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

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.

Guru

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Full Swing Coaching Program Practice with Team Guru with special guest Nicklaus Sutton


Three years ago I transformed my teaching into purely “Long Term Coaching Programs” which include supervised practices with the team #teamguru. Here is an opening presentation of a full swing session with a few guys where I discuss the difference between “blocked vs. random” practice and the key to getting your range swing to the golf course. I had the help of my son, Nicklaus who is one of the top juniors in NC. He was gracious enough to hit some shots for us and talk about what we are working on together.

 

Don’t be afraid to share by using one of the buttons below and follow me on instagram @golfgurutv and snapchat @golfguru1

Thanks for reading and watching

Guru

The Daily Guru Episode 5 – PGA Recap and a HOT teaching topic


 

 

I know it has been a few days but I have been trying to get caught up (and recover) from another great week in Orlando at the PGA Show. It is always an interesting week of catching up with old friends, networking and meeting new friends and trying to digest all that is new and exciting in the golf business. For those of you who attended you know that it is impossible to see everything and everybody so you do the best you can. My week was divided between our Annual AimPoint Green Reading Summit on Monday-Tuesday to some great presentations and educational seminars at the GTP Open Forum and Proponent Group followed by attempting to walk the floor to see that newest training aids and technology in the teaching world.

Open forum hosted by Nick Chertock, Chris Como and Michael Michaelides just keeps getting better every year and I appreciate their continued hard work. I am not sure you will ever see a better group of the top coaches in the industry gathered in one room for 7 hours of sharing information. It is such a fun night and I always learn something in the process.open forum Presentations by Dr. Duffey, Rob Houlding, John Dunigan, David Orr, Chuch Cook, Sasha McKenzie and Liam Mucklow were awesome. The short game and instructional panels were very  interesting especially when you get to hear from the players perspective i.e Brad Faxon and Grant Waite. Another great night of learning and interaction was had for sure. 

The Tweet Up is alive and well with our new hosts, Megan Padua and VikkiVanderpool. Thanks girls for all your hard work and  for a great night of catching up with the gang. See if you can name all of these coaches in the picture plus one tour player. Strong group indeed12662672_10100454467849653_8789851450571400416_n

Big thanks to Lorin Anderson for putting together another great educational presenters lineup for Proponent Group. Jon Sinclairs presentation on 2d vs 3d with a little wedge info was fantastic as was David Orrs putting information. After spending a couple of days with Mr. Sinclair, I learned so much from him and about what he does and the information that he has gathered is going to be unbelievable as he presents at my Guru Workshop on March 28th. Thank you Jon for allowing me to pick your brain and answering all my questions at dinner. Also thank you to David Orr for the hallway discussion at the open forum where he cleared up some up some questions that I had about putting and confirmed some of my research information which was helpful. Always willing to share which is great.

Big congrats to my junior golf leader, Maggie Simons for making the Top 50 US Kids Teacher list. Im very proud!12642656_10100454467485383_2403433539268560312_n

12642619_10100454467435483_7073681339111760697_nIt is always great to catch up with so many friends and meet a few new ones. If we didn’t get to talk to you or meet you I apologize and will catch you at some point down the road. Shout out to my crew and roommates, Allen Burton, Dennis Sales, Rob McGill, Jason Helman and Preston Combs for putting up with me all week. I always learn something from all of you through our late night discussions. Just a bunch of golf swing geeks that can’t get enough of talking about teaching and coaching and sharing new ideas about how we can help our students get better. You guys are awesome!

Alright so onto my top training aid  or wish list: Like I said earlier, you can’t get around to every booth. I typically get other teacher friends to tell me what they liked we can build our list from there. It saves time as I can go to what tends to pop up the most. It was great walking the show with one of my mentors, Ed Ibarguen as we looked at a few pieces of technology that looked pretty good. Here are my top 5:

  1. Smart2Move Biomechanical Motion Capture Force Plates – Click to watch a short video on smart2move force plate logo

ikkos_masthead_logo22. Ikkos Neuroplacity Training – Click for Ikkos video

3. Sure Set Golf – Click for a demonstration videodf-rotator01a

 

 

 

 

4. 4 -D Motion capture – click to watch 4 D motion capture video

5. Blast Motion – This one is not there yet but has potential. Biomechanicanist, Michael      Bentley knows what he is doing so I expect this one to get better every year.

