shoulders in front of the hip. To find the hip socket place the middle finger of each hand on its corresponding hip, place the thumb of each hand on the lower back on each side and push together until the body begins to tilt forward. The hip socket is the point the golfers spine tilt/angle is created from. The lower part of the back should be straight with the chin perked up. This gives the golfer freedom to turn under the chin. The amount of tilt is based on the players’ height, flexibility, arm length and body type. The preferred ball position for a 6 iron should be about two inches in front of the center of the stance assuming a stance width of approximately sixteen inches. The ball position can be confirmed by divot position later in the lesson. Golfer’s struggle with matters of alignment for the simple reason they stand to the side of the golf ball, which can distort their perception of the target line. A good way to improve alignment is to start the routine by aiming the clubface dead at the target, and let the body take orders from there. Using the club face as a guide, set the body on a parallel track to the ball-to-target line. Aim the clubface squarely on the target line, and get the feet, knees, hips, shoulders and eyes to complement one another, all parallel to the ball-to-target line. A good drill is to place two golf clubs on the ground to assist you. That way, one creates a conscious awareness of the target line and the body line, which helps one avoid basic errors from creeping in.
The preferred clubface position at address should be pointed directly at the target, light grip pressure with a shaft angle (lie angle) of approximately 61.5 degrees. Upon take away, immediately after wrist hinge, the golf clubface should be pointed 90 degrees from the target, with the toe of the golf club pointed toward the sky and a shaft angle of 0 degrees, or parallel to the ground. At the top of the swing the golf club should be pointed on the same angle as the left arm, closer to the toe pointing toward the ground versus the club face being pointed on a flat 90 degree angle. If the club points toward the sky, (or on the 90 degree angle), the club face is closed at the top and if the toe of the club points directly down toward the ground at the top, the clubface is open at the top. The club should return on the forward swing and virtually mirror the take away position, the only difference is, because of the speed and lag, the club will be behind the hands. The farther behind the hands the better the player has maintained their wrist cock. The shaft angle should point the butt end of the grip behind the golf ball. At impact the clubface should square and for a straight shot be pointed directly at the target. The shaft angle should return as closely to the 61.5 degrees as possible, any deviation in shaft angle may result in contact that is too flat, or too upright, resulting in a loss of distance and shots that travel off line. Upon exit the club should mirror the backswing position where the toe of the club is pointed directly at the sky, the clubface 90 degrees from the target. The club shaft should be parallel to the ground and the arms should be extended from the body. In a face on view, the right hand covers the left hand due to forearm rotation. At the finish, the club shaft should bisect the head to show the golfer has turned their shoulders to a complete finish rather than flipping their arms, which will result is a shaft angle pointed down the player’s back. The club face will be pointed away from the target with the toe of the 6 iron pointed toward the ground again.
Another basic not normally included in the G.A.S.P. principle is making sure one is mentally ready to make a swing. One of the keys to successful learning is to keep things simple, to focus on just one or two swing keys that enable the golfer to repeat a good motion and strike the ball with a degree of consistency. Another important factor is total positive concentration. Total positive concentration is the ability to blank out certain external pressures and focus the mind on playing one shot at a time, one hole at a time. Repeating a sound pre-shot routine can be the most effective protection a golfer has against pressure. A pre-shot routine helps one to cement the fundamentals of the grip, alignment, stance and posture every time they set up to the ball. The principle is quite simple; the more one standardizes the procedure, the less they have to think about it.
The process used to diagnose swing faults starts with a few warm up swings where I will check the player’s grip from a face on view, watching carefully for signs of extreme pressure, worn glove, milking the grip, rotating the face during the swing with hands/wrist. Second, from down the line I will observe the player’s alignment and ask the player where their target is. I will visually check if they are open, or closed and lay a club down at their feet, followed by another club parallel right of this foot line. I then check for a few major swing faults that plague a majority of beginner and intermediate students. Failure to maintain balance is an easy fault to diagnose just by observing the players finish. The instructor needs to ask themselves if it is balanced and aggressive, if not, the player is off balance during the swing. Next I’ll check the players knee flex, does it stay completely static throughout the golf swing, or does the player modify flex throughout the golf swing. Next I’ll check spine angle, with the help of the camera to see if it is maintained throughout the course of the swing. I will then watch a few swings checking face and shaft angles. I will consult video at this point to confirm my diagnosis. I pay specific attention to set-up, middle of the back swing, top of the swing, as well as, middle of the forward swing. The earlier during the swing the fault can be traced, the easier it can be fixed. We need to work with the cause of the swing fault rather than placing band aids all over the effects. For beginning students we may not proceed to full swings, if the basics of grip, alignment, posture are not conducive to good contact and flight, we need to confront these issues before we make full swings.
The first thing I will look forward when correcting ball flight is the grip. It is the basis for many ball flight problems. If the grip is neutral, or does not fit the flight diagnosis, I will check the swing path, as well as, maintenance of body positions throughout the golf swing.
Golfers slice the golf ball because (1) They have a weak grip. Meaning for a right handed player their hands are rotated too far to the left on the grip. (2) They pick the club up at takeaway and are forced to make a hitting motion at the golf ball, rather than a swinging motion. They end up cutting across the golf ball imparting a lot of side spin and the golf ball slices. (3) The player either fails to shift their weight during the golf swing, or leaves their weight on the right side, resulting in an arms only swing and a swing that imparts too much sidespin. (4) The golfer lays the club off at the top, resulting in an open clubface, and/or an across the line hit, when the golfer prepares to “catch-up”.
Golfers hook the golf ball because (1) Their grip is too strong. Meaning their hands are rotated too far to the right on the grip. (2) The golf club travels quickly inside of their hands soon after takeaway, their swing becomes too flat and they impart sidespin with this overly rounded flippy motion. (3) The player over uses hands and wrists, gets very quick at the start of the down swing, or over rotates the club at impact versus extending their arms. (4) The golfer has the club across the line at the top resulting in a catch-up motion usually including over active weight, or wrist/hands.
Another good way to discover specific areas that need attention is to update periodically certain performance figures by keeping detailed records on the golf course while playing. Key questions to be recorded; Did poor shots miss to the left or the right of the target? Do the shots reach pin high? Do they finish short of the hole? How often did one take the opportunity to get up and down? This game analysis will be revealing. Letting one know over half the shots taken are from within 100 yards. Data collected from 100 yards and in should include; How often does one knock the ball within 15 feet with a wedge shot? What’s the player’s conversion rate from the greenside bunker? How many putts are taken during the course of an average golf round? On putting misses, does the golfer tend to miss to the left or to the right? Does one leave putts short, or charge them by? Once the golfer is done with the honest evaluation, they should have a set of performance notes in front of them that will be very revealing of the strengths and weaknesses. The golfer will start to realize through evaluation that success in the game of golf has little to do with the number of good shots one hits in the course of a round. It’s the quality of the golfer’s ‘misses’ and the clarity of their thinking that matters most of all, which is why the mental element is so important in terms of the ability to repeat the skills learned in practice out on the course. I place such an emphasis on the basics because they are the nuts and bolts of good method. Adhering to proven principles is what will enable one to avoid common pitfalls and create repetitive motion. Remember, thinking creates tension. A good golf swing is very much an instinctive action, which allows one to focus the mind on the target, being able to concentrate on the where, rather than the how.
The swing model is simplified when it relates to putting. For short putts inside of twenty feet, I idealize a putting stroke that is straight back and straight through. The grip should be modified from the full swing grip to let the body know that it is taking a putting stroke and not a full golf swing. A reverse overlap grip, or a change as simple as placing the index fingers along the shaft should succeed in indicating to the body and mind that it is a putting stroke and not a full swing. The player should stand closer to a ball one is putting, with the stance inside of shoulder width, slightly narrower than with the full swing 6 iron. The ball should be placed in front of center of the stance, at the inside of the left heel. This will promote a slightly ascending blow and impart top spin on the putt. The eyes should be placed directly over the golf ball. An easy check is to place a mirror under the golf ball. When the eyes can be seen directly under the golf ball the player is correctly set-up. If a mirror is not available another golf ball can be place on the bridge of the nose and dropped when the player is set to stroke the putt. Only if the ball strikes the ball in play is the player set-up correctly. The length of the stroke, as well as, tempo of the stroke, dictates how far the putt will roll. No wrist or hands should be used for putts under twenty feet in length. As one is dealing with longer putts, the putter head may travel slightly inside of this straight line and the clubface may open gently in the back stroke and close gently during the follow- through. Only for extremely long putts fifty feet or more, it is acceptable to use the wrists (although not recommended it may be necessary with slower green speeds). The body should stay stationary, no turn of the shoulders, or hips is necessary only a rock of the shoulders to stroke the putt. The player should keep their head stable until the putter head moves to follow-through. Only after the putter head stops moving shall the player look at the golf ball’s line. The rule for the short game is, a player should putt when they can, chip when they cannot putt and pitch only when they have to.
The swing model is very similar for the chip as it is for the putt. The less green there is to work with, the more lofted club the player should use. However, the player should not get pigeon holed into using only one club for all their chip shots. A chip shot with a lot of green to work with may use a six iron for example. The chip should be similar to the putt in that the wrists and hands are hardly used for the shorter shots, only as the shots become longer are the wrists used. The player should pick out a spot on the green over the rough and the fringe where they want to land the ball so it may safely roll up to the hole. For longer shots a slight turn of the shoulders and a slight hinge of the wrist will help create the proper distance on the shot.
The swing model applies to pitching just as it did for the full swing. The motion is generally shorter, but acceleration is used as in the full swing. The amount of weight shift may be muted, as well as, the length of back swing and follow-through, but the concepts remain the same as the full swing 6 iron. To play the ball with extra loft, the ball may be placed farther forward in the stance and the wrist hinge and unhinge is exaggerated. The swing is overall smoother, with a focus on keeping the grip pressure light throughout. The pitch or lob shot is important when dealing with situations where little green is available to roll the golf ball, or where the golf ball needs to land and stop on or near a down slope. Opening the stance and the club face in the same ratio will allow the golfer to add loft while keeping their club face aimed at the intended target. This is a tougher shot for beginner and intermediate golfers to master and should only be introduced when the golfer is comfortable making consistent contact with the golf ball and understands beyond the basics of the short game.
The swing model for the bunker shot is to take a neutral or slightly weak grip. The stance is slightly open to the target and the clubface is as open as the stance. The ball in position in the front portion of the stance, just off the left heel. The weight can be placed slightly forward at address, or moved forward during the swing in order to promote flange to sand contact, rather than leading edge to sand contact. A thin layer of sand is removed directly under the golf ball, starting two inches behind the golf ball and continuing two inches in front of the golf ball. The sand is splashed out of the bunker with the flange, or the bounce and not dug out of the sand by the leading edge. The length of follow-through is the method used to control the distance of the bunker shot. A sand shot with an abrupt (short) follow-through will result in a shorter carry. A sand shot with an exaggerated (long) follow-through, will result in a longer carry of the shot. However, the carry can also be controlled through swing tempo, or distance the club strikes the sand away from the ball, (1 inch, or 4 inches behind the ball). Good drills to promote consistent club to sand contact include, first to draw a line in the sand and have the student practice making contact starting at the line and continuing in front of it, second draw a four inch circle around the golf ball and practice splashing the circle from around the ball, finally placing a dollar, or something about the same size and shape under the golf ball, cover the dollar with two inches of sand and practice extricating the dollar from the sand, these three drills will help students practice their “money shots”.
The swing model desires from the student’s swing a controlled aggressive motion, which combines a solid neutral grip, proper alignment for the student’s ball flight and consistent posture from the set-up to the finish. It is important to note that an athletic swing, which takes advantage of the student’s physical characteristics and tendencies, will produce the best results. It is important to start with a good pre-shot routine which includes a visualization of the shot to be executed. This pre-shot routine should be standardized by each individual student. I express to my students my version of the pre-shot routine and let them know their routine does not have to match mine, however, their routine on the practice range must match their routine on the golf course. Other important points include, a careful gauge of the carry distance, total distance, slopes, wind, temperature and weather. A consistent move from behind the ball, into breathing, waggle, set-up, take away, through the finish and balance until the golf ball comes to rest in its desired location. Also, remember we are all of a different height, build and temperament, so inevitably these fundamentals must be tempered with a degree of individual interpretation.
Golf Biomechanics
The effective swing reflects physical laws and the human element of attempting to propel a ball with a club. The important thing is I have an organized approach based on solid principles, capable of accommodating a variety of student needs and abilities. The look of the swing is in final analysis, overrated. Since swing styles vary, the scientific research and personal observation are what need to be compared to the swing laws and principles when troubleshooting student’s swings. As a master professional studying the golf swing, the basic questions that need to be answered include;
· What happens to the ball at impact based on the physical laws of cause and effect?
· What’s essential when deciding on the best way for a student to arrive at impact?
· What is the swing model and what is it based on?
· What is the approach for applying and adopting the model to the needs of individual students?

Common features to good swings include;
· Wide extension of the swing arc
· Club parallel to the target at the top of the backswing
· Club approaching the ball from inside the target line
· Body facing the target, or slightly past, with right foot vertical on the toe at the finish

Laws- Are the physical forces that determine the flight of the ball in predictable ways.
Principles- Are the key positions and movements that influence the laws.
Preferences- Are the teachers and pupils choice of swing fundamentals that constitute style.

Basic 5 step approach to teaching the golf swing
1. Teach cause and effect and the outcome of golf shots (laws)
2. Teach principles of making a golf stroke and how variations affect the results
3. Through experimentation, logic, and analysis, recommend a style or technique compatible with the student’s goals and abilities (preferences)
4. Get the student to appreciate their physical assets and liabilities
5. Get the student to stick to and practice techniques recommended

In order to hit any full, straight shot the golfer must;
· Swing the club on a plane straight through the ball toward the aiming point (path)
· Make the club face aim square toward the target when swinging, or at least at impact (position of the club face)
· Swing the club head through impact as fast as possible, while achieving both the first two prerequisites of a straight shot (speed)
· Hit the ball in the middle of the club face (centeredness)

There are three sources of power for creating distance and include, mechanical advantage (levers), positional advantage (height and arc) and muscular advantage. Mechanical advantage is arranging the muscles and bones according to the principles of mechanics so that one can move the body in an efficient and powerful way. Mechanical advantage is created by hinging and straightening the arms and wrists to form levers, by stretching and coiling of the muscles, and tight, centered hip rotation. Positional advantage is generated by moving the club away and up over the body. The farther the club head travels, the more powerful the swing. Muscular advantage refers to the player’s ability to use the strong muscles of the back and thighs to produce club head acceleration. Physical makeup goes beyond static characteristics such as height, weight and muscular structure, to include kinesthetic factors such as flexibility, balance, coordination and suppleness. Instead of thinking of a student as a member of a group, (senior, junior, lady), I look at them in terms of basic fitness factors. When assessing a student’s physical condition, there are four basic components to consider;

· Flexibility
· Balance
· Endurance
· Strength

The relationship of the fitness factors to the golf swing and playing golf are;
· Flexibility enables the body to reach certain positions that can maximize use of the muscular strength available
· Balance is the ability to stay centered throughout the swing
· Muscular endurance means the muscles can still perform with efficiency even after many holes, or hours of practice
· Cardiovascular endurance is having a heart and lungs that operate efficiently enough to stop a player from tiring easily
· Strength is needed to produce distance, but it must be a specific kind of strength that allows the golfer to swing the club on plane with speed

According to William Mallon, author of “The Golf Doctor”, “Injuries to recreational, or weekend golfers probably rate less to overuse and more to poor swing, no warm-up and poor exercise techniques. The innocuous appearance of the sport of golf causes most weekend athletes to overlook the injury aspect. Yet injuries do occur among amateur golfers. Most golfers do not place the same demands on their bodies that professionals do, yet those lesser demands are placed on bodies not well suited to the task. In addition, their swing techniques are less refined and efficient.” According to a 1995 consumer products safety commission study, their were 39,928 golf injuries treated in emergency rooms and that does not include injuries that were non-emergency based, or self treated by the injured golfer.
The back is the most commonly injured area among men, second most among women. The wrist is the most commonly injured area among women. Elbow injuries were the next most common for both. Shoulder and wrist complaints among male golfers were about equal. Women also injure their shoulders, but not as often as men. Shoulder problems occurred in older players most often. Golfers have problems with hips, knees and ankles, but slightly less than the previous mentioned areas.
Back pain is common because golf requires a tremendous amount of twisting and bending in directions that do not come naturally. The back is designed to bend forward and backward easily. When a golfer repeatedly moves in other ways, as in the golf swing, stress is put on the muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints in and around the back, particularly if the golfer starts the round without warming up and stretching. Golf is especially challenging for the back because it requires relatively long periods of inactivity punctuated by intense bursts of effort. Adequate strength and flexibility of the muscles and joints together with effective technique can help prevent injury.
After I become aware of the student’s physical characteristics I use the following options listed to maximize performance to prevent new injuries, or aggravate existing ones;
· Modify technique
· Introduce drills, exercises and conditioning programs
· Change equipment
· Adjust playing strategy

My goal is to help the student find, develop, and fix a swing that works with their body type, physical conditioning and temperament. To prescribe the set of swing preferences to fit each individual student a thorough understanding of biomechanics as related to elements of the swing is necessary. Examples of assessing physical body type and matching it with swing preferences include;
· In pre-shot preparation and setup grip is a principle where anatomy, in some cases hand size, may affect the choice of a specific way to grip the club
· In alignment or set-up, I recommend angling the right foot outward to allow more turn for a golfer with flexibility problems
· During the swing, swing arc and length are principles that relate to distance. Attempting to overcome a lack of golfing strength by increasing the arc of the backswing, may help, but not to the point where control breaks down and not if the golfer is unable to achieve higher arc

Another way for golfers to improve their swing is to introduce or improve a fitness routine. A well planned fitness routine helps golfers improve their;
· Confidence
· Longevity
· Stamina
· Distance
· Direction
· Incidence of injury

Before I start each golf practice session with a student I have them warm-up their golf muscles and joints with a routine that;
· Increases overall body metabolism
· Increases blood flow to the muscles
· Stretches the muscles and joints to improve flexibility
· Exercises the specific muscles involved in golf so they can perform at their optimal level prior to practicing of teeing off.

I also encourage my students to periodically stretch while out on the course. Some of the best times to do any stretching exercises on the course include;
· On the first tee, especially if the golfer was rushed and did not have time for a proper warm-up
· While waiting for another group to clear the green
· After one or more shots have gone off target

For ease of analysis and discussion, the golf swing is generally divided into key positions and phases. These positions include; address, top of backswing, transition, downswing and follow-through. The area of interest for most swing analysis is the downswing but will include aspects of the transition and follow-through. The set-up and the back swing are critically important to load and preparation of the muscles for a properly functioning biomechanic sequenced golf impact. The downswing is analyzed most carefully in order to compare skilled swing energy to less skilled swing energy. Commercial analysis systems extract key points from these measurements, average them for good players and compare them to norms.
The sequencing of body motions during the downswing in golf has been described using several different names. One of the first to describe the idea was Bunn in his “Summation of Speed Principle”. “When the optimum speed possible is desired at the movement of impact and when total body movements, or the movement of several portions of the body are involved in developing this optimum speed, the speed of each successive member should be faster than its predecessor and ultimately in the direction of the objective. The movement of each member should start the movement of greatest velocity but least acceleration of the preceding”. Movement always starts with the big muscles action and finishes with the action of the smallest muscles. This idea is called the kinetic link. The kinetic link principle involves a series of linked segments with one end fixed and the other end open, generally getting smaller as they progress. The small segment can be made to travel extremely fast by the sequential acceleration and deceleration of the body segments. Examples of different biomechanic principles and their associated diagrams follow, examples of good and weak wrist hinge, disk and spring model of the kinematic sequence and the sixteenth degree of freedom model;

According to these important biomechanic diagrams there must be wrist hinge at the beginning of the downswing and then a rapid release of the wrist angle later in the forward swing. This sequence allows for maximum speed of the club head. Depending on which expert one asks the proper wrist sequencing is either due to an active negative wrist torque or just the natural dynamics of the pendulum when the proximal segment is correctly controlled.

Of the studies that looked at the sequence in the downswing as more than two segments, Cochran and Stobbes image describing the downswing as three disks on an axis connected to each other and the ground by springs. The bottom disk is the largest and the disks get smaller until the last disk, the smallest has the club attached to it. The tension in the springs represents the tension in the muscles. The disks are rotated in the backswing until all the springs are tense. What order should the springs be released to impart the greatest possible rotation speed to the topmost cylinder? The answer is, they should operate in sequence from the bottom upwards.
Finally Koegler developed a joint-torque driven, sixteen degree of freedom model of the pelvis, thorax and left arm during the swing. The model is used for two purposes, first to validate the proximal to distal sequencing of joints and torques during the swing, and second to verify the dynamic orientation of the forearm pronation and supination axis and radial body rotation seen in anatomical experimentation.

Club Fitting
As a certified professional and teacher, I have a thorough understanding of the basic principles of club design and the effect on ball flight and performance. I can apply this knowledge, assess the student’s equipment and make appropriate recommendations if changes are warranted. In order to evaluate the role of equipment is playing in a student’s swing there needs to be an understanding of golf club design variables and how they affect performance. There are eleven club design variables that can have an effect on performance. The list below summarizes the variables and their relationship to distance, trajectory and ball flight.
· Club Head Design (as it affects ball flight performance)
1. The effect of off center hits on distance, trajectory, accuracy and distance control
2. The effect of horizontal face bulge on directional control
3. The effect of vertical face roll on trajectory
4. The relationship of sole radius and sole width in terms of ground drag and bounce through impact

· Club Loft (as it affects ball trajectory)
1. Its relation to other variables, such as face angle, vertical face roll, shaft flexing, and sole angle
2. The consequences of changing club loft, especially in terms of player perceptions
3. The proper manner of measuring loft angle

· Club Lie (as it affects direction)
1. The effect of improper lies on shot direction
2. The relationship of such factors as shaft flex and club length on lie angle
3. The best methods of finding a proper lie angle for the student

· Club Length (as it affects ball performance)
1. How it relates to such variables as lie, shaft flex, swing weight and total weight
2. The impact of length on accuracy and distance
3. How altering club length affects the swing

· Face angle in woods (as they affect club speed, distance and accuracy)
1. How it is measured
2. Its relationship to shaft flex
3. Its interaction with club head path in producing patterns of ball flight

· Swing weight and total weight (as they affect club speed, distance and accuracy)
1. How swing weight is defined and measured
2. The importance of matching swing weight with other club components, such as grip and shaft
3. The relationship between swing weight and total weight

· Grip size and materials (as they affect the golf swing)
1. How to measure grip size
2. How to match grip size to the player
3. Relative merits of different types of materials

· Shaft flex and material (as they affect trajectory, direction and club speed)
1. How to match shaft flex to the individual golfer

There are many relationships among these 11 variables and these variables relate to specific shot patterns and swing results. The following are examples of golf shot problems and possible equipment solutions;
Troubleshooting Guide
Hook or pull
Open face angle
Use stiffer flex shaft
Use a more tip stiff shaft
Check for too upright a lie
Check for proper club length
Check for too small a grip
Slice or push
Use a more flexible shaft
Use a more tip weak shaft
Check for too flat a lie
Check for back weighted club
Decrease swing weight
Check for too large a grip
Close face angle (woods)
Check for proper club length
Hit ball too high
Decrease loft
Use a stiffer shaft
Use a more tip stiff shaft
Check for proper club length
Check for excessive face roll (woods)
Use a deeper-faced club
Check for excessive hook in face angle (woods)
Accuracy generally inconsistent in both directions
Shaft too flexible
Use a more tip stiff shaft
Swing weight too heavy or too light
Check all lie angles
Check for proper club length
Check for proper grip
Check for weight in grip end of club
Unsolid feeling during the shot
Swing weight too light
Total weight too light
Shaft too stiff
Use a more tip weak shaft
Check for excessive weight down shaft
Check for weight in grip end of club
Check all lie angles
Possibly improperly designed club head
Check location of club head’s center of gravity
Loss of Distance
Swing weight too heavy
Total weight too heavy
Trajectory too high (irons)
Trajectory too high or too low
Shaft too stiff
Use a lighter overall weight shaft
Check for too large a grip
Check for proper club length
Check for excessive face roll, check all loft angles
Use a more tip weak shaft

It is my duty to understand all golf club design attributes and how each translates into performance benefits that satisfy a golfer’s individual needs. In addition to being grounded in equipment fundamentals, the golf teacher has to keep abreast of evolving changes in golf club technology, including 460 cubic centimeter golf club heads and the use of metals and alloys in club head design. Choices in golf ball design have also increased as manufacturers produce a selection that meets a wider range of golfing abilities and goals. In informing my students of golf club design features, simplicity and the ability to keep things on a need to know basis is the best approach. How much to tell an individual student depends on the situation and the experience and skills of the particular player. More experienced players will want to know about the benefit of more sophisticated information on the intricacies of swing weight, flex point, shaft weight and those variables that are relevant to any problems they are experiencing.
Assessing the clubs is a part of the initial interview process and overall evaluation of a new student and their swing. The focus shifts almost completely to the equipment during a formal fitting session. The process of evaluating the clubs allows me to look at the clubs characteristics and how the student is performing using the clubs, generally focusing on;
· Impact pattern on club face
· Lie Angle
· Grip size and type
· Club length and shaft flex
· Shot trajectory
· Swing speed
· Carry distance
· Flight pattern
· Ratio of poor, average and excellent shots with each club

Depending on the type of session the evaluation can vary from ask and eyeball to high tech, computer based evaluation. The high technology systems using launch monitors are designed to measure a various amount of very helpful information. A middle of the spectrum approach uses impact tape and lie angle tape to measure centeredness of contact and lie angle strike. Regardless of ability, all golfers should have golf clubs that fit them. Fit includes swing preferences, level of skill, experience and physical makeup, as well as, the complex set of interactions between these factors. The bottom line is that when making equipment assessments for students, I consider all aspects of the golfer requesting the assessment, including age, strength, flexibility, frequency of practice and play, desire and golfing needs.
A great general trend has been the fact that all major manufacturers can now make a set of custom clubs to meet specifications and most of the companies offer club-fitting systems for golf professionals to gather these measurements. For use of these systems, there is no extra charge to the consumer by the manufacturer and the clubs can be delivered in as little as a few days. Also, some standard club specifications can be altered in house by an experience club fitter who can change lofts and lies of irons and grip sizes in a matter of minutes. However, if a lot of changes are necessary after a full club fitting session, it is better to custom order a set from the manufacturer of the player’s choice.
When conducting a professional club fitting session I have the golfer hit shots with 6 irons that vary in several dimensions, such as flex, weight, length, lie and grip size. Based on the golfer’s performance with these 6 irons, I determine which specifications produce the most consistent results. Lie angle is determined first, followed by club length and shaft stiffness. I use impact tape that indicates whether the ball is being hit near the heel or the toe or in the center on the sweet spot. I have the golfer hit different clubs until we zero in on the proper lie, length and flex. New technologies have replaced most of the trial and error systems and Titleist and Ping use software systems that are state of the art. These systems use electric eyes and launch monitors to measure ball speed off of the club face, launch angle, spin rate, shaft flex, descending angle and smash factor. The data is analyzed by the computer instantly and detailed on the screen for both the teacher and the student to see and evaluate.

