My Imaginary Interview On The Tim Ferris Show – Tribe Of Mentors

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I’m a big fan of high achieving people who enjoy sharing information and challenge the learning curve and push themselves in all areas of their life which is why I think I was drawn to Mr. Timothy Ferris’ work and podcast. Through his podcast and connecting with so many successful people, I bought his latest book, Tribe of Mentors. I thought it was a great idea which involves Tim reaching out to successful people in different spaces of business, entertainment, sports and music and asking them a series of 11 questions. This brilliant idea gleaned so many interesting and helpful ideas of what made these people great at what they do and it is a must read. I am sure that I was on that list that he sent out and that the email must have got caught in my spam so I thought I would give the questions a shot as to see what I would come up with IF Asked to be a part of this project. It definitely was an exercise that forced me to be uncomfortably transparent and reflect on some of the things that have helped me along the way, failures and high points in my life. So I hope you enjoy this little FAKE interview that I made up in my own monkey brain……oh and go buy the book! Tribe of Mentors by Timothy Ferris

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Tim: Hello boys and girls and welcome to another episode of the Tim Ferris Show where it is my job to explore the stories, tactics, strategies, habits etc. from people who are the best at what they do. This episode is a very special episode as it delivers the typical high performance ideas, book recommendations etc. but it is unique in the fact that my guest is from the golf teaching business which is a first for my podcast.  I am not a great golfer, but I think you will find that my guest, Jason Sutton A.K.N as the “The Guru” can bring an interesting perspective on personal development strategies, dealing with adversity, overcoming obstacles and success habits that you can apply to any profession or occupation. The Guru is a Golf Magazine Top 100 instructor and is ranked #1 in North Carolina by Golf Digest. He is currently the PGA Director of Instruction at the prestigious, Carmel CC located in Charlotte, NC where he has been for 6 years. So without further ado, let’s get to my conversation with Jason Sutton.

Tim: After speaking with you in preparing this interview, I wasn’t surprised so much that you are so well read in the golf instruction space but that you have read so many books outside of your comfort zone with topics such as personal development, marketing, business and coaching from other sports. My first question is “What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are the three books that have greatly influenced you life?

Jason: That is a great question as I am a believer that certain things (i.e books, information, people, opportunities show up in your life for a reason) so as a young professional in the late 90’s I embarked on a personal development journey that included books and cd’s (automobile university)  that would start to shape my thinking and my career in many different ways. I am sad to say that I haven’t gifted as many books as I should but I did recently gift your latest book “Tribe of Mentors” to my staff (host kiss up). So I will start from the beginning with:

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill – book written in 1937 and was the original personal development bible. I learned the importance of creating a “mastermind” crew or what I now call my “personal board of directors” stolen from one of your guests, surrounding myself with people who will have a positive influence on my life and that have my best interest at heart. Success coaches like Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy and Zig Ziglar have learned from the research done by Napoleon Hill. 

How to Win Friends and Influence People  by Carnegie, The Servant Leader by James Autry, Anything by John Maxwell especially: Failing Forward, Thinking for a Change, the 21 indispensible qualities of a leader, the Success Journey and the 101 series…..

Shackelton’s Way, Leadership Lessons  – the story of the great antarctic explorer. I learned that matching up certain personality types that have the continuous learning gene is way more important than always hiring the most qualified person for your staff and also how important it is to equip your team with the necessary tools to succeed (technology, skills training and knowledge)

Presentations Plus by David Peoplessomething that I refer to many times when preparing for speeches

The Power of Who by Bob Beudine, How Full Is Your Bucket by Tom Rath and Donald Clifton, The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale

In 2009 I read Crush It, The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuck. It had a massive impact on how I have created my brand and online presence. I am currently reading his new book, Crushing It which should be great as well

As I said earlier, I started getting much of my information by listening to CD’s that I had burned from the internet. I listened to at least an hour per day (typically my ride to and from work) of lectures or personal development programs that I call Automobile University. I still do this as now it is podcasts or audio books (PM me for my favorite podcasts) . My favorites were Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy and Dennis Waitley. I not only learned from the information they were providing but I paid close attention to their audio delivery, tone, story telling and the way they organized their presentations. I use these tactics to this day when I do talks. 

Jason: I know that is more than you asked but thought it may be useful to your listeners. I didn’t even go into my coaching and golf books. For another show!

Tim: quite all right, that is great stuff! What purchase of $100 of less has most positively impacted you life in the last six months?

