The Daily Guru – Episode 3 “College Coaches and Recruiting”

coastncaaWhat’s up everyone? Like I said in my first entry, this will be a whats on my mind, brain dump, journal like space. Not worrying too much about structure, punctuation or grammar (although my left brain won’t let me hit the button without a spell check). I know that will drive a few of you crazy, so save your text messages and DM’s…not to mention any names….@kevinjpmurray¬†ūüôā just kidding my friend. ¬†So let me tell you about my day. Today was a big day for my son, Nicklaus, who is a freshman in High School. He had his first recruiting visit today with UNCC and coach Cabbage. I know for those of you who aren’t dealing with golf recruiting might think this is too early but it’s not. There are several kids in his class whom have already committed…which I am not a big fan of…but I continue. I have been very fortunate over my career to coach several players that have gone onto play college golf but honestly until the last couple of years I haven’t spent the time to learn the rules and regulations of the recruiting process and how the coaches deal with players, evaluate them and ultimately how I can improve the chances of the players that I coach in playing college golf. We had an outstanding day as I was able to step back and observe Nicklaus and the coach get to know each other, ask questions and get a feel of college life as a student athlete. Coach Cabbage did a great job of giving Nick the picture and the vision of his outstanding program and a fantastic job of making us feel comfortable with the entire process of recruiting with honest answers to all of our questions. I have great respect for Coach Cabbage as one of my players just committed to play there andimages (4) today just deepened my trust in every way. I won’t divulge everything that we talked about today out of respect for coach but I will share with you a few thoughts about what I have learned from this process and how it may help you if you are a coach (or a parent) or a player wanting to play college golf. I will learn more as I go through this process as a parent/coach. We have another visit at NC State this Saturday. Good times for sure.

First, A few thoughts on college coaches from a swing coach’s perspective. The college golf coach should not recruit a kid and then attempt to become his/her swing coach. You recruited the kid because of their talent and potential and it is important not to mess with that. The great coaches such as my friend, Derek Radley (UofA womens asst.) stress the importance of the relationship between the college coach and the kids Swing Coach.¬†If I were the college coach, that would be the first phone call that I made to get a good idea of their work ethic, potential, attitude and a read on the parents. Yes the parents. If the kid does come and play for them, they already have a relationship with the swing coach if the kid starts to struggle. There is no excuse with coaching apps like Edufii which allows for you to invite the college coach into the training space in order for them to see what you are working on with the player. Such a great feature. ¬† It is ok for them to be another set of eyes as long as they know what they are working on. The college coaches job is to evaluate talent, recruit, motivate, listen, lead, keep stats (pulse checks on strengths and weaknesses) and structure practices in order to get the most out of their players. I have just heard too many stories from kids (usually from mini-tour players when its too late) that the coach is looking at trackman numbers and wanting me to change what made them great.

2. Play as many of the big tournaments that you can get into. If you aren’t qualified then play whatever you can to get that experience. There is a big difference in playing your daily games with your friends, giving putts and for fun than when you have to post a score in a tournament with tough pins, less than optimal weather conditions and with better players. The more you do it the more comfortable you will become. If you don’t know what to play in, ask your swing coach.

3. Pick the colleges that you would like to attend. Start with your dream list and then pick some that you know that you can likely play for and start sending out emails introducing yourself, your past tournament results and your upcoming playing schedule so they can come out and watch you play. You can email or call coaches and talk to them but they can’t respond or call you until Sept. 1 of your junior year. Other than a questionnaire that they will send you after you contact them which is code word for (You are on the radar).

****Tip of the Day for juniors going through the recruiting process: coaches are not just looking at your scores although they are important. They are looking at things like: attitude when you hit a bad shot or have a bad hole. How do you bounce back? You all act right when you hit a good shot or make a birdie..learn to control your emotions. 2) How you dress. Are you matching with your shirt tucked in and your clothes pressed? Or are you a wrinkled mess with your shirt half way out. I know there are great players that might dress sloppy but you are not making a good impression. 3) How do you treat your fellow competitors? with respect of are you…as they….the kid that no-one wants to play with. I am not saying you have to talk the entire round but be respectful and compliment them on good play. Lastly, carry yourself with confidence. As I like to call it “Take up some space”. Good players have a way about the way they walk, talk and handle themself on the golf course. If you don’t know what that looks like, watch Jordan Speith.