Teaching Thought for the day: I wanted to share a facebook post that I enjoyed from a good friend of mine, Robert Linville (I hope he doesn’t mind if I repost it). It is a topic that has bugged me for awhile and he put it so well I didn’t want to mess it up. Also, this will be my topic for my talk at Guru Workshop 16 “Old School vs. New School”

Robert Linville writes-

There is a debate in the golf instruction industry that makes no sense to me. The issue is whether the use of technology (Trackman, Flightscope, SwinGuru, Boditraks, etc) is making students more technical and less reliant on their feel and abilities to truly learn, therefore hurting student’s performance. My experience leads me to opinion that is quite the opposite.
My teaching philosophy has always been based on these three basic principles:
1. What did the ball do.
2. What did the club do to cause the ball flight.
3. What did the person do to cause the club to move a certain way.
The better my diagnosis is, the more simple the learning process becomes for the student.

The advancements in technology have allowed me to understand ball flight laws better. (Everything I was taught 30 years ago was actually backwards and very wrong). New advancements in technology have allowed me to understand the golf club/golf ball relationship to ball flight much better. New advancements have helped me understand bio-mechanics better. All of this makes me a more informed and better teacher/coach.

This information allows me keep the information I dispense as simple as possible, and allows the student to use self-discovery to find the how. I can diagnose the what and why much quicker, and lead the student in the right direction because of a better diagnosis. The use of technology has made me a much less technical teacher, not the other way around. They are just tools for learning.

This debate and lack of understanding is very, very sad and very disturbing as it relates to my industry. We should be all be embracing new advancements in information. One last thing…just because a teacher says they keep it simple will not be helpful if the simple information is wrong.

My thought: If you haven’t been out to watch a top teacher utilize Trackman or any other piece of technology in their instruction, you have no write to assume how they use it with your students. I can assure you it hasn’t made me over technical.  Don’t judge until you get the facts!

So there you have it. I am sure there was so much more that you saw,  so let me hear what your favorite part of the PGA show was . Leave your comment at the bottom, tweet me or PM me on Facebook.

Have a great weekend

Guru

How Has Your Teaching Changed? Or Has It?


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During my snowbound days of being trapped in my house, I typically turn to twitter and the telephone to get the teaching juices flowing. So I posted the question tonight on twitter, “What is one thing are you teaching now that you didn’t five years ago due to new accurate information?” I got some very good answers that I would agree with like

1. The ball starts where the face is pointing

2. that hitting down doesn’t make the ball spin more

3. What it takes to hit a straight shotimages

With all the new technology such as Trackman, Flightscope, AMM 3D and KVest and soon to be GEARS…..we have some answers that maybe we didn’t have in the past that could change our views on the golf swing, club delivery, ball flight and equipment. There has been much debate on the research that some of the top scientist are doing that will definite help us understand much of what we couldn’t see with a video camera, such as rotation rates, ground force reactions, wrist speed, torques of the shaft etc. etc. etc. I still think there is a place for observational science as long as it is followed by positive change and results.   I am a big fan of research and although I am not a scientist, I still use these measuring tools to do my own research,  but I think the area that I am most interested once I get my head around this information is……wait for it! HOW DO WE COMMUNICATE THESE IDEAS TO THE AVERAGE GOLFER SO THEY CAN USE IT TO IMPROVE!images (1)

This is why I preach’ “Don’t be lazy in language” Learn to communicate by explanations that make sense and also learn how to move your students properly to create a feel to connect with the change. I know some teachers don’t believe this but this is what I believe. It does not show weakness in a teacher, it just another vehicle for long-term change. Ok back to the topic, sorry!

