Thursday, November 2, 2017

Gulf Coast Golfer Magazine (November 1992)

Hard to believe it was 25 years ago when I was featured in the Gulf Coast Golfer Magazine.  I was the head golf professional at the TPC at The Woodlands and had many responsibilities, but teaching the game was always my passion.  I don't think my philosophy has changed as far as teaching the game, but the experience I have gained particularly in the last 8 years has been invaluable.


Monday, October 9, 2017

Women's Golf Day Clinic

Congratulations to Mabrie for Winning!

Congratulations to Mabrie McMahan for winning the STPGA Little Linksters Girls (age 11-12) Division at Rebecca Creek GC (10/8/17).  Mabrie has a great attitude, works hard and is determined to get better!  Way to go!!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

A Great Week in Pebble Beach!

I have many junior golfers I get the opportunity to work with and in this instance, one of my juniors, Zach Slayton, competed on a national stage.  Zach was one of 81 junior golfers from around the country invited to compete in the 2017 Pure Insurance Champions TOUR event in Pebble Beach, CA.

The format of the event paired a Champions TOUR player with one junior and two adult amateurs for three days.  The juniors remained with their TOUR player for the three days and the amateurs rotated pros.

In his first practice round at Poppy Hills, Zach played a few holes with Champions TOUR player, Kenny Perry. 


And breakfast with Champions TOUR players Tom Kite (1992 US Open Winner at Pebble Beach) and Bob Estes, both from Austin, TX.

In the tournament proper, Zach was paired with TOUR veteran Scott Dunlap and he could not have been nicer to Zach.  Individually, Scott finished in a tie for 15th place with a score of six under par.  There was a cut not only the pro division after two rounds, but for the pro/junior division as well.  If Zach wanted to compete in Sunday's final round, he and Scott would have to be in the top 23 teams.

I was fortunate to attend the event and support Zach in any way possible.  I arrived on Thursday and watched him play the back nine at Poppy Hills in a practice round.  Poppy Hills is a beautiful course and much different than Pebble Beach.  It is located well above the Pacific Ocean and is tree lined with many bunkers and waste areas.


After he finished the round, we went to Pebble for some fine tuning before the first round which started Friday. 


The work he has put in over the last year paid off in a big way in the first round.  Zach shot his lowest tournament round of the year, shooting a two under par 70, at Pebble Beach!  I was very proud of the way he handled himself in this large environment.

Zach and I before the first round at Pebble Beach (10th tee)

Zach teeing off on #10 first round at Pebble Beach

Zach and Scott on the 4th green at Pebble Beach

Zach putting on the 4th green at Pebble Beach

In the second round at Poppy Hills, Zach's good play continued and he shot an even par 71.  Needless to say, he and Scott easily made the cut as they were tied for 9th going into the final round!

The stage just got bigger as they were in the top ten teams and would more than likely receive more TV attention on the Golf Channel.

18th green at Pebble Beach
When it was all said and done, Zach and Scott finished in a tie for ninth place at fifteen under par!
As predicted, there was some TV time for Zach, especially when he chipped in for a birdie on the 15th hole at Pebble Beach!


And again when he was interviewed near the 18th green after he completed the round.



I have a feeling Zach will be signing more autographs in the future.

What a week to remember for Zach, his parents and of course me too!  I was impressed with all the juniors which competed this week.  I witnessed some great golf, but I was really pleased with all the positive attitudes, smiles and professionalism of each junior golfer!  Golf is in great hands for the future.

Following are some pictures which I took at Pebble Beach.  This truly is golf heaven!

17th green
Looking from 8th green to fairway

Markers on the championship tees used for US Open
7th green

4th green

Just a picture from Monterey Bay Country Club which is on 17 mile drive.  This is one of the prettiest par 3's I have seen.

I look forward to our next chapter...

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Golf Swing Finish Position Comparison

We are a product of our teaching is all I can say about this photo.  I found some pictures from my high school yearbook (circa 1973) and compared them to some current pictures of my swing.  In the early 1970's the golf swing concept was to "keep your head behind the ball" long into the follow through.  This is commonly called a "reverse C" finish.  Well I certainly listened and perfected this concept.  It did however require a limber and young back to accomplish.  It also required excellent timing to release the club with the hands.  Release too early and you hooked the ball...too late and you hit it to right field.