Enough for today. Send me some questions on twitter, instagram or snap-chat #askguru or comment and don’t be afraid to share





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



How I Use Video For My Members (CGA TV)

This article is not designed to teach you how to use video in a golf lesson but to describe to 41441you (teaching pros/golf pros) how I use video as a communication tool for my members and students. As I come to the end of my 3rd year at the best club in America (Carmel CC), I look back on some best practices that I started that I felt was successful in allowing me to change the culture and the instruction perception to match my vision and goals for my team and for the club. The number one idea that we use to this day is filming video tips that I share with the members every week or two. There is not a day that goes by when I don’t pass a member with a kind word about the latest video tip and how it helped their game or that they need to come down and see myself or one of my team for a lesson. I realized early on that just because you have a large membership it doesn’t mean that they will come to you for lessons. They need to get to know the instructional staff, what they teach and who they stand for and there is no better way than shooting a quality video to let them get an idea of your personality, your presence and most importantly…..what you look like ūüôā I have also toyed with using video newsletters to communicate the programs that you have coming up or a simple reminder of anything that you want them to know about the instruction team such as introducing a new team member or an interview with a guest instructor or expert in the business.


To make quality videos you don’t have to necessarily have the most expensive camera or equipment. I use a simple¬†Kodak Playful camera with HD quality video. The most important piece is the “wireless mic” for sure. The sound quality or lack their of can ruin a video quicker than a bad picture. I use the Asden¬†wireless mic and it works fine for what we do. I also use Microsoft windows movie maker software to do some basic editing but you can purchase more expensive programs such as Sony Vegas which I used to use back in the day.


1) keep your message clear and concise (try to limit your non-words)

2) keep your videos 6 minutes or less (3 minutes is better but if it is longer it better be good)

3)start videos with a close up of your face and then zoom out as you describe your message. Let the audience see your face

4)Make sure your facing the sun so the picture is not shadowed and then can see you clearly. I did some great videos that were dark awhile ago and learned this the hard way

5) Always try to include a drill or exercise that the viewer can go to the range or putting green and try immediately (call to action is important)

The world is moving fast and the day of reading emails or written newsletters are coming to an end. Video is the what the people want and is the most effective way to communicate and get your members or students attention. I hope this helps as a best practice if you are looking for a better way to boost your teaching or golf shop business.


Thanks for reading and watching. What are some of your ideas that have worked for you? Dont be afraid to  share

follow me on twitter @golfgurutv






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 Guru On “Titleist Fitters Forum” – My Golf Channel Experience

A few months ago, I was approached by my Titleist¬†rep and was asked to do a few shows on the Golf Channel called “The Titleist¬†Fitters¬†Forum.” I kindly accepted and wanted to share my first episode and a few thoughts on the experience. I did 4 shows total which included the first ever putter fitting segment which I am proud of. For those of you who follow me know that I have been really focusing on becoming a more knowledgeable and proficient putting coach so I look forward to seeing how it came out. The Titleist¬†and Golf Channel people couldn’t have been nicer and more professional. With all the high tech¬†equipment, cameras, lighting and staging of the sets, I took a lot of mental notes that I will put into action as I do my little Carmel Golf Academy TV show for the members at Carmel. I hope you enjoy this short segment and I will post the upcoming shows as they are presented to me. Thanks for all the kind tweets, emails and facebook messages from everyone who saw it on the Golf Channel

Titleist Fitters Forum


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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.

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Here is the #makingeverthing


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



The Top 10 Course Management Mistakes That Golfers Make

I recently had a question on twitter. Thank you @mstaley for your question because I think it is an important one. “What are the biggest mistakes that the average golfer makes in their course management?” As I prepare for my mental game seminars this winter, I thought I would come up with a top 10 list and see if we can help your games without changing your swing mechanics or putting stroke. So here we go!

1. Not hitting enough club on approach shots¬†– I think this stems firstly from not knowing how far each club carries to begin with. I encourage you to find someone who has¬†a launch monitor and do a gapping¬†session. Most golfers rely on their absolute best shot distance instead of their average which doesnt leave room for a slight miss hit. Make a card with your distances on it and put it in your bag for reference. Don’t let your ego get in the way of your golf score.