Jason: They are a little more than $100.00 but I would have to say my On Ghost running shoes. I started running consistently about 13 years ago and have even ran 2 3/4 marathons and 4 half marathons in the past 10 years but I have gotten off track in the last couple of years. Starting about 5 months ago I rededicated myself to fitness and nutrition. I have lost 20 pounds and have gotten back into about half marathon running shape. It doesn’t do us any good to set big goals that our body and health can’t keep up with so my new Swiss running shoes (I own 2 pair) have been an important tool for this new transformation. I still have 8-10 pounds to go to reach my goal. p.s. my new stretch goal is to complete an Ultra Marathon…shhh!

Tim: You are speaking my language as you know I am big on fitness and nutrition. What has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours?

Jason: I think every successful person has experienced failures over the years. It is how you respond to these failures is what makes us great! The failure that was now the best thing that ever happened to myself and my career was when I had my first Head Pro job at the age of 28. I was an assistant that was promoted to head professional after the former HP left for another job. I was green and inexperienced and put in charge of a rather large operation. It was a single owner operation so it was a big adjustment to be the leader of a large staff and a big operation. after my GM who was my former boss that hired me left for another job, they went through 2 more General Managers in less than 3 years which didn’t make it easy. Regardless of the situation, I was not happy with my role and the direction the club was moving aside from the fact that my added responsibility was pulling me farther and farther from passion which was teaching, it was time to make a change. Come to find that the last GM had plans to bring in his own staff which pushed me out the door. As I said things happen for a reason and this allowed me to do a deep dive into what made me truly happy and to start to double down on my strengths which was helping people play better golf (teaching and coaching). I shortly after got my biggest break of my career when teaching legend, Ms. Dana Rader hired me to be a part of her staff at her top 25 golf school. This is when my career took off as I now had one binary goal and that was to become the best golf instructor that I could become which is what I strive to do everyday even now. 

Tim: If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with the anything on it — metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why? 

Jason: One of my favorite quotes and one that I end a lot of my talks with is by Zig Ziglar — “If you help enough other people get what they want, you can have everything that you want!” For the act of sharing, mentoring others and lending help is not designed to get something in return even though we know that the law of paying it forward is strong in this way but it is because it is the right thing to do and also its about the type of person that we become and how it makes us feel to help others reach their goals. My mission in life is to leave a LEGACY that my wife and kids will be proud of, simple as that.  

Tim: I totally agree. Sound advice for sure! What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love? 

Jason: I gave this a lot of thought and I thought of what my wife would say is something that drives her crazy that I do and it is watching old movies several times over. For some reason I have always been fascinated with the movie business ever since I took a film class in college. When I find a film that interests me, I pick it apart from lighting, camera angles, actors lines to scripts. I spend too much time on the IMDB app for sure which is a problem. I love the show “Off Camera” with Sam Jones where he interviews actors and directors. I am fascinated with the entire process of the movie business. It does take up alot of my time but I feel like I get quality movie lines and thought-provoking feelings from a good or crappy movie sometimes. It does create great material for golf lessons though.

Tim: In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?

Jason: I would have to say getting into distance running has had a massive influence on my life. When my wife was pregnant with my daughter, Brittanie (now 18) I gained a bunch of weight as dads tend to do when your wife is eating crazy food when pregnant. After she was born I felt like I needed to make a change in my health so I started running to get in shape. After a few failed attempts, I decided to do what I always do when I don’t know something, so I bought a book on running (Run-Walk-Run by Galloway) which got me running consistently without killing myself or getting hurt all the time. I signed up for my first 10k and did pretty good and I was hooked. Then I met my good friend Steve Hightower which changed my life. Steve was a new golfer that showed up to one of my beginning golf clinics wearing an iron man triathlon visor. So we struck up a convo about fitness and running and he said “Have you ever thought about running a marathon?” I said hell no, I’m too fat and slow for that kind of non sense! He said that he had done several and that I could do it with the right training plan….sounds like golf huh? Turns out he was a tri Athlon coach for Team in Training. Steve said if you teach me to play golf then I will teach to run far. So in typical Guru OCD fashion, I went from 10k to 26.2 (which I don’t recommend). I finished the Chicago marathon in 2006 with his guidance and since then have done several half marathons, run almost 2 more (see blog about marathon accident) full marathons and still feel like a have a few left on the bucket list. Steve and I meet once a week (when we aren’t injured)with some other friends which I cherish very much. Our friendship is invaluable. I use running as a time to think and reflect as I have come up with so many great ideas on long runs, aside from the fact that  it makes me feel good about myself and gives me more energy to enjoy life. It also makes me feel like an athlete again which is important to me which is why I love the races. Even though I have gone through a few times where I have been inconsistent, running will always be a part of my life as long as I can do it. The process of training and completing a marathon will change your life for sure as it did mine.