In the 2017 version, note how much taller I finish, my shoulders are very level and the club is more around the body and level to the ground.  This swing is much easier on the back and requires less timing of the smaller muscles.  This is definitely more of a body release swing and not a hands release.  It is much easier to get your weight to the front leg which leads to more consistency.

I went back in the archives and found some classic reverse C finish golf swings.

The most common trait of this reverse C finish is the belt buckle is closer to the target than the head.  The left knee also tended to have a little bend in it at the finish.  If my memory serves me, this swing was definitely taught through most of the 1970's.

What I have observed however is players from the 1950's and 1960's had more of a traditional or classic finish even into the 1970's.  They didn't buy in to the new finish position.  Here is a photo of some classic finishes.

In all of these swings, the left knee is taller or more "posted" than the reverse C finishers.  The spine is much taller with the head located more on top of the torso.  Sam Snead had this classic finish throughout his career along with Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson just to name a couple.

Ben Hogan
Image result for Byron Nelson Golfer
Byron Nelson
So how did we decide the reverse C was the new way to finish?  That is a great question and I would say it was developed as a way to hit the ball higher with more carry.  I will say I played some decent golf with that finish as did the players which utilized the concept.  But the older players maintained their classic finishes and did quite well too.  Somewhere in the early 1980's the reverse C finish went away with the exception of a handful of players.  Mike "Radar" Reed maintained that finish throughout the 80's and Jeff Maggert a player from the 1990's (current Champions TOUR member) still has a bit of the reverse C in his finish.

I prefer the classic finish as it will lead you to more longevity in the game.  The modern equipment is designed to hit the ball higher so there is really no reason to stay behind the ball so long anymore.

Just a side note...I am not saying I want you sliding your head past the ball on the down swing.  The lower body still has to start the down swing with a slight shift of weight to the front leg and then hip rotation to the target. 

Follow the links below to some drills which will help you finish like a pro.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Another Playoff Win for Zach Slayton!

Zach Slayton wins in a playoff to secure his second victory this summer at the STPGA Prestige Tour event held at The Hills of Lakeway in Austin, TX. 

Zach also won a three man playoff at the Starburst event in Waco, TX, earlier this summer and he won a playoff to secure a place in the AJGA event at the TPC San Antonio a couple of weeks ago. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Greg P Bombing it 325!

Greg and I started working together about 8 weeks ago and all he needed was a little tweaking.  He came with great fundamentals and lots of speed!  He hit this one 325 yards on the 17th hole at Morris Williams GC.

Thanks for the kind words Greg!

Netanel Eldridge is 10 years old and has such a "natural" motion to his golf swing.  With Netanel it is all about the details and focus of grip, posture and stance.  After that, just watch him let it go!

We are now focusing on getting him ready to play in tournaments.  To do this he has to sharpen his short game skills and learn distance control with the putter.

Follow this link for drills to help with your distance control.

Aiden Moore Working on Improving his Swing Plane

Aiden (8 years old) had been a joy to work with.  He loves to communicate and is very mature for his age.  He learns something new each lesson and his golf swing is getting better and better.  Now we have to work on his putting.

In this video he is working on improving his swing plane and he is hitting the ball great!

Follow this link to learn more about swing plane.

Chandler Roberts Improving his Golf Swing

Chandler Roberts started working with me while a sophomore in high school.  He previously had been a football player and decided his future was with golf.  When we started, Chandler had no previous golf instruction nor any tournament experience of any kind.  We began building his game from the ground up and when he graduated from high school he was offered a golf scholarship to Hesston College in Wichita, KS.  He is home for the summer preparing for the fall semester.

In this video he is working on improving his takeaway.  The biggest issue is he was getting the club too far behind him on his backswing so I prescribed the 1-2-3-4 drill to help keep the club in front of him on the way back.

Follow this link to see the drill in full.