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

tim ferriss pic

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

tribe of mentors book

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.


The Daily Guru Episode 2 – PGA Show and Social Media

imagesI hope you had a great day wherever you are and thank you for the comments, text messages and positive feedback from yesterdays post. It was very cold here as I woke up to 16 degrees outside and I don’t think it got our of the 30’s which is cold for North Carolina. Of course my 14-year-old son has played golf the last 2 days but he rarely misses a day and he is off school but that is for another blog. I had a junior golf meeting this morning and gave one lesson inside “the dojo” hitting into the net which isn’t bad training. On Sunday I leave for Orlando for the PGA Show, for those of you who don’t know, its our big trade show where anything in the world of golf can be found. For me as an instructor, I look forward to seeing what is new in the training aid, video software or 3D motion capture world but mostly my time is spent catching up with old friends, networking with new friends and attending seminars for continuing education. Always trying to find that one or two nuggets that I can take back and implement in my teaching or at my facility. I am looking forward to several of the proponent group sessions and the Foot-Joy/Boditrak seminars but typically I learn more in the hall way/dinner discussions that are so valuable when I have the chance to spend time with other top instructors.

Twitter and New Social Media Platforms

Over the years I have tried most of the social media platforms and always tend to go back to twitter, Facebook, you tube and my blog for communication and learning. Since my goals have changed and I am in a different place in my career, I have backed off on twitter a little unless I really have something to share of say. It is still the fastest and best way to CC45xbtUsAAUduK.0communicate, build relationships and stay up with the world (depending on who you follow of course). Lately I have been spending more time on instagram and snap-chat which have been interesting. I don’t think these are just for kids as I think they can be great vehicles if used appropriately. I typically post swing or putting videos of some of my students to highlight their hard work on instagram and can link them to other sites if needed. Still messing with snapchat (golfguru1). Most people just post funny stuff in their lives and what is going on but I think it can be an effective marketing tool, even though the videos and pics disappear after a day. Live streaming has become popular with Mearkat leading the way and now Periscope is starting to be used by golf instructors to allow you to watch them work while being able to post comments and questions which I think can be valuable. The problem is in order to be most effective (in my opinion) there needs to be someone else holding the camera while you work or it is unrealistic and not as authentic. Still a pretty cool app that I will be using from time to time. I think it works best for a q and a session (face to face) or in a seminar setting. I have enjoyed how Jason Glass, fitness/TPI expert has used it as a daily show of sorts (Coach Glass TV) @jasonglasslab to share information with golfers and fitness trainers. Check him out if you get a chance. I did a show with a couple of my friends, @dennissalesgolf and Derek Radley earlier in the year talking about junior golf and college recruiting which I thought went well.

Lots of golf instruction questions floating around on twitter and Facebook such as “should the trail leg stay flexed or should it extend?” Are we really talking about this still? What is the proper footwork and how should be use the ground (grf’s). I have my thoughts but will save them for another time. Also, after watching the last couple of tour events, I think the golf commentators should seek out at least a general idea of the latest information in order to speak intelligently about some topics as they attempt to describe a golf swing…Brutal! Frank Nobilo at least tries to get the answers which I appreciate. Don’t even get me started about this Old School vs. New School debate….which will likely be my next workshop presentation (I hope you are signed up for Guru Workshop 5 on March 28th…if not click here  (shameless but necessary). Rant over!

Ok. Use the hashtag #askguru and Leave me some questions on twitter, instagram or snapchat or in the comment section and I will answer them on my next blog via text or video. Thanks so much for reading and don’t be afraid to use a share button at the bottom

Come and say hey in Orlando! See you soon



The 2016 Gurus Teaching and CoachingWorkshop


The 4th Annual 2015 Guru’s Teaching and Coaching workshop was such an incredible event and I can’t thank the presenters and all that attended enough for making it so successful. Based on all the great feedback from attendees, the amount of emails and messages inquiring “When is the next one scheduled” and my continued quest to provide educational opportunities to my fellow professionals (and a few glasses of wine with JG)….  I am excited to announce that I will be hosting (and presenting) the 5th Annual Guru Workshop on Monday, March 28th 2016 at Carmel CC in Charlotte, North Carolina and the lineup will not dissapoint. Every year I strive to put together the best coaches from all over the world to share their

guru workshop group pic
Guru Workshop 15 group pic

knowledge and expertise at an affordable price ($250.00…or 225.00 if you sign up before the end of the year). The entry fee will include lunch and a copy of the entire seminar on video. This years 3 coaches plus yours truly all display a diverse skill set and knowledge base that will make for a great day of learning, sharing and networking. I had 2 other well known teachers that were interested in participating but could not work it out because of their schedules so I am going to keep the list smaller to make room for expanded time for (LIVE Lessons) at the end of the day which has been a huge hit in the past workshops. ***There is an outside chance that their may be a late addition to the docket but I will announce that if It happens. As always, the pre-game  and post game social activities will allow you to meet and talk to the presenters in a relaxed social setting.