Tim: What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore

Jason: Seek out your mentors wisely. You will know right away the ones whom have your best interest at heart. I would encourage them to reach out to as many people that they respect in their field as possible and figure out how to spend time with them. It is so easy now with social media. DM as many people as you care to learn from and be prepared for some to say no.  Whether its having lunch, phone calls or see if they can come and shadow them while they work. Be an information gatherer, study as much about how human behavior, body language and persuasion and don’t get caught up in the minutia. The more you DO, that stuff will start to make sense. Don’t be afraid to fail and make mistakes. If you live or work afraid to screw up it means that you aren’t putting yourself in situations where you are uncomfortable which stunts your  growth. So do things that stretch you and make you uncomfortable such as volunteering to speak to a group. As Gary V says, “Macro patience and Micro speed. Learn as fast as you can but you have to be patient when it comes to validation and notoriety. It is not that important and will come later if you do the work.  Study, Practice, Teach….learn as much as you can about your craft from your mentors, Practice – get in a position to be able to do what you want as much as possible (even if it’s for FREE). Volunteer to intern somewhere that you want to work and figure out how to make it happen. Building your skills is much more important than money at first, the money will follow if you work your face off, and TEACH – don’t forget to pass it to someone else as this will keep you sharp and continue the chain for learning and mentoring. Lastly, always give credit to where you learned something that has helped you along the way. No one gets to the mountain top alone so show respect to the ones that helped get  you there. 

Tim: What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

The latest debate is that Technology is ruining the teaching game. Understand that technology only allows us to measure what the golfer, the club and the ball are doing. Technology has no philosophy or bias on the way you should diagnose the problem in front of you, it only gives you accurate answers that helps us be more efficient with the prescription. It is still up to the coach to give the diagnosis, communicate the what, why and how and to get the student to change behaviors, habits and motor patterns. Most people who are down on these devices haven’t spent enough time learning the information and how they work so they misjudge what they don’t understand. OK, I’m off my soapbox…

Tim: You seem very passionate about this subject

Jason: I’m passionate about things that could possibly hold my profession back and this is a big one

Tim: In the last five years, what have you become better at saying no to (distractions, invitations, etc) What new realizations and/or approaches helped? Any other tips?

When your reputation starts to grow and when you are recognized as a leader in your industry, people want more and more of your time. Look, when I started in this business, I set out to be the best teacher on the planet and that is still my goal,  so I am not complaining one bit but I have to learn to say no to things that take time away from my family, my staff and my students which is difficult for me to do. I am too nice a guy sometimes so I tend to say yes to every request so I am still working on that one. I just want to help everybody which I am finding I can’t do.

Tim: When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? (What questions do you ask yourself?)

Jason: Typically when I get this feeling of being overwhelmed it is because I haven’t prepared early enough and things start to pile up on me. For example, if I am putting together a presentation for a speaking engagement and I wait until the last-minute to do it, take notes and practice it…then I get overwhelmed. I am working on getting more organized so this doesn’t happen as often. If I am anxious about something like a big talk I’m getting ready to do or maybe an important lesson, I will ask the question….What is the worst thing that could happen? and usually it calms me down.  I have a difficult time turning my brain off and don’t sleep very well at times so I have been experimenting with Mindful Meditation for the first time so hopefully it will give me some better focus where I will have less anxiety over things that I cannot control 

Tim: Well Jason this was great! I am sorry that it took so long to get you on but we will have to do it again very soon

Jason: Tim it was an honor to be on the show. I love and respect your work and I appreciate you allowing me to share my story. Best of luck with your new book. I will spread the word to as many as I can


zzzz……..And then I woke up as it was only a dream. But if we can’t dream then we won’t stretch ourselves to be better. 

Be better today than you were yesterday. Thanks for reading and don’t be afraid to use the share buttons below.


Robbie Failes joins the Carmel Golf Academy Staff #TeamCGA

I first met this kid when I spoke at the PGM program at Clemson in 2016 and I was intrigued by his curiosity and passion for learning. In PGM programs nowadays you get a few young men or women that have made up their minds that teaching is the direction that they want to go and Robbie was one that showed interest. He attended my Guru workshop in 2016 and then started showing up every other Saturday to shadow and observe me teaching. We had a connection….Thank you for allowing me to visit you,”Will you help me?” he would say. He was so appreciative and respectful which I am a big fan of.  People that show an interest in learning make it easy for you to share with them what you think may assist them in being successful. I am always grateful to get this kind of request from peers that visit.  I started to pour into him what little that I knew about teaching and coaching . What he didn’t know was that I was becoming the student in many ways. When we share we learn and are reminded of what got us to where we are. So I pulled some strings and made sure that he became my intern assistant for the 2017 season because I wanted to see what this kid was made of and if he was for real. As timing had it I was in a position to hire another instructor at the end of the summer and I told Robbie that he would have an up front 6 month interview for the job if he was interested. The eyes got even brighter. He didn’t dissapoint. As I have done in the past with Alex Van der Linden (now Governors Club DOI) and Seth Merz (current Junior Golf Director/staff instructor), I try to keep it in the family. He did an exceptional job. He continued to ask the tough questions, be curious, did the little stuff that most young men would deem as mundane or ordinary, believed in my philosophy and program and even filmed and  documented my lessons to help me create content which is as selfless as it can get. He passed the test.  So I am pleased to say that on August 1st, Robbie Failes will be a full-time PGA teaching professional at the Carmel Golf Academy at one of the best Country Clubs in the Country, Carmel Country Club. I am very excited to have him as part of my instructional team. Huge thank you to my other superstar, Seth Merz, for helping me mentor Robbie and assisting him in many ways but most importantly welcoming him into the CGA family. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for the both of you. Robbie, welcome to #TeamCGA, you have earned it.