Popular Modern swing Models

It was the cover story of the December 1992 issue “Widen the Gap”, by renowned teacher Jim McLean. The differential between the hips and shoulders at the top of the swing (the greater it is, the more power one creates), still holds water. His article was based on the research of Mike McTeigue using a measurement device called the Swing Motion Trainer. This is a cornerstone of my teaching model and although more golf knowledge has been made available in the fifteen years since its publication, no single theory helps me more than Jim Mclean’s theories from the early nineties. After analyzing tour professionals they found the bigger rotational difference between the hips and the shoulders, the longer the drives.
It is a commonly accepted theory that muscles that are stretched or preloaded can contract with more force than muscles at rest. For example, if a person was going to jump high, one will squat down first and then jump. However, if one squats down quickly and then explodes upward, they will be able to jump higher. Basically stated, rapidly stretching the muscle first and then immediately shortening it, will allow it to respond with more force in its shortening movement. The same rapid pre-stretch is beneficial to the golf swing.
More recently there has been study on the amount of increase in the X-factor during the first portion of the down swing and its effect on distance. Research has shown that extra stretch on muscle and active resistance to this stretch can increase the force of contraction of the muscle. Several mechanisms are responsible for this. A rapid rotation of the pelvis early in the down swing triggers sensitive stretch receptors, called muscle spindles, in the muscles to quickly shorten the muscle. Therefore, as the hips initially rotate forward toward the ball, the maximally stretched rotational muscles of the trunk respond faster and with a more forceful contraction. A second mechanism relates to stored elastic energy in the muscles. The opposing directions of the shoulders and hips at the top of the backswing will stretch the torso muscles facilitating storage and finally release of energy. The end result is the X-factor stretch increases the force production on the down swing, facilitating greater club head speed at impact.
X-Factor Stretch, new research suggests, is more important to an effective swing than simply X-factor at the top of the back swing and the X-factor should actually increase early in the down swing before rapidly decreasing to impact. The aim of the back swing is not only just to put the golfer in the correct position for the down swing, but also to dynamically tense the torso muscles correctly to allow them to contract maximally during the down swing, generating maximum power.

X-Factor Stretch Drill #1
· The Pole Twist- While in a good golf position at the top of the golf swing, hold onto a fixed pole with both hands and turn the hips to the left. Do not slide but instead rotate and push the hips together. Try not to pull on the pole with the arms, but instead let the hips and upper body separate and the feeling is an increase in the amount of turn in the trunk. Hold for a ten count, relax and repeat, do on both sides.

X-Factor Stretch Drill #2
· The arm hold hip turn- While getting into a good golf address position, grab a hold of the back of the left elbow with the right hand. Turn to the top of the back swing, keeping the left shoulder below the chin. Now turn the hips to the left and resist the upper body from moving with the right arm. Repeat ten times for a 5-second stretch on each side.

The primary muscles one stretches when they coil into the back swing are the powerful and highly coordinated abdominal rotators. These muscles are located on the sides of the waist area, but wrap almost from the front to the back. At the top of the back swing the right external oblique and the left internal oblique muscle groups are lengthening and continue to be stretched with the X-factor stretch. On the forward swing, the muscles quickly contract where they produce upper body speed and power by rapidly rotating the trunk (shoulders) to catch up with the pelvis (hips) at impact.

One Plane
The one plane swing can be summarized as, swinging the arms in the same plane as one turns the body. That is the most simplistic way to communicate this swing theory. Now Mr. Hardy has written a couple of books so obviously he has more to say about it than my simplistic statement. Many students ask me about this theory and I encourage them to read up on it as I own a copy of Mr. Hardy’s books. The main teaching aid I’ll use to help students who would like to seriously explore a one plane swing is the plane board I had made last year.
Jim Hardy’s mentor John Jacobs described the golf swing as swinging the arms up and down on the inside as one turns the body (two turns and a swish). The arms swinging up and down (vertical) while the body turns (horizontal) on two separate planes. The body turns on a horizontal plane, revolving around an fairly erect spine angle. The arms, meanwhile swinging on a more upright plane as the body turns.
The difference between these two theories is that a golfer either swings the arms in somewhat the same plane as the body turns, or they do not. If a golfer swings the arms up and around the body on the same plane as the shoulders it’s one plane and if the golfer swings the arms more vertically on a steeper plane than the shoulders it’s a two plane swing. Mr. Hardy states there are two distinctly different sets of fundamentals that govern the two types of swings.
The one plane swinger must bend over more at address, while the two planer promotes the correct action by standing more erect. He states there are further differences relative to grip, stance, ball position and weight distribution. In all his instruction the flight of the ball is the guide. If the golfer is doing something better, the ball should do something better. If the ball flight is not improving, the instruction is not being understood clearly and the golfer is not doing what they are being asked.
Elements of a one-plane swing
· Grip- neutral to strong position
· Stance- square, or slightly closed; hips square, or slightly open, shoulders square, or slightly open
· Left foot- pointed outward at an angle of 30-45 degrees
· Right foot- square to the target line
· Ball position- one planer is farther from the ball than a two planer all things being equal
· Posture- center the weight over the hips, with the spine centered
· Hands- centered, or just an inch or two ahead of the body’s center
· Weight distribution- 50% on each foot

Stack and Tilt
The stack and tilt method has the golfer putting 60% of their weight on the left side at address. On the backswing move the left shoulder down, not laterally. The body, they say, remains over the ball. This surely takes away the weight shift that virtually every teacher claims is one of the keys to power and distance. The club comes decidedly inside on the backswing; the turning body creates an inside path; the backswing itself is shorter to keep arms and torso connected. The result is a swing that is compact in appearance, to say the least. In fact, it looks condensed or compressed. This is the hottest theory at the writing of this master professional project. Many current PGA tour player including Mike Weir, Aaron Baddeley, Dean Wilson, John Cook, Grant Waite, Brad Faxon, Tommy Armour III and Will Mackenzie are using the theories of Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer. I’m still in the research stages on this swing and even though I’ve discussed it with students and colleagues I have yet to have a serious student ask me to try to instruct them in this theory.

While each swing theory has different principles they can easily be taught if I understand the fundamentals that make each swing different and repetitive. I can guide students who ask about specific theories and ask them questions about their current swing or goals that may move them toward or away from a specific theory.

Lesson Structure
The structure for all lessons should include some basics.
· Be there
· Be there on time
· Be there on time and prepared

I make sure as a golf instructor I meet my students with a smile and use appropriate body language to show I am looking forward to working with the student. As a person’s self esteem is important to the success of the instructor, particularly for a first lesson, or a lesson with a beginner, I make sure to compliment before I criticize. I also make sure that I follow set guidelines and procedures with each student and each lesson, including taking notes, gathering written information about the student, their game, and their motivation for taking golf lessons. Another important point to discuss with the student before a series of lessons, during key peaks and valleys and before the start and immediately following a lesson, are the student’s goals for the instruction. The goal needs to come from the student, but I help shape the student’s goals and;
· Make them challenging but attainable
· Develop them with the student
· Make sure the goals are specific
· Make the goals progressive from short-term to long-term

Ultimately the student must make the changes suggested by the instructor. Learning is a change in behavior that comes about through practice. Suggesting a change is not adequate, there must be consistent effort by the student to implement changes recommended by the instructor. One of the greatest misconceptions in instruction is the expectation of execution from suggestion. If the teacher and the student want success there must be an implementation program. Words are not enough.
To rephrase, a golf lesson or instruction program is a two-way street and the student must take into consideration some key points when taking golf instruction.
· Agree on instructional objectives with the golf professional
· Be an active learner
· Find a comfortable match-up of teaching style and learning style
· Avoid false modesty and beware of pride and ego
· Avoid noncompliance
· Practice, practice, practice
· Patience, patience, patience

If these seven basics are followed by the student golf instruction can become the team effort it needs to be in order to be successful. The golf professional is sharing, directing and guiding, while the student is assimilating, striving and cooperating.

(a) A group of eight beginning students that is made up of adults both male and female.
If the group can be contacted before the lesson and some information gathered, it is preferred to get all eight players names, ages, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, golf experience, as well as, any physical limitations any of the students may have. The first few items are important for proper record keeping and the last two items gauge the experience of the students and any changes that may need to be made to the lesson program or structure. If the proper contact is not possible this information should be gathered either in the golf office, or on the practice range before the clinic begins. The students if they have their own golf clubs should begin with some light stretching, or if they did not bring their own clubs, proper clubs should be selected from what is available.
The stretching should include, but not limited to hands and wrists, shoulders, core muscles, lower back, calf, thighs and rotator cuff. These areas can be stretched by holding a golf club outstretched and making small circles isolating the wrists and hands, or large circles, isolating the shoulder and rotator cuff. Second a golf club can be linked in front of the elbows but behind the back and a simple trunk muscle rotation be completed 10 times in each direction. Third the triceps can be stretched by grabbing the grip end of the club with the right hand, while grabbing the club head behind the back with the left hand, pull and hold for 10 seconds. Reverse hands and hold for 10 seconds for left tricep stretch. Now, put the right foot over the left foot and bend at the hip again, hold for 5 seconds. Put the left foot over the right, bend at the hip and hold for 5 seconds. Hip circles can be a great way to get warmed up and should be added if there is flat dry ground. Get on all fours, distribute the weight evenly between the arms and the left knee. Take the right leg and make big circles with the hip for fifteen seconds, then switch to the other leg. Finally do a few windmills. Extend both arms 90 degrees from the shoulders in a good golf posture and rotate the trunk muscles back and forth 10-20 times in each direction. Finally to finish a very limited stretching session, a golf club should be placed on the ground and the player should bend at the hips, with the feet close together and the knees straight, and pick up the golf club. This stretching session should be enough to avoid an injury during a golf lesson and enough to get the group started before the clinic.
It is important that the students are familiar to the basics of the pre-shot golf swing, so the G.A.S.P. model can be used to introduce the beginners to the pre-shot golf fundamentals. Introduce the grip, give the three acceptable types of grips used and use a visual/kinesthetic aid like a form grip to introduce a proper neutral grip. I try to either have enough form grips available, or pass the form grip around to make sure everyone gets a chance to try it out. I notice who responses very positively or negatively to the form grip. It gives me an insight into the learning styles of the students. Secondly, I introduce alignment to the students by placing or drawing two parallel lines on the practice range. The analogy of railroad tracks can be very helpful to students who have not had any experience with golf. I inform the students the right side of the railroad tracks includes the ball, club face and the target, while the left side of the tracks includes the feet, knees, hips and shoulders (for right handed golfers). Third, I introduce the set-up and stance to the player focusing on balanced weight, consistently flexed knees and the proper way to create and maintain spine angle. At this point it is important to have golfers feel the proper posture. First use a balance aid to help non athletes get a gauge on proper balance (I like to use balance discs I purchased at the PGA merchandise show from Exert Tools). It is important to show students the difference spine angle makes. I instruct them on how to create a proper spine angle, as well as, the importance of maintaining it. The example of baseball versus golf where in baseball the ball is at waist level and in golf the ball is stationary on the ground is a easy way to communicate in analogy form what proper posture in the golf swing consists of. In continuing to focus in on posture, I communicate its importance and the effects to the golf shot if posture is altered during the golf swing.


Prior to playing a stroke, or making a practice swing, the player should ensure that no one is standing close by, or in a position to be hit by the club, the ball, or any stones, pebbles, twigs, or the like that may be moved by the stroke or swing
Consideration for other players
The player who has the honor should be allowed to play before his opponent or fellow competitor tees his ball. No one should move, talk, or stand close to or directly behind the ball or the hole when a player is addressing the ball or making a stroke. No player should play until the players in front are out of range.
Pace of play
In the interests of all, players should play without delay. Players searching for a ball should signal the players behind them to pass as soon as it becomes apparent the ball will not be easily found. They should not continue play until the players following them have passed and are out of range. When the play of the hole has been completed, players should immediately leave the putting green. If a match fails to keep its pace on the course and loses more than one clear hole on the players in front, it should invite the match following it to pass.
Priority on the course
In the absence of special rules, two-ball matches should have precedence over and should be entitled to pass any three or four ball matches, which should invite them through.

Care of the Course
Holes in bunkers
Before leaving a bunker, players should carefully fill-up and smooth over all holes and footprints they make.
Replace divots, repair ball marks and damage by spikes
Through the green, players should ensure that any turf cut or displaced by the player is replaced at once and pressed down and that any damage to the putting green made by the ball is carefully repaired. On completion of the hole by all players in the group, damage to the putting green caused by the golf shoe spikes should be repaired.
Damage to greens by flagsticks, bags, etc.
Players should ensure that, when putting down bags or the flagstick, no damage is done to the putting green and that neither they nor their caddies damage the hole by standing close to it, in handling the flagstick, or in removing the ball from the hole. The flagstick should be properly in the hole before the players leave the putting green. Players should not damage the putting green by leaning on their putters, particularly when removing the ball from the hole.
Golf Cars
Local notices regulating the movement of golf cars should be strictly observed.
Damage through practice swings
In taking practice swings, players should avoid causing damage to the course, particularly the tees, by removing divots.

At this point I’m ready to get the beginning golfers to hit their first shot. If the beginning segment has not been too wordy, I will review and hit a few shots as a demonstration. If the students seem ready at this point, I distribute range balls and quickly review safety before allowing them to strike a few short iron shots. At first, I try to observe the group as a whole to check understanding, as well as, to find any flaws out of the ordinary that would reduce a student or the group’s enjoyment of the lesson. If there are no extraordinary flaws, I will ascertain the most common or basic flaw and stop the group to introduce the fix. In a group of this size and ability level, we will most often discuss either weight transfer or the take away of the golf swing, both basics needed in order to hit basic golf shots. After checking for understanding, it is time to back away and do a little one-on-one with each student to correct their unique flaws. It is important to note the amount of time the lessons is scheduled for and the number of lessons this group will be attending. The goals of the group have a major effect on what will be covered in the second half of a two-hour session. The most effective way, in my opinion, for beginning golfers to make a fundamental leap is to hit golf balls on the range and work on the fundamentals of the golf game in a controlled setting like the practice range. However, the needs of the group may force a trip to the golf course to go over basic golf course etiquette, golf knowledge and golf course management. This should be covered in a third clinic of a series of five clinics, unfortunately many groups cannot dedicate as much time as is necessary.

(b) An intermediate student with a (12) handicap who is working on improving his/her game along with the short game skills necessary to take them to the more advanced level or handicap.
If this is the first lesson with the intermediate student it is important to gather the necessary information including, name, age, length of time in golf, amount player practices, contact information and immediate and long-range golf goals. Try to ascertain specifics about this students goals, game improvement is too vague! Specifically ask if we are looking to improve for tournament play, a work related event or to play better with their weekly group. Get a feel for the students athletic ability, their commitment to the game of golf and their learning style, all of these are important to the strategy I will take as an instructor in order to improve the student’s game. After the initial consultation, I prepare a lesson plan for the student that gives a step by step improvement and measurement model for the student to gauge their progress over time. I plan to evaluate iron game, wood game, short game, putting, specialty shots and golf management to find strengths and
weaknesses and improve the players scoring, handicap and enjoyment of the game of golf over the course of a series of lessons.

The Tucker 100 Short Game Skills Test
# of shots
Goal (receive 1 point per shot)
30 yard
45 yard
60 yard
75 yard
90 yard
Ball in 6’ circle
Ball in 6’ circle
Ball in 9’ circle
Ball in 9’ circle
Ball in 9’ circle
Sand shots
20 feet
40 feet
60 feet
Ball in 4’ circle
Ball in 6’ circle
Ball in 8’ circle
Pitch shots
50 feet
75 feet
Ball in 5’ circle
Ball in 7 1/2’ circle
Chip shots
40 feet
60 feet
Ball in 4’ circle
Ball in 6’ circle
Trouble shots
(5 assorted)
Ball in 9’ circle
3 feet
4 feet
5 feet
6 feet
9 feet
20 feet
40 feet
60 feet
Hole out
Hole out
Hole out
Hole out
Hole out
1 putter length
1 putter length
1 putter length

100 possible
Actual total score

Basic Short Game Techniques
How to swing
When to use
Club choices
Eyes over the ball, controlled pendulum stroke
On or just off the green when one can roll the ball to the hole
Putter (iron or wood if ball is on the fringe)
Descending blow; single lever, minimal wrist action
When you need to carry longer grass and land the ball on or near the edge of the green; the ball rolls to the hole like a putt
Irons, typically 6 iron through 9 iron
Descending blow, more wrist cock
Over obstacles or out of deeper grass, the ball lands nearer to the hole with less roll
Lofted club, typically a wedge
Open stance and club face for short distance; closed club face for buried lies
When one is in the sand bunker; trajectory depends on lie and distance from the hole
Sand wedge, other wedge, potentially a putter

Instruction in the short game area is not my biggest challenge. Getting my students to commit to short game lessons and enough practice at the short game area is a much greater challenge. Even though hitting the tee shot compromises less than 20% of the game, the typical golfer spends much of the instruction dollar and practice time on the full swing as opposed to shots in and around the green. The strongest argument in favor of the short game is the simplest one, it’s the quickest route to lower scores and competitive success. To any real golfer, scoring is what golf is all about and the short game is the difference maker in determining scoring ability. According to Dr. Gary Wire and the PGA Teaching Manual, putting accounts for an average of 43% of the game of golf. Meaning, a golfer who scores 72 for 18 holes, has approximately 31 putts. If the golfers score was 122, then 50 of those shots were putts on average.
A good short game, or even better a great short game, is a great equalizer for the shorter hitter. There are no pictures on the score card when writing down the scores, and 1 putt counts the same as a 300 yard drive. Especially for those players who have a hard time reaching the green in regulation, chipping/pitching well gives the player chances to make pars. Obviously the closer the better, even PGA tour players make only 30% of their putts from 12 feet. Some intermediate to better players will still need convincing on the importance of the short game. One way to get them to appreciate the short game is to have them chart their shots during rounds of play. Track the total number of putts, number of shots from 100 yards, along with any comments on good and bad shots, or even track up and downs. Another method would be the short game skills test developed by Jerry Tucker PGA Master Professional. Instead of asking intermediate to advanced players about their short game, it is helpful to actually put them to the test! Record the results of the 100 shots and give the student an index for the various shots, the number is computed and compared to PGA tour golfers. Using the index allows the student and the instructor to set improvement goals, tests motivation, generates more follow-up and on the pleasant side generates more lesson revenue. The short game test answers basic questions for the student of, “Where did I start?”, and “How much have I improved?”
While many top teachers disagree on whether or not the short game is in essence a mini version of the full swing, Ken Morton PGA Master Professional, developed a truly valuable progression for beginning students which will more quickly transition them into intermediate players.
· Lesson 1: Putting
· Lesson 2: Chipping
· Lesson 3: Pitching
· Lesson 4: Full swing Progression
· Lesson 5: Swing progression & review
· Lesson 6: Rules, etiquette and playing the game

For the short game, making practice fun through a combination of drills and games is important to hold the student’s interest for any extended period of time. Henry Brunton, Canadian Master Professional, prescribes a game similar to the game of curling where two students compete against each other using three balls and various lies. The scoring is similar to curling in that the closest ball or balls to the hole wins the corresponding number of points.
The master instructor is charged with the job of explaining the conditions that dictate each shot and when certain shots should and should not be attempted. The distance and position of the ball relative to the hole, the lie, position of the flag and slope of the green are all factors that should be taken into consideration before selecting the proper short game shot to hit.
The putt is the shortest swing, with the least amount of motion. In the putting stroke I teach, the body keeps still as the shoulders rock, pendulum style. During the back swing the wrists do not hinge and based on the student’s putter style (mallet/blade, face balanced/heal weighted) the putter head either moves straight back or slightly inside the target line. The putter head swings naturally along the target line through impact. Any level golfer can develop a solid, consistent, mechanical stroke, however, few make the effort. In addition to mechanics, a successful putter needs to be able to read greens, have a feel for speed and have the mental fortitude to act on the decision once it has been made. To be successful, the student must start the ball rolling on the proper path, taking into account factors such as slope, green speed, the grain here in Puerto Rico and the distance to the hole. The basic putt has the following elements;
· Eye line over or slightly inside the ball
· Putter face square to the high breaking point
· Ball position forward of center
· Limited body motion
· Slightly accelerating stroke
· Comfortable and relaxed
· Made with solid contact with the putters sweet spot
· A grip at least slightly different than full swing grip

Major putting elements/choices that should be described to students during a putting lesson include;
· Grip- the options and merits of various putting grips, including reverse overlap, split handed, cross handed, finger down the shaft, saw, claw, 2 thumbs, etc.
· Stroke fundamentals- the basic elements of aim, set-up, alignment, ball position, backswing, etc.
· Speed and touch- the major variable that affect speed and recommend ways to determine feel to propel the ball in the hole or within 18 inches past.
· Reading greens- the major variables of green reading including slope, grain, grass type, etc.
· Equipment- the major options in putter designs and help the student find a putter they are comfortable with.
· Drills and Practice aids- recommend drills, games and mental keys that address a student’s problems or illustrate a principle of effective putting.