theboys2015 Presenters: (LtoR)Kirk Oguri, John Graham, James Hong, Jason Sutton, James Ridyard, Cameron McCormick

Here are the presenters for the 2016 Guru’s Teaching and Coaching Workshop:


Claude Harmon III

Beginning 5th season as Director of Instruction at The Floridian, Claude Harmon is in the vanguard of the new generation of golf teachers. Steeped in tradition both his grandfather, Claude Harmon, and father Claude “Butch” Harmon Jr., have been the dominant teachers of their generation.  The Harmon family pedigree  has been the  perfect foundation for Claude to build his knowledge of golf instruction. Claude’s teaching philosophy and methods have delivered lower scores and better, more repeatable swings for seasoned tour players, celebrities, and amateurs of all abilities and is now ranked 22nd on Golf Digest’s Best Teachers in America and a Golf Magazine Top 100 Instructor.

Claude plied his trade and learnt his craft around the world including Scotland, Portugal, Dubai, Macau and various locations across the United States. He worked full time on the European Tour from 2002-2006 traveling around the world coaching some of golf’s best players.  His present and past students include Ernie Els, Brooks Koepka, Yani Tseng, Trevor Immelman, Adam Scott, Graeme McDowell, Gary Woodland, Peter Uihlein, and Darren Clarke.  Claude is a TPI Certified Level 3 Golf Fitness Instructor, as well as TPI Level 2 Certified in Biomechanics and Junior Coaching.  He is uniquely qualified to apply “new school” teaching concepts in an “old school” fashion.  He is a regulator contributor to Golf Channel Morning Drive, Sky Sports Golf and is the host of Son of a Butch Radio on Sirius/XM.  twitter: @ch3golf


Mark Blackburn

Originally from England, Mark Blackburn arrived in America in 1994 on a college golf scholarship. A multiple Lettermen and Team Captain at The University of Southern Mississippi, Mark received a BS in Coaching & Exercise Science. While playing professionally, inconsistencies and injury led to questioning golf’s geometry and teaching theories. The answers transitioned into a coaching philosophy that applies a holistic sport science approach. Diagnosing poor golf patterns through a medical approach, then validating those findings and corrections withtechnology is the key to improved golf performance. Blackburn Golf, was founded in 2000. Mark a Certified PGA Member, TPI CGP LIII & GSEM continues to work with golfers of all levels. The Blackburn Golf Teaching Philosophy focuses on each student’s unique physical characteristics to develop an efficient and repeatable technique:

Mark was the Dixie Section PGA Teacher of The Year in 2008, 2009 & 2010, a finalist for The PGA National Teacher of The Year 2010-2014, Dixie Section Horton Smith Award winner in 2011, a Member of the TPI Advisory Board, on the Titleist Leadership Advisory Staff, A Golf Digest Top 40 Teacher in America Under 40 and one of Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Teachers in America. Blackburn Golf coaches juniors, club golfers, elite amateurs, college and professional clients from around the world. Clients that have and continue to be coached by Mark Blackburn & Blackburn Golf include: Heath Slocum, Robert Karlsson, Kevin Chappell, Andrew Putnam, John Peterson, Tyrone Van Aswegen, Boo Weekley, Nathan Green, Chad Campbell, YE Yang, Brian Gay, and Spike McRoy. twitter: @blackburngolf


  John Graham

Coming back for his 3rd straight year, I am proud to bring back one of the premier putting coaches in the game today, Mr. John Graham.John is a Level 4 Master Instructor of the AimPoint Green Reading System that also focuses on putting performance. John was recently voted as a Top Teacher in the State of New York and travels around the world improving all levels of players with their green reading and putting. John also spends a fair amount of his time traveling and working with his students on the PGA, LPGA and Tours. He is also business partners with short game coach, James Ridyard as they make up the Short Game Secrets Team. John’s list of outstanding students continue to grow. He has worked with or is currently working with PGA Tour and LPGA tour players:  Charles Howell III, Kris Tumilis, Trevor Immelmen, Jamie Lovemark and Mark Wilson.  twitter: @johngrahamgolf


    Jason Sutton

Just finishing his 4th season as Director of Instruction at the prestigious Carmel CC in Charlotte, NC, Jason Sutton “AKA The Guru” has been teaching and coaching for over 23 years with the last 16 years in a full time capacity. Here are a few highlights and honors:

  • 2015 Carolinas PGA Section Horton Smith Award Winner
  • 2013 Carolinas PGA Section Teacher of the Year
  • Member of the Carolinas PGA Teaching and Coaching Committee
  • Ranked #4 in the State of NC by Golf Digest 2015
  • Ranked #7 in the State of NC by Golf Digest 2013
  • Ranked #9 in the State of NC by Golf Digest 2009
  • Nominated 5 times to Golf Magazine top 100 list
  • AimPoint Certified since 2011
  • Teaches with Trackman, SAM Putt Lab and BodiTrak
  • Teaches numerous Mini tour,, Symetra Tour, Top amateurs, college players and elite juniors
  • Have been featured on radio shows such as: XM PGA Tour Radio (Dewsweepers golf show with Tony Ruggerio, Maginnes of Tap with John Maginnes) Global Golf Radio with Virgil Herring and Ned Michaels- 104.5)

Twitter: @golfgurutv

Thank you to all of you who have supported my workshop in the past and I look forward to seeing you all next March!


To reserve your spot: email me at Once you sign up, you will recieve a paypal invoice to pay your entry. The first 100 paid entry fees get in! Remember the date: Monday, March 28th from 9:00-6:00/ 250.00 entry…….(Early Bird Special) make sure take advantage of the 25.00 discount by signing up and paying before the end of the year

Please use one of the share features at the bottom to share this article AND USE THE HASHTAG #GURUWORKSHOP16




Using AimPoint For Course Strategy and Increasing Probability with John Graham

Once in awhile I like to post videos that I think will make an immediate impact on your game and this is one of them. Being an Aimpoint instructor myself, I heard John Graham talk about this when we did our Putting seminar together for the Carolinas section in the spring and I have been sharing this information with my clinics and students ever since. John is always thinking out of the box and taking the information to the next level. Thanks for doing this video as I hope it opens some eyes for some golfers to do 2 things 1) take an AimPoint clinic and 2) understand that it is not as hard core as people make it out be. Understanding the pieces that go into green reading is simply fine tuning your read and increasing your chances of making putts. It is still a SIGHT AND FEEL Exercise. The science is already built in to help you get closer to the answer.

Follow John on twitter @johngrahamgolf

and Me at @golfgurutv

Please share and comments are always welcome #makeeverything



The #1 Myth In Putting and How To Change It

In my last article I discussed what I feel is the most important factor in distance control (feel and touch) in the putting stroke. Aside from knowing how to read greens ( controlling the distance your ball rolls is critical. How do myths and misconceptions is golf get started? Someone has an idea, tries it, feels like it works and shares it with someone else. The word spreads and we have a myth or fact. The difference is that a fact is researched, tested with accurate data and hard numbers. I trust the numbers. Since having a data collector like the S.A.M. Putt lab, my staff and I have been able to learn a lot about what creates a great putting stroke and we have been able to help more of our players improve with some simple ideas and drills.

Cruise Through Impact don’t punch it!

Good putters arrive at impact mostly at a constant acceleration rate which means that their peak velocity is before impact. In my opinion, the average golfer overaccelerates because of 3 reasons:

1. They have been told by their buddies or other golf pros that when they leave a putt short they decelerated

Over acceleration
Over acceleration

2. they don’t have enough backswing  because they are trying not to make a mistake (tentative). They think shorter is more efficient

3. The don’t have enough speed in the backswing to have a smooth acceleration rate through impact.


How To Change It

The best way to change this profile, smooth out the stroke and also create some balance to the length of the stroke is as follows:

1. Take the putter back with more speed

2. If it is too short for the length of the stroke, add some length. (trial and error)

Constant Acceleration
Constant Acceleration

3. Don’t forget to brake at the finish (don’t be sloppy)

****You must get your putter velocity up to speed sooner in order to create a (cruising) through impact.

Consistency In Whatever you do Is Key

I understand that their are good players that can overaccelerate prior to impact and putt pretty good. But the best players arent always the best putters and can always improve. Whatever you do if you do it with a high consistency rate with repeatability you can make it work.

Closing Remarks – Results and Testing

I have shared this idea with few LPGA Tour players  EGolf pros, elite juniors, top amateurs including our club champ and many every day golfers and they it always makes sense to them and they have improved so their is something to it. I will keep testing it and researching it.

Let me know what you think, if you can improve on it or am I completely out of my mind. All I want to do is share great information with other golf coaches and help players play better.

Thanks for reading and don’t be afraid to share!