Follow the team: Guru – snap: @golfguru1 insta: @golfgurutv twitter @golfgurutv

Robbie Failes; @robfailesgolf…..snapchat, instagram, @robfailesgolf

Seth Merz: @sethmerz…IG and snapchat







2013 Mastermind Crew Roundtable Discussion

The PGA show is many things to different people. For me it’s about opportunities to learn, catch up with old friends and meeting new ones. You have all heard of my mastermind crew (Rob McGill, Dennis Sales, Jason Helman, Kirk Oguri) which is comprised of some of the best coaches and club fitters in the golf business and we all met a few years ago on twitter. This is the second year that we have got together to discuss different topics in the golf world. We havent managed to get everyone together yet as we were missing John Graham, Sara Dickson, Mike Fay and Andrew Marr but we still had a great time with the roundtable. A big thanks to Ricky Lee Potts for moderating it and coming up with the questions and to my Junior Golf leader Adam Ohsberg for doing the filming and editing for the project. I am so fortunate to be involved with this group of great professionals and I hope that you enjoy the videos. I have also linked there twitter accounts to the names above so you can follow them as they are all very active on twitter and are very interested in helping golfers and other coaches improve.

Follow me on twitter @golfgurutv



Guru’s Top 50 Teacher Twitter List (2012) Will You Make It This Year?

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Just a reminder that I will be compiling my 2013 Top 50 Teacher Twitter List so if you didn’t make it last year, tell me why you should this year (in 140 characters or less)

Good Luck!

For those of you who follow me on twitter know that I have issues. My twitter addiction is just the beginning.  Ever since I gave my first golf lesson I tried to take my father’s advice. I can still hear him saying to me when I made the decision to be a golf professional,”I don’t care what you do but I think you owe it to yourself to try to be the best at it!” So that’s what I did. So I set my goals very high.  I have never been the smartest guy in the world but I have always had this “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder for Learning (OCDL).” So I learned very early in my career that if I didn’t know the answer to a question I had 2 choices 1) find a book about it or 2)go ask someone smarter than me that knows the answer. I’ve always approached life this way, it didn’t matter if I was learning to flyfish or running marathons,  there is information that is available if you just look for it. The bible says,”If you seek you will find.” When I started teaching golf it was a few years before the internet was invented (makes me feel old) so all there was were books and people. No or or Facebook or blogs. So we had to travel a lot to get the info and to watch other top teachers teach. As I don’t think anything can replace the “Live Lesson” observation and face to face interaction, you can now watch other teachers teach and here them describe their philosophy through video (YouTube) which is great or read about their ideas on their blogs or forums. As I started to grow as a coach and a golf professional I always knew that continuous growth was dependant on individuals and the relationships that you build with others in your field of expertise. As the economy started to decline in 2009, the phone wasn’t ringing as much and my book wasn’t as full as I was used to seeing. I think I was once booked out for 3 months at one time……I found myself getting lazy in following up with my students and needed a new way to connect to my players and make sure that they didn’t forget me. So I found social media. Not to make this a social media tutorial but I started using what I called the 4 corners of SM. Blogging, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter. What I found was that I not only connected with my students through videos, blog articles and content, but I saw that other teaching professionals started to reach out with their information and content which allowed us to share and also build a relationship. I learned that even though it was not face to face, you could still get a very good idea of what kind of person you were communicating with through twitter and Facebook if you paid attention. So in the past few years I have made some great friends through twitter and Facebook and we actually have met in person and they still call me a friend which is the best kind (know all about you and still call you friend, lol). I have been fortunate to do some golf schools and teach with some of them and they are always only a phone call or Skype discussion away. The first 7 on the list is what I call my Mastermind Crew and are all great friends (all met through twitter).