Once a golfer moves within the short game lesson or series of lessons away from putting the next logical step is chipping. A chip is a shot around the green with a lofted club that rolls farther than it flies. A great general rule to follow, “putt whenever you can, chip when you can’t putt and pitch only when you have to”. I describe the chip as essentially an extension of the putting stroke with a lofted club. The student’s goal is to get the ball in the air for a relatively short period of time and get the ball rolling like a putt to the intended target. The basic chip shot includes;
· An open stance with the feet close together
· Choke up slightly on the grip (based on length of chip)
· Keep the heel of the iron off of the ground
· Add a little weight to the left side in the set-up
· Make the center line of the body sit slightly in front of the ball
· Forward press of the hands in relation to the ball, leading the iron head to hit the ball on the downswing
· Use a shoulders only, one lever stroke, with a short backswing
· Use no wrists and hands, swing the arms smoothly from the shoulders
· Keep the left wrist firm and in line with the shaft

While describing the above elements, I explain the results and reasons for each technique. In regards to club selection with chipping, it I’m dealing with beginners I suggest using a variety of clubs based on the lie, amount of green to work with and always tell the student the simplest shot is usually the correct one, or “Occom’s razor” “Enti non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem” I explain to my students that different lofts produce varying results of airtime versus ground time.
Pitching a golf ball consists of a shot which flies farther than it rolls and varies by golfer and the distance they hits their clubs. A standard pitch is usually played with the wedges, i.e. clubs with 48 degrees or more of loft. Pitching varies based on the basic elements of the shot but the fundamental technique includes;
· Use a lighter grip pressure than normal
· Feet and hips are open to the target
· Play the ball in the center or forward of center
· Centerline of the body is over the ball or slightly behind it for higher loft
· Second lever is added by cocking the wrists
· Relax the whole body, swing through the ball and accelerate
· Adjustments based on the lie of the ball

Distance control is another key aspect of short game play and most golfers need help hitting half wedges and other less than full swing shots. I point out the basic options for distance control are;
· Club selection
· Body rotation
· Swing length

With a vast majority of my students, I advise them to vary the length of their back swing while keeping their through swing speed and follow-through length proportional to the backswing length.
Bunker play in its simplest form should be easy as it is the only shot where the object is to miss the golf ball. While the golf course bunkers are considered hazards by the rules of golf, modern superintendents spend more time manicuring bunkers and on television intermediate golfers see perfect bunkers of the PGA tour. The initial object of sand play is to, get the ball out of the bunker, second to get the ball on the putting surface, finally as close to the bottom of the hole as possible. Most intermediate golfers have trouble getting the ball close enough to the hole to leave them with a high percentage, make-able putt. To help my students become complete bunker players I teach them to:
· Understand sand wedge design, what makes it work and how to make effective use of that technology
· Learn adjustments in grip, aim, set-up and swing technique
· Read the sand and lie to determine club selection, type of shot and adjustment to set-up and swing technique
· Learn and practice how to handle various situations found in the bunker, such as bad lie or high lip
· Control distance through an adjustment in the length of follow-through
· Read the greens to determine how the ball will roll and adjust the follow-through accordingly

Sand Wedge Design
Surprisingly few intermediate and even better players know, or are able to demonstrate to me how the unique sole inversion, camber and breadth of the sand wedge allows it to glide or bounce rather than dig in the sand, allowing the golfers to take a shallow divot of sand. I stress to timid bunker players, the ball is propelled by that divot, not by contact with the club face. Poor bunker players have the tendency to hang back, swing up and try to scoop the ball out of the sand. Better bunker players swing down into the sand, turn through the swing and finish on their left side. The club face needs to remain open, because if it is allowed to close it will dig into the sand and kill the shot. I often have to explain what “open” means and usually need to demonstrate to the student the need to rotate the grip in the hands and not just move the club face open manually with the hands and wrists. To properly open the club face, the club is rotated in the hands, to increase the bounce on the flange of the sand wedge. Since the sand in Puerto Rico has a tendency to be firm and packed, the average sand wedge would need less bounce. Ideally the basic greenside bunker shot will include;
· A firm footing that will support the swing without slipping, yet will not break the rules of golf related to building a stance
· An open stance, which restricts back swing length and increases the steepness of the swing
· An open club face to match the address position
· Weight which favors the left side at address
· Club pace like that of a full cut pitch shot, matching the length of the follow-through with the force needed for the shot
· Strike the sand a few inches behind the ball
· Leave the club face open until after impact
· Continue to accelerate through the ball, matching follow-through to the desired length of shot

Beginner golfers are fine in their infancy working on the essential basics, however since this topic essentially goes back to an experienced 12 handicap golfer, we need to spend adequate time on shot making. Shot making is essentially the art of playing the game and having a repertoire of shots that can be used when dealing with the different situations on the course, including unusual or adverse conditions. A beginner lesson is most often hitting off perfectly level grass lies or synthetic turf, but the intermediate golfer at some point needs to face the reality of less than perfect lies that occur out on any golf course. If the player has never been put in the position, their scores will skyrocket and confidence will plummet when faced with an adverse condition.
The lie of the golf ball is a critical element in any golf shot. The lie dictates club selection, setup, swing technique and strategy. In addition to difficult lies the student must contend with adverse weather conditions, including high winds, rain, cold, or extreme heat. For these reasons my students may need to deliberately change the balls flight, control the trajectory and shape the flight of the ball. A master teaching professional will prepare their golfers for hitting from unfavorable lies, shaping the shot and playing in adverse weather conditions.

Typical adjustments when playing from sloping lies
Shot situation
Ball above feet
Ball below feet
Club selection:
Use less lofted club
Use more lofted club
Higher lofted club will drift more to the left
No adjustments for gentle slopes
Use less loft on severe slope to compensate for restricted swing
Ball will tend to go:
Pre-shot adjustments:
Play ball off left foot
Align body perpendicular to the slope
Play ball in center for gentle slopes, off right foot for severe slopes
Strengthen grip for steep slopes
Align body perpendicular to the slope
Aim more right
Choke down on club
Stand further from the ball
Aim more left
Stand closer
Bend knees
Swing adjustments:
Match arc to the slope
Swing normally
Limit backswing on steeper slopes
Limit backswing
Follow the slope after impact
Swing normally on gentle slope
Flatter swing for severe slope
Restrict backswing for stability
Swing normally
Limit swing length
Take steeper backswing for severe slopes

As an instructor teaching competitive golfers, my job includes making sure my students know how to hit off uneven lies. Working with a sloping lie rather than fighting against it and knowing the ball flight tendencies when the ball is hit from uphill, downhill or side hill lies is an important element of success. How the lie affects trajectory, direction and roll, as well as, the most common errors associated with the different lies. I prepare my students for the adjustments they need to make in grip, aim, setup and swing in order to hit a successful shot from an uneven lie. Making sure students have a realistic concept of what constitutes success from one of these severe unfavorable lies. The most basic uneven lies to coach my students on include;
· Uphill
· Downhill
· Side hill, ball above the feet
· Side hill, ball below the feet

A completely different shot that many intermediate golfers ask me for advice on is a shot from a fairway bunker. It helps when I can point out the relationship between two seemingly different types of shots. For example, some of the same principles apply when hitting out of the rough as the fairway bunker shot. The club needs to contact the ball before it hits the sand to keep it from affecting distance and direction, just like the club needs to strike the ball as crisply as possible when hitting out of deep rough so the hosel of the club does not grab and equally effect distance and direction. With the fairway bunker shot it is important my student’s have realistic expectations and realize a perfect lie is required to hit out of the sand with a wood. A poor lie generally means taking a more lofted club, sacrificing distance and settling for a safe shot to a spot that leaves the player in a good position to hit their next shot.
A progressing step for my intermediate students who enquire about shaping shots is to school them on the techniques and advantages of intentionally shaping the ball to get the maximum advantage from their drives, as well as, proper height, controlled spin, and bounce and roll on shorter shots. Direction of the shot can be shaped by two approaches or a combination of both; adjusting the stance, while aiming at the target and swinging along the stance line with the players standard grip, or adjusting the grip (open-faced for a fade or slice, close faced for a draw or hook).
Following the discussion on working the ball with a fade or draw we continue the conversation to include hitting low and high shots. Low shots that run are used in a variety of situations including tree trouble, hitting into the wind, or hitting from a divot or off of hardpan. The basic technique for hitting the ball low includes moving the weight to the left side in the setup, strengthening the grip, placing the ball back of center in the stance, positioning the hands forward to de-loft the club, taking at least two extra clubs for the shots yardage and swinging smoothly to lower the spin rate on the ball. A feeling of swinging back to a ¾ position with the arms and keeping the wrist action minimal, while choking up on the club, helps keep the ball under the wind. Holding the wrists firm through impact, allowing the hands to lead the club face into impact with the club face pointed down the target line in the follow-through are also keys.
A high shot with a fade that will land softly on the putting surface and stop will help lead to lower scores. A player may also need to hit a high shot over trees to get out of trouble. I explain to my students they can hit a higher trajectory shot by opening the golf club face at address and returning it the same way at impact. Aligning left and striking the ball with the open face, while keeping the body back and letting the club head pass the hands, will produce the desired high and right shot.
Since the climate in Puerto Rico is tropical. I advise my students of the adjustments that will help them in the hot and wet weather of the Caribbean. Ways to control the elements effects on the player include;
· Warm-up and stretch before the start of play
· Factor in the loss of roll on soggy fairways and greens
· Use hybrids rather than irons from wet turf
· Keep the golf club grips dry, replace worn grips, which will slip more if wet
· Learn the rules, including those that apply to casual water
· Hydration, drink at least (4) eight ounce cups of water over an 18 hole round

C) Describe the lesson structure when conducting a playing lesson with both an advanced player and a high handicapper.
A playing lesson is generally about golf management or about the ability to take skills practiced on the practice range and deliver them to the golf course. While I would treat a high handicapper and an advanced player differently, a playing lesson is designed for skill assessment in realistic situations and a golfers approach to the game of golf. The high handicapper needs to be assessed to see if their handicap is due to swing inconsistencies or due to an approach fraught with mental errors or a flawed approach. Start with the high handicapper and assess their knowledge of golf rules and etiquette. When approaching the first tee, assess their understanding of the basis elements of the tee box including tee stanchion, markers, order of play and golf management. Have them hit their first shot, evaluate club used, tee height, alignment, golf swing on the course as opposed to the practice range. Try to force the student to play their own ball even when it is hit in hazards or out of bounds, this is a great way to assess rules knowledge and procedural options which can affect the student’s score. Put the student in different situations, rough, uneven lies, bunkers, hazards and assess their ability to hit shots that normally do not arise in a normal practice range session. Make sure to keep the playing lesson flowing and have fun, the game of golf should promote enjoyment. Work on the routine each shot should take, include what one does before, during and immediately after each shot, develop a routine and have student stick to it.
For the advanced player, they should have some specific questions when requesting a playing lesson. The overall theory behind playing well should be discussed, as well as, playing in the zone and during a damage control round where nothing seems to go right. The chess match of playing one to two shots ahead should be discussed, especially for par 5’s, including correct angles into the green, distances of lay-ups, short siding the green, and maximizing opportunities for birdies. Again, the playing lesson should flow, while placing the advanced student in advanced golf situations. Discuss match play and stroke play strategy, pre-shot through post-shot routine and performance recording and enhancement. Answering the advanced student’s specific questions and addressing their specific problems are extremely important, so the student feels they are getting value from the playing lesson.
While over 90% of my lessons occur on the practice range or in the short game area, there is no substitute for the actual experience of playing the course with my students and giving them immediate feedback in a realistic playing situation. Playing lessons are important checks for skill transfer from the practice range to on course play. It allows me to be able to focus future instruction on the areas that need more attention from my point of view based on actual on course observation. The playing lesson is used because, simply put, the ultimate purpose of golf instruction is to get my students on the golf course. A playing lesson allows them to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses and experience all the successes and failures of playing the game. Playing lessons allow me to serve as a guide to a new, exciting and potentially intimidating environment. Making a beginner feel comfortable is the underlying purpose of my playing lesson with them. A key to always remember before taking a student on the course is to try not to take on too much in one outing. We choose one or two key elements like course management, selecting the correct club for the shot, shot selection, target selection, trouble shots or dealing with the elements, and we stick with just that. The opportunities a playing lesson allows are extremely valuable. I always look for situations during the playing lesson that are difficult or impossible to recreate on the lesson tee. I also make clear the playing lesson is just like a regular lesson and not a pass/fail test. It is an opportunity to gain an accurate assessment of performance and identify areas that need more work. When scheduling playing lesson time, course availability, costs and requirements are important elements to iron out before stepping on the 1st tee. Since playing lessons can at times proceed at a slower pace than regular play, it is important to minimize irritation to impatient golfers who want to play through, or make the student feel as though they are holding up the course. That type of anxiety is exactly what I am trying to avoid, especially when dealing with beginners. I schedule playing lessons whenever possible at off peak times to avoid rushing the student’s learning experience. In order to maintain confidence with my superintendent and teach the playing lesson student we take particular care to sand all divots and repair ball marks. I schedule playing lessons at the beginning or more often at the end of the instruction day to avoid traveling back and forth from the practice range to the golf course repeatedly. Fortunately since we use the course at Dorado del Mar Golf Club and 30% of lessons are received by the club, there is no additional charge by the club for playing lessons and it makes the option attractive to my students.

(d) Outline key steps followed from greeting to close of the lesson
Making a good impression on the student by arriving on time and prepared to perform the required lesson can go a long way in the students overall enjoyment of the process of a golf lesson. Starting slow, asking questions and developing a repoir with the student to ascertain learning style, any physical limitations or reservations that would prevent a student from progressing during the lesson and as a golfer. Identify which lesson this is for the student, if it is their first ever, their first with me, or the middle of a series of lessons. Check for understanding when key points arise, try multiple drills or techniques when students are having trouble, as well as, when they jump over a swing hurdle quickly.
Just like the personal appearance and communication of the golf instructor is important, so is the instructional environment. The teaching area should be properly defined and marked and in a place where the student can concentrate and feel comfortable. It has the important teaching tools, technologies and supplemental material readily available. This type of setting communicates;
· Instruction is a priority
· I am organized and use time wisely
· I am professional
· I care about the learner
· I can quickly adapt to a variety of instructional situations

In order to have a thriving teaching practice, the instructional setting needs to convey professionalism and create the message that golf is engaging, challenging and fun. When gathering information from the student, a master instructor gathers students;
· Age and gender
· General physical condition and physical limitations
· Prior sports history
· Previous golf experience (handicap, # of years, level of competition, etc.)
· Sources of golf information (previous lessons)
· Swing concepts, mental cues and images
· Pre-shot routine
· Learning style/preference
· Concentration tendencies
· Mental attitude
· Practice habits
· Fitness level/exercise program
· Ball striking tendencies (contact, distance, shape, ball flight with different clubs, best/worst club, best/worst part of game, etc.)
· Personal goals for golf and instructional activities

Information gathered via interviews, specific skill assessments and observations include;
· Body type
· Flexibility and limitations
· Coordination
· Strength test
· Balance test
· Tension level
· Eye dominance
· Primary source of power
· Swing fundamentals/ swing style
· Equipment evaluation
· Ball flight evaluation
· Playing strategies and routines

My student’s reasons for taking lessons are contributors to motivation and success in learning the golf swing. There are obviously many different reasons for playing and even more possible goals a student has for turning to me. Goals include, lower scores, a lower handicap, more length, a better looking swing, better mental skills, playing tournament competition, working on a specific problem, as well as, a slew of other goals. However, students often use unclear and specific terms like better, farther and more consistent. Without specific indicators, I can not be sure where the student began, and if, and how much they have progressed, making sure to discuss intermediate and ultimate realistic and obtainable goals so that we have a chance to achieve them.
I always enquire with the student about the purpose for taking lessons. I also ask them to envision the best possible outcome for the lesson based on their motivation. I use the first portion of the lesson to develop a strong sense of the student’s personal goals. Upon completion of the allotted time, I help my students establish an explicit goal or goals that are extremely specific. The goal needs to be important to the learner and within their control to accomplish. The goals are developed, written and monitored by each specific student with my help. I use my expertise, experience and assessment of their skills to choose goals that are in line with their talents, their level of motivation and the amount of time they intend to devote to the task. I suggest the appropriate ways to measure progress toward achieving the stated goals. I use my skill testing forms, self assessments, scorecards and other performance records that are naturally built into practice or playing situations. These goals are important for repeat clientele that have specific outcomes to accomplish. It is acceptable to have some students who only have personal satisfaction goals like, “fun and/or appreciating nature”. Since most students will have some type of goal, the next step is deciding on an overall strategy for helping them realize those goals based on the initial assessment.
Most golf instruction involves correcting something the golfer is doing wrong or could be doing better. A term, “corrective lesson” is generally used to describe the lessons when a student approaches the teacher with one specific area of their game that needs a quick fix. I steer away from corrective lessons becoming a large part of my teaching business, since becoming a better player is a continuous process.
The second type of lesson and the most common is a set of developmental lessons aimed at taking a player at a particular skill level and progressing them to the next level. The first lesson typically requires more time and I recommend scheduling at least one hour to compile the student profile, discuss goals and timetables and observe/ evaluate the student’s skills. Each lesson follows a basic four step process of opening discussion, diagnosis of the problem, recommending options and follow-up/check for understanding. I work back and forth within the four parameters and not always in any straight, fixed order. In the beginning of the lesson I always arrive with a lesson plan that states my clear idea of what to cover, how it is going to be recorded and the appropriate forms to record observations. Next, I set the tone for the lesson by arriving on time, with equipment ready and ready to pick up where we last left off. I re-establish contact in a friendly and enthusiastic manner and show interest in the student’s progress since our last meeting. I review my notes with the student from the previous lesson and enquire on the progress on the drills and practice prescribed.
Getting my students to talk about results is a good way to check their ability to self observe, self teach, record performance and monitor their own progress. This review also lets me know whether or not I can go ahead with what is planned, or if I need to review in detail the previous instruction. Staying with primary skills long enough to stabilize them builds a foundation that does not require constant retooling and ultimately shortens the road to intuitive play. Once review is over, I get back into “doing” for the next lesson, since it is critical to helping the student understand, reproduce and internalize the golfing motor skills. I vary the instructional delivery in enough ways including words, pictures, images, demonstrations, checklists and drills that match the student’s learning style. I allow time for repetition to reinforce the correct moves in front of my trained eye and give constant feedback. As we progress, I encourage student questions to check understanding of content and encourage questions about unclear aspects. As we approach the end, we quickly review the points covered in the lesson and ask about and answer any remaining questions. At this point, I give the student practice drills, exercises and objectives. I establish both short-term and long-term practice objectives that I have the student write down on my letterhead. Finally, I set the date and time and the focus for the next lesson. I approach evaluation as a check on progress and not a criticism of the student. Having me verify what they are doing well helps the student move forward. Pinpointing what needs improvement gives the student focus and a target to work toward. My goal is to be objective, straightforward and kind. My comments are designed to keep their performance in perspective and give them the encouragement they need to keep trying and break out of old and less than successful learning modes. We regularly review original goals to determine whether they are indeed realistic, or need to be revised. Evaluation of progress is an ongoing activity and the obvious opportunities for evaluation are during the lesson’s opening and during the wrap-up. The weaving of short-term progress with long-term goals, as well as, the ongoing consideration of the interrelationship of the parts, is a natural feature of my teaching. Benchmarking is key, avoiding needless repetition. Since I do not have an exceptionally great memory, I keep track of student’s progress using paper files and computer tracking records. I do however, put some clear expectations on the individual student. I encourage my students to keep a log of their golf rounds and practice sessions recording scores, shots, tactical information about holes, courses and various aspects of the mental game.

(e) Identify how teaching tools and drills are integrated into the lesson structure
Ideally, all teaching tools should be a seamless, natural part of the instruction process. In order to achieve this seamlessness, I have specific procedures that address when and how teaching aids should be used during lessons. Consistent operational and written procedures are a must for using teaching aids, particularly high tech aids. The procedures facilitate ease of set-up and use in order to yield the greatest benefit to my students in the limited time they have with me. Proper camera set-up is critical. All equipment must be unobtrusive and easy to operate, so the aid itself does not become the focus of the lesson.
· Proper set-up of basics by staff prior to start of teaching day (sunscreen, bug spray, water, fruit, notepads)
· All aids accessible and at hand for every lesson
· All aids in clean and like new condition
· High tech devices on, ready to record, burn, print, or transfer data
· Forms, folders and disks ready for students to leave the lesson with follow-up packet without delay
· Equipment easily broken down to respond to inclement weather, change in student, or change in setting
· Equipment signed in and out by each instructor to maximize usability
· Proper camera set-up used every time
· Accessible lesson scheduling immediately following the close of lesson
· All aids returned to proper and secure storage at the end of each teaching day

(f) Include effective communication techniques used in each situation
As a certified professional I have invested time and effort into mastering the fundamentals of the game of golf. As a skilled player, I know what a good swing involves and how important putting is. I know the rules of golf and how to hit each type of shot, and/or get out of trouble. This project also investigates in detail how people learn and why golf instruction should be based on a solid understanding of human learning. All these factors go into the “what” of teaching golf and helping others enjoy the game.
However, to be a world-class teacher it takes more than just a good understanding of know-how and the “what” of teaching golf. No matter how well I understand the mechanics of the swing or how students process information, I must be able to use the knowledge to help the student at each an every given time. This ability is the “how” of teaching and it is how I deliver effective communication in each situation.
· Get to know the student
Showing that I know and care about the student as an individual helps establish rapport and diffuse tension and facilitates the learning process. Asking good questions is key. Finding out their true motivations for golf lessons and the instructional process is another key.
· Showing understanding and that I care about the student’s progress
Show sensitivity to how the student is thinking and the experience they have during the golf lesson. Treating them with respect and showing understanding of their needs and care for their golfing progress is a key to a mutually beneficial relationship.
· Express ideas clearly and effectively
The use of strong images and appropriate terminology with appropriate support materials helps deliver ideas clearly and effectively.
· Deliver meaningful feedback

This process is facilitated with solid communication skills. The important points include, knowing when to deliver feedback, how to deliver it and what to include in order to maximize information transfer. There are eight communication keys to keep in mind when delivering feedback to golf instruction students.
1. Be timely and specific
2. Limit feedback to a few key items
3. Focus on areas the student can control
4. Evaluate in relation to personal goals
5. Avoid being judgmental
6. Accentuate the positive
7. Be honest and sincere
8. Make feedback two-way
Learning Styles
It is commonly believed that most people favor some particular method of interacting with, taking in and processing stimuli or information. Based on this concept, the idea of individualized learning styles originated in the 1970’s, and has gained popularity in recent years. It has been proposed that golf instructors should assess the learning styles of their students and adapt their instruction methods to best fit each student's learning style. The four most basic learning styles are;

Visual learning: You learn best when information is presented visually and in a written language format. In a classroom setting, you benefit from instructors who use the blackboard (or overhead projector) to list the essential points of a lecture, or who provide you with an outline to follow along with during lecture. You benefit from information obtained from textbooks and class notes. You tend to like to study by yourself in a quiet room. You often see information "in your mind's eye" when you are trying to remember something.

Auditory learning: You learn best when information is presented auditory in an oral language format. In a classroom setting, you benefit from listening to lecture and participating in group discussions. You also benefit from obtaining information from audio tape. When trying to remember something, you can often "hear" the way someone told you the information, or the way you previously repeated it out loud. You learn best when interacting with others in a listening/speaking exchange .

Learning by reading/writing: Learn best when information is written down. The best way to take in information includes lists, headings, dictionaries, glossaries, defintions, handouts, textbooks, the library, notes, essay or golf manuals. To synthesize information write key words again and again, read notes silently, rewrite the ideas in other words, oraganize visuals into statements, turn reactions, actions, diagrams, charts and flows into words, imagine things into multiple choice questions.

Kinesthetic learning: You learn best when physically engaged in a "hands on" activity. In the classroom, you benefit from a lab setting where you can manipulate materials to learn new information. You learn best when you can be physically active in the learning environment. You benefit from instructors who encourage in-class demonstrations, "hands on" student learning experiences, and field work outside the classroom.

Golfers are usually visual, auditory or kinesthetic. A visual golfer will respond well to teaching aids including mirrors, video and anything that shows them visually right and wrong.
An auditory golfer needs the instructor to constantly talk after every swing. The auditory golfer needs to know why each shot did what it did and to hear specifics on how to correct faults. Auditory golfers will usually talk a lot more during a lesson and spend less time pounding golf balls.
A kinesthetic learning wants the teacher to physically place the golfer in the correct position. They will respond well to teaching aids that produce a positive or negative feel on practice or full swings. The swing glove, impact bag, or swing jacket are examples of kinesthetic teaching aids that can help that type of learner. offers a popular learning styles assessment that golf professionals can sign their students up for in order to develop insight on how their students learn. The following is an example of the E Different Strokes web site summary of results for myself taken January, 2008. The 20 questions asked and the analysis that followed.
1. On the golf course my friends describe me as:
1. Aggressive, 2. Deliberate, 3. Conservative
2. If I could choose, my choice of instructor would best use my
1. Physical attributes, 2. Mental strength, 3. Creative abilities
3. When asked for my opinion, it is most often based on:
1. Sound principles, 2. Personal experience, 3. Common sense
4. I consider myself to be:
1. Logical, 2. Practical, 3. Expressive
5. I learn best when I am first allowed to:
1. Understand the principle involved, 2. Develop a feel for the whole swing, 3. Practice individual parts of the swing
6. Friends would describe me as being:
1. Consistent and logical, 2. Realistic and down-to-earth, 3. Sensitive and caring
7. I first attempt to correct swing errors by:
1. Recalling swing fundamentals, 2. Visualizing proper rhythm, 3. Analyzing swing mechanics
8. My approach to the game is based on acquiring:
1. Sound principals, 2. Good techniques, 3. Better feel
9. I most often improve aspects of my game when I:
1. Understand, then apply, 2. Observe, then imitate, 3. Visualize, then execute
10. When playing golf, it is important to focus on:
1. Correct technique, 2. Mental strategy, 3. Inner feelings
11. My Golf Tips usually involve:
1. The need to understand the fault, 2. Making minor technical adjustments, 3. The need for better feel and rhythm
12. I usually play well when I:
1. Execute my game plan, 2. Adjust well to course conditions, 3. Am in tune with my inner self
13. I learn best when I concentrate on:
1. Practicing skills, 2. Understanding the concept, 3. Experience the feel
14. A bad swing makes me focus on:
1. Swing fundamentals, 2. Swing rhythm, 3. Swing analysis
15. My Best Performances Occur when I make the most of my:
1. Mental toughness, 2. Physical attributes, 3. Creative abilities
16. During the Game of Golf, I usually concentrate on:
1. Strategy, 2. Technique, 3. Feel
17. I can accept Advice better when I know that it:
1. Is logical, 2. Is factual, 3. Feels right
18. I admire an instructor who is:
1. Knowledgeable about fundamentals, 2. Capable of identifying my errors, 3. Attentive to my needs and feelings
19. I prefer instruction which focuses on:
1. Understanding fundamentals, 2. Error detection and correction, 3. Touch and feel
20. I appreciate an instructor who:
1. Provides practice and drill exercises, 2. Presents well structured lessons, 3. Shows enthusiasm and support
Based on ranking the answers in the profile in the order that matches my personality, the web based test generated a report that discussed the following summary of results.