So here is what I have changed in my teaching in the last  5 years in its simplest form:

1. Knee action – I used to try to keep the flex in the rear leg but realized how I was hampering my student’s ability to get more shoulder rotation with is critical for overall shape of swing. Much more important than creating separation of hips/shoulders. I now let rear leg extend to increase hip turn.

2. How important hand path is to sweet spot controll. Hand path and how it relates to the force vector in the downswing relative to where the club head path is. All good players let the clubhead drop behind the hand path in transition and players that let hands get away from body in downswing get the shanks 🙂

3. How pivot style affects low point control – I definitely teach less weight transfer to the rear foot than I used to. I prefer to keep the center of the shoulders on top of the hips. It is not an absolute but it increases the chances of controlling the bottom of the circle. I know that weight/pressure moves to the backside so don’t start screaming. This has nothing to do with head movement although we tend to use the head as a reference, but I would prefer to not have too much side to side or bobbing.

4. Weight Forward Is a Big Deal – I definitely teach much more hip slide in the transition than I used to. In order to move the path direction to the right, which is what most of the students that I teach need, the weight/pressure has to move quicker and smoother to the front side. Sliding and keeping the hips closed longer slows the shoulders down to allow for the club to shallow out easier which helps the average golfer immensely. If you are trying to spin your hips to start your downswing (unless you are an under planer) you will pull the club out to in and across the ball.

5. More neutral shaft lean at address and impact in pitching  (and shallower A o A) – Thanks to Andrew Rice,  Mr. Vokey and Dave Nevelle from Titleist and Vokey wedges, I now understand how the wedge should interact with the turf properly. I used to teach a lot of shaft lean and a bowed lead wrist at impact. I now understand that this causes the club ….to dig too much and come out too low.I also now know that we need a shallower angle of approach to increase spin (not hitting down). I now teach a more neutral shaft with enough weight forward to still maintain low point and a solid strike. I also want the handle to move up and in at post impact.  For more information on wedges check out my friend Andrew Rice’s site at www.andrewricegolf.com

I have learned a lot more than just this 5 but I will leave the rest for my seminar in March.

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The point is. The great teachers are always learning. The great teachers aren’t afraid to say that they didn’t understand or I didn’t know that but I am glad I do now. If you are teaching the same stuff that you were teaching 5 years ago then you aren’t paying !attention.  We have to continue to learn from research but don’t forget one of the most important aspects of teaching: BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE. If you can’t relate your ideas to your student, then you have lost the battle of improvement. I don’t care how much you know about the golf swing. The great ones can do it all!

I am counting on YOU to help me grow the game!Behavioral-Science

Thanks for reading and don’t be afraid to share

follow me on twitter @golfgurutv

Guru

2013 Guru’s Top Twitter Active Teacher List (The Ultimate FF)


twitterAs the end of 2013 draws near, it is a great time to reflect on our year but also to recognize people in our industry that help grow the game in so many ways. I hope that you all have accomplished your goals and are ready to set new ones for 2014. I have had an outstanding year thanks to so many of you and my outstanding team (Adam Ohsberg, Maggie Simons and Alex Van der linden). I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your efforts as I have learned so much from you and enjoy watching your continued growth as professionals and as outstanding people.  Being recognized as the Carolina PGA Section Teacher of the Year is such a huge honor and I am so humbled by this award. Awards like this don’t happen without a lot of help and guidance from my mentors. The people who you choose to be around you says so much about who you are and what you twitter 4stand for.  I hope that the way I conduct myself has made a small impact on the attitude and direction that our industry is heading. The days of putting yourself in a little box, protecting the information and best practices that you have accumulated over the years and refusing to share it with anyone in the hopes that you may get ahead of the next guy is OVER. The days of sharing, discovering through continued research and mentoring others is what we must focus on going forward. Our game and the ones following in our footsteps are counting on us to set the example and share what has been passed down to us with them.  This is the only way that we are to improve our skills as coaches and how we will be able to help guide the average golfer to improvement. This is the what I call the Cycle of Evolution For Growing the Game.  Even though this list focuses on Twitter, the use of social media has grown in many ways and has allowed us as coaches a platform to provide golfers and other coaches with valuable information that will help us all grow and improve.download