2. Aiming at every flag no matter what – I use the stop light color code system whencoaching students around the course. There are three types of flags. 1)red – a flag that is tucked behind a bunker or a water hazard or that is very close to the edge of one side. yellow – this is an exposed pin that is closer to the front or the back of the green. It will bait you into trying to get it close but you have to make sure to take the correct club. Green – This is a flag that is in the middle of the green or is very accessible for the ball to land and stop. These are “Go Zone” opportunities. There are typically about 6 of these per round so take advantage of these. For the average golfer 15-25 handicap, you will be well served to play to the largest part of the green and take your chances. You will be amazed at how your scores will decrease.

3. Hitting Driver On Every Hole¬†– There is no rule that you have to hit driver on every par 4 or 5. It is important to know your strengths and weaknesses and driving can be a key weakness if you don’t play smart. We all have our holes that we struggle with at our home course. My advice is to change your strategy. Hit a fairway wood or a hybrid off the tee and see if your scores don’t improve. You must have room to miss your tee ball and still keep it in play. If the hole is super tight, play a shot that you know that you can get in play 80% of the time even if you give up a little distance. Dont let your playing partners dictate your game plane. Stick to it!

4. Trying To Play the Hero Shot¬†– One of my “NEVER’S” in course management¬†is never hit two bad shots in a row if you can help it. This usually refers to trouble shots. You have pushed your tee¬†shots into the trees and have to decide on what to do. 1) hit a 80 yard slice with a hybrid through a 6 foot gap just to hit the green or 2) punch out into the fairway in the large gap that you could drive your truck through. Most players choose #1 just because they saw Bubba¬†Waston¬†do it in the Masters. No. take your medicine and eliminate the big number. Wedge it on and try to make par the hard way but take double or worse out of the equation.

5. Putting To the Apex of the Putt¬†– As an Aimpoint¬†Green reading instructor, this is a huge pet peeve. I am not going to go into this as it could become an entire article but I hear this constantly from golfers when asked to read a putt. The apex is the top of the curve on a breaking putt. If you “Aim” at the apex, your ball will begin to break early in the putt and always miss low and will never make it to the “Apex.” The apex is an area that ball will roll through if the ball is started on the correct line. My advice is twofold 1) Take an AimPoint Class and 2)Play 20%¬†more break than you think and you will come out ahead in the long run. We always want the ball breaking toward the hole. If you under read your putts, you must hit the ball too hard or miss on the low side and have no chance.

6. Not taking advantage of the teeing ground¬†– After you have picked your target off the tee, I would suggest you tee off on the side that you don’t want to miss it. For example – You have a par 4 with water down left side. Tee of on the left side of box which will open up your target area

7. Using Too Much Loft Around the Green¬†– There are times when you must play your toss shots up in the air over obstacles. But there are many more times when you have lots of green between your and hole and you still hit it up in the air and come up short. Don’t be one-dimensional. Learn to use¬†your gap wedge to hit toss shots and learn to use less lofted clubs and hybrids to hit the higher percentage shots. Play the lowest shot allowable is my philosophy.

8. Know your strengths and weaknesses РFor you higher handicaps, I suggest that you find your favorite club that you can hit into the air just about every time. Fairway woods are difficult to hit off of the ground for most players. It is OK to hit your tee shot, hit 2 seven irons up to the green and finish the hole. Work on your weaknesses on the practice range and have fun shooting lower scores. I once had a twice a year golfer shoot 43 during a playing lesson by hitting his 7 wood off the tee, 7 iron until we reached the green and pitched it on and made many pars and bogeys. There is no blueprint.

9. Letting A Bad Shot Ruin Your Round¬†– It’s easier said than done but we must have an effective post shot routine. We all get upset over bad shots but when they carry over for several holes then we have a problem. I allow my students 10 seconds to be angry and once that club goes back into the bag we focus on the next shot. This takes practice but it will pay off in the long run.

10. Carrying Too Many Negative Thoughts or Swing Thoughts into the Play Box (address position)¬†– We have all heard how important a pre-shot routine is in helping you stay focused on the shot at hand. Here is what I recommend. As you are standing behind the ball and preparing to play, ask yourself 2 questions…1)Where is my target? and 2)How do I want my ball to get there? This will help you block out distractions and help you focus on the whats important. Once you get into the play box, check your target, visualize the shot and “Don’t Forget To Breathe”

I hope you enjoyed this post. Many things in golf are common sense but we often need to be reminded of the basics. Play smart and enjoy shooting lower scores.

Feel free to share with someone who loves golf by using the buttons at the bottom and thanks for reading.

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