The inventory categorizes these preferences according to three modes of learning. The Noetic Mode focuses attention on the acquisition of knowledge and skills via intuition (feeling); the Empirical Mode, via the senses (doing); and the Rational Mode, via reasoning (thinking). No one functions exclusively in any one of these three modes. Rather, individuals vary in the degree to which each mode is represented in their personal blend of these three modes that make up their golf style. Identification of the golf style will enable the golf professional to tailor instruction to your learning preferences. Aaron West’s results on the GSI indicate a very strong preference for the Noetic mode when learning new material. The results also show little preference for either Empirical or Rational modes.

As a learner…
Aaron West is a receptive listener who tends to be expressive and spontaneous. Aaron enjoys the company of others and functions well in group situations where the learning process is shared. Aaron values caring, warm and supportive environment. Aaron prefers to learn new skills through means that are intuitive, creative, meaningful and unstructured. When learning new skills, Aaron needs to experience the feel for the whole movement. Aaron has little interest in analytical details or in-depth descriptions of logical principles embedded in instructional content.

As a consumer…
Aaron will likely manifest the following behaviors, which are generally found among persons belonging to the N-Dominant typology. Aaron is friendly and approachable and enjoys peoples company. Aaron is sensitive to feelings and is quite willing to understand others points of view. Aaron is not enamored with instructor-centered presentations, preferring instead a more give and take approach. Aaron enjoys dealing with people who show a warm friendliness and are enthusiastic, even humorous. N-Dominant students often buy on impulse and can easily make decisions based on intuition and how they feel about something. Because they are emotion driven, they tend to be influenced by the visual. For those reasons, aesthetics, style, feel and comfort will be the strongest influences in their decision making process.

As teachers they:
· give a wider range of choices to students
· move very freely around the room
· praise and criticize, support and correct by body language
· give students more time on individualized learning
· tend to work from student to student
· are good motivators
· accept a higher noise level
· believe less structure is necessary in the classroom
· prefer teaching subjects in the areas of Arts and Humanities
· consider the process of learning more important than the content especially during practical activities
· often utilize anecdotal and biographical points to introduce lessons
· use a lot of visuals and examples based upon personal experiences
· value warmth and caring in their professional relationships
· reward creativity to the fullest

As learners they:
· enjoy working with others
· readily offer others their opinions
· enjoy sharing personal experiences
· tend to have short attention spans
· can act quickly, often without thinking
· communicate well and greet people easily
· are more imaginative and less observant of details
· prefer the big picture
· dislike routine
· like to do things often differently from others
· tend to jump to conclusions
· dislike sequential structured learning activities
· prefer visual stimuli
· often rely more on feelings than logic to solve problems
· need harmony in their environment
· enjoy experiencing feeling and then doing
· are talkers, they learn more through discussions
· like slide presentations, movies, films, role playing, trips, projects, learning centers.

Persons with an NER style are:
· approachable
· affectionate, aware of feelings
· understanding
· they like to keep people happy
· good listeners
· very tolerant
· good talkers
· they want and expect results
· they prefer the anecdotal, the biographical, the personal and the subjective

Areas for Improvement:

At times they can:
· be too trusting
· be too intimate
· become careless
· be too sentimental
· be disorganized
· appear over compromising
· screen out hard data
· have a too great disregard for theory
· have a tendency towards procrastination

Would Increase Effectiveness

If they:
· set more realistic deadlines
· showed more initiative in getting the job done
· used better time management skills
· had better emotional control
· used more either or type thinking
· demonstrated more firmness
· became more autonomous

Robert W. Lucas has a more simplistic model called the learning modality self assessment, it’s from his book The Creative Training Idea Book and asks 30 questions. The questionnaire asks the learner to place an x by the behaviors preferred. The 30 questions are;
1. like to touch and handle things when looking at them
2. spell well
3. like to listen to books on tape
4. enjoy reading books
5. verbal directions alone confuse me
6. enjoy background music while working on a project
7. would rather discuss a topic than read about it
8. prefer use of colors and colored paper on handouts
9. enjoy writing
10. often talk to myself
11. like working with my hands
12. good athlete
13. enjoy jigsaw puzzles
14. have lots of nervous energy (tapping pencils, fingers, etc.)
15. remember jokes, stories and conversations
16. collect things
17. comprehend information better if reading aloud
18. can read maps well
19. doodle or draw pictures
20. use finger as a pointer when reading
21. like games, role plays and simulation activities
22. use rhymes and jingles to remember things
23. get meaning from others body language and facial expression
24. good at locating things or places
25. take a lot of notes during a lecture
26. easily interpret and understand messages received orally
27. follow written instructions well
28. talk rapidly and use hands to communicate
29. like to take things apart and put them together
30. enjoy talking to others on the telephone

Once the learners (test taker) selects the answers to the questions they most agree with a numerical score based on their learning style appears. My score of 5 kinesthetic, 4 visual and 2 auditory meant that I answered favorably to 5 kinesthetic questions, 4 visual and 2 auditory questions. The majority of golfers around 80% seem to be able to adapt and blend learning styles while still having a favored one. It is good news for the golfer since the most effective pre-shot routine requires use of all three learning styles. Since my favored style is kinesthetic I will learn better by being put in positions to get right into doing and spend less time being told what to do. I would get far more from actively feeling and doing the lesson than hearing or seeing the lesson. While practicing I would benefit from duplicating and locking in the feel of shots and putts hit well in lessons and play. My key will be to warm up the feel of the golf swing before play.
My secondary learning style of visual helps me in lessons with sequenced demonstrations. Video will also be helpful to show me what to do. Immediately following the lesson it will be important for me to write down what was learned. Also any diagrams, pictures or sketches illustrating what I am trying to accomplish will help me following the lesson. Using lots of visualization in my practice and preparation, as well as, “seeing” myself confidently executing my shots and putts before I “do”. It will help for me to plan to play each hole and get a course map and draw my strategy on each hole. Since I scored low on the auditory scale, it would be less helpful for me to be explained by my instructor everything he would like me to do. Discussion and repetition would not reinforce things for me, as well as, for someone who scored high on the auditory scale.

Teaching Tools, Technology and Aids
The main teaching tools and aids I use in my golf lessons are as follows; form grip, beach ball, baseball bat, cut off shafts, swing glove, hip guide, weighted club, swing plane board, medicus swing trainer, inside approach, double length wedge, impact bag, balance disk (dyna disc), power swing fan, arm strap, strength ball, teaching and training mirror, tour foot spiked shoe, short game bulls eye, putting arc, metronome, chalk line, golf club face tape (impact tape) turf paint, snag golf equipment and my Panasonic digital camera.

Teaching aids provide students with visual and kinesthetic input to help them learn swing positions and motions. Teaching aids give students valuable feedback they may not have been able to obtain or grasp in some other way. Teaching aids reduce dependency on verbal feedback from the instructor and enhance the student’s ability to monitor their own progress during independent practice sessions. The definition of a teaching aid is: Any tool or device an instructor uses to communicate information to the learner. Since the average student can not perform a swing motion consistently until they know what a good swing looks like and ultimately what it feels like, it is my challenge to come up with a variety of ways to communicate the feel of proper swing movements. Telling my students verbally about the proper swing and viewing visual images is always a starting point for me and my beginner students, but verbal communication is often the least effective way of mastering a motor skill like the golf swing. Teaching aids and drills help my students increase awareness of gross and fine motor skills that occur at various points during the swing. The learning aids I use are there to make any student learn more rapidly. Ideally teaching aids;
· Make learning more fun and engaging
· Provide a positive learning environment
· Provide immediate and efficient feedback
· Allow me to make a point without having to give a detailed dissertation
· Allow students to work on the same movements during independent practice sessions that we work on in our lessons
· Are great for group instruction when I am moving from student to student
· Serve as exercise devices that build strength or increase flexibility

A key to keep in mind when making recommendation about teaching aids is to use a consistent method for evaluating and selecting them. Dr. Gary Wiren, PGA Master Professional recommends using the following selection criteria;
· Validity- is the device designed for something really important in the success of the swing or the game.
· Reliability- does the device provide consistent results when used in the same manner
· Simplicity- is the device easy to use and understand by me and my students
· Durability- is the learning aid is used regularly, is it made well enough so it won’t require early replacement
· Cost effectiveness- are the benefits worth the price of the device

Even if the learning aid meets those requirements, a great teaching aid will also be;
· Applicable- fit the needs of the user
· Frequency and duration- allow the learner to use the device a minimal amount of times in order to get the desired result
· Enjoyment and results- since most aids require motivation and effort by the learner, the device needs to be easy to use and generate immediate and observable positive results

I use many low tech teaching aids. However, to be competitive in the ever expanding golf instruction market, high tech devices are becoming more prevalent. These high tech devices are decreasing in price and becoming more available to the average operation and include; Doppler radar swing speed monitors, laser devices for swing plane measurements, club face positions, body rotation and putting alignment, portable launch monitors like the TrackMan and sophisticated club fitting software like the technology Ping is introducing in 2008. As these devices drop in price and become more standard in the average teachers repertoire, it will become more important to have detailed knowledge and own these devices. The high tech devices are much more precise than the human eye for measuring specific swing motions and results and provide immediate feedback to both the instructor and the student.
I have a full bag of teaching aids, because the student’s needs vary and the best instruction is always tailored to the individual students needs. In a given day I may have two different students with the same basic swing flaw that may need two separate teaching aids or set of techniques. Teaching aids can be described by the type of feedback they provide. Some provide positive feedback, others negative feedback. Examples of positive feedback devices include;
· Swing plane guides
· Flexible shafts with heavy heads
· Weighted clubs
· Any strap like devices which keep hands, wrist, elbows and arms in place during the swing
· Alignment stations and platforms
· Metronome tempo trainers

Other devices provide negative visual, auditory or kinesthetic feedback and include;
· Clubs or software that produce a tone when a swing flaw is detected.
· Jointed clubs that breakdown during a swing flaw

Teaching aids should be used to give the learner the proper feel or look they are after, but it is important not to overuse and become dependent on a particular learning aid. As the golfer progresses and they begin to notice smaller variations in their performance it is important I also become much more accurate in my diagnosis and evaluation of results to match the student’s learning curve. This is where high technology devices become more valuable and important.
Most golfers think that low tech and high tech are the only types of teaching and learning tools available, however, there is another type of learning aid that is critical to the success of all players. These non physical tools, mental models, psychological procedures and routines help a player hone their skills and perform more consistently. All good players have these mental models and step by step procedures and use them when they practice and play. Since most of my lessons are not skilled players yet, I know I need to teach a majority of my students how to use the following psychological aids;
· Relaxation techniques
· Warm-up and practice routines
· Routines to stay loose/relaxed in competition
· Decision making routines under pressure
· Routine for calm and focus
· Visualization techniques
· Positive self talk techniques

I introduce these mental strategies early on in the player’s development so their mental golf skills keep up with their physical skills.
Video and computer systems allow an instructor to capture and analyze the swing and provide feedback. Unlike a regular swing, with video the swing can be played back, slowed or paused at any point. Split screens can be used to show before and after, or compare a student to a successful player on a major tour. The V1 system I use presents the student’s swing in a variety of formats, provides detailed information about the individual components of the swing and can save or burn the swing to a disk, hard drive, or send it to an e-mail address. The question is not whether I should use video but for whom and how often. I make sure that video does not take over my instruction or confuse the student, but strengthens the lesson and my overall instruction program. The main questions that need to be answered when video is concerned are; Does video enhance my teaching effectiveness? Does it help me communicate better? Does video enhance the student’s experience? Do I use it as seamlessly as possible? What equipment is necessary? How often should video equipment be updated? Is video included in the price of a standard lesson or is it an additional charge? What do the clients of Dorado del Mar Golf Club expect in regards to video? How much can I afford to invest, including time and money? How much additional revenue will video generate? Does the investment pay for itself? Over what period will I amortize the video investment? How will I market the service? Will the addition of video increase the actual and perceived value the lessons carry with my students?
Starting in the 1990’s when video was popularized, the debate over whether or not to use video was a valid one, based on cost to instructor, additional cost to students, bulkiness of the equipment and transition from the practice range to the video diagnostic area. However it is impossible to debate, the numerous elements of the golf swing occur too fast for the human visual processing system to accurately identify and remember them with precision. This fact is why I make video a part of my instructional process. Recent improvements have made computer and video systems more compact, reliable and have improved usability in the instructional setting. The integration of video with computer tools has made identifying positions, angles and movement during different points in the swing possible, all at the same time. Computer analysis allows comparison to other customers with fundamentally sound swings and/or body types and swings similar to the student in question. Computer analysis has also allowed me the ability to reference the student’s progress over time. Technological advancement changed the question from whether or not to use video into how to most effectively integrate video analysis systems into instruction. I try to balance my reliance on video with a concern for a dynamic, flowing swing. I use the learning styles questionnaire listed in the previous section to evaluate whether video and amount of video use will over emphasize visual input at the expense of kinesthetic input, drills and practice. I also rarely compare my students side by side with tour players since this is of little value to beginner and seasoned golfers with incongruent body types. The consensus of teaching professionals surveyed on the island is that video/computer analysis is a valuable tool for;
· Analyzing the swing
· Providing instruction and feedback
· Monitoring a student’s progress over time
· Training and communicating with instructors

Up to date video analysis systems are learner friendly and easily allow the learner to grasp the instructor’s analysis of the swing. Video is especially helpful in convincing students who insist they are making a change, when they are not! Video uses the strongest form of visual input to show the student what needs to be accomplished, or a check on how well the student is performing the desired change. Video can also be used to record an entire lesson, which when provided to a student becomes a complete record of what was said and worked on. A video of the student’s swing provides a reference point for future evaluation of performance. It documents incremental improvements or highlights a lapse into old bad habits or new problems developing. Capturing a student’s strengths on video allows the instructor to refer back to the movements they made to create a good swing and work to bring it back.

Camera Placement Diagram

I have been lucky enough to have worked closely with many of the golf instructors from the Golftec brand of instructional facilities and gotten a chance to work in detail with their sensor based integrated systems. The beauty of these systems is there measurement of positions or movements of the body and club during the swing, which are captured at the same time on video. Their system synchronizes this motion data with video and ball launch data. The elements these valuable systems measure include;
· Weight shift
· Hip and shoulder rotation
· Swing speed
· Spine and torso movement
· Side and forward bending
· Ball flight variables

The students have fun and take valuable information comparing themselves to PGA tour averages and mark their improvements over time. TrackMan launch monitors have also helped me measure parameters like club speed, club path, face angle, launch angle, spin rate, descending angle and smash factor.

Swing Sync Teaching Aid
The majority of teaching aids on the market are designed for the most prevalent problems golfers’ experience. I have designed a teaching aid that contradicts the theory that a teaching aid should help virtually everyone. A homemade teaching aid I use that I call the Swing-Sync, is designed to help golfers who have hips that spin out of position. The Swing-Sync, is at this point a rake handed with at rope used for a belt. While this aid won’t help most players and may even contradict some of the basic motor skills used for a powerful swing, it will help a small portion of golfers slow their tempo and stay compact and in their golf shots. I plan to improve the aid and have a demonstration model made up for the Master professional checkpoint June 2008.

TrackMan uses the latest Doppler radar technology to monitor three-dimensional club head movement and golf ball landing conditions. The same technology is used by the military for tracking ballistic missiles. Today’s camera and laser based launch monitors measure initial ball parameters, including ball speed, launch angle and spin rate and then use this data to predict the probable ball flight. TrackMan goes further, not only measuring the ball’s launch parameters more accurately, but also tracking the ball during its entire flight and displaying this information on a computer monitor. TrackMan distance and shot dispersion figures are accurate to within 1-2 yards and ball spin rates have been shown to be totally reliable. TrackMan is used by major equipment manufacturers in their product development and testing programs. It is also used by the R&A and the USGA for monitoring equipment and player performance.

A company called Bentley Kinetics is changing the way golf is taught and learned. Michael Bentley, the company’s founder and driving force, has had an interest in biomechanics for decades. Since 1991, he’s been working with physicists, NASA engineers, sport physiologists, bio-mechanists, athletic trainers and strength coaches. In doing so, he has created the sport industry’s most innovative wireless motion analysis system, the K-Vest.
By using wireless sensors, Bentley Kinetics has eliminated the need for expensive high speed cameras and software that would take hours to analyze one swing. Instead the K-Vest can produce a person’s swing data in a couple of seconds. The K-Vest captures a golfer’s motion in real time, identifies errors and gives immediate feedback via live animation, so the golfer can make necessary changes to their motion. There is no guessing as to whether or not improvements are occurring. Numbers do not lie. The K-Vest produces numerical data that will positively confirm whether or not a change is occurring. Graph types available using the system include, alignment, spinal view, hip stability, core stability, K-factor and the kinetic chain. The K-Vest makes it easy for the average person to understand the data that is gathered. The system has targets and students can understand where their swing is correct and where it is going astray. The data is categorized according to different areas of the swing. It can easily check simple elements such as posture angles, alignment and backswing rotation in degrees. These complex movements are monitored and then plotted on a graph. Measurements of core stability, the loading and unloading of the X-factor (called the K-Factor) and the kinetic chain which compares the peak speeds of body segments are transported to the graph. This allows the golfer to see whether or not their body segments are firing in the proper order. One can also see whether or not there is the proper amount of body segment speed, which allows the synchronization of the swing. Most people understand that any athletic movement starts from the ground up. Bentley and other biomechanists call this leg to hip to should move the kinetic link. The kinetic link can be summarized as the body’s ability to create maximum speed and power by properly sequencing body movement. In the case of golf, the main objective is to efficiently transfer energy from the ground, through the body, out to the arms and ultimately into the club to achieve maximum velocity at the point of impact.
According to Bentley Kinetics, an efficient and effective kinetic link will show the shoulders should have approximately doubled the rotational speed of the hips and the arms will have doubled the rotational speed of the shoulders. The only way to synchronize a swing is to develop high amounts of segment speeds that are firing in the proper order and have the double, double energy transfer rate to the subsequent body segment.

The Stracka Line
There is a company that has taken the yardage book to the extreme by creating detailed maps of the putting surface. It will not only help one putt better, but will help one highlight areas that can be missed when viewed with the naked eye. If one has ever had a chance to view a PGA tour caddie’s yardage book, it is like a work of art. During the practice rounds they calculate everything and often draw diagrams and maps of the green to highlight what they see, looking for any advantage over the competition. The Stracka line yardage book gives one the competitive edge like no other. Many clubs looking at developing a new yardage book should check out the Stracka Line. Their patented technology puts the courses greens under a microscope and their computer software enables one to actually study the greens surfaces on a home computer.

Gyrosensor LCD Golf Putters
Just as the heart sends blood around the body, a crystal device sends the information that operates this electronic device. Until recently crystal devices have been used in clocks where they function as timing devices, as well as, in opto-devices such as digital cameras. An LCD putter with gyrosensor uses the crystal device as a sensor to measure angle speed. It enables the device to accurately measure movement on a three dimensional level. The gyrosensor reads out onto an LCD screen that is fitted to the putter and accurately measures the trajectory and speed of the putting stroke, as well as, impact data. The golfer views this information on a color LCD screen fit to the non-contact side of the putter. When the putter hits the back of the ball, the gyrosensor is able to gauge how much the putter angles to the right, how much it follows through in a straight line or how much it angles to the left. This cutting edge technology makes it finally possible for golfers to obtain factual data on their putting strokes.

Nintendo Wii Fit
A video game system to improve golf and fitness? The Nintendo Wii game system that launched in 2006 has changed the video game industry by getting gamers off of the couch. Motion sensors embedded in the controls of the game system allows one to swing, slash and roll, creating an interactive experience. The golf game actually forces one to replicate a swinging motion in order to play the game and in many ways this could one day become a new way to coach a student in a virtual environment. Now Nintendo is taking the next step with this technology by making Wii a fitness friendly device that uses a balance board the gamer stands on to control the game. The game will offer 40 different activities, ranging from aerobics to balance training, to help one keep physically fit. The game even tracks the individual’s statistics over time, so one can watch how they progress with their fitness. If one can’t avoid the video game craze, then at least look at something that may actually help elevate their fitness and improve their skill set. The release date for Wii Fit is first quarter 2008

Other launch monitors
P3Pro is a cost effective product, however, it has limitations in that it can only be used in an indoor environment. The golfer hits off a matt that is connected to a computer. The matt has an array of infrared lights and as the club passes through the lights it uses some mathematical equations to create a picture of where on the face the golfer hit the ball and what the path and speed was at impact. It is an entry level product approximately $700 and can be added to an indoor hitting bay through
Focaltron makes a launch monitor that uses high speed stroboscopic cameras to monitor the ball speed and spin rate of the golf ball, as well as, a phase array laser system to monitor the club face through impact. The system starts at around $4,000 and is available at
The Vector is a monitor that has a good following and has branched out with the swing analysis software companies and integrated their system into many of the programs. The Vector is packaged well and uses a high speed infrared camera to calculate spin, speed and launch characteristics of the golf ball. Each golf ball needs to be marked with a stripe for measurement purposes. The systems cost is $4,000 and is available at
Zelocity uses Doppler radar to emit radar pulses which creates a radar field for ball flight measurement. As the ball travels through the radar field, it bounces impulses back to the monitor, which measures the ball’s actual velocity, spin and launch angle. The device runs of off AC power or battery and can be used both inside and outside. It offers many of the same functions as the other measuring devices but uses technology that does not require a lot of set-up or calibration in order to track the golf ball.
The EDH flight scope uses Phase Array flight tracking sensors along with global leading software and graphics. EDH golf systems technology was developed in South Africa and used by the military to track missiles. It is a very advanced system that has great graphics and software package that allows the golfer to track all of the shots data. The product sits on the ground behind the player where it goes to work and tracks the ball as it leaves the club face. It be used both indoors and out but uses AC power and costs $15,000 available at

Golf Specific Teaching Software
A golf specific software program needs the following to be effective;
· Capture full motion video via a firewire port or usb 2.0
· View multiple videos at once for comparison
· Draw graphics on the videos to highlight specific areas of the swing
· Play the swings back in full or slow motion
· Overlay one swing on top of another to monitor improvement
· Burn DVD or CD of swings
· Compress and send video lessons via the internet
· Upgrades via the internet
· Online support
· Ability to interact with other products

The following companies offer golf specific software and are widely used in the industry.
Astar has been around since the early 1990’s and has offered several different systems since that time. It was one of the pioneers of computerized swing analysis. It is a good solid system and went through a revamp in 2006 with the addition of many different features. They have a long standing relationship with golf professionals and the industry and are definitely worth a look.
cSwing has been around since 2000 and is the most affordable swing analysis system in the market today. It is not a big company but has turned out a great product that is downloadable off the internet and easy to start using immediately. It offers all the features one needs to get started and is easy to use,
Dartfish is a Switzerland based company with an office in Atlanta. They offer one of the most advanced swing analysis programs on the market and have covered a much wider variety of sports than any other company. They have a variety of unique features that separate them from the pack and have been featured at the Olympics. Intel is an investor in the company, which allows them to be at the cutting edge of new technology,
Gasp is an England based company with offices in the United States as well. They offer a wide array of products to suit any golfer’s needs. They have integrated force plates and some 3D applications into their software,
JC Video has been in the market as long as anyone. They were involved in video analysis before computer software programs even took off. They have done a great job of integrating features from the video world with the computer software system. They have a good understanding of what the golf professional wants in a computer based system.
Swinger is an Australia based company that has little presence in the United States apart from the fact that a variety of Australian tour players use this product and send the video over the internet to their coaches in Australia. It is easy to use and offers all the necessary features. It can be downloaded from their website at
Swing View Pro is a new system on the block. It is feature rich, easy to use and an affordable motion capture program. It is designed to work on an inexpensive laptop computer with DV camcorder or an inexpensive USB camera. Swing View Pro was designed by golf professionals for golf professionals,
V1 Golf has the largest customer base and offer both professional systems and consumer systems. They offer a internet lesson option that allows the user to utilize a large instructor database for an online golf lesson. The more advanced system comes with some tour players swings for use as comparison,

Evaluation Methods
The first step in establishing a student’s progress is to ascertain from the student at the first lesson, or before the first lesson what are their specific goals. The goal could be as simple as being able to play with the kids or their husband, getting ready for a corporate tournament, or as complex as preparing for a run at the PGA tour. Without this frame of reference, however, judging a students progress can be a meaningless task. Once the overall goal is established a step by step process should be implemented to help the student achieve their specific goal.
For the remainder of this section let’s assume a 40 year old male wants to prepare for his private country clubs first flight club championship three months away. The beginning stages include gathering personal information including, telephone number, email address, best days to take classes, best days to practice, and amount of time to achieve goal. Second, evaluate the student’s current ability including, handicap, body type, learning style, ball flight pattern, strengths, weaknesses and amount of time available to achieve the goal. Finally, the instructor needs to put down a step by step program, subject to change, that should be handed to the student before their second class, and also e-mail and stored in a file for the instructor’s records. A lesson plan should include all aspects of the game including, irons, woods, long game, putting, chipping, pitching, bunker play, shaping shots, difficult lies, golf course management, and the mental side of golf. The golfer may need a rules, etiquette, and golf course procedures course if they are in a beginner role at the golf club.
Forms that should be used include, evaluation form, performance chart and a performance review. These forms can be the key to keeping a student on track, as well as, saving time in follow up golf lessons by providing a quick and easy review of the material, drills and progress of the student.


