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



2012 PGA Show Recap (A Twitter Experience)

"The Mastermind Crew"

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

Part 1 (Networking)

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

Equipment and training aids:

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

Training Aids that I liked :

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


P.G.A. Merchandise Show Review ’11

As the 2011 PGA Show comes to a close, I wanted to reflect and give my experience from my week in Orlando. For those of you, pros or just avid golfers alike, you must go at least once to see just how massive this things is. I heard on the radio that if you walk all of it, you will have clocked around 10 miles. I walked every bit of it and some of it several times so I definitely got my exercise. I think that this was my best Show that I can remember and I am going to tell you why. As I have posted in some previous blogs, the main reason that I go is to get around people who I find interesting and that I can learn from. The gadgets and products are great and I will get into that but it’s the people you meet and spend time with that make the trip a success. I will break this down diary style since my laptop has currently died and didn’t make the trip or I would have been blogging as I go like my good friend John Graham

Sara Brown, Derek Radley and Me

Thursday (Day 1): Twitter has definitely made the world smaller and has allowed me to meet some great people along the way. The day started out by meeting up with Jason Helman ( my friend and teaching pro from Canada. We walked the show for most of the morning to check out the new gadgets in the world of teaching. We met up with my good friend Derek Radley and his girlfriend Sara Brown (big break star and Rookie LPGA player), We had some lunch with her dad and the commisioner of the Futures tour. It was like walking around with a rock star as everyone recognizes Sara from TV.  After a great meeting with my Callaway rep, Tim Garrett,  to order my new clubs for the year, I ran into Rob LaRosa, Head Professional from Sterling Farms CC. We then made our way over to the Aimpoint booth to meet up with John Graham (@johngrahamgolf). We all walked over to the Swinkey training aid booth to

Swinkey Time

meet the boys and discuss the product and take a few pictures. So day one was just feeling out the location of the stuff we were interested in and meeting a few of the tweeps. After the show is when the good stuff happens if you are there. For those that follow me already know about the TWEETUP. This is a gathering of guys and girls that know each other on twitter. John Graham was nice enough to put it all together so about 30 of us met at Millers Ale house that night. Here is a list of some of the guys that I met:  David Wurzer, Jason Helman, Dan Carraher, Ricky Lee Potts, John Randle, Dennis Sales, Claude Harmon, Joe Hafera, Nick Clearwater, Sean Lalley, Rich Hunt, Todd Halpen, Bobby Siravo, Jamie Donaldson, Mark Sweeney, Bernie Najar, Ralph Perez, Andrew Lewis, Sara Dickson, Kirk Oguri, John Dochety, TJ Yeaton and Mario Bevilacqua. I wish I could have spent more time with everyone but I managed to get an idea of everyone’s teaching philosophies and backgrounds just by observing and listening to their conversations. I apologize for not taking more film as this one would have made a great reality show and surely would have went viral in an hour, but didn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable. I wish I would have taken pics. I was so busy talking that I forgot to eat.  No one got hurt although Doc (John Dochety) almost hit Ralph (gotham golf blog) with a front side chop as they battled over a #4 accumulator discussion. At the end, they hugged it out and we all made it home safe. I thank all of you for being willing to share all of your brilliant golf info so freely as this is what is going to help our industry grow and make us better coaches. It was great to finally put some of the names with the faces (and twitter handles) together. I also got to spend some time with two of my mentors and top 100 teachers, Chuck Evans and Charlie King which was great. I always learn something after spending time with them. I ran into new top 100 inductees, Charlie Sorrell and Mark Steinbauer and congratulated them on their accomplishment.

Jason Helman and John Graham at the show

Friday: The day started with checking out and getting more info on training aids. I know you all are waiting on my reviews so you can run out and buy or hopefully take a lesson from me. I will be doing video reviews as I get to use them in the coming months but here are my list of aids that I found interesting:

1. Swinkey ( One of the most versatile aids on the market for sure. I saw many swinkeys in the hands of people walking around the show so I think Todd and the boys did well. I highly recommend this product for any serious golfer who wants to improve. I would do a video review on it but unfortunately I don’t have an aid. I think I will check with Jim McLean and borrow his as I heard he got one for free, (just messing with you Todd). It was great to meet Disco Stu as well, he made his way around the show displaying the product with his cool World Cup jacket on. (great idea by @jasonhelmangolf) This company has a bright future for sure. Right On!

2. The Medicus Vision Stick: ( Endorsed by my good friend Chuck Evans and I look forward to using this one for path and low point training

3. Tour Striker: ( Not a new product but I picked one up because I love the idea of helping players with impact and forward shaft lean. You have probably seen the infomercial on the golf channel.

4. Power Lag + Flat Wrist Pro ( This is a devise that fits on your lead wrist and the back of your trail wrist to help feel the correct angle on your downswing. Developed by Sam Shah who invented the pivotpro. I will let you know how this works

5. The Perfect Release: ( An interesting aid that Martin Hall used on his first show on the Golf Channel. It is a bungee cord that connects your trail arm and the club shaft.

Possible candidates:

1. Drain-O Instant Pro Putting Fix -( A putting path aid made up of two tripods and a curved wire. I did shoot some video on this one. Might get one in the future.