Follow me on twitter @golfgurutv


Putting – “The Art and The Science”


Is Putting an “Art or is it Science?” I think it is a little of both.  I have always considered myself a pretty decent putting coach as I have spent time with some of the best trying to learn how I can help my students more with such a huge part of the game. As a teacher we have to inspire our students to practice and to be willing to make changes that will show up in their score. Two years ago I had taken my putting instruction as far as it could go until I was introduced to two pieces of technology…..AimPoint Green Reading  and The S.A.M. Putt Lab. One for green reading and one for stroke mechanics and feel. I was now armed with a deadly combination that has taken my putting instruction to an entirely new level. I recently hosted and spoke at a PGA teaching seminar with my good friend, John Graham DSC_0314in which we focused on putting. John introduced AimPoint and I revealed some of the studies and findings of our S.A.M. Lab data that we have compiled over the last year. Thanks to my new assistant, Alex van der Linden (aka Poindexter the Golf Geek) for his expertise and helping me crunch the numbers we found some interesting trends and some valuable information that I think has helped us with our teaching. I won’t reveal all of our findings but want to focus on what I think is one of the most important part of being a great putter……TOUCH and FEEL. We know that distance control is important but how do you teach. Just giving your student a series of drills is not the entire answer or it isn’t the one that satisfied me or John Graham.

Speed vs. Acceleration and A Myth Dispelled

One of the most frequent ideas that I hear the average golfer say that they are trying to doDSC_0340 with their putting stroke is to ACCELERATE through the ball and follow through. They do this because they have the misconception that they always decelerate which couldn’t be further from the truth. Most of the golfers that we tested overaccelerated which means that their peak velocity happened after impact and peak acceleration happened just prior to impact. This makes it very difficult to control your speed. (see graph below)

overacceleration - double hump

What Good Putters Do

We found the opposite when testing PGA tour, LPGA tour, Mini DSC_0288Tour Players and top amateurs. they had constant speed control which included zero acceleration through impact. Good putters had a very flat top to their acceleration graph like the one below. Also I have posted a short video of a recent putting lesson that includes this common misconception as well as a few more helpful nuggets.will collins acceleration profiles


I believe that I have a way to change this pattern as I have had much success with my students. This way is easy to understand and is teachable through using the SAM Putt Lab to create the proper feel for the stroke. currently, Alex and I are doing a research project to test my theory to see if there is a distinct correlation between the profiles that we have seen and consistent distance control. Before I reveal my idea I would like to gather more data.

Follow me on twitter @golfgurutv

Here is the #makingeverthing


Guru’s Teaching Workshop with Special Guest John Graham

390723_2419228598183_1175444144_32457108_1456842240_nIn the eve of my departure to the National Teaching and Coaching Summit and the PGA AimPoint Certified black.2.0Merchandise Show, I wanted to announce that I would be hosting my second annual teaching seminar at Carmel Country Club on Monday, March 18th. I am also very excited to have John Graham as my guest speaker. John is from Rochester, NY and  is the Director of Instruction at Webster Golf Club. He is also a Senior Aimpoint Green 418262_3045357531015_1175444144_32700438_1144119419_nReading Instructor and an expert in the world of social media. For those of you who don’t know Mr. Graham need to take this opportunity to meet one of the greatest minds in golf instruction today and a very good friend of mine. At this seminar I will discuss my teaching philosophy for the full swing and John and I will share lots of  putting information. John and I have been doing some research using the SAM Putt Lab and have compiled plenty of data in the last year that we will share and discuss with the group. We will also be doing live lessons using the SAM Putt Lab and John will give you and overview of AimPoint technologies with some additional drills that you can share with your students. The cost is $100.00 and will run from 9:00  to 5:00. You will earn 5 msr points for your participation. I have an exciting day of learning and sharing quality golf information for you so I hope you can join John and I for this great event. Here is and overview of my program and how to sign up. I hope to see everyone in Orlando.

  • The 5 Mastermind Skills that every teacher should know – The CGA Framework304280_2312143841131_1175444144_32381511_1042688301_n
  • The art of moving and manipulation the student to create pattern changes
  • How to use technology to speed up the learning process
  • Teaching Putting at the Next Level – Learn the 5 Most Important Aspects of Putting  and how to teach them
  • S.A.M. Putt Lab Data and research will be revealed that will dispel the most common myth in putting
  • Live Putting Lessons using the S.A.M. Putt Lab that will teach you how to move the numbers and help your students improve faster
  • How to use the 4 corners of social media to drive business, create brand awareness andD-plane_2_11 improve your teaching skills
  • An Introduction to AimPoint Green Reading with drills to share with your students

Date:  Monday, March 18th

Place: Carmel Country Club, 4735 Carmel Road, Charlotte, North Carolina

Cost: 100.00/person

Email Jason Sutton to reserve your spot

 If you have any questions feel free to say hello at the PGA Show. I would love to meet you all.



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

twitter 3

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

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