Welcome to Dorado del Mar Golf Club

Please Print

First Middle Last
Address ____________________________________________________________
City State & Zip Code
Home Phone Number (Area Code) __________________
Company Name_______________________________________________________
Address ____________________________________________________________
City State & Zip Code
Company Phone Number (Area Code) _____________________Fax Number _____________
Email address _______________________________________________________
How did you hear about us?_____________________________________________
How long have you been playing golf?____________________________________
How often do you play golf?_____________________________________________
What is your average score?___________________Current Index______________
Do you practice?________________________How often?_____________________
Type of clubs used?_____________________________________________________
Please indicate your normal ball flight below: (i.e. slice, hook, push, pull)
Draw Ball Flight

Fairway woods/
Driver Long irons Short irons

What club do you hit on a par 3 that is: 100 Yards______________
150 Yards______________
175 Yards______________
200 Yards______________

What is your favorite club to hit?_________________________________________
What is your least favorite club?_________________________________________
How many golf lessons have you had?____________________________________
When was the last time you had a golf lesson?______________________________
Rank the best and worst parts of you game (1= best, 6 = worst)
Tee Shots_____ Approach Shots_____ Sand_____
Pitching_____ Chipping_____ Putting_____

Do you have any physical condition or pain that limits your ability to make an aggressive golf swing?__________________________________________________

Please describe these limitations or pain__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Do you have any back problems?__________________________________________

What areas of improvement are most important to you?

Distance_____ Reduce mis-hits_____ Short game_____ Consistency_____ Lower scores_____ Reduce handicap_____
Cure hook or slice_____ Other (specify) _______________

What would you like the Dorado del Mar team to help you accomplish?


Speed: Std. Driver____ 5I_____
Driver Freq____ Lgth____ Fit Y / N
5 Iron Freq____ Lgth____ Fit Y / N
Hand Strength RH____ LH_____
Personal Info:_______________
Name ______________________________
First Last
Instructor ______________________________ Date:____________________

Worked on: _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Swing training package (5-pack) (10-pack)

1. Training session Date__________ Instructor _________


2. Training session Date__________ Instructor _________


3. Training session Date__________ Instructor _________


4. Training session Date__________ Instructor _________


5. Training session Date__________ Instructor _________


Performance Chart


85 Shooter
95+ Shooter

GIR-Greens in Regulation




FIR-Fairways in Regulation



Missed hits




















Performance Chart - Detail






Missed Hits








Job Description (Director of Golf)


To oversee the overall golf operation, including staffing of the Golf Shop, outside services, and professional staff. Supervising and delegating for handicapping, tournament operations, merchandising, membership, golf car fleet, golf course maintenance and daily golf operations. Coordinate daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and long-term budgeting, forecasting and adjustments. Give high quality PGA certified professional golf lessons to members, locals and groups.


q Fully coordinate all group golf events from start to finish.
q Assist the Catering and Sales staff in any golf related functions. Participate in pre-conference meetings.
q Hire and train Golf Shop and Customer Service area staff.
q Maintain a neat and orderly physical plant.
q Manage the tee sheet and inform the Golf Shop of special rules for play that day.
q Provide competent golf instruction to all groups and individuals, regardless of their level of play.
q Work with the General Manager on the golf budget process.
q Assist the Merchandise Manager in buying apparel, equipment, and accessories. Periodic checks to maintain adequate levels of merchandise inventories.
q Monitor golf course conditions.
q Attend Professional Golf Association (PGA) meetings and educational seminars to maintain professional management expertise.
q Maintain personal playing proficiency by participating in selected competitive events in addition to guest related public relation playing responsibilities.
q Demonstrate skills in human and public relations. Possesses the poise and ability to converse with all guests and fellow employees.
q Perform all other duties as directed.
q Represent Dorado del Mar in a professional and courteous manner at all times.
q Act on behalf of the General Manager in the case of her absence.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
· College Education.
· Ability to teach group and individual lessons.
· Ability to portray the image required of a Director of Golf.
· Service oriented.
· Outgoing personality and genuine interest in golfers and their pursuit of the game.
· Dedication to the game of golf and Class A PGA status.
· Computer and accounting skills.

Like the golf swing itself, styles of instruction communication may vary and still be effective, although the communication must still reflect certain fundamental principles. Two main areas of communication to be discussed in this section include, student centered instruction, as well as, recognition and projection of the fact the student holds the keys to their own success. Communication research shows that when a message is sent, many factors effect how the content of the message is accepted and interpreted by the student. The factors include the substance of the message, number of times it is repeated and how it is packaged. Also important are the student’s attitudes and how they perceive me as their instructor. The exact same message will be perceived differently depending on who delivers the message. My attitude and character, or at least how my students perceive it, will have a lot to do with how effectively the instructional message gets through and sticks with the student. My effectiveness depends on how well I listen, observe and understand what my students are doing with the club and their experiences playing the game. My non verbal cues including facial expressions and general body language do convey information to the learner. Honing my interpersonal communication skills is equally as important as developing knowledge of the golf swing and game. I make it a point to get to know my students, show that I understand and care about their progress, express my ideas clearly and effectively and deliver meaningful feedback about their golf games.
Demonstrating that I know and care about my students as individuals helps establish rapport and diffuses tension which speeds the learning process. Students can and will take in and work with more information if it ties into something they already know. The more I know about my individual students, the more effectively I can tie my teaching experience to their prior experience, or our shared experience, whether its sport related, or some other activity. I get to know my students early in the relationship by asking questions about their motivation for taking lessons, their level of golf experience, or during the lesson, how they feel about their progress, or the teaching process itself. I try to incorporate both open ended and closed ended questions into the instruction in order to gather information. My basic approach for obtaining background information about the student is to have them fill out the “Welcome to Dorado del Mar Golf Club” information sheet. Along with this sheet, I break the ice on the way out to the practice range with some follow-up questions about their motivation, what they want to accomplish in golf and in this individual lesson.
The old adage that we were given two ears, two eyes and only one mouth, so we should use them in that proportion, is a great guide for the golf instructor. Communication is a two way street and listening and observing are important communication skills, as well, and are especially crucial for golf instructors. To assess how well my instruction is sinking in, I observe the swing and actively listen to the responses to questions designed to reveal how the student feels about what I tell them and the progress they are making. Active listening has been described as listening between the lines and looking for cues including, facial expression and body language for signs of satisfaction or frustration. The ability to address any real issues and prevent the misunderstandings that interfere with the learning process saves loads of time and is valuable to the student’s development. Demonstrating understanding lets my students know that I am sensitive to their opinions and feelings. I try to rephrase and reflect back what my students say, to make sure I understand and capture the essence of what was said. Restating the student’s comments in my own words gives me a check on my listening skills and is an invaluable way of keeping lines of communication clear. My teaching comes from a concern for people and a desire to help them. My ability to put myself in my student’s position helps me empathize. I let that empathy guide my listening, speaking and body language. To further cultivate my empathy I have engaged in tennis lessons and learning Spanish with a tutor to help me to better understand the challenges from the learner’s point of view. I make sure to convey a willingness to listen, a respectful non-judgmental attitude, with an openness that encourages straightforwardness on both our parts. One key I constantly remind myself is to refrain from trying to impress students with my expertise, through constant talking, overwhelming them with details, or ignoring their opinions and feelings. However, I make sure to engage in integrity and professionalism, treating everyone with basic respect, regardless of their social or economic status. I also reflect the images I teach in my own actions including being neatly dressed, on time and prepared.
Expressing oneself clearly and effectively is a basic and continuing communication challenge for anyone who teaches. Giving my students powerful mental pictures will help them understand and perform the swing and key elements in it. My use of golf terminology and technical information is based on the student’s golf background and skill level and progresses as the student does. Beginners and advanced players work in completely different golfing worlds. A challenge is to be adept in both worlds, as well as, anywhere in between. Gradually introducing golf speak to progressing students, offering clear, simple, standard definitions with appropriate examples to conserve short-term memory is important when teaching and learning golf. Checking body language is an important way to convey a strong message. Rolling the eyes, shaking the head, acting surprised when a good shot is hit, or looking away when the student is explaining something, are all poor body language and communicates to the student the teacher’s lack of skill.
I use humor in my golf instruction to break the ice, convey a visual image and help students relax who may be trying to hard. When students try too hard or become self critical, they seriously impede their own progress. Like all good communication techniques, the humor used should be designed to help the student. It’s another way of conveying goodwill and helping the student reach their goals.
Delivering meaningful feedback is the only way for a student to judge performance. I correct errors, reinforce proper technique and motivate students to continue working toward their goals via feedback given through a series of lessons. Knowing when to deliver it, how to package it and what content to include in order to maximize students performance is the instructor’s job.

Feedback tip
Be timely and specific
If feedback is too far removed in time, it loses value. This is particularly true with learning motor skills, since an action can be forgotten almost immediately. Feedback should also be specific, if possible, based on objective criteria, such as number of putts made at given distances.
Limit feedback to a few key items
Everything may seem wrong with a student’s golf swing, but dealing with all the faults can overwhelm the person. Instead, chose one or two items that will make the biggest difference.
Focus on areas the student can control
Feedback directed to some aspect of a student’s game that they can do nothing about clearly serves no purpose and, in fact, undermines the whole teaching experience.
Evaluate in relation to personal goals
Evaluation should be student’s own goals, not, for example, in comparison to the ideal swing of a professional golfer or to par as an average score for a round.
Avoid being judgmental
Teachers are always evaluating student performance, but being judgmental means coming to conclusions, usually negative ones, about the person himself. To guard against making judgments, ask: “Do I see this student as an individual or have I already put him in a particular category?”
Accentuate the positive
Notice the truly positive things about the student and tell them about them. Positive statements help balance the times when I need to make a correction.
Be honest and sincere
Although I want to stress the positive, one shouldn’t mislead or be dishonest in the praise. Students can usually sense insincerity, and it can seriously damage credibility. So avoid manufacturing praise just for the sake of being positive.
Make feedback two-way
From the beginning, lay the groundwork for good mutual feedback. Make it clear that a student is allowed to speak their mind. Inviting feedback from students cut out guesswork on my part and can help avoid misunderstandings.
Marketing and Promotion
Marketing and promotion are key elements to expanding an instructors teaching business. Marketing is a set of processes for creating, communicating and delivering value to the student and managing students benefits in a way that benefit the instructor. Promotion is communicating with the public ( club members, resorts guest or locals) in an attempt to influence them toward purchasing my instruction services.
The first step I use in marketing myself is to maintain a professional image and appearance. Make sure that my students see me as a viable option for golf instruction. Put myself in teaching situations, play golf with potential students, walk the range, leave my staff bag in prominent areas, promote on my business card and in publications my PGA professional status (or Master Professional status!) I have created full color marketing brochures, mailings and information products to distribute in the golf pro shop to local organizations or at public gatherings. I use local publications for this purpose and barter with media outlets to get Dorado del Mar Golf Club and my instruction business in the public eye as much as possible. It is one thing to hear about a golf instructor once, but if potential students hear and sees my name a number of times in a number of different ways they will be more likely to purchase services from me.
I promote myself to different demographics of people, even though middle age males may be 70% of my business, ways to hit more middle age males may be through ladies and junior clinics where the husbands and fathers see me and hear about me another time. Magazines, newspapers radio and television offer opportunities for golf professionals to communicate with their potential customers daily. The number of media outlets that are interested in working with a PGA professional are unlimited if one were to just take the time to ask, submit a proposal or communicate with the right person. An e-mailed golf tip to a magazine, newspaper, radio show, or local television show usually results in multiple exposures for Dorado del Mar Golf Club and my instructional business.
A golf professional’s work in the community can be another way to indirectly secure more business. It is another potential exposure for me as a PGA professional to my potential client. It is also a way to reach a large group of people and at the same time improve my credibility within the Puerto Rican community as a whole.

New golfers and seasoned veterans often share one common characteristic. They’ll spend countless hours and dollars to improve their game. They’ll look for the best coaches to perfect their swing mechanics. They’ll shop for the best equipment to get more precision and distance. They’ll work with the best conditioning coaches to improve their muscle strength and rotational power. They’ll even talk to a sports psychologist to learn about maintaining their composure, focus and concentration. All of this coming in the name of better golf. However, amid all this change, there is one thing most golfers will not alter. That’s their terrible diet. To any expert this is mind-blowing, since the diet often limits the performance in a number of major ways. Eating poorly limits muscle strength and leads to body fat accumulation. Also, weak muscles not surprisingly and excess body fat, do not lead the way to championship performance. Eating poorly leads to limited focus and concentration, unsteady mood fluctuations and can lead to poor immune function and poor overall health. Playing 72 holes under tournament conditions while in a bad mood, cannot concentrate and feeling sick are not ways to give the golfer the best chance to win. Poor nutrition can directly impact practice sessions and competitive golf rounds alike. Acute loss of focus, concentration and fatigue especially as practice sessions and competition progresses are all symptoms of poor nutrition. Bottom line is as the golf game fades, a key area that often remains unchecked is diet and nutrition.
In strength and conditioning community it is often said that one cannot out train a poor diet. This transfers to golf in that one cannot out practice, out swing, or out psychologize a poor diet. There is no substitute for providing the right nutrients at the right time for the body. Many novice athletes, golfers included, make the mistake of thinking it is only the food eaten immediately before and during their practices and matches that affect their game. Although it makes sense logically, psychologically it could not be further from the truth. While what one eats before and after practices and matches can make a difference, these meals are not deal breakers. Rather every single meal that is eaten has an impact no matter when it is eaten. It’s the cumulative effect of good eating that leads to better performance. Basically, there is no magic, pre-game or during competition meal. If the golfer waits until the day of the big match to decide to eat well, it’s too late. It is a conscious decision to eat well day in and day out that delivers results.
Most golfers miss the logical link between nutrition and performance. It is due to the fact they do not appreciate how food alters their muscle function and brain chemistry. The golf nutrition link is not as obvious as the link to a wrestler or a marathoner and one does not have to look like a world class athlete to succeed in golf. The fact that golf isn’t highly energy intensive makes it unnecessary to eat tons of carbohydrate rich foods in order to perform. However, just because golfers do not wear their fitness on their sleeves, or burn up thousands of calories practicing, doesn’t mean that nutrition is unimportant. The golf nutrition link is more subtle, yet it does still exist. Maintaining muscle mass and elasticity, reducing muscle and joint inflammation, maintaining focus and concentration and supporting a positive optimistic outlook are all things that optimal nutrition can promote. Those who make this connection have a distinct advantage. The most difficult hurdle, especially for the more average golfer, is for people to overcome the habit based nature of nutrition. No one goes through the process of decision making prior to each meal. During our everyday life our eating patterns are based on what we have done hundreds of times before. It’s these previous decisions we call our habits.
Eating and supplementing in a particular way will (1) lower body fat %, (2) increase muscle strength, (3) improve bone health, (4) allow recovery from exercise faster, (5) increase distance off of the tee, (6) improve mood, (7) reduce feelings of anger and anxiety, (8) increase concentration and creativity, (9) improve virtually every health marker known, and (10) help the golfer play better as a practice session or match progresses. If all these things were possible based on a diet change, would the average golfer try it? Eating well can improve everything from performance, to health, to mood, to enjoyment of the game of golf. Anthropometrists state that total body weight is made up of the sum total of two things, lean mass and fat mass. Fat mass is basically the stored body fat, while the lean mass is made up of muscles mass, organ mass, bone mass and other non fat tissues. To excel in most sports it is ideal to carry high lean mass to fat mass ratio. Having weak muscles with little power potential is of obvious detriment and so is having excess body fat. Excess body fat can negatively impact swing efficiency, as well as, rotational mobility and power. Bottom line, fat can’t flex! Carrying unnecessary body fat steals power from the swing. I.E. the more fat on the body, the more of the strength will be used to move the fat versus moving the club. By eating the right foods, at the right times, in the right amounts, it improves what doctors call “nutrient portioning”. This phrase is used to describe the shift in where calories end up on the body. Good nutrient portioning results in the calories eaten either, being burned off as energy, or stored in lean tissues. Poor nutrient portioning results in calories being stored as body fat.
Practice is necessary to improve the golf game. Top professionals take approximately 600 swings each day including chips and putts. Assuming each swing is at maximum effort, a lot of strength and power is required. To build this strength and power for exceptional golf performance and the muscular endurance necessary for repeating these power strokes hundreds of times each day, professional golfers especially perform physical activity outside of the practice sessions. This includes strength, cardio and interval exercise. When this activity is added up, the volume of activity and muscular work can take its toll on the body. Muscle damage, central nervous system fatigue and over reaching are all involved in the symptoms and side effects of under-recovery. A bit of rest time or a reduction in total exercise volume, coupled with the right nutritional intake can improve recovery in a big way. Improved recovery means higher quality exercise and practice sessions. It also means the ability to practice more often, leading to faster improvement.
Research into mood has recently exploded, including the area of sport, and new research has shown that specific exercise programs, training regimes, foods, environmental chemicals and nutritional supplements can impact every mood domain. The Profile of Mood States (POMS), a common mood questionnaire used in athletes and sport populations to evaluate mental signs and symptoms of stress and overtraining looks at six specific mood domains. These domains include the following;
· Tension and anxiety
· Dejection and depression
· Anger and hostility
· Vigor
· Fatigue
· Confusion and bewilderment

POMS scores can be altered positively or negatively by acute changes in food intake, or chronic food intake. Some meals can increase vigor while reducing fatigue, while others can increase confusion/bewilderment and fatigue while reducing vigor. The same is true for habitual dietary intakes. Simply, some foods make one feel great while others leave one feeling terrible. At a recent meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, researchers showed the inclusion of additional protein in a carbohydrate drink like Gatorade reduced fatigue scores and improved vigor in athletes. In addition to this research, new data has shed light on specific nutritional interventions that can reduce violent and aggressive behaviors, while improving cognitive test scores and reducing signs and symptoms of ADD and ADHD. These results have been recorded in school children and adults and all it took was a daily multi-vitamin supplement and a daily fish oil supplement. Involvement in golf makes one realize that it is a highly mental game. However, while every player on the PGA tour is capable of winning major championships, some excel more consistently than others. Research indicates there is a biochemical basis for some of this mental prowess. By providing the right nutrients, including nutritional supplements, at the right times, the physiological link between the brain and the muscles can be strengthened. Simultaneously, focus and concentration enhanced and positive outlook fostered. It takes the correct biochemical situation in the body to control mood fluctuations and eliminate post meal lull. Beyond body composition and recovery, nutrition can strongly impact the mental game. The correct nutrients provide concentration, neuromuscular efficiency and mood improvement. Skip the nutrients and fatigue and form breakdown comes more quickly, especially when they are needed most. During long duration practices and matches. For some reason athletes fail to grasp the fact that it is impossible to perform at a high level without having optimal health. Health is often a nebulous term without specific indicators or objectives and signaled by the lack of pain and/or disease. However, progressive health specialists look at health differently and it turns out to mean optimal function. A basic checklist on health looks like the following;
· A resilient immune system
· Strong antioxidant systems and free radical defense
· Good detoxification systems
· A good balance of gastrointestinal bacteria
· A healthy production of digestive enzymes
· A good balance of acid and base producing foods in the diet
· Low levels of inflammation in the body
· An ideal balance between lean mass and fat mass
· A good balance of blood lipids
· Good insulin sensitivity and carbohydrate tolerance
· High perceived energy levels
· The ability to perform mentally and physically at any age

Importantly each one of these health indicators is impacted by nutrition. Eating well improves these specific health markers. It not only prevents disease, but helps lead to optimal body function. Optimal body function means better athletic function. The average golfers on course eating habits, hot dogs and beer, do not set a golfer up for optimal performance. In fact they set the body up for performance breakdown. Beer for example is a central nervous system depressant, reducing motor control and concentration which are needed for good performance. To optimize practice and game performance a few things are necessary. First hydration is a must, especially in a climate like Puerto Rico. Even slight dehydration will reduce coordination and control. Secondly, blood sugar must be controlled. Failure to eat on the golf course causes blood sugar to drop and performance to suffer. However, the same happens if the on course diet is full of sugary foods. To ensure hydration, control blood sugar and enhance mental alertness, the recommendation is;
· 1 hour before practice or competition (Eat a balance meal containing lean protein, whole grain carbohydrates and healthy fats for example: Breakfast: egg white omelet with vegetables and cheese, small serving oatmeal with mixed nuts and berries and a fish oil capsule)
Snack: super shake, 2 scoops vanilla protein supplement, 1 cup of water, 1 cup frozen berries, 1 serving greens, 1 teaspoon fish oil and 1 teaspoon peanut butter
Dinner: 6 ounce chicken breast, 2 cups steamed vegetables with olive oil, 1 small serving of whole grain rice.
· 30 minutes before practice or competition (nutrition supplement with the following ingredients- tyrosine, DMAE, B6 and piracetam, will lead to amazing boosts in focus and concentration, these can be found in powdered form and can be mixed with water and drank 30 minutes before competition)
· During practice and competition (sip a diluted carbohydrate drink, (3) 500 ml servings per round)

Although golfers characteristically do anything and everything to tweak their game, many neglect one of the biggest contributing factors to their physical and mental success – nutrition. Improving nutrition will not only improve the golf game but give the golfer beneficial side effects including better health and body composition.
The phrase “Western Diet,” is used to describe the habits popularized in North America. The western diet is categorized by lots of processed ingredients, sugars, refined carbohydrates and animal fats. Also characterized by a low intake of fruits, vegetables, healthy plant fats, marine lipids and fish. The western diet is linked not surprisingly to most of the western diseases. These diseases include cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer and many more. In studies it has also been linked to increased violence and aggression, as well as, decreased cognitive scores and attention span in school children and adults. Finally, the diet is linked to loss of bone mass, as well as, muscle size and strength with age. What does this harmful “Western Diet” look like?
· Breakfast; bowl of cereal with milk, orange juice, coffee, cream and sugar
· Snack; bagel with cream cheese, coffee, cream and sugar
· Lunch; sandwich with two slices of wheat bread, mayo, lettuce, tomato, cheese and lunch meat
· Snack; candy at work, soda
· Dinner; lean steak, mashed potatoes, asparagus, glass of wine
· Snack; 2 beers, popcorn

Some people would even consider this one of their good days, when we think of all the fast food and junk foods out there, however, this diet could definitely use an overhaul. Before doing an overhaul it is important to refer to the rules of nutrition or the 5 healthy habits. The 5 habits are; 1. Eat every 2-3 hours, 2. Eat complete, lean protein at each feeding opportunity, 3. Eat vegetables at each feeding opportunity, 4. If fat loss is the goal, eat fruits and vegetables with any meal, carbohydrates only after exercise, 5. Eat healthy fats daily. When the diet above is compared with the five healthy habits we see that it is too low in protein, too high in carbohydrates, too low in vegetables and too low in healthy fats to support the nutritional needs of elite level golfers.
Another set of guidelines that should be followed are the ten nutritional challenges many people, golfers alike fail to heed.
· Eat a well balanced breakfast. Breakfast is actually the most important meal of the day. What we eat at the morning meal sets the hormonal stage for the rest of the day.
· Eat more, smaller meals, throughout the day. Try and time the caloric intake so it matches the energy needs. Dinner should not be the largest meal of the day.
· Ensure sufficient low-fat protein to support lean body mass. The amount of protein eaten is a function of lean body mass and the level of physical activity the person undertakes.
· Eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Fruits and vegetables should be the body’s primary sources of carbohydrates.
· Avoid simple sugars and other foods with high glycemic indexes. If one has to eat simple sugars, do so with other foods that will slow down the velocity at which the sugar enters the bloodstream.
· Eat more smart fats.
· Take a multivitamin.
· Eat a wide variety of foods. Food sensitivities and allergies can result form the consistent eating of specific foods and a regular basis.
· Become a student on how foods regulate hormonal response. Our nutritional habits directly affect our health.
· Become a teacher. As an instructor I need to share the limited knowledge I have with my students and add to my body of knowledge on nutrition whenever possible.