twitter 4  For those of you who feel that twitter is a waste of time, I suggest you reach out to these folks with high tweet counts on the list and ask them how they use it. I can guarantee that most of their tweets are them engaging in conversation, sharing information and trying to learn from other professionals. Hardly a waste of time.  All I can tell you is that twitter has changed my career in a positive way because I learned how to make it work. We all like recognition in our field and I always have aspired to be on the few top teacher lists that are out there but I have found that the most important thing and what I measure greatness in my field is twofold. 1) The passion to help other golfers improve and enjoy this great game 2)The passion to help and share with other teaching professionals so they can get better and help their students. I try to do both every day and I hope that it comes through that I don’t do it because of what I can get but because of what I can become through sharing what has been passed down to me. twitter 2

So here is my list of teachers and coaches that use twitter to help other golfers and coaches like myself get better. Criteria: You had to have a minimum of 1000 tweets to qualify for the list.  I am sure I will leave someone out so don’t get mad just tweet more (next year it may be 2000 tweet minimum) and tweet me as to why you should be on the list for next year. I am sure the list will get bigger. All of these individuals have had a big effect on my career and are a must follow if you are not already doing so. I made easy  so you can click on their twitter handle and follow them immediately. Not in any particular order but all are great at what they do:

GURU’S 2012 TOP TEACHER TWITTER LIST                        #of tweets/followers

  • John Graham                @johngrahamgolf                                         46,002        / 4355
  • Sara Dickson                 @sara_pga                                                      22,144       /  2867
  • Jason Helman                                    4417          /   3463
  • Rob McGill                     @golfprorob                                                   7545          / 1194
  • Kirk Oguri                      @kirkoguri                                                      13,995       /  10321
  • Andrew Marr                 @andrewmarrgolf                                         10,336       /  1424
  • Dennis Sales                   @dennissalesgolf                                          6609         /   1499
  • Andrew Rice                   @andrewricegolf                                           2198         /    1523
  • Mike Fay                          @mikefaygolf                                                 6898        /    1752
  • James Ridyard                @jamesridyard                                              9462        /    1667
  • Vikki Vanderpool           @vvanderpool                                                1665        /     613
  • Mark Sweeney                 @aimpointgolf                                               3921       /      5073
  • Brad Redding                  @bradreddinggolf                                          3991      /      1323
  • Ed Bowe                            @bowegolf                                                      2954      /      4719
  • Mark Durland                  @durlandgolf                                                 1278      /       235
  • Andy Griffith                    @andygriffiths1                                              2604     /      873
  • Ryan Chaney                     @oraclerio                                                       1857     /        55
  • Rick Grayson                    @rickgraysongolf                                           4242     /       550
  • Ryan Crysler                      @ryancrysler                                                  13,479  /       1352
  • Josh Boggs                         @boggspga                                                      1770     /       987
  • Hugh Marr                          @hughmarr                                                    3395    /       2040
  • Erik Barzeski                     @iacas                                                               7061    /       745
  • James Hong                       @jameshonggolf                                             1158    /       221
  • Mitch Walz                         @walzygolf                                                      5723    /       769
  • Robert Campbell               @rcampbellgolf                                              1157     /       324
  • Petri Parviainen                 @piiter77                                                         5322   /       771
  • Ian Peek                               @ianpeekgolf                                                 5431    /       1369
  • Jamie Donalson                 @golfdonaldson                                             6214   /       2867
  • Keith Stewart                      @kjpga                                                             1067   /       234
  • Matt Diederichs                  @mattdgolf                                                     13,633  /    2666
  • Blake Graham                     @blakegrahampga                                         12058  /    1031
  • Denise Hastings                  @hastingsgolf                                                1541     /     474
  • Brett Packee                         @brettpackeegolf                                          2496   /      456
  • Joe Mayo                             @trackmanmaestro                                       3093   /      2865
  • Travis Lloyd                        @tlloydpga                                                       1010   /      359
  • George Connor                   @connorgolf                                                    1757    /      660
  • Denis Pugh                          @Dpugh54                                                       7561   /       12331
  • Derek Hooper                     @derekhoopergolf                                          1120   /       513
  • TJ Yeaton                             @tjyeatongolf                                                  1690  /       547
  • Chris Gibson                        @chrisgibsongolf                                            2551   /      308
  • Jesse Struebing                   @jstruebs                                                         4636    /     1456
  • Kate Tempesta                     @KTUrbangolf                                                2250   /     960
  • Aaron Olson                         @aaronaosongolf                                           1023    /     902
  • Andy Gordon                       @andygordongolf                                           3852   /      1221
  • Martin Park                          @parkythepro                                                 10,289 /     945
  • Kevin Flynn                          @kflypga                                                           4851    /     717
  • James Martin                       @James_W_martin                                      1735     /     301
  • Meindert Jan Boekel          @BKLGolf                                                        5147     /     535
  • Donal Scott                           @donalscott                                                     2825   /      735
  • Michael Balderstone           @balderstonegolf                                           1983    /      319