The Goal Of The List

The main goal of this teacher list is to highlight individuals that are ACTIVE on twitter and doing the following: 1) sharing quality content 2) engaging with other coaches and golfer…which means answering tweets, using debate in a healthy way (no bashing other teachers) 3) promoting and lifting up other coaches to improve and recognizing good work

Requirement To Qualify for List = Must have at least 2000 Tweets (as I promised from last year). Next Year will be 3000 minimum

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It has been incredible to see the growth in the number of tweets and the number of followers from last years professionals. I have a couple of special categories for a few amateurs that are doing some great things and a couple of sport psychologists as well. I also am recognizing some of the coaches that I feel have a lot to share but didn’t quite make the tweet count. I hope this will motivate you to shoot some video, start a blog, reach out to some of these coaches that can help you. because they will be willing to help in many ways. I don’t want to hear the excuse that you are too busy teaching and that your lesson book is full. I am pretty sure that most of these folks are busy, I know that I am…..you just have to make it a priority and view it as important. Twitter should be a part of your improvement plan for 2014. Before I get to the list, Happy New Year and I hope to meet you all at the #tweetup13 in Orlando. So here you go…………………!!images (2)

Congratulations to the 18 new inductees that are the first on the list so you can click and  follow them!

Number of Tweets

  • Steven Giuliano                                         3722
  • Mark Russo                                                5409
  • Jeff Smith                                                   2417
  • Mario Bevilacqua                                      3316
  • Jim Ragland                                               3786
  • Kandi Comer                                              4566
  • Mark Strong                                               2546
  • Virgil Herring                                             3062
  • Brad Myers                                                4442
  • Bill Devore                                                  5616
  • Andrew Steep                                            12500
  • Steven McDaniel                                       6579
  • Joe Jezzard                                                4913
  •  
  • Steven Aumock                                         4348
  • Martin Chuck                                            2775
  • Steve Dresser                                           4101
  • Bill Schmedes                                            2353
  • Todd Halpen                                             18800

                                                                                                               

  • John Graham                @johngrahamgolf                   59000
  • Sara Dickson                 @sara_pga                              26670
  • Jason Helman               @jasonhelmangolf.com          6601
  • Rob McGill                     @golfprorob                           10459
  • Kirk Oguri                      @kirkoguri                             19576
  • Andrew Marr                 @andrewmarrgolf                10676
  • Dennis Sales                   @dennissalesgolf                   11365
  • Andrew Rice                   @andrewricegolf                   4884
  • Mike Fay                          @mikefaygolf                       11091
  • James Ridyard                @jamesridyard                     12121
  • Vikki Vanderpool           @vvanderpool                        5243
  • Mark Sweeney                 @aimpointgolf                      5104
  • Brad Redding                  @bradreddinggolf                   6304
  • Ed Bowe                            @bowegolf                              6489
  • Mark Durland                  @durlandgolf                          2708
  • Andy Griffith                    @andygriffiths1                      6250
  • Ryan Chaney                     @oraclerio                              6912
  • Rick Grayson                    @rickgraysongolf                   5237
  • Ryan Crysler                      @ryancrysler                       20241
  • Josh Boggs                         @boggspga                             2791
  • Hugh Marr                          @hughmarr                           5069
  • Erik Barzeski                     @iacas                                      7865
  • Mitch Walz                         @walzygolf                             7902
  • Robert Campbell               @rcampbellgolf                     2282
  • Petri Parviainen                 @piiter77                              8496
  • Ian Peek                               @ianpeekgolf                       7124
  • Jamie Donalson                 @golfdonaldson                     8281
  • Keith Stewart                      @kjpga                                  2323
  • Matt Diederichs                  @mattdgolf                          18400
  • Blake Graham                     @blakegrahampga               17200
  • Denise Hastings                  @hastingsgolf                         2147
  • Brett Packee                         @brettpackeegolf                4772
  • Joe Mayo                             @trackmanmaestro             7879
  • George Connor                   @connorgolf                         3237
  • Denis Pugh                          @Dpugh54                            9737
  • Derek Hooper                     @derekhoopergolf               2193
  • TJ Yeaton                             @tjyeatongolf                     2750
  • Chris Gibson                        @chrisgibsongolf                4196
  • Jesse Struebing                   @jstruebs                             6739
  • Kate Tempesta                     @KTUrbangolf                  3047
  • Andy Gordon                       @andygordongolf               4545
  • Martin Park                          @parkythepro                   13254
  • Kevin Flynn                          @kflypga                             6949
  • James Martin                       @James_W_martin         2671
  • Meindert Jan Boekel          @BKLGolf                            5722
  • Donal Scott                           @donalscott                         4415
  • Michael Balderstone            @mjbalderstone                  3098