2. Putter Master ( A bar that is positioned across the wrists and helps keep your forearms square.

So the day ended with the an excellent putting seminar with my good friend Todd Sones and he was joined by Mike Shannon, the putting instructor from Sea Island. These two guys and who I learned how to teach putting and I always learn something new when spending some time with them.

Saturday: Last day at the show concluded a great week. I caught up with my new running mate from Ontario, Jason Helman and we caught a couple of short seminars on the main stage. I enjoyed the one with Suzy Whaley and her junior golf program with stations and fitness games that got the kids excited. Definitely the wave of the future of junior golf. Creating young athletes and then teaching them to play golf. I hit some of the new Callaway equipment on the trackman which was pretty cool. It got me excited to get back and play some golf when it warms up. Mr. Helman and I met John Graham and a friend for dinner to spend some more time before the week ended which was cool. I got back to the hotel and thought my night was done and then it happened. I get a call from TJ Yeaton, John Dochety and Mark Walder and we realized that we were staying in the same hotel so we met for drinks. For the rest of the night I was schooled in the world of Mac Ogrady’s MORAD system and some great stories about their experiences as only doc can describe it. You will be hearing from these guys as they are some of the brightest golf swing professors that I have ever met. There is so much more that I could tell you but you will have to get that from me on the lesson or a phone conversation. I want to thank Jason Helman for putting up with me all weekend and John Graham for allowing me to meet so many new friends. Let me know if I can do anything for any of you as I am in debt to you all.  What a great way to kick off the season.

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To work with me at the Dana Rader Golf School call 704-542-7635 or visit our website @

See you on the lesson tee,


Playful Learning Part 2 – Teaching vs. Coaching

In the midst of another P.G.A. Merchandise show, I think for those who don’t participate just don’t know what they are missing. I enjoy seeing the new products and gadgets but that is not why I attend. I make the trip to Orlando to network with other professionals and friends in hopes to find a few nuggets or ideas that will help me guide my students when I get back. My students can’t wait for me to get back because I always have some great information and stories to tell that will enhance their golf games. Information is not just going to jump in your lap. It is not going to knock you down and crawl all over you. You must be a seeker and sometimes it takes courage to learn something new because we are all afraid of being wrong. For all you zen lovers, “You must be an empty cup”. I have attended the top 100 Golf Magazine party with my boss for the last 7 years and I always set a goal to meet a new teacher that I admire and be prepared to ask an intelligent question when you get that opportunity, because it could be a small window. This takes courage (and maybe a few glasses of wine,shh!). Your networking moment may happen when you least expect it. Here is a story: Last year an editor friend of mine asked if I would stop by the Cricket of Arms” pub for a pint because he wanted me to meet his good friend, Craig Shankland. For those of you who don’t know Craig, he is a legend in the teaching and playing game. Top 50 teacher and just a great guy.  In the first five minutes he could tell how passionate about coaching that I was and he was gracious enough to share valuable information about his teaching and great stories about his good friend, Moe Norman which was priceless. We talked for about 2 hours over a few pints of Guiness and it  was awesome. I shared with him my goals and this was the two pieces of advice that I received:

1) Keep writing as much as possible because that is what keeps your ideas fresh and your brain thinking and growing.

2)Pay attention: MAKE YOUR PLAYERS MULTI-DIMENTIONAL (He is very old school and teaches many LPGA players). He said that you have to be able to adjust to every lie and can’t fall in love with just one swing plane. He doesn’t use video very much and takes his students out on the course for the majority of the lessons to greater prepare for all of the different shots that make up a round of golf.  (The Ultimate In Coaching)

The time I spent with Mr. Shankland was the highlight of my trip for sure so keep your eyes open for opportunities for learning and growing. I will be forever greatful for the time that he spent with a nobody teacher like me. I hope that someday I can be that person sharing all that I have learned to a young, hungry professional.

To succeed as coaches we must be versitile and know when to teach and when to coach.

Here are some quotes from Tiger Woods. Maybe he needs to reread these to get back to the days when he was free to self-discover.

“My lie dictates the shot I will play”

“I always listen to my body”

“Some days when I warm up I am hitting the ball low, other days I am hitting the ball high. some days the ball is drawing, other days it is fading. i just play what i am doing that day”

“Today when I practice I like to play games-in fact I like to practice more than play on the course. I still try lots of different things, just like I did with my Pop”

“We always practiced together seeing who could make the most 5 foot putts”

“As a child the club and the ball became my playmate”

“Ultimately golf is a journey-full of learning and discovery”

“On normal shots, I swing 75% of my power, on longer shots I swing at 90%. If I go all out, I do not make solid contact-which is most important.”

“There are no shortcuts- golf requires patience and perseverance, with a yearning for learning. Accepting the fact that it is a game of ups and downs and learning every time you play”

“when I play-it is almost as if I get out-of-the-way and just let it happen. I let it happen, I do not make it happen.”

“I won 12 times in the year 2000, including 3 majors and I only remember hitting one shot I would call perfect. It was the 3 wood on #14 in the third round of the British Open at St. Andrews. AS with every shot I attempt, I visualize that ball flight and the shot turned ou exactly s I had planned. Moments like that stay fresh in my mind, providing a positive image for future reference.”

“I will always be respectful and gracious to opponents-but I want to win, to beat you by a lot, to beat you bad.

I look forward to hearing about your P.G.A. Show learning moments. What are you waiting for……GO FOR IT!

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See you on the lesson tee,


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