Golf Fitness

Stretching before each round is of utmost importance for golfers who want to see overall improvement at Dorado del Mar Golf Club. Proper stretching will yield positive results quickly, including a more fluid swing. The best golfers in the world stretch with a trainer before and after each round. Stretching helps reduce injuries, back injuries in particular, by allowing the muscles to become more elongated and provides a more efficient warm-up and cool-down. The reason many golfers still fail to stretch before playing golf is a lack of knowledge about exactly how to stretch properly. They have never had the luxury of a trainer showing them proper stretching exercises. Before beginning a stretching routine all players should consult with a physician or trainer and make sure they understand what they are doing. The keys to understanding golf training include 1), stretches vary between rotation, linear and angular positions and 2), focusing on breathing and tempo while holding each stretch for the equivalent of one deep breath is of utmost importance.

Stretching the upper back improves the golf posture for better position at address. Stand facing perpendicular to a golf car, extend the arms and grab under the roof above shoulder height, finally push the head down between the arms and keep the legs straight. Stretching the middle back warms up the muscles used in the back swing and the through swing. Stand parallel to a golf car, turn shoulders 90 degrees and grab the crossbar directly out from the shoulders, keep the arms straight, slowly lean forward, keeping the head directly between the feet. A great lower back stretch for decompression of the spine, which also warms up the back and hips for the front nine is to, stand perpendicular to a golf car. Bend at the waist and grab the floorboard at knee level, while pushing both arms straight and bending the knees.

Lower body stretches for hips and thighs help maximize hip speed and leg stability. Start by facing away from the front of a golf car. Bend one knee and place one foot on the seat of the golf car, grab the roof above shoulder height and push the torso forward slowly. A stretch to keep the hamstring flexible so one can rotate the upper body without coming out of the posture is to, stand facing perpendicular to the golf car, lift one leg onto the golf car seat, rotate the upper body in the direction the foot is elevated, keep the arms straight and the chin up. A stretch that levels out the muscles in the lower legs so the golfer can distribute their weight evenly is this heel and calf stretch. Stand perpendicular to the golf car, keep the toes on the floor board while raising and lowering the heels, grab the roof of the golf car for support.

Upper body stretches lengthen the muscles in the chest and shoulders and keep the body loose and flexible. Stand perpendicular to the golf car about two feet away. Grab the roof supports at chest height, slowly lean forward into the golf car while bending the arms just like a vertical pushup. Bend and extend the arms several times to stretch the chest muscles. A final upper body stretch that warms up the whole body and relaxes the muscles for maximum performance is, stand facing the front of the golf car, grab the windshield crossbars above shoulder height and slowly stretch back while bending the arms. Keep bending the knees until the arms are straight and the spine is elongated. Completing this stretching program using only a golf car before each golf game will allow the golfer to see immediate results in overall golfing performance.

Golfing Balance
A great golf swing always starts with body and its contact with the ground. The feet are the only two objects on the human body that should touch the ground in the golf swing. If there are physical limitations in the balance area, mechanics will be compromised, ultimately ending in poor performance or even worse, injury. First and foremost, balance is compromised of three control center; the eyes (visual), the inner ears (vestibular) and the proprioceptive system. For simplification we are going to deal with the proprioceptive system, and assume that no disturbances or limitations are present in the vision or vestibular systems. Proprioception is defined as the unconscious perception of movement and spatial orientation arising from stimuli within the body itself. It has also been described as the ability to sense the position, location, orientation and movement of the body and its parts. Without adequate proprioception in the golf swing, the body will fall victim to a sequential break down in the segments above the level of proprioceptive (balance) breakdown. Certain joints possess certain qualities, and when these qualities are compromised, there is usually a breakdown that arises either above or below the joint in question. The proprioceptive systems in the golf swing follows a similar pattern. The complex motion of a golf swing requires the body perform a series of tasks in sequence from the feet all the way to the cervical spine, in order to propel the little white ball towards the target with the correct amount of distance and spin. The precision required for this activity is monumental when it gets broken down to the smallest detail. Any variance from the precision required and the ball travels either left, short, right, long, too high, or too low. Identifying the sources of variance in the golf swing is often a daunting task. One such source can be linked to a person’s balance. The feet are the only body parts touching the ground, however, in many golf swings, the two feet are not working as effectively as possible, thereby compromising the segments above them (knee, hip, lower back, mid back, shoulders, etc.). When a golfer shows limitations in their ability to maintain their balance throughout the golf swing, it is imperative to determine what level of proprioception they possess.
Through a very simple test, the instructor can determine how the balance/proprioception stacks up to the best in the world. The Single Leg Balance Test is one of the easiest tests I use to determine what level of balance golfers possess. To perform this test, simply stand on one leg and raise the opposite foot, making sure not to touch the legs together. Arms can be outstretched to one side if desired. Once the golfer has obtained a quiet and steady stance with the eyes open, close both eyes and go for as long as the golfer can without tipping over, or moving the feet from their original position. Average human single leg balance time is approximately 10 seconds, while the average on the PGA tour is roughly 26 seconds. This is a major difference between players who are efficient and effective in making the little white object go to the desired location.
Another element of a great repetitive golf swing involves building a powerful foundation. In order to fully harness the forces developed in the lower body the first thing that must be improved is the ability to perform proper hip rotation. In order to achieve proper hip rotation we should focus on three basic factors, flexibility, stability and balance. Flexibility is a key component in preventing swaying away from the ball on the golf swing. If the body is not able to rotate around the right hip a typical compensation will be to sway or stand up to achieve a full turn, which will adversely affect weight shift during the swing. Stability is a key to being able to control the rotation of the hips and prevent injury from occurring. A good screen to determine if one has core stability is to take a golf club and hold it above the head with two hands. Place the feet about shoulder width apart, with the feet pointing straight forward. With the club still above the head squat as deeply as one can, stopping if one has any pain in the knees or back. If the golfer has core stability, he will be able to get the glutes to the heels, while holding the club above their head and keeping their heels flat on the ground. If one can not perform the full movement they need some work on their core stability. Balance is the final important element to help one achieve proper weight transfer and prevent the previously mentioned swing flaws. Balance is one of the easier factors to improve. Alternating standing on each foot with the eyes open for thirty seconds and then moving up to eyes closed on each foot will help the student create optimal golfing balance.

Cardio Vascular Health
There are two major systems used by the body to create oxygen. One is the aerobic and the other is the anaerobic. If the activity is one wherein one could essentially keep going for an indefinite period of time, such as walking or slow jogging, then it is aerobic training. If the activity is intense enough that one would have to stop within a minute or two, the activity is anaerobic. Thus, if one finds oneself bent over, breathing hard or out of breath, they have actually been training anaerobically, or without oxygen. Another issue regarding cardiovascular training is the issue of impact. Some experts are often quoted as saying, one should choose activities that are low impact, or no impact, such as the popular elliptical trainers found in most gyms. They offer the advice that impact is somehow harmful, when the opposite is true. An athlete needs their feet to hit the ground. The brain uses the feedback from the foot strikes to formulate its commands to the rest of the body. The brain gathers information from the impact, what kind of surface it is, is it hard or soft, even or uneven, what it should tell the ankles and knees, hips, shoulders and lungs to do, process it, then send out the orders to the rest of the body. The process is called ground reaction and it is a vital component of human movement.
Considering the fact most humans require a mix of aerobic and anaerobic activity and considering the fact, the athlete wants the feet to strike the ground, I would rank the following activities as follows;

· Circuit training
· Hiking outdoors
· Alternate walk/jog
· Alternate jog/run

· Jumping rope
· Calisthenics
· Aerobics classes
· Swimming

· Biking outdoors
· Treadmill walking or jogging

· Elliptical trainer
· Stairmaster
· Stationary bike

The key is to choose an activity that closely resembles the golfing experience, at least in terms of the specific muscles used and the energy system required.

When asked which form of exercise will most quickly and permanently improve the golf swing, strength training immediately comes to mind. Most people think that stretching and cardiovascular training are more important for improving golf performance than standard strength training. However, if one really sat down and thought about the physical requirements needed to have optimal performance in golf, I think any expert would agree with me that strength training targets almost every aspect. First of all, strength training obviously improves stability and power in the golf swing. Stability is the combination of strength, balance and muscular endurance which are all improved by performing functional strength training exercises. Power is the combination of strength and speed. It has been shown that optimal power programs all begin with a good platform of strength. Secondly, endurance is a big factor for performance on the back nine. The problem is most players are not fatiguing due to a lack of cardiovascular conditioning. Instead, they are fatiguing due to lack of muscular endurance which is dramatically improved only by strength training. To target muscular endurance, and improve endurance on the golf course, focus on low weight, high repetition, strength training. Lastly, also one wants to work on improving mobility for optimal golf performance. When most people think about strength training they think this will limit their overall mobility. That is only true if strength training is performed in a shortened range of motion. If instead the golfer takes their muscles through a full range of motion with each strength training exercise, not only will they improve the strength of their muscles but they will also improve the length of the muscle at the same time. By committing to a good strength training program, one can increase strength and power, improve endurance on the back nine and create more flexibility in each muscle. Three things that all golfers need.

Mental Game
Psychological factor undeniably play a big role in the success and enjoyment any golfer gets out of the game. An effective teaching professional needs to be a little bit of a psychologist. The golf instructor studies the student’s expectations, temperament, attitudes, individual coping style and emotional needs. The teacher then comes up with customized golf instruction therapy for improving the student’s mental game.
Since golf’s inception, players have recognized that controlling the mind and emotions is a key to the game. In more recent times, increasing attention has been devoted to the subject. There are currently many psychologists and golf professionals specializing specifically in the mental side of golf. More and more golf instructors, top golfers and sports psychologists are talking about “The Zone”, the state of mind and body that delivers peak performance. Peak performance comes when our mind is clear and one can focus on the target. The golfer must get to the point where he can shut out the mechanical and allow the trust and the hours of work on the range to be expressed. Just as with swing mechanics, the instructor’s portfolio of skills includes the ability to diagnose faults, recommend fixes and prescribe routines designed to tackle problems primarily psychological in nature. Like teaching the swing, it helps to have a concept of the fundamentals of what a sound mental approach involves. Experts who have studied and written about the mental game agree the successful player is able to;
· Maintain a strong self-image and confident attitude
· Concentrate or focus on the task of the moment
· Remain relaxed and physically and mentally composed
· Maintain positive mental images and expectations
· Balance performance desires with patience and perspective

Golfers who can control those traits get into that calm, confident state of heightened awareness that leads to seemingly effortless ability to execute flawlessly. A golfer is in the zone when;
· Mentally relaxed
· Physically relaxed
· Confident and optimistic
· Focused on the present
· Highly energized
· Extraordinarily aware
· In control
· In the cocoon

Failure to get into “The Zone” is due to being mentally and physically tense, pessimistic, and self doubting, focused on future hopes or past mistakes, out of control, or easily distracted by negative self-talk or external annoyances. They might be obsessed with what others think, lose their tempers, or get easily discouraged. Some unproductive attitudes and habits are easy to spot, even on the lesson tee, such as nervousness, too many swing thoughts, impatience, negativity, anger, or self-doubt. A way to pinpoint problems and illustrate the impact that mental factors are having on a golfer’s game is to ask the student to keep a psychological scorecard or journal. Mark the holes where they believe they made a mental or emotional error and decide on which holes poor judgment cost them strokes.
· Where did fear or anger inhibit the swing?
· Did they suffer from inattention or lack of concentration that produced poorer shots than capable?
· Did swing thoughts or other internal mental interference distract them during a shot?

Even when the student recognizes the flaw in their golf mindset and want to change, they often need help in determining what to do about it, and how I can help them.
Master instructors use visualization, relaxation, as well as, verbal and kinesthetic cues. I attempt to get the student to clear the mind of negative thoughts or images. A standard approach that helps students cope with many psychological pitfalls is to have them follow fixed routines. Mental preparation starts well before the round. I advise golfers to leave their personal concerns at home, or the office, when they leave for a round of golf. Stretching exercises before the round help. In addition to swings on the practice tee, as well as, some chipping and putting, the golfer should try to prepare mentally through relaxation techniques and positive imaging of their best swing, well before stepping onto the first tee. As far as I’m concerned, a pre-shot routine the golfer religiously follows before every shot is critical to good performance. For most players the pre-shot routine is even more valuable for psychological reasons than it is for mechanical reasons. Top golfers take the trouble to perform a consistent pre-shot routine, yet three out of four amateur golfers do not, at least with any regularity. The tasks involved are not challenging athletically or intellectually and may even sound trivial. It is why many weekend golfers fail to see the value of the regular ‘countdown to contact’. The pre-shot routine procedure reduces tension and indecision. By ordering all the minor mental and physical tasks to be done before the swing, the routine makes it unlikely that any unexpected detail will crop up during the swing. Amateur players are naturally more susceptible to doubt and insecurity about their swings at the start, but patterning the behavior properly reduces the chances of those negative thoughts and feelings surfacing. Many good players rehearse the shot mentally and physically through a practice swing. Almost all good players take one or more practice swings on less than full shots to get the proper feel. If the player must have a swing thought it should be limited to one key that can be stated in 1-3 words. Specifics of the swing routine may differ, but the point is to help the student find keys that work for them and then stick to them faithfully.
A post-shot routine may be nothing more than holding the finish and watching the flight of the ball, hopefully as it arches on line right toward the target. For great shots the golfer should try to internalize the feel of the crisp contact and smooth swing. If however, the shot does not come off as planned, some swing analysis might be in order, such as re-visualizing the desired shot.
It’s difficult to stay intensely focused for an entire round. The ride between shots at Dorado del Mar Golf Club is a time when players should relax, socialize and enjoy the surroundings before approaching the ball and going in the cocoon of the pre-shot routine. Between shots one should not get too involved in thinking about the score or any mistakes from previous holes, or they might engage in positive self talk or another technique to get back on track.
Some golfers use deep breathing, simple cues, self talk and other tension relaxation techniques to help their mental game. Deep breathing is an important technique for coping with tension and anxiety. It should be incorporated into the pre-shot routine, or used any time during a round to relax a player and clear the mind. Verbal cues are helpful to make sure that final thoughts before initiating the swing are always positive. Visualization techniques are part of a prepared golfer’s arsenal of mental weapons. Seeing the line of flight to the target, envisioning a trough in the green leading to the hole, are common examples of positive visual cues. Golfers may also imagine themselves swinging with their best possible swing or perhaps the swing of an admired professional golfer. The internal chatter of positive self talk is designed to eliminate tension and boost self confidence. If done properly, self talk can amount to a form of self hypnosis, according to psychologists. A golfer can literally talk themselves into a good shot or a good round. While the pre-shot routine helps relieve tension, progressive relaxation can also be used on the course. Stretching, yawning, whistling, shaking the arms, clapping the hands, tapping the ground with the putter before the stroke, are all examples of tension reducing techniques.
While these mental strategies may help immensely, my students need to establish realistic expectations and performance goals for themselves. As the objective analysis of the student’s swing and abilities progresses, I help the golfer establish goals that are suitable and within reach. Dealing with personality traits, attitudes, psychological coping mechanisms and state of mind are a large part of what game management is all about. Other mental skills come into play such as, perception, judgment, shot selection and special knowledge related to weather, the course, rules, equipment and strategic planning. Complete game management requires the player to assess and deal with such factors, as well as, many other variables. The goal is to play within a game plan for the course and the day. To correctly form a plan and an approach that integrates all the player’s knowledge and skills. As many professional golfers say, the player needs to play with the game they brought with them to the golf course on that particular day. Using these mental strategies as a whole will help the golfer potentially fully recognize their potential on the golf course.

Coaching/ Long Term Player Development
A long-term player development program needs to be put in place in Puerto Rico to achieve the goal of producing more elite players and keeping golfers active from childhood through their life cycle. In order to achieve this we need;
· Partnership and cooperation among all Puerto Rico golf associations
· Systematic talent identification
· Systematic coaching and development and support at all levels
· An athlete development framework from the grassroots, to the elite level
· Training programs tailored specifically to the athletes developmental stage
· Long-term strategies rather than short-term focus

The need for a systematic long-term player development process arises form the challenge of competing in the advancing international sports world and the resulting importance of identifying and developing the next generation of internationally successful athletes. So far, just like many other sporting communities Puerto Rico has had many shortcoming and the consequences that result from them.
Shortcoming Consequence
· Developmental golfers over compete and under train Bad habits develop from too much competition where the focus is on winning

· Adult training and competition programs are imposed Undeveloped and unrefined skills due to
on developing players inappropriate training

· Preparation is geared to the short-term outcome Lack of systematic development of the next
and winning and not on optimal long-term development generation of athletes

· Chronological age rather than developmental age is Remedial programs, implemented by used in used for training and competitive play municipal and school programs counteract shortcomings of athlete preparation

· Coaches largely neglect the critical periods of Athletic potential is not reached
accelerated adaptation to training

· The most knowledgeable coaches work at the Poor skill development, inappropriate level
elite level, less experienced coaches work at the of programming and poor demonstration of developmental level where quality of trained coaches skills
is essential

· Parents are uneducated on long-term development Players are pulled in different directions

· Competition schedule interferes with athletic development Poor movement abilities compromise long-
term development the focus being on
short-term age group success

· No integration between physical education programs Little talent identification, poor movement
and elite competitive programs skill education and performance level in international competitions

· Limited access to affordable training at facilities Lack of depth in the talent pool, limited #
of genetically talented players can afford to
take up the game

The goal of golf in Puerto Rico is to establish a consistent and systematic guide to maximizing the potential of our players and to increase the number of people participating in the sport of golf from the cradle to the grave. Exercise and sport sciences research and experience has provided insight and information regarding the role of growth, development and maturation in athletic development. These sciences include pediatric exercise science, exercise physiology, sport psychology, psychomotor learning, sport sociology, biomechanics and nutrition. In addition analysis of the literature on organizational development has contributed significantly to my understanding of long-term developmental program creation. The long-term player development (LTPD) process is an inclusive model that encourages all individuals to be involved in lifelong physical activity, as well as, striving to ensure that all children, particularly those that have the capability and desire to become truly elite, are given a solid foundation in physical, technical, tactical and mental capabilities upon which to build their performance abilities.
Scientific research suggests that it takes approximately 10 years or 10,000 hours of training for an athlete to reach an international elite level of competitiveness within the sport of golf. ‘The Path to Excellence’, provides a comprehensive view of the development of United States Olympians who competed between 1984 and 1998. Most of these athletes reported a 12-13 year period of talent development from their sport introduction to making an Olympic team. The most recent PGA tour statistics suggest that for golf the number is closer to 20 years.
Fundamental movements and skills should be introduced through fun and games at any early age. Sports skills should follow and include basic, universal sports skills such as running, jumping and throwing. Without the basic movement skills, a child will have difficulty excelling in most sports.
Sports can be classified as early or late specialization sports. Early specialization sports include artistic and acrobatic sports such as gymnastics, golf and figure skating. These differ from late specialization sports in that very complex skills are learned before maturation since they cannot be fully mastered if taught after maturation.
Developmental age refers to the degree of physical, mental, cognitive and emotional maturity an individual has. Physical developmental age can be determined by skeletal maturity or bone age after which mental, cognitive and emotional maturity is incorporated. A long-term developmental program requires the identification of early, average and late maturers in order to help design appropriate training and competition programs in relation to optimal trainability and readiness for the individual. The beginning growth spurt and the peak growth spurt are very significant considerations in training and competition program design. In this respect to developmental age differs from chronological age, which refers to the number of years elapsed since birth.
The five S’s of training and performance are stamina, strength, speed, skill and suppleness. The terms adaptation and trainability are often used interchangeably in coaching, however, the difference between them is significant. Adaptation refers to changes in the body as a result of stimulus that induces functional and/or morphological changes in the organism. Trainability is defined as responsiveness of the developing individuals to the training stimulus at different stages of growth and maturation.
A major objective of the LTPD is a holistic approach to athlete development. In addition to traditional physical, technical and tactical training the mental, cognitive and emotional development must be considered. This includes emphasis on ethics, fair play and character building.
Simply put periodization is time management. As a planning technique it provides a detailed plan for arranging the complex array of training factors into a logical and scientifically based schedule to bring about optimal improvements in performance. It is an essential component in optimal sports programming and athlete development at all levels.
Optimal competition calendar planning at all stages is critical to athlete development. At certain stages, development of sports skills during training takes precedence over testing these skills through competition. At later stages, the ability to compete becomes the focus. Competition schedules should be selected by the coach and athlete based on the athlete’s developmental needs. The LTPD design recommends a sports specific system of training and competition that is optimized for the abilities of athletes during the various developmental stages.
LTPD can be a tool for motivating change toward effective system organization, alignment and integration. It is important that all facets of the sport/golf community work together to implement the right programs and establish a sport system that will produce optimal conditions for training and competition. An example of system alignment would be the Island Chapter PGA, PRGA and Golf Teacher’s Association, working hand in hand in the development of a leading edge coaching program. The future organization of the sport system should include schools, sport facilities and coaching organizations.
The concept of continuous improvement, which permeates LTPD, is drawn from the respected Japanese industrial philosophy known as Kaizen. Continuous improvement ensures that LTPD responds and reacts to new research in all its aspects. Periodic updates and changes to the LTPD model will be performed at regular intervals in the future based on feedback from athletes, coaches, parents, officials, administrators, scientists and other leaders in the sport community.
The LTPD guide will enable Puerto Rico to use its resources and love for the game to empower athletes, parents, teachers and coaches, as well as, associations to create a model for success and sustainability of the game for years to come. Continuing to produce young men and women who can compete with the best players in the world, while also bringing in more recreational golfers in to the fold to enjoy a lifelong involvement in the game is the ultimate goal. The need is to address with a systematic approach, the growth of the game at all levels, which will maximize the experience one takes from participating in the game and lead to enhanced Puerto Rican performance on the international stage, both in the amateur and professional ranks. For too many years there has been a splintered and disjointed approach to developing young golfers. While this approach has achieved some success, a national and unified effort will net better results. It is important to recognize that leading golf nations have entered into a long-term athlete development model process and that for Puerto Rico to be on the crest of the wave with respect to growing the game in our country and being recognized as a world leader with respect to producing world class players at all levels, the LTPD is a critical foundation to be used by all programs moving forward.
Maintaining the momentum produced recently with the introduction of the Puerto Rico Open, while introducing more and more children to the game of golf, will take a coordinated effort form all golf’s primary stakeholders. Parents, players, golf instructors, coaches, golf course owners, practice facility owners, equipment manufacturers, golf retail outlets and every organization affiliated with the game including the Island Chapter PGA and the PRGA. It is critical that everyone is aware of each other and that everyone provide input. This will allow the creation of an integrated golf development system, a first for Puerto Rico in that it not only clearly identifies the different groups involved in the development process, but also outlines the roles each should play. The contributions of each form the basis of the LTPD guide. The guide is a model based on the LTPD philosophy that delivers a developmental pathway for Puerto Ricans who play golf, regardless of their age, gender, or level of ability. Traits and qualities of each stakeholder group include;

· Participate in sport with their children
· Encourage participation of their children in two to three other complementary sports
· Provide support and guidance and make the involvement in golf fun
· Be educated about golf and how one can progress through the sport
· Basic education on nutrition/recovery
· Long-term commitment to skill progression/performance progression
· Understand the ABC’s of athleticism: agility, balance, coordination, speed
· Understand the concept that increased activity reverses the current trends in childhood and adult obesity and cardiovascular disease
· Understand the concept that inactive adults produce inactive children and the reverse is also true
· Understand that children will lose motivation if they feel they cannot match their parent’s expectations
· Be flexible with their expectations, as children pass through different phases of development, parents and coaches should modify their expectations as necessary
· Strive to get an accurate assessment of their children’s ability
· Since this is about the development of a child, it is important that parental expectations of their child’s skills, abilities and aspirations are in line with the child’s
· Explore the child’s expectations, goals and aspirations

· Enjoy the sport
· Become adept at the key physiological proficiencies; balance, flexibility, posture, core stability, strength and power and performance skills
· Understand how pressure and/or stress affects performance
· Understand their mental strategies and weaknesses
· Know what mental management skills they need to integrate into their personal performance plan to be able to control their emotions, focus on the task and cope with adversity under pressure
· Become self reliant and demonstrate independent initiative in learning and developing their skills and strategies

Coaches and Instructors
· Be educated
· Have thorough understanding of the Puerto Rico LTPD program
· Understand how and where they fit into the system
· In understanding their role, know what is required in order to best deliver the player to the next level
· Have a passion for the game and for excellence
· Solid understanding of the tools required to get to the next level
· Continue to upgrade by attending workshops and lectures relating to the game and their profession
· General understanding of what is available for golfers of all levels
· Accept that effective mental skills are critical to consistent quality performance at all levels
· Integrate the mental skills training process into player programs

· Understand their role and what is required in order to best deliver the player to different levels
· Provide proper training and competition facilities
· Provide proper access to training and competition facilities
· Provide appropriate condition of play for level of competitor
· Provide appropriate price point for access
· Provide a support structure, finances, mentoring, resources, instruction, and coaching
· Be aware of, and encourage junior golf programs, welcome programs and entry programs

Golf Associations
· Be a source of information, expertise and support, the back bone to provide the necessary information, contacts, personnel and communication in the development of golfers
· Understand what is required in order to best deliver the player to the next level
· Facilitate discussion among the various stakeholders, clubs, players, appropriate administrators and associations
· Source means to reduce costs to stakeholders (players, coaches, facilities, etc.)
· Make sure significant programming is in place to support their role
· When it comes to their role in the system, strive to be the best
· Continue to place more emphasis on junior development and adult recreation programs to ensure the long-term growth of the sport

These terms denote the overall description of golf participation and in broad terms categorize player involvement into the areas of beginning involvement and/or instruction (Entry), pursuing a performance oriented and competitive stream (Excel), and an all encompassing category that captures the vast majority of golf participants who play the game on any given day (Enjoy). Obviously, the Enjoy term should also overlap and envelope the aspects of Entry and Excel in a perfect scenario. The essence of the Long-Term Player Development guide is to provide guidance to players throughout their lives and at the same time introduce children to the skills and progressions that will allow them to strive to become high performance competitive players or recreational participants who are active for life. The guide also allows those who have great aptitude for golf to reach the highest levels in a sequential fashion supported by a productive system involving instructors, coaches, clubs, organizations and facilities, as opposed to it happening strictly by chance. At the heart of the guide is the concept of continuous improvement and challenge for all, drawn from the respected Japanese industrial philosophy known as Kaizen. This thinking suggests never ending efforts for improvement involving everyone in the organization, managers and workers alike. The same can happen in golf, except that it will be the individual and the golf community at large who will reap the benefits.
The overview of the Long-Term Player Development guide, a hypothetical pathway illustrates the nine seamlessly linked stages. The first two stages, (Active Start and FUNdamentals), encourage strong physical and movement skill development and general foundation that leads into the typical initiation of golf specific entry programs. The next three stages (Learn to Play, Train to Play, and Learn to Compete), focus upon the specific aspects of golf and a gradual increase in the importance of competition play, as well as, providing for a continued underlying general athleticism. The next stage (Train to compete), emphasizes a shift to a true high performance expectation with a strong attention to detail and a comprehensive evaluation and review process. The following stages, (Train to Excel and Excel), mark the process of ascent to the highest levels of competitive play. It should be noted there is likely to be overlap in these latter stages reflecting individual player differences and rates of progress. The last stage (Active for Life/Enjoying Golf for Life), is a stage that may actually be entered at anytime after a player’s entry into golf and reflects, among other things, an individual’s desire, competency and personal pathway. This final stage emphasizes life-long participation and activity not only in golf, but in other healthy pursuits as well. It should be noted the headings for various stages imply the general thrust or bias of the programming within each stage. Finally the system recognizes that during the early stages, non-traditional golf settings and other child activity agencies may contribute to a child’s physical and technical development.