Here are a few amateurs that are doing a great job of growing the game through social media

google plus1. Ricky Lee Potts@rickyleepotts aside from the many talks that he has given at PGA shows and such about how to use social media, he is leading the way with his incredible Google + Golf (almost 10,000 members) group. He utilizes the group to promote teaching professionals with his Friday Foursome hangouts as well as sharing information with golfers all over the world

golf progress2. Nick Chertock –  @golfprogress. Nick is an avid golfer that has started several groups on Facebook including the most popular (Golf Teaching Professionals) group which attracted over 200 top teaching pros to the first LIVE forum at the PGA show. Talking about thinking out of the box . You don’t want to miss this years as it is going to be awesome.

top_dplane_3002. Rich Hunt – @richie3jack  Rich is doing some incredible analysis on PGA tour stats that is changing the way golfers and pros are thinking about different parts of the game. Make sure you get his 2013 golf synopsis that can be found on his twitter page.

Sports Psychologists – Dr. Bhrett McCabe, PHD , Andy Morrison

images (3)

Up and Coming Twitter Coaches (Guys and Girls that have alot to share and need to tweet more)

Corey Lundberg, Brandon Roby,Cameron McCormick, James Hong, Alex Pisano,         Adam Ohsberg, Maggie Simons,Alex van der LindenMegan Padua, Tim Cooke, Scott Chisholm, Allen Burton, Skip Maiwald, Tom Stickney, Travis Lloyd, Aaron Olson

Thanks so much for reading and feel free to share!

Guru

Golfers….Stop Majoring In the Minors!! Keys To Being A Better Student


I haven’t posted anything new in a while and received an excellent topic from one of my twitter friends, Blaze Grinn (click to follow him on twitter), which is “How to keep your students on task?” I know I post a lot about how we can get better as coaches and teachers but this is about the students and ” How To Be A Better Student.” If you are out there trying to get better at this crazy game, how do you do it? This is an important question that you need to ask as we get ready to start a new year and golfing season. We all set goals and expectations but I can tell you that you must assemble a quality team to have any chance to achieve them. The first person you need to hire is your golf teacher. One that you trust, has the knowledge and expertise to answer your questions but more importantly is willing to be a part of your plan to achieve your goals. So here are some important ideas that have to be considered before you take a lesson.

A Commitment Level  That Matches Your Goalsreach_for_the_stars_poster-rdcd2d3071ab84c329c371c2a675982e6_ayhe_152

1. Expectations Must Match Commitment – One of the first questions that I ask every student after establishing a specific goal is “How much time do you have to practice and play?” For example: If you are a 16 handicap and want to be an 8 handicap by years end and you are able to practice once a week and play once on the weekend then you are not being realistic. It’s like myself starting to work for your sales force and wanting to break all of your records but only wanting to work the standard 40 hours a week. It isn’t going to work, so be realistic and share BE HONEST with your coach so you can set goals that you can achieve.