Up and Coming Twitter Pro Stars

  • Megan Padua                        @megangolfpro
  • Tom Stickney                        @tomstickneygolf
  • Chris Foley                             @chrisfoleygolf
  • Justin Blazer                          @blazer_justin
  • Scott Chisholm                      @schizgolf
  • Adam Ohsberg                     @golfsenseipga
  • Bill DeVore                           @BillDeVoregolf
  • Corey Lundberg                   @curiouscoaches
  • Andrew Kiger                       @drewkigergolf
  • Brandon Roby                      @brobygolf
  • Nancy Harvey                       @thegolfnancy
  • Molly Tullar                           @mollytullarlpga

Must Follows (avid golfers with great content)

  • Ricky Lee Potts                         @rickyleepotts
  • Nick Chertock                           @golfprogess
  • Tim Ryan                                    @seamuspicmcgee

Thank you to all that made the list and congratulations. Please share this list on twitter and with the other buttons at the bottom and lets see if we can get these outstanding professionals and people some new followers. Leave your comments below of your thoughts about this post and don’t forget to attend #tweetup3.0. Contact Sara Dickson or Ricky Lee Potts for more details. I hope to see you all at the PGA Show in January.

Guru                                 @golfgurutv

Meet The Mastermind Crew “The Next Generation of Great Teachers”

Just in case you missed it. I got the mastermind crew together, (Charlie King called us the next great teachers) for a little roundtable discussion at the PGA Show. There were two members missing, Sara Dickson and Switzerland (JG) but they were not forgotten as they were involved in many sidebar discussions during the week. Stay tuned for the next twitter academy. You have to watch the last episode to find out what is next for the group. There is talks of a major group golf school that could pop up later this year. Who would sign up for that? What a great mix of talent would be assembled and big things are coming for 2012. I hope you enjoy the #Roundtwitter Golf Discussion with Jason Helman, Rob McGill, Andrew Marr, Dennis Sales and Kirk Oguri (listed as seated). Thanks again for our good friend Ricky Lee Potts for moderating and Eric Ballard for filming it.  Follow these guys on twitter for more #banter and knowledge than you can stand

Follow me on twitter @golfgurutv and I will see you on the lesson tee @ Carmel CC



2012 PGA Show Recap (A Twitter Experience)

"The Mastermind Crew"

So many of my counterparts have already finished their recap of this years PGA Merchandise show so here is my take on this years haps. In my opinion this years show was the best ever. As I have written in the past, the PGA show is what you make of it. The people you choose to be around, the seminars you attend and the products you are interested in. The PGA of America is starting to get the fact that it is a social media opportunity to connect with the members and the experience is getting better and better. As always, I had a definite plan to get around as many top coaches and to see as much of the show as I can which can be difficult in a very short stretch so I went for it. I can break this post down into 2 parts: 1)The networking and spending time with good friends and  2)the products that I thought were new and innovative and would help your game.

Part 1 (Networking)

I was very excited to hang out with and spend time with my good friends John Graham, Dennis Sales, Jason Helman,  Rob McGill, Andrew Marr, Sara Dickson, Kirk Oguri and Ricky Lee Potts which you have heard me call my mastermind crew. We have all become very close and the side bar conversations are so valuable and I always come away with new information on how to teach better. For those of you who could keep up with our twtter feeds would know that we had a Pre Tweet up on Wednesday where we got together for dinner and then John Graham’s and Richie Hunt’s Big tweet up on Thursday which was awesome. I got to meet so many new people who I had talked to on twitter like Steve Mitchell, Nick Starchuck, Megan Pudua, James Hong, Michel Mennard, Travis Lloyd, John Randle, Zach Baron. I even got to stay with Aaron Olson, one of the bright young stars in the business from Arizona. He works with Megan Pudua, Jeff Rittter and Martin Chuck at the Raven. You will be hearning great things from this young man as he was very impressive for sure. There were so many people who I met I am sure I am leaving someone out. As for the tweetup, it did not disappoint as the swing discussion and demonstration was led by good friend and one of my favorite people, John Dochety as he turned Andrew Marr into a pretzel demonstrating the multiple tilts in the golf swing. Doc, you are the best my friend and I always learn so much when we get together. Thank you to John Graham for putting it together and I know it is going to make a difference in our industry for such a group of coaches to come together from all different philosophies and theories to share and enjoy one another’s company. Trust me, the teaching summit had nothing on what went on this evening. I have included a short montage put together by Nick Chertock (who better be in attendance next year) which was awesome. Thank you my friend. One of my big goals while I was there was to take the opportunity to shoot some video of all the mastermind crew. So I put together our team and how had a round table discussion the next morning that lasted about 40 minutes. I think you can get the feeling of how much we care about one another which for me has been life changing. The only bummer was that Sara Dickson and Switzerland (JG) could not be a part of it but there will be a next time. Big thanks for my friend, Ricky Lee Potts for moderating the discussion and my friend Eric “LaFama Blanca” for the excellent camera work. We will step it up with some wireless mics next time (Nick C). I hope you enjoyed it as much I we did filming it. I could go on and on about all the side bar moments that I had discussing Aimpoint and the importance of ankle mobility with John Graham and Dennis Sales or watching one a teaching legend like Jim Hardy give a lesson in the garage with a broom or how Kirk Oguri has better hair than Robert Rock but I don’t have enough time. You will have to hit me up another time. Now to part 2