Active Start & FUNdamentals
Active start is ages 0-6, Fundamentals runs from ages 6-9. Without basic movement skills, a child will have difficulty participating in any sport. However, it is not wise for parents to place their three or four year old into a sport exclusive golf program. They should be exposed to many activities such as learning to swim, run and kick a ball. In other words, develop the basic tools first, so when a child comes face to face with a golf program, they are well equipped to optimize their experience. Physical activity is essential for healthy child development. Among its benefits, physical activity;
· Enhances development of brain function, coordination, social skills, gross motor skills, emotions, leadership and imagination
· Helps children to build confidence and positive self esteem
· Helps build strong bones and muscles, improves flexibility, develops good posture and balance, improves fitness, reduces stress and improves sleep
· Promotes healthy weight
· Helps children to move skillfully and enjoy being active

Physical activity should be a fun part of the child’s daily life, not something required. Active play is the way young children are physically active. Organized physical activity and active play are particularly important for the healthy development of children with a disability if they are to acquire habits of lifelong activity. Because this is a period when children rapidly outgrow their mobility aids, communities need to find effective ways, equipment swaps or rentals, for example, to ensure all children have access to the equipment they need in order to be active.
Skill development in the FUNdamental stage should be well structured, positive and fun. The first window of accelerated adaptation occurs at ages 6-9. Bypassing the specialized skill development in the fundamental stage is detrimental to the child’s future engagement in physical activity and sport. If children later decide to leave the competitive stream, the skills they acquire during the fundamental stage will benefit them when they engage in recreational activities, enhancing their quality of life and health.
Key concepts of the game that would be introduced include GRIP: hold the club with two hands close together, STANCE: Standing with their feet either side of the ball, BALANCE: Finish in balance when swinging the club, and SWING: arms swing back and up and then through to a finish, copying, imitating and doing.

Learn to Play
One of the most important periods of motor development for children is between ages 9 and 12. At this stage, children are developmentally ready to acquire the general sport skills that are the cornerstones of all athletic development.
The goals include;
· Developing all fundamental movement skills and teaching general overall sport skills
· Developing strength using exercises that incorporate the child’s own body weight, as well as, medicine balls and Swiss balls
· Introducing hopping and bounding exercises or routines, or wheeling up gradients, to aid in strength development
· Further developing endurance through games and relays
· Further developing flexibility through exercises
· Further developing speed by using specific activities that focus on agility, quickness and change of direction during the warm-up
· Structuring competition to address differences in training age and ability
· Apply ratio of 70% training, 30% competition. These percentages vary according to individual specific needs. Athletes undertaking this type of preparation will be better prepared for competition in both the short and long-term than those who focus solely on winning
· Encourage unstructured play

This is also the time where the recognizable golf programming begins and where emphasis is placed on teaching swing basics and other technical components such as how to achieve optimum balance, flexibility, posture, strength and power.
Key concepts of the game that would be introduced include; GRIP: an effective and functioning grip, STANCE: routine or procedure for each shot, ALIGNMENT: Aiming the clubface and aligning the body, SCORING: how to keep each others score, ETIQUETTE: where to stand, quiet, bunkers, pitch marks, CHIPPING/PITCHING/PUTTING: angle of the club at impact, loft and carry versus roll.

Train to Play
Fast forwarding two years, the technical skills for 11-16 year olds would revolve around set up, grip, alignment, posture and ball position, putting, chipping, pitching and the full swing. The train to play phase is one of the most important stages of athletic preparation because this is when sport specific skill development really begins. It is important to note that during this stage, we can heavily influence an individual who has aspirations of playing golf competitively, due to the factors such as good basic skill competency and stable mechanics.
Key concepts of the game that would be introduced include; PUTTING: eyes over the ball, putter face square to the intended target line, grip with both thumbs down the shaft, ball positioned forward of center, handle slightly forward at impact, BALL POSITION FOR ALL SWINGS: the ball is positioned appropriately in relation to the player’s sternum given the chosen club and desired shot trajectory, WEIGHT TRANSFER: Complete transfer to the forward side should occur, HANDLE OF THE CLUB: the handle is set forward of club head at address and remains in this position through impact. In terms of skill acquisition and development of physical abilities, the emphasis should be placed on general physical conditioning and health, which includes seven key physiological proficiencies: balance, flexibility, posture, core strength and stability, strength and power, cardiovascular endurance and performance skills.

Learn to Compete
Everything that has been learned in the earlier stages will come to fruition in this phase where the emphasis is all about execution when it counts. In order to increase the likelihood of future success golfers must first test their technical competencies in different circumstances and conditions. Moving through this stage they will start to make choices and decide what they want to do. The golfer may follow the pathway, however, they may step away from the central course of the pathway and return at a later date. The learn to compete to-do list includes;
· Provide year round, high intensity, individual event and golf position specific training
· Teach golfers, who are now proficient at performing basic and sport specific skills, to perform those skills under a variety of competitive conditions during training
· Place special emphasis on optimum preparation by modeling high competitions in training
· Individually tailor to a greater degree fitness programs, recovery programs, psychological preparation and technical development. Emphasis individual preparation that addresses each golfer’s individual strengths and weaknesses
· Utilize single, double and triple periodization as the optimal framework of preparation
· Change the training to competition and competition specific training ratio to 40:60. Devote 40% of available time to the development of technical and tactical skills, improving fitness and 60% of training to competition and competition specific training.

Key concepts of the game that would be introduced include, PITCHING: shot selection, stance balanced, tempo, CHIPPING: loft of club, stance, ball position, grip, BUNKERS: face angle, stance, ball position, spin versus roll and, SLOPING LIES: uphill, downhill, side hill, ball position, body angle, balance and tempo.

Train to Compete
The goal in this stage is to provide high intensity individual and gold specific training year round. Upwards of 50% of training is devoted to the development of technical and tactical skills and fitness improvement and 50% is devoted to competition and competition specific training. The train to compete to do list includes;
· Provide year round, high intensity, individual event and position specific training.
· Teach golfers, who are now proficient at performing basic and golf specific skills, to perform these skills under a variety of competitive situations during training
· Place special emphasis on optimum preparation by modeling high competition
· Individually tailor to a greater degree fitness programs, recovery programs, psychological preparation and technical development. Emphasize individual preparation that addresses each golfer’s individual strengths and weaknesses
· Utilize single, double and triple periodization as the optimal framework for preparation
· Change the training to competition and competition specific training ratio to 50:50. Devote 50% of available time to the development of technical and tactical skills and improving training to 50% competition and competition specific training
· Maximize strength training to bring about overall improvement
· Updating, reviewing and understanding the importance of performance and personal goal setting
· Recognize and plan for appropriate level of competition

Key concepts of the game that would be introduced include, ESCAPE SHOTS: fades, draws, ball position, body alignment, club face angle, TROUBLE SHOTS: punch shots, low shots, high shots, ball position, club selection, FAIRWAY BUNKERS: club selection, quiet legs, ball position, grip.

Train to Excel
This is the final stage of preparation. All of the golfer’s physical, tactical, mental and ancillary capacities are now firmly established. The focus of training continues to zero in on the optimization of performance. The train to excel to-do list includes;
· Train golfers to peak for major competitions
· Change the training to competition ratio to 25:75 with the competition percentage including competition specific activities
· Instructor to be sensitive in goal setting to ensure common goals are established and met
· Allow golfers to make decisions about their training regime
· Continue with the critical evaluation program in which coach and player thoroughly examine how the golfer prepared for a competition and how they fared. The cycle would occur after each event played.
· Ensure that physical training programs employ the most advanced techniques and sport science information in order to minimize injuries
· Use state of the art testing and physical fitness programs
· Utilize single, double and triple periodization as the optimal framework or preparation

Key concepts that would be introduced include, FULL SWING: impact position hips cleared, swing plane one or two plane, TEMPO: same tempo with each club, takeaway to impact, BALANCE: full swing and partial swings, weight transfer throughout each shot, ALIGNMENT: aim club, align body to the intended target, TROUBLE SHOTS/SHORT GAME: use the club face, buried lies, left handed, one handed.

The golfer achieves success on both the national and international stage as a high ranked amateur or competes as a professional on a major tour. The excel to-do list includes;
· Maintain a high enough level of fitness so that golf can be played without the risk of fatigue or injury
· Be aware of and be knowledgeable on how to deal with physical and mental fatigue
· Introduce financial management and travel planning practices into the mix
· Detailed physiological and biomechanical testing to optimize physical performance
· Be selective when it comes to the type of competitions entered
· Continue with the critical evaluation program in which coach and player thoroughly examine how the golfer prepared for a competition and how they fared. The cycle would occur after each event played
· Set objectives of very high standards of accomplishments in competitions
· Utilize single, double and triple periodization

Key concepts include, FULL SWING: impact position, swing plane, GREENSIDE BUNKERS: shaft angle, spin, loft, BALL FLIGHT: manipulate the ball to desired target, club face position, body position, BALL FLIGHT PATTERN: predominant flight, left to right or right to left, body set-up, swing path.

Enjoy: Active for Life
Golf is not just for the elite, the strong or those with reflexes of a cat. If it was, we wouldn’t have 6,500 registered golfers at 25 golf courses on the island. The game is available for everyone to enjoy outdoors, whether that be a young child or a retiree. Unlike boxing and baseball, there is no best before date and over 35% of Puerto Ricans playing golf are over 50 years old and that means there is a huge opportunity for golf course owners, instructors and ultimately golfers and soon to be golfers across the island, regardless of their age or handicap. In most sports, the objective is a smooth transition from an athlete’s competitive career to lifelong physical activity and participation in sports. Fortunately golf can be a lifelong activity, which is particularly relevant given the fact the western world is currently in the midst of an obesity epidemic that needs to be cured. The game of golf presents a fantastic opportunity in that it allows individuals to challenge themselves mentally, while staying physically fit. Consider that a typical golfer takes anywhere from 40-50 maximal explosive efforts when swinging and the forces that are generated are enormous. The physical swing itself also requires balance, coordination, flexibility and strength. Studies done on caloric expenditures over 18 holes have shown that golfers are expending in the range of 2,000 calories over this period of time, which is done in a beautiful setting, in the company of friends and companions. Supporting the findings that physical activity is the leading trigger to why more women are taking up the game, the walking and the exercise in the great outdoors certainly does not need to occur on a 6,500 yard golf course. It can take place on a par 3 facility. Shorter and alternative facilities are developed by demand. Since baby boomers are aging and are the largest segment for growth in golf, shorter course facilities will be a legitimate alternative for this segment.
The sport of golf has adopted a context approach to its coaching development in order to best serve the participants in each area of the Long-Term Player Development guide. This approach ensures the coaches working with athletes in a particular context are trained specifically in the areas where these participants require expertise. The coaching development model is broken down into three distinct streams:
· Community Support
· Instruction
· Competition

The community support stream is an area where participants are simply being initiated to the game and is aimed at young participants from 6-12 years of age. This level of coaching will be open to individuals who are not members of the PGA of America and they must complete a one day workshop, eight hours in length, which will end with them being trained Links leaders, capable of delivering links level-1 content.
The instruction stream is open to Island chapter PGA members only. This stream is aimed at any individual looking to learn the skills required in order to play the game. The emphasis is on the instructors being able to instruct in each context the skills required by the player. The skill sets and degree of proficiency increases as the player moves from the instructor beginner golfer’s context through the instructor intermediate golfer’s context up to the instructor advanced golfers context. The instructors will be trained in each context to enable them to best serve the player and their needs as they follow the natural progression. Instructors will only be certified in their specific context once they have completed the work shop training and passed the respective evaluation process as set down in each context. The player and the golf consumer will now be able to discern which type of certified instructor is best suited for their individual needs in the area of skill instruction.
The competition stream is open to Island Chapter PGA professionals only. This stream is aimed at any individual athlete looking to learn the skills required in order to compete in the game of golf. The emphasis is on the coaches being able to instruct in each context the skills required by the athlete. The skill sets and degree of proficiency increases as the athlete moves from the coach new competitor context, through the coach development context, up to the coach high performance context and on to the coach elite context. The coaches will be trained in each context to enable them to best serve the athlete and their needs as they follow the natural progression. Coaches will only be certified in their specific context once they have completed the workshop training and passed the respective evaluation process as set down in each context. The athlete and golf consumer will now be able to discern which type of certified coach is best suited for their individual needs in the area of competitive coaching skills. The athletes in this stream may range in age from 10-55 years old depending on when they decide they require formalized coaching in the skills necessary to compete at their chosen level.
The coaching development model for golf endeavors to accommodate all levels of participants and athletes regardless of what stage of development they may find themselves. All instructors and coaches will undergo rigorous training that is entirely specific to the type of participant or athlete they wish to work with. In this way, athletes, parents, instructors, coaches and associations will know the defined pathway for training and certification of golf instructors and coaches. The natural result is that athletes will benefit from the best available instruction and coaching which in turn will enable the athlete to achieve their goals. This will produce more recreational participants, as they will now have easier access to the game and more high performance athletes, as they will have a pathway and a coaching system that supports their long-term goals as elite performers.

Growth of the Game
Growth of the game is important to all golf instructors. No one has 100% retention and in order to secure new students there need to be new golfers taking up and hopefully staying in the game of golf for a lifetime. As PGA professionals we need to limit the barriers for taking up the game of golf, cost, exclusivity, difficulty to learn and public attitudes about the game of golf. The PGA of America has made a wonderful start with its programs including Play Golf America, free lesson month, take your daughter to the course week, free fitting, trade-in trade-up and other programs. However, it is the individual professional’s duty to take those programs one step further and grow the game on a day to day basis. A television commercial or print advertisement can not make a decision to make golf more accessible. Accessibility is the duty of the golf professional. Hosting open junior clinics, partnering with community organizations, offering slow times at golf courses for growth initiatives, are ways that golf can become more accessible to a greater number of golfers. We all know Augusta National is not going to become public just to create new golfers, but the section and its chapters can identify golf courses where these initiatives may take place. Play golf Puerto Rico for example is an important program to breakdown any social barriers of golf in Puerto Rico. If we can get a golf club in a golfer’s hands the economic barrier becomes less of an issue and the lessons that golf teaches may spread to a higher number of participants.
This topic was explored in detail in the coaching and long-term player development section and will be explored in the best practices section. Growth of the game is paramount to my success as an instructor, for my club and for the health of the industry as a whole into the future. Without growth in the number of golfers purchasing instruction, equipment, membership and tee-times, the industry becomes stagnant and advancement is slowed. It is each PGA golf professional’s duty to promote growth of the game initiatives whenever possible through community involvement, home club involvement and national program involvement.

The digital camera I use is a Panasonic PV-GS300 and was bought based on the recommendation of a golf professional that runs a Golftec store in Illinois which specializes in technology based golf lessons. The GS300 shoots video in both normal and anamorphic widescreen aspect ratios at 29.97 frames per second (60i) for compatibility with the NTSC standard, this is important to be able to slow down golf swing enough to take a serious look at them. The MiniDV cam, by definition, uses MiniDV tapes. The GS300 can also record stills to an SD (Secure Digital) card, which currently range is capacity from 32MB to 4GB. I use a 2GB card but this is used for still frames only.
Like all Panasonic 3 CCD camcorders, the GS300 is designed to be held cradled in the palm of the right hand with the forearm raised vertically. In the shooting position, the zoom slider and photo shoot button are directly under the index finger. The right thumb can easily access the joystick control for setting functions like fade, and the record/pause button is nearby and also readily accessible.

Technology used to add distance and improve accuracy
Carry is a start and an important one when talking about hitting the golf ball long, especially on tee shots. In the game, course are getting longer and fairways are getting firmer, the new theory for distance is honing in on a ball flight angle that maximizes total distance and not just distance in the air. Until very recently the angle of descent was unable to be detected with any accuracy, however, this angle solves the mystery of bounce and roll. The key to bounce and roll is the concept of landing angle which can be analyzed through Doppler radar based launch monitors like the TrackMan brand. The result of the data being uncovered is the new frontier in the search for distance lies in what happens after the ball reaches the apex of its flight. Maintaining the apex trajectory, increasing flight time and shallowing out the last third of ball flight can turn an average drive into a physical force of nature. Angle of descent is a complex concept centered on what is, in effect, an obvious occurrence. When we hit our tee shots, the ball either lands and rolls quite a bit, or it lands with a dull thud and rolls minimally, if at all. The former drive, which usually goes farther than the latter, is the product of a flatter landing angle. One ball’s trajectory encourages roll while the other does not! The key is finding a way to get that angle of descent down to where one can get enough roll to offset any loss in carry distance. The latest research suggests the perfect marriage of launch angle and spin will lead to an ideal angle of descent and greater total distance. To get the ideal launch conditions, slower swingers should focus on launch angle and the faster swingers should focus on refining spin. The difficulty lies in that large middle group with swing speeds in the mid 90 to low 100’s, measured in mph. The secret to total distance is to use the driver that allows one to hit the lowest trajectory that carries close to the farthest.
If distance off the tee is the overriding goal then the average golfer should focus on;
· Finding a lower spinning ball. Almost all balls are made with the idea of reducing spin. Using a firmer ball in order to reduce spin even further. An option for creating spin is to consider adding loft to the driver
· Make sure the shaft flex one has optimizes spin. The tip stability of modern engineered shafts increases the likelihood that one will make more on center contact without adding loft, which adds spin
· Make sure the golfer is playing an up to date driver. Today’s drivers are much better, regardless of loft at launching balls without excessive spin. Most players still need more loft because the extra loft leads to straighter shots that land in the fairway and take better advantage of the bounce and roll enhancing angle of descent. Roll gets more important the firmer the fairway but is never as important as carry. In soft conditions, carry will become more important

Best Practices
Simply put, best practices are programs, initiatives or activities, which are considered leading edge, or exceptional models for others to follow. These strategies, activities or approaches have been shown through research and evaluation to be effective and or efficient.
Play Golf Puerto Rico
PGA President’s Council
Take your Daughter to the Course week
Parent/Child tournament
Couples Tournaments
PGA trade-in Trade-up
PGA free golf lesson month

In the image of the PGA’s Play Golf America program, the Island Chapter has scheduled a Play Golf Puerto Rico day to take place this summer. A major sponsor Liberty Cablevision has been acquired to deal with the financial concerns of the event. The Island Chapter, which I am currently President of, developed a committee to handle the planning process for the event. The chapter is responsible for procuring sponsors, scheduling professional staff, organizing golf tournament operations, scoreboards and basic event operations. Sponsors include Subway for food, Pepsi, Medalla, and Heineken for beverage.
Golf fitness is not a new trend but if approached in a unique way, a golf professional can develop many new best practices on the fitness side of golf in order to increase the health and vitality of golfers. Providing stretching and warm-up equipment on the practice tee, or taking it to the next step and developing elaborate exercise and conditioning programs will keep players fit for the golf course and generate additional rounds played.
Kathy Swanson Minnesota’s Golf Professional of the Year 2006 has utilized a fitness trainer in “Yoga for Golf” and introduced a yoga class at Minneapolis Golf Club. The allowed number of participants for the original class was 25 and proper promotion and interest generated an immediate waiting list.
Lynn Marriott’s idea of spending 30 minutes with first time students to go over their goals, ways to enjoy the game more, amount of time they have to practice, what instruction they have received in the past, what equipment they are using, how they chose that equipment, what learning skills they use and what other sports they play, this is a best practice I have tried to introduce so far in 2008.
Rick Grayson offers follow up long distance phone calls and video tape diagnosis for his travel lessons that he can not see in person. I have started to offer this service and have seen a slow increase in the amount of my students that travel to see me in Puerto Rico taking advantage of it.
Brian Hughes, idea of a Dear Abby style instructional series has worked well for me in the DDM newsletter and the local golf publications. The purpose of writing the article is to generate exposure for Dorado del Mar Golf Club and expand my teaching business. It is amazing the number of contacts I have received from newsletter and newspaper communications.
Steve Bosdosh uses a system in the model of a piano teacher that I have adopted to implement a student of the month award, which recognizes one of my golf instruction students who has taken at least two lessons during the past month and has made a break through, or reached one of their lesson milestones during the month. At the end of the year a shoot-out style event pits the monthly winners to come up with the student of the year.
Larry Emery initiated a program at his club that I am mirroring where members pay a set fee, which entitles them to one 30-minute lesson per week for the season, so the membership looks to the golf professional staff for instruction, golf clubs, travel, even the weather.
Roger Gunn submitted a best practice to the Play Golf America web site that I am planning on delivering in the immediate future. His program consists of putting together a CD-ROM of golf instruction for a mass audience. This CD details different shots on the course and the ways to successfully hit them.
Rick Flesher has a best practice idea that I have yet to embrace but will test over the coming months, of the $1 a minute golf lesson. If a student does not have the time for a complete lesson but still would like the golf professional’s undivided attention for 1-19 minutes then a $1 per minute option is available to the membership.
Nick Mokelke submitted a prize winning idea of the ‘No embarrassment golf lesson series” for people who want to take up the game in a non-threatening, easy going environment. The program encompasses all aspects of learning how to play golf, including the very basics, which turns the shy beginning golfer into a knowledgeable, confident golfer who will stay with the game.
Russell Roten submitted his teaching professional’s idea of a girl’s night out camp style golf camp for girls ages 6-15 at the practice range. The format isn’t as important as the fact that it peaks a sometime un-hit segment of school age girls and their involvement in the game of golf.
Jeff Strong implemented a golf fitness program he credits for helping him lose twenty-four pounds and has helped the members increase their rotation and power.
Other programs include getting involved with local schools, promoting the professionals playing ability, making instruction affordable and accessible to juniors, customer service initiatives, year round golf instruction, souvenirs as impression makers, utilizing the media, taking advantage of educational opportunities, using technology to measure rather than guess, increase importance on short game lessons, promotion of junior golf, stressing pre-swing fundamentals, forming an instruction advisory board, donate time to increase community exposure, offer personalized products for effective advertising, scheduling on-duty instructors for walk-ins, improving presentation, giving students homework, tee shot camps utilizing technology, technology days, professionalizing the instructors image, using retainer fees to improve business and quality, educating assistants, aligning the students goals with reality, developing a well defined teaching philosophy, self-promotion to increase business, understanding gender differences to improve instruction, using reference materials to create a greater impact, using e-mail to deliver more lessons, charitable contribution of lessons, evaluating fitness and the golf swing, brining in a guest instructor, building relationship by playing golf with students, internet newsletters, and adding putting specific lessons and programming lessons for the entire season.
I am constantly searching the internet,,,,, and various golf web-logs looking for best practices and general new ideas to improve my teaching program. This constant and consistent search for information is the only way to stay up-to-date on the leaders in the industry, what works and what is worth a look.