2. Trust Your Coach No Matter What – Your coach has your best interest at heart and I would encourage him to lay out the plan for your improvement and be specific. If might look like, (takeaway, pivot, path) = push draw that doesn’t cross target line (goal). Or it may be a short game or putting specific plan. Whatever it is, you must stick to the plan. If it is not on the list, don’t waste time worrying about it because YOU think it is the right thing. (you are not the expert)

3. Looks can be dangerous – One of the things that I have learned from teaching with TrackmanTrackman is that impact alignments are always more important than the look of a swing. I understand that there are position changes that often need to be made in order to change ball flight but it is about a repeatable impact condition that is important. It is up to the coach to discern whether you can achieve the goal with your individual move and if it is worth changing. Don’t change for a picture but rather a result that will hep you play better.  Most of the time students fall into the trap of trying to look like someone they saw on TV or in a magazine or better yet one of their playing partners. Clarification by the coach is important is this respect and is necessary to make sure you are working on what is important instead of what is perceived to LOOK good. Example: If some coach would have tried to change Jim Furyks’ position at the top, we may have never heard of him. It is a good thing that his father figured out that he was repeating where it is important and didn’t change it.

4. Stay Focused On The Majors – When taking a lesson it is important to not try to get ahead of the teacher of out think the process. Stay focused on the couple of things that the learning picinstructor has you working on and that’s it. Typically lessons fail because the student has a hard time letting go of what they thought they should be working on instead of focusing on what the teacher is trying to get you to focus on. STAY ON TASK! This is why video can be dangerous for some students because they try to pick apart what they had in their mind as the perfect swing. Your coach must guide you to look at ONLY what is important (Major). If they don’t mention it, let it go!

Give Constant Feedback

As much as your instructor is trained in reading your body language, your verbal feedback dufneris crucial to the success of the team. (you and your instructor). It starts with sharing your injuries, past surgeries and aches and pains. I love it when I ask this question at the beginning of the lesson and I get nothing, only to find that the student had surgery on their left knee. No wonder they were having trouble getting their weight forward at impact. Even though you think it is not affecting your motion, let your coach decide as he evaluates your move. Most of the time it matters and you don’t realize it.

5. Share Feels and Observations – There is nothing worse than a quiet student in a golf lesson. Whether the shot is good or bad, giving constant feedback on how you liked the shot or what it felt like is valuable information for the coach. Otherwise we are only assuming and trying to read body language. The words that you use to describe each shot and how it felt gives your coach a clear indication on your learning style and what drills, type of language or external cues to use for your progression.

6. Keep a Golf Journal – With all the technology that we have to help us play and learn journalbetter, I still see value in the “old school” act of journaling. I encourage my students to get a notebook and write down everything from: What they took from each lesson (confirm with your coach), what drills they did in practice and how did they feel, to what didn’t work in their practice session. Failures can teach us some very important lessons that will help us improve. I believe that writing can help organize your mind and help you to stay on task which will help you……….wait for it…….

Major In The Majors! 

Stick to what is important and stop worrying about what isn’t part of the plan. Lets have a great 2014 and I hope you all reach your golfing goals.goal chart

Please leave you comments below with your thoughts and don’t be afraid to share and follow me on twitter @golfgurutv

Merry Christmas,

Guru

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 (www.aimpointgolf.com) 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

Guru

My Masters Week and Picks From A Proud Father’s Prospective


I am pretty sure that all fathers want to give their kids a life that they didn’t have as a child. In my case I am so fortunate to have two wonderful kids, Brittanie (13) and Nicklaus (11). At one time they both played golf but in the last couple of years, Nicklaus Palmer has really gotten the bug for this great sport. As a teaching professional are kids are often looked at as that they are supposed to be golfers and they are supposed to be good at it just because their dad could play or teach. This isn’t always the case as we know and as we slip the parent hat on and take the coach hat off at times we have to make a decision, how much should we push our kids into golf? In this unusual place we run the risk of having the child hate the game forever and often times maybe resent what dad does for a living as we are often away from the house more than normal dads are. In my case with Nick and Britt, I never pushed golf on them. I made a conscious effort to give them the opportunity but to never make it mandatory for them to learn. They both gravitated out of curiosity to the pee-wee clinics and junior clinics at the Dana Rader Golf School which at least game them a glimpse of what it was all about. They both started about 3-4 years old. As Brittanie got older and decided to not play golf any longer and Nick took a liking to football I didn’t think either one of them would grow to love golf as I did as a kid which was fine with me as long as they were happy and active I didn’t care.