Equipment and training aids:

Best Booth : Taylor Made City. You could even get a picture with Dustin Johnson, very cool. It took up the entire end of the show.

Training Aids that I liked :

Guru training system 3D training with no wires or sensors. Very cool. (still looking for my royalties)

Swing byte I bought one of these as it gives you 3d motion of the club from different angles and connects to your ipad or phone so it is portable. It also gives you data from each shot. Looking forward to playing with this for sure.

ES 12 digital golf assistant – great for gap training and tells you how far each shot travels. here is a video I bought one of these too. I will be doing wedge schools and on course training with this guy. – a very good stats tracker that i may use this year.

Trackman 3 – This would be the final piece to my teaching academy as I would love to get one of these. The new one is more portable and now has a short game feature that will track down to 2 yards. I met with the rep and was very impresseed.

True Links Shoes – A low profile golf shoe that was very comfortable and allowed you to feel the ground. Mark Sweeney calls them AimPoint green reading shoes. JG, Dennis and I bought a pair.

I also want to thank Lorin Anderson from GBN for putting together such great education seminars. I attended Brian Manzella, Charlie King and Jeff Ritter which was a great way to start the show. I could say so much more but I will leave you with this:

It was great to spend time with my crew and meet so many top coaches and great people who have influenced my career such as Chuck Evans, Charlie King and Todd Sones which is what the PGA show is all about. As I said before, it is all what you make of it. If you didn’t get anything out of it, It no fault but your own. See you next year.


Guru TV – Lesson With Tour Player Chelsea Bach (my 2000th Follower)

I know its been awhile since I shot a Guru TV episode but here is a special edition that I hope you enjoy. I recently reached 2000 followers on Twitter and I wanted to do something special for that person. I was willing to give away some Guru Swag but come to find that this young lady did not need that since she was already a professional golfer and had a sponsor. So I offered to do a video swing analysis (A mini-Guru Project) since she is in Arizona and she kindly agreed to let me have a look at her golf swing. Chelsea is playing the mini-tours and is working toward to LPGA tour. Her coach has done a fantastic job with her so I thought I would give her my ideas to add to an already fabulous golf swing. I had to break up the video into 2 parts due to my lengthy analysis so click on the second one to see the finished product.

Follow Chelsea On Twitter @CB_Golf

See you on the lesson tee @ Carmel CC


I Want To Talk To You About Your Flare (not flair)

As I strive to learn more about the golf swing and ultimately help my students play better, I often turn to my golf pro friends through my social media connections. Whether it is one of the many groups that I am in on Facebook or my favorite way to exchange ideas, So I was curious about what everyone thought about FOOT FLARE or the positioning of the feet at address and how it impacted a golfers swing. As I write this post I will tell you that I don’t have all the answers but experience and reasearch have their place because I can tell you what has worked for me as I will give you my opinion on this subject and give you some options that might help. But I want to share with you first what my colleagues answered when I posed the question: How much foot flare (with both feet) do you teach and feel is important and why? Here is what I got:

mikesparkspgamike sparks

@golfgurutv depends on body type. Barrel chested unflexible person needs more right foot flare to get behind the ball
andrewmarrgolfAndrew Marr, PGA

@golfgurutv yes – encourages more pivot and takes pressure off joints – not sure there is a standard but

@golfgurutv for golfers with average hip mobility, feet flared 20-30* with narrower stance works best. Reduces knee and back stress
golfwithgregGreg Baresel

@golfgurutv 15 to 20 degrees. Stability and rotation.
Sara_PGASara Dickson, PGA

@golfgurutv was just at Stack & Tilt academy 2 days ago. Always about 30* w/ lead foot & we also increased my back foot from little to 20*
Sara_PGASara Dickson, PGA