Dorado del Mar Performance Review
Golf Teaching Professionals

Quality of Work – Absence of errors, correctness / accuracy of work performed
1 Work is fraught with errors
2 Careless, makes recurrent errors
3 Usually accurate, some mistakes
4 Very accurate work, very few errors
5 Extremely accurate work, required absolute minimum supervision

Quantity of Work – Amount of “output” per designated period of time per work day
1 Usually less than necessary
2 Generally a slow worker, does just enough to get by
3 Amount of work completed is acceptable
4 Generally a fast worker, often does more work than expected
5 Superior producer, maximum output per work period

Organization – Understanding the activities needed to accomplish a goal, putting them into order
1 Unable to determine required activities to complete a task
2 Can plan simple activities
3 Can conceive and explain basic procedure to complete a task
4 With little help can plan a task from start to finish
5 Can independently and thoroughly plan most activities

Punctuality – Meeting deadlines, completing assignments on schedule
1 Never completes a task on time
2 Usually needs prodding to complete an assigned task
3 Generally finishes on time
4 Often completes tasks before their due date
5 Rarely missed a deadline

Leadership / Supervisory Ability – Clearly defining and assigning work responsibilities to subordinates and seeing that assigned tasks are carried out
1 Clearly a follower
2 Occasionally exhibits ability to supervise others
3 Able to supervise others for basic tasks
4 Can selectively delegate tasks to appropriate individuals and offer some help
5 Able to selectively delegate tasks to others and to provide adequate training when needed
N/A Teaching Professional

Attention to Detail – Maintenance of essential, day-to-day records related to job function areas, General record keeping ability
1 Never completes daily recording tasks, usually messy work
2 Usually needs reminders to finish daily recording tasks
3 Gets the job done okay
4 Conscientious effort to perform assigned recording duties
5 Performs recording tasks expertly and automatically

Orderliness / Cleanliness – General organization and condition of the employee’s main work area
1 Work area is usually messy
2 Needs constant reminders to keep work area clean
3 Work area is sufficiently neat to perform required tasks
4 Very organized work area
5 Extremely organized, has immediate access to anything needed

Cooperation – Willingness to be a “team player”; able to work with other employees
1 Rarely helpful to fellow employees
2 Often requires prodding before helping a fellow employee
3 Generally helpful to other employees
4 Always polite, willing to help others
5 Very courteous, conscientious about helping fellow employees

Attendance – Regular availability for work
1 Frequent, unexcused absences or lateness to work
2 Occasional unexcused absences or lateness to work
3 Normally present and on time
4 Rarely late or absent, always notifies superior, often finds replacement
5 Almost never late or absent, notifies superior, finds replacement, accepts overtime

Days missed due to sickness: Days of Vacation Used/Remaining: _ Days late:___

Decisiveness – Decision making, making timely decisions
1 Unable to make decisions
2 Sometimes able to make a decision given many choices
3 Able to make decisions adequately
4 Can formulate different possible choices and decide without delay
5 Able to clearly identify the roots of problems, make quick decisions and take action

Communication – Keeping supervisors and fellow workers informed on work progress
1 Never updates others on work progress
2 Supervisor normally has to ask to get needed information
3 Generally keeps others informed
4 Always keeps appropriate people updated on work progress
5 Conscientious and constantly keeps others informed of with important and accurate info.

Willingness to work – Desire to work in a responsible way and to put forth whatever “extra effort” is needed to accomplish a task
1 Would rather be somewhere else
2 On the job only for minimum designated work period
3 Accepts some overtime work with some reservations
4 Often arrives early or leaves late voluntarily
5 Usually arrives early and stays late, relishes overtime work

Reliability – Trustworthiness and dependability
1 Inconsistent, cannot be trusted, often falls short of performance expectations
2 Can be entrusted with simple activities in which the individual has a keen interest
3 Generally trustworthy and responsible in most areas, completes assignments
4 Conscientiously responsible in all areas of operation, requires little supervision
5 Completely dependable in every way, performs consistently to all expectations

Motivation / Growth – Willingness to accept new challenges and responsibilities
1 Never shows any sign of accepting new responsibilities
2 Generally a low achiever, occasionally performs beyond expectations
3 Shows overall interest in learning, becoming more proficient in job duties
4 Consistently tests self by trying to do “more”
5 Pushes self to the highest achievement he/she can attain in all endeavors

Judgment – Ability to make logical, acceptable conclusions from available information
1 Cannot arrive at valid or acceptable conclusions, often irrational
2 Tries, but frequently chooses the wrong conclusion
3 Normally displays adequate sensibility
4 Usually makes the right decisions
5 Able to weight all sides of a situation and make the proper decision in almost all cases

Obedience – Ability to work within the organization’s specific operating procedures: follows rules and regulations.
1 General disregard for established rules, regulations and procedures
2 Breaches the organization’s policies too frequently
3 Generally understands and follows operating guidelines
4 Makes conscientious effort to heed to rules and regulations
5 Rarely or never bends or breaks an established regulation

Loyalty – Ability to support the organization’s programs and activities, as well as, the decisions of superiors
1 Looks out for self only; no apparent organizational loyalty
2 Occasionally displays faithfulness to job and organization
3 Often displays pride in working for the organization
4 Frequently offers suggestions to improve employee morale
5 Voluntarily promotes internal employee enthusiasm

Attitude – General disposition during working hours, social manner, courtesy and friendliness to customers and fellow employees
1 Usually surly; usually discourteous
2 Frequently moody, sometimes discourteous
3 Acceptable attitude ; treats others in a civil manner
4 Often shows notable effort to make others comfortable
5 Usually cheerful; extremely friendly to everyone

Ethical and Moral Conduct – Ability to perform a job in an honest forthright manner, treating others fairly, consistently, and without favoritism
1 Normally displays favoritism; few scruples
2 “Bends the rules” too frequently
3 Performs job honestly, treats everyone fairly
4 Makes extra effort to treat others fairly and honestly
5 Always treats everyone fairly, uses the “Golden Rule”

Creativity / Ingenuity – Applying imaginative methods on the job to increase efficiency and/or lower costs
1 Makes no effort to offer helpful new job-related ideas
2 Occasionally gives a suggestion or new idea
3 Average amount of new ideas for improving operation
4 Frequently suggest helpful changes and improvements
5 Very creative, continually tries to improve operations

Initiative – Starting non-routine projects and tasks voluntarily
1 never volunteers; does only what is required
2 Usually has to be told to perform tasks; little foresight
3 Tries to solve unusual job-related problems as they happen
4 A self-starter; volunteers frequently
5 A real “take charge” person; quick to take action

Job Specific Functions

Teaching Juniors – Golf instruction for juniors
1 Disinterested in teaching juniors, ability and instruction is unacceptable
2 Some interest in helping juniors, ability is below average
3 Accepts junior lessons, knowledge is fair
4 Willing to teach juniors, very good at tailoring instruction to level and age
5 Excellent attitude towards teaching juniors, first rate ability in junior instruction

Teaching Beginners – Service and instruction for beginning players
1 Disinterested in teaching beginners, information and ability to teach beginning players is unacceptable
2 Some interest, information below average
3 Average ability, information, and enthusiasm towards beginners
4 Very good at accommodating, teaching, and helping beginners improve
5 Excellent attitude, presentation, and teaching ability for beginners

Teaching Women – Service and instruction for women players
1 Disinterested in teaching women, information, attitude, and lessons for women are unacceptable
2 Some interest, information and attitude are poor
3 Average interest, information and attitude toward helping women
4 Very good at accommodating, teaching, and helping women improve
5 Excellent attitude, presentation, and teaching ability for women

Teaching Low Handicap - Service and instruction for good players
1 Disinterested in teaching low handicap players, lacks command of information needed to teach very good players
2 Some interest, information and ability to help good players is marginal
3 Average interest, average ability to help good players improve
4 Likes to teach good players and has the ability to help them improve
5 Excellent at teaching good players, has a strong command of the golf swing and the subtleties involved with teaching good players

Teaching Average Players – Service and instruction for the average golfer
1 Shows disinterest at times in teaching, information is poor, lacks credibility
2 Shows some interest, ability and information are below average, clients improvement slow
3 Average interest in teaching, ability and information allow clients to improve
4 Very interested in teaching, ability and information allow clients to improve at above average levels
5 Excellent teacher and very enthusiastic, clients show tremendous improvement and reach potential

Golf Club Fitting – Ability to fit a golfer into the proper equipment
1 No professional skills when fitting, information is inaccurate and confusing
2 Fitting technique is below average, information lacks professionalism
3 Fitting technique is average, gives an accurate fit with credible information
4 Fits golf equipment very accurately and clients understand information, very credible
5 Fits golf equipment in a scientific way to perfection, considered an expert, often receives referrals

Golf Club Sales – Ability to sell golf clubs to maximize the potential of clients and to increase revenues
1 Sales are rare and inconsistent, product knowledge poor
2 Shows little interest in club sales, fitting skills and product knowledge are below average
3 Average interest and effective efforts to get clients to play proper equipment for their game, average fitting skills and product knowledge
4 Consistently tries to advance the sales of golf clubs by getting clients into properly fitted equipment, good fitting skills and product knowledge
5 Creative and effective on a regular basis in getting clients into properly fit equipment, excellent command of the fitting process – clearly an expert, excellent product knowledge

Selling Packages – Ability to sell lesson packages to clients
1 Selling ability is unacceptable; poor presentation; clients do not understand services offered
2 Selling ability is below average, presentation lacks professionalism and authority
3 Selling ability is average, presentation is professional and services are described
4 Very good at selling packages, presentation is professional, tailored to each person, has the ability to “read people”
5 Excellent at selling, presentation and skills are perfected, rarely doesn’t close a sale

Discuss individual Power Rating numbers here – also attach the individuals Power Ratings sheet to this review form

Golf Hard good Merchandise Display – Manner in which the merchandise is presented to the customers
1 Merchandise is disorganized, often dirty and disorganized work areas
2 Displays and work areas are left below average
3 Merchandise and work areas are organized and generally presentable
4 Merchandise is consistently displayed properly and work areas are kept above average
5 Merchandise is displayed creatively and frequently changed, work areas are kept with everything in its place

Inventory – Inventory of office supplies
1 Supplies are disorganized, out of stock often
2 No interested in supply needs
3 Supplies are kept in order
4 Supplies are consistently looked after and an active role is taken to keep it this way
5 Always on top of inventory levels frequently has foresight and never runs out of supplies

Business Promotion – Ability to promote and generate business
1 Does minimal business promotion
2 Poor networking, business promotion, additional marketing activities, sells new clients with minimal enthusiasm
3 Average, does what is asked, but no more
4 Exceeds expectations, is always “talking Dorado del Mar up”, frequently attends networking functions, chamber groups, etc. to promote business, promotes some CE
5 Always is promoting Dorado del Mar, always attends networking functions, frequently finds quality leads.

Revenue Generation – Ability to help drive revenue
1 Poor effort, very few referrals
2 Below average, few referrals,
3 Average growth, some referrals, does just what is required to make Lesson income successful
4 Good growth, many referrals, always driving revenue through monthly promotions, In-Store parties, etc., meets or exceeds budgets often
5 Out performance, Lesson income is among the fastest growing on the Island, frequently meets or exceeds budget

Customer Service – General ability in serving clients and potential clients.
1 Customer service is unacceptable, frequently neglects basic responsibilities
2 Customer service is below average, does not take additional steps to insure customer satisfaction, greets new potential clients with minimal enthusiasm
3 Customer service is average, does what it takes to keep clients satisfied and services potential clients
4 Frequently “goes the extra mile” for clients, surprises people with additional services, makes presentation to new clients with above average enthusiasm
5 Always “goes the extra mile”, plays with clients on days off, books clients before or after hours when necessary, excellent at making new clients feel welcome and “sells” them with enthusiasm

Friendliness / Hospitality – The overall greeting clients and potential clients receive at the store.
1 Customers are greeted in an unacceptable manner, bad greeting, and lack professionalism
2 Customers are greeted below average, sometimes treats clients with enthusiasm and professionalism
3 Average friendliness and hospitality
4 Above average, clients and potential clients are at ease and feel welcome at all times
5 Outstanding, clients and potential clients always have questions answered and feel very welcome, often refer friends and family

Phone Etiquette – Customer service and general phone manners
1 Customer service on the phone is unacceptable
2 Below average phone service, information, and professionalism
3 Average, phone information and service meets clients needs
4 Above average phone service, information and enthusiasm exceed clients’ expectations
5 Outstanding phone service, greatly exceeds clients’ expectations in all cases

Golf Play – General golfing ability, and interest in game
1 Handicap has increased, rarely plays with clients, never plays in events
2 Game needs improvement, occasionally plays in events and with clients
3 Average game, plays in events and with different clients
4 Strong game, plays with clients frequently and enthusiastically
5 Excellent game, plays with clients of all skill levels regularly, competes in events

Narrative Review Section:
______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Performance vs. Previous Goals:

Goals and steps to be taken to meet next year’s goals:

Employee (Sign):___________________________
Reviewer (Print) :___________________________
Reviewer (Sign) :____________________________


Appendix 2
Leadership Planning Worksheet



The desired end result (clearly specify):

Objectives (clearly define):








Constraints and limitations that could deter progress (list all):

Work assignments needed to accomplish the end result:

Person(s) responsible


Time requirements have been considered for each discrete element of work (including duration and level of effort).
Personnel requirements have been considered.
Work assignments are clear and concise.
Responsibility and authority is delegated.
Sufficient time and money is available to accomplish the work and satisfy the desired end result. If not, list requirements needed:

Policies/procedures needed to implement the planned work:

Remember to:
Motivate workers
Develop communication and coordination
Provide ongoing assessment of performance

Aaron R. West

Contact Information
Dorado Del Mar Golf Club Urb. Dorado Del Mar 200 Dorado Del Mar GC Dorado, Puerto Rico 00646-2339
Masters of Arts Degree Central Michigan University Sport Administration Program (2000) Bachelors of Science Degree Ferris State University Professional Golf Management/Marketing (1999) Golf Professional Training Program Graduate (2000) Class A PGA Member (2000) member # 27022579 PGA certified Professional Instruction (2005), General Management (2008), Retail (2008), Assoc. of Golf Merchandisers member 2008
Dorado Del Mar Golf Club 2006 to present
Urb. Dorado Del Mar, 200 Dorado Del Mar GC, Dorado, P.R. 00646 (787) 796-3070
Director of Golf duties include: Supervision of Inside, outside and golf maintenance staff for 18-hole semi-private resort. In charge of merchandising for a $200,000 per year golf shop, including P.O. and inventory processes. Individual and Group Golf lessons, tournament operations from initial contact to final bill. Member relation for 250 total membership families. Computer operations include ABC point of Sale, Microsoft office applications, GHIN handicap computer, and TPP tournament management software. Supervision and Delegating for a staff of 53. PGA National Playing Ability Test Proctor. Golf Car fleet management for a fleet of 90. Manage and evaluate Profit and loss statements for the golf operation. Summer Junior Golf Programs.
Hyatt Dorado Beach Resort and Club 2002-2006
100 Dorado Beach Drive, Suite 1 Dorado, Puerto Rico 00646-1350 (787) 796-8961
Head Golf Professional duties include: Management of entire operation for 36-hole semi-private resort facility. In charge of merchandising for $500,000 per year golf shop, Individual and group lessons (500 per year), local corporate and charitable tournament operations (200 per year), Liaison for 700 Dorado Beach Club members, monthly member newsletter, computer operations (micros, Microsoft, Novell GroupWise, Report Automation Systems, Looker report control, timesaver payroll, ARMS, and Fore reservations). Installed and maintained Uplink GPS system for 140 golf carts. Monthly inventory management and control, golf and hotel operation/management, supervising and delegating for a staff of 40, Hyatt Service Essentials training program proctor, Harvard Mentor Management, marking the golf course, golf car fleet management, and summer junior golf program.
River Forest Country Club Golf Season 2002
15 W. 468 Grand Ave Elmhurst, IL. 60126 (630)-279-5855
Assistant Golf Professional duties included: Junior golf, merchandising golf shop, special order control, individual and group lessons, Monday outing coordination, member tournament operations, tournament rules committee, scheduling of employees, club fitting/repair, opening and closing golf shop operations, computer operations, handicap management, ladies days, caddy training, marking golf course, Country Club Systems and EZ links computer operations.
White Eagle Golf Club Golf Season 2000 & 2001
3400 Club Drive Naperville, IL. 60504 (630) 983-6836
Assistant Golf Professional duties included: 250 child Junior Golf Program, member tournament coordination, rules committee, tee-time reservations, individual and group lessons, web development, club fitting/repair, inventory management and control, opening and closing golf operation, scheduling staff, computer operations, micros troubleshooting.
David Leadbetter Golf Academy August 1998- December 1998 Internship
Orlando FL. 32827 (407)-787-3330 ext 16
Duties: Customer service, administration of teaching aids, video recording of student lessons, maintenance of teaching bags and practice range for academy students including tour players Nick Faldo, Ernie Els, Nick Price, Se Ri Pak.
Katke Golf Club April 1998- August 1999
East M-20 Big Rapids, MI. 49307 (231)-591-2213
Duties: Attended telephones and professional shop, coordinated tournaments, scheduled professional staff, worked for 5 semesters while attending Ferris State University.
Kingsmill on the James Resort May 1997- December 1997 Internship
1010 Kingsmill Road, Williamsburg, VA. 23185 (757)-253-3906
Duties: Attended telephones and professional shop, coordinated tournaments, supervised night golf for resort guests, supervised junior clinics, coordinated merchandise tent @ Michelob Championship (PGA tour) event October 1997.
Oakridge CC May 1996- November 1996 Internship
2800 Diamond Oaks Drive Garland, TX. 75044 (241)-530-8008
Duties: Supervised bag room/outside staff, attend golf cars, maintained practice range, cashier in pro shop.
Won both Ernie Fuller & Norm Bennett Academic Scholarship, winter 1999
Chaired Professional Golf Management Social Committee 1998
Member of Ferris State University Dean’s List all 6 semesters attended
Member of Central Michigan University Dean’s list all 3 semesters attended
Vice President of Sport Administration Student Organization 1999-2000
Taught Intermediate Golf Class at Central Michigan University 3 semester 1999-2000
Passed Playing Ability Test July 1996, Dallas, TX. (Tenison Park; Ferris State Amputee tournament 1996-9
Ferris State President’s Invitational 1996-1999; Ferris State Alumni tournament 2000-2006
Completed Quad Cities Marathon September 23, 2001 in 3 hours 33 minutes and 14 seconds
Attended Illinois PGA meetings spring and fall 2000 and 2001
Attended “How to become an Expert Merchandiser” seminar with the Illinois PGA March 2001
Coordinated Merchandise tent at Michelob Championship 1997 (PGA tour event), increased tournament merchandise sales from previous year by 30% or over $50,000
Junior Camps @ Oakridge 1996; Kingsmill 1997; White Eagle 2000-1, River Forest 2002;
Dorado Beach 2003-6 & Dorado del Mar 2007
Participated in seminars at Ferris State University including PGM teaching Summit with Scott Symoniak
Worked for the 2002 Illinois Golf Professional of the year; Titleist Certified Custom Club Fitter 2001-2
Attended PGA merchandise show in Orlando, Florida 2001-2003, buying plans for 4 golf courses
Illinois Section match play semi-finalist lost to eventual champion 1 down through 19 holes
Island Chapter of the South Florida PGA education director 2003-current, Island Chapter President 2005-8
Completed first Aid/CPR training summer 2003, (re-certified) 2005, (re-certified March) 2008
Made contingency plan for golf operation employees for hotel strike 2003, Dorado Beach closing 2006
Thanksgiving Dinner for Aurora Elderly home November 2003, November 2004, November 2005
Won (9) Island Chapter Pro-Am’s Palmas Del Mar, Dorado Beach, Rio Mar 2004, Caguas Real 2006
Won Liberty Cablevision 2003 Pro-Am with (67) Won Inaugural Caguas Real Pro-Am (66)
Second in Island Chapter player of the year point’s race 2003, stroke average for tournaments (74)
Second in Island Chapter player of the year point’s race 2004, stroke average for tournaments (74)
Island Chapter Player of the Year 2005, stroke average (73) 3 Pro-Am wins 2005
Island Chapter Player of the Year 2006, stroke average (73) 2 Pro-Am wins 2006
Island Chapter Player of the Year 2007, stroke average (73) 1 Pro-Am win 2007
Held PRGA Junior rules seminar and mental game seminar December 2003
Service Essentials Hyatt Resorts training Program 2003, 2004, 2005
Monte Cristo Cup 2003-2005 coordination attendees include: Jim Thorpe, Dana Quigley, Brett Quigley
Tour de Las Americas 2005 Puerto Rico Open Participant (Latin American Mini-Tour)
Ping Golf Club fitting Seminar May 2006; AM 1030 WOSO radio contributor 2006, Wednesdays 6:30
PGA/PRGA Junior golf camps 2006; National Playing Ability Test Proctor
Island Chapter Teacher of the Year 2005, 2006, 2007
Island Chapter Horton Smith Award winner 2006
Island Chapter Golf Professional of the Year 2006
PGA Classes & Seminars
Turf grass Management Intercultural Business Etiquette Coaching
Laws, Principles, Variables of Golf Club Fitting Customer Relations Leading a Meeting
Food & Beverage Control Preventing Sexual Harassment for Leaders Rules
Teaching Tools & Technologies Microsoft Word 2000 level 1 Selection Skills
The Teaching business Managing Difficult Interactions Service Essentials
Golf Car Fleet Management Writing For Business Managing Upward
Business Communication Teaching Groups and Golf Populations PGA Constitution
Human Learning & Golf Instruction Developing Better Players Leading & Motivating
Communication & your Teaching Approach Microsoft PowerPoint 2000 Making Business Decisions
Application of Swing Concepts Wholesale Purchasing PGA merchandising 2005
On-line Lesson Scheduling Using the Internet to Teach Assessing Performance
Growing Your Equipment Business Giving & Receiving Feedback Managing Your time
Human Resources Marketing Essentials Microsoft Excel Level 1
Terry Russell (current Ill. PGA President) Phil Benson
Head Professional Bryn Mwar CC Head Professional Itasca CC
6600 N. Crawford Ave. 400 East Orchard St.
Lincolnwood, IL. 60629 Itasca, IL. 60143
(847)-676-2694 (630)-773-1020

David Leadbetter Matthew Pinter
Director of Instruction at DLGA PGM Coordinator
Champions Gate 1500 Knollview Dr.
Orlando, FL. 32827 Big Rapids, MI. 49307
(407)-787-3330 (231)-591-2380

Fred Findlen Junior Colon
General Manager Hyatt Chesapeake Head Golf Professional Dorado Beach
100 Heron Blvd. 100 Dorado Beach Drive Suite 1
Cambridge, MD. 21613 Dorado, P.R. 00646-1350
1(410)-901-6350 (787)-796-8961 ext. 3710

Eric Claxton Jack R. Bates
Director of Golf Lost Pines Resort & Spa Board of Trustees @ Ferris State
575 Hyatt Lost Pines Road 1734 Air Park Drive P.O. Box 108
Lost Pines, Texas 78612 Grand Haven, MI. 49417
(512)-308-9191 (231)-842-2349

Seth Henrich Sidney Wolf
Director of Golf El Conquistador Resort Sports Group Rep. (Current President PRGA)
1000 Conquistador Avenue P.O. Box 9600
Fajardo, P.R. 00738 San Juan, P.R.
(939)-630-9001 (787)-722-4666

Brian Brown Jeremy Beck
The Quarry V.P. Operations
Golf Tec
Palm Springs, CA. Denver, CO.
(630)-885-4130 (cell)

Viola Cortes Michael Hodgins
Director of Member club services Director of Golf
Dorado del Mar GC Orlando World Center Marriott
Urb. Dorado del Mar Hawk’s Landing Golf Club
200 Dorado del Mar GC 8701 World Center Drive
Dorado, P.R. 00646-2339 Orlando, FL.
787-796-3070 407-238-8801

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Hurter, D. (2007). Evaluate Fitness and the Golf Swing.

Hyland, D. (2007). Promote Instruction Through Newsletters, Internet.

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Lee, E. (2008). Souvenirs Can Make Lasting Impressions.

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Lucas, Robert W. (2005) The Creative Training Idea Book

Lynch, J. (2008) Promote Your Playing Ability.

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Mahoney, D. (2007). Take Advantage of Educational Opportunities.
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