THE TURNING POINT FOR NICK

Being in the same town  as a PGA tour event is very cool and I would always take the family out the Wells Fargo Championship for the day to see the best in the world play. The kids enjoyed it and it soon lit a fire under Nicklaus as he would start to beg me to bring him to work so he could practice and play like (Rickie Fowler, Webb Simpson). These guys really do have an influence on young people and I feel great that Nick has some outstanding role models including the members at Carmel Country Club that are so nice as he comes out to practice and play every chance he gets. We just finished up his spring break and he didn’t miss a day of practice at the club. The cool thing is I don’t have to ask him to practice, he just loves it. It has been so neat to see how much he has improved in the last year and a half as he plays his junior tournaments and drags me out onto the golf course whenever I can to give me a run. His first official US Kids tournament about 2 years ago he shot 116. Yesterday after attending the Masters Monday, he shot 35 for 9 holes from the white tees. Hard work paying off for sure as I have never seen a kid practice harder and try to gather information more for an 11-year-old. I keep giving him info and I can’t fill him up which is fun. So back to giving him more than I had……………………….I never had a country club to practice as the only country club that I had been the one I was working at and that has not changed and I never got to go to the Masters until I moved to the Carolinas in 1997 and I havent missed a year. So here is my latest Masters memory through the eyes of an 11-year-old for those who havent heard it yet (if you don’t follow me on twitter)

MY MONDAY AT AUGUSTA

It was a typical day that started at 4 a.m. as we traveled to Augusta. We were the first ones through the gate as we made our way to the perfect practice area and range to watch Nicks favorite player, Webb Simpson, warm up and head to the first tee. We walked around with Webb for his 9 holes and then proceeded to have a few pimento cheese and egg salad sandwiches along the way as we watched the other players on the course practice and play. Nick was extra interested in the young 14-year-old from China as he was only 2 years older than him as he dreamed of playing Augusta at that age. The kid handled himself with maturity beyond his years.  As the day started to wind down, we heard that Tiger was on the practice range so we headed that way. We watched Tiger hit some bunker shots and some putts as he headed out to play a late nine. Thinking our only chance of getting to see him for the last time we must go several holes out so we camped out behind #16 tee with some friends that I ran into. The crowd was getting enormous as they had the same idea of seeing number 1 in the world hit a couple of shots into the green. In the meantime, Peter Hanson from Sweden came up by himself to the tee. I struck up a conversation about the yardage and how I thought my son could hit that green if he had the chance. He couldn’t have been a nicer guy and not thinking it would ever happen, after he hit his shot to the green, he asked me what club would the boy need to hit a shot. Yes, he called Nick out onto the tee to hit a tee shot on #16 at Augusta. As he walked out I couldn’t help think of how nervous I would have been and how incredibly calm he seemed to be as he handed him his 6 iron and went through his pre shot routine like we have worked on a thousand times. Hit the pretty good shot under the circumstances with a crowd cheering like crazy. I couldn’t have been prouder and I can’t thank Mr. Hanson enough for creating such a lasting memory for a young passionate golfer. He obviously gets it! He also is now one of mine and Nicks favorite players for sure. As this was all going on, I completely choked with the video camera and only managed a picture. Luckily a great guy sitting beside me videoed the whole thing and put it on you tube. Enjoy the video and thank you for letting me rant as a proud father of both my kids. I love them so much. The only way it could have been better is if my wife, father and mother in law and my parents could have been there to witness it. Creating memories for sure!

My picks for this years Masters:

1. Justin Rose

2. Webb Simpson

3. Peter Hanson

4. Rory Mcilroy

5. Bo Van Pelt

Have a great week and enjoy the Masters

Guru

 

 

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 @jsutton@carmelcountryclub.org 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

 

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