@golfgurutv Front foot flare allows hip slide. Back foot flare helps hip rotation on Bs and for me slower body rotation on Ds for faster pa4
mattdgolfMatt Diederichs

@Sara_PGA @golfgurutv Less lateral shear force on knee joints IMO as well. Big difference!
BradReddingGolfBrad Redding

@golfgurutv OK back to original question. Trail foot square lead foot flair towards target.
So it seems that most are in favor of some foot flare. 10 to 30 degrees seems to be the consensus on the front foot. The back foot seemas to be mixed a bit.Some want it square and some flared.  So here is how I see it. I would love to hear from more coaches and players with their opinions as I am just trying to learn what is the best way for the player. From my experience:
1. One of the most consistent swing errors that I see is the trail hip moving lateral in the backswing (sometimes even moving the weight to the outside of the rear shoe). This can cause you to limit your shoulder rotation and throw off your timing and sequence in the downswing. It often happens when the player is trying to keep their hips still (X Factor). With a limited shoulder turn, your hands/arms and the club cannot get deep (more behind you) enough to have a chance to returning the club on plane or from the inside without a huge plane shift.
2. Secondly, I see so many golfers that have been drilled into their heads the importance of turning through the downswing that they don’t have enough lateral slide toward to target to allow the hands/arms club shaft to drop to the inside enough. They spin the body, keep their weight back too long and end up cutting across the ball. I call these players, “BACK SIDED SPIN DOCTORS”
So how will foot flare help these problems and why?
I would suspect that it has a lot to do with knee, hip and ankle mobility for sure so this should be checked. I work with som many golfers that have had knee and ankle injuries and foot positioning is crucial for these folks.
RIGHT FOOT FLARE: Angling your rear foot out 10 to 20 degrees will increase your ability to extend your rear leg and rotate your hips more. More hip rotation will increase your shoulder rotation. If you don’t think you turn your shoulders enough, check this and you will see what i mean. The right knee will change flexion on the backswing. Look at any good player and you will see this. I didn’t say straighten but change, very important. If you try to keep your right knee flexed and don’t let your hips turn……Unless you are extremely hypermobile….I would expect you to shoot somewhere in the low 200’s.

Both Feet Square "Blocked"

SQUARE FOOT: You will see golfers with this back foot position and you can do it if you have good hip/knee/ankle mobility. It is easier to roll to the outside of your rear foot with your weight in this position so be careful.

LEAD FOOT FLARE:Probably the most important foot position in the golf swing: Teachers like Mac O’Grady

Lead Flare back Square

and many others have spoken of the importance of left foot flare. So what benefit will you have by flaring your foot 10-30 degrees.

1. It allows for the hips to slide laterally longer in the downswing which slows down the shoulder rotation (keeps you spin doctors at bay). This allows time to drop the club to the inside much easier. So If you are a cut across slicer, you probably need more slide and less turn for sure.
2. It takes pressure off of the left knee as it allows the knee to get over or slightly outside the ankle joint before starting to straighten (or post)……Does Tiger Woods come to mind? His new more centered pivot requires more hip and knee slide toward the target which is easier on his bad knee…hmmmm? And he has more foot flare as well.  Less injury to the knees and ankles can’t be bad, right?
BOTH FEET FLARED = DUCK STANCE (best of both worlds)

The Duck Stance "My recommendation"


I see so many of my students that start with a square lead foot and pick it up and turn their toes toward the target and wonder why….Because it should have been there to begin with.
When you are watching football this weekend, pay close attention to the position of the place kickers lead foot and how that affects his ability to slide forward, swing his leg from the inside and turn his hips through the strike.
Ok, so that’s my take on foot flare. Would love to hear what you think as I am trying to learn and the more I look at players on the PGA tour the more different everyone looks so we need to make some sense of it all. Until then…..
Follow me on twitter
See you on the lesson tee at Carmel,

50,000 Page Views: Guru Thanks You For Your Support

Just wanted to tell all of you who have read my blog or watched an episode of GURU TV, Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope that I have helped your game or pointed you in the right direction in some way form or fashion. I created this blog for YOU, the passionate golfer and golf fan and I am excited to see what lies ahead as I start another chapter of writing and tv shows. As always, feel free to leave a comment in the comment section about what you would like to see in the blog or ask a question that I will air on Guru TV. I know I open it up to you from time to time with an ask the guru segment but this is the time of year as things slow down that I will be able to answer questions, shoot new episodes and interact with you all which is my goal. I am always accessible for you, the passionate golfer or coaches that want to communicate. You can find me in a variety of places in the social media world but most of all here:

Twitter:      – follow me and @ me to join the conversation

Facebook: – friend me up. I turn no one down as I leave no golfer behind

Check out my two fan pages: and

See you on the lesson tee at Carmel,


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