Please indicate past awards won/recognitions:
GRAA Top 100 Growth of the Game Teaching Professional, Other (Indicate specific awards below in 3-a)
Other awards won:
2019 Alabama Chapter Teacher of the Year
Total number of individual lessons given per year:
Total number of individual clinics given per year:
Please indicate any Growth of the Game initiatives your facility/academy has launched over the past year (please give specifics on such programs):
Following up on finishing 2021 we had a program called “Cracking the Code”. This 4 month off-season program takes players through improvement in every part of their game and we practice in just about any weather even temps as low as the mid-20s. We had a total of 24 players in that program in the 2021-2022 season. This fall (starting in October to collect data on each player) we had 34 adults signup, and expanded “CTC” 3.0 to include pre-elite and elite juniors. With 18 kids signed up for this program that brings are total number of students to 52 – more than doubling our total students from the previous season. This year I have added a staff member to my teaching team who is solely focused on the golf course. The adults meet with me on their swing for 75 minutes twice per month and meet with Elijah Tackett twice per month on the course in small groups of 4-5 players. My elite juniors follow this same thread as their swings are more established and they need to expand their on course performance. My pre-elite juniors meet with me for 90 minutes three times per month for 90 minutes and Elijah for 2.5 hours once per month. All participants begin with a 30 minute evaluation whereby we collect data on their swings using our GCQuad and video. I then complete the evaluation as I reviewed the video separately detailing out positions of the swing and the specific movements that occur during their swing. This evaluation is 15 pages in length. Given that I have written two books on course strategy, all participants have a copy of my first book: The Champions Playbook, and Elijah takes them through all 8 chapters over the course of the 4 months covering one chapter each session. They get foundational principles of course strategy in each session and assignments to complete between sessions. On top of this, all participants are given two other books: Mastery, by George Leonard and The Golfers Playbook (written by me). In the first, we ask participants to read through specific chapters that correspond with topics we will cover. The book is not specific to golf and is focused exclusively on the mindset of sustained, long term improvement, that guides the entire structure of our program. The second book is actually a golf practice notebook that includes 12 mental success files as well as specific ways to track their practice and progress. All participants (juniors and adults) are required to keep these notebooks up-to-date with every practice session they have whether they be indoors or outdoors. The increased levels of discipline and detail in this third season has already had a ton of success and we have even had players practicing in cold, rain, and dark. We are working to build a culture of mental toughness, focus, and discipline that leads to both short and long term success.
In the summer of this year we added our first “elite junior program.” Students participated in mostly private lessons during this time with a few group sessions but what we developed was a program by which these 6 kids had the opportunity to play and practice with one of 4 college students and 1 mini-tour player on a weekly basis. We built this mentoring program as we saw a major missing component to growth, engagement and development in junior golfers as well as a lack of “giving back” in the younger generation. All of these juniors combined spent well over 100 hours of time with my college and professional students. We even went a step further this fall and these elite juniors gave back by assisting me in the instruction of my younger junior golfers (10-13 years old) in our weekly Operation 36 class. We plan to continue and expand this type of mentoring and instruction into the spring and summer of 2023 as it has been a huge hit for the parents and juniors alike.
Beginning in February of 2022 we added a monthly “couples golf” 9-hole outing on Sunday afternoons. Participants had to have at least one of them actively involved in lessons and many of them had both involved. The reason for starting this was due to the large number of couples that were taking lessons together (husband / wife together in a lesson) and we knew that this is a sign of a healthy culture when spouses desire to spend time with one another. It’s design didn’t involve any instruction, and was focused on connecting like-minded people together to have a good time. We did fun formats and gave out a few prizes each month. We had around 10 couples participate as we ran into the summer. Plans are in place to continue this into the entirety of the year.
On top of this I completed my second book in January of 2022. This book was based on a collection of more than 10,000 holes of data on the PGA Tour and was entirely focused on measuring strategic decision making on the course. The power of the data within these pages has already begun to be used by multiple collegiate programs around the country. In addition to those already engaged with the materials, I sent out 100 free copies to college coaches around the country for their review and a dozen of them are now engaged with the content and working to implement it into their programs in the coming months. The content within is the first content to be able to directly measure strategic ability and give players and coaches the ability to make adjustments on the fly as it has the ability to predict and catch trends in real time. In December (two weeks from now) We are conducting our first “Golf Decoded Seminar” for a number of high school students currently in the recruiting process. This 2.5 day seminar has 6 high school players, a few coaches and college recruiters, as well as parents in attendance. Players will be taken through the components of both of my books and their games will be evaluated from top to bottom on strategic ability and decision making as well as through the principles of nutrition and hydration and it’s effects on performance. They will play 45 holes over 3 days and be taught all of the concepts in both books. This is program is 100% focused on strategy, mindset and performance with no work on technique other than what may be required to add a specific shot to their arsenal.
We also added the Tour Wedge Experience this fall whereby adults came in and got 90 minutes of instruction on wedges, got fit on site for a custom wedge, had food and a talk given on performance after the class, and they walked away that day with their wedge(s) that they were fit for. We had nearly 30 participants in this this fall and sold more than 50 wedges all of which were custom fit for loft, lie, bounce, length, head type, and grip.
Please share any programming you have made to keep your customers & students engaged:
In addition to the items in point 11, we have continued with our weekly Operation 36 program with us having 15 weekly participants at this point, as well as continuing with our PGA Junior League program. We reduced the size of the program this year to focus on those kids aged 10-13 as my hands were full as the only instructor on staff on top of all the other programming we have going on. With the addition of another instructor and high school mentors to our junior programming we were able to expand the class size this fall and plan to continue the expansion for this more novice/beginning group of players.
We also continued with our Nike Junior Golf Camps this summer expanding from roughly 60 participants in 2021 to more than 80 participants in year two. The program was 100% full day camps where youth got instruction from me and two college students as well as got on the golf course everyday where they learned how to play the game in various formats. Plans to continue this program into 2023 to over 100 participants are in place as well as the needs for preparation and planning continue to rise with all the program additions.
On top of all of this my podcast has continued to grow with my podcast cohost Jack Beard and is now ranked in the top 25% of all podcasts in the world. We have more than 30,000 listens and over 200 episodes produced. We shoot these live every two weeks and have special events throughout the year that host more than 75 people for live episodes and to announce special new programs or kickoff seasons of the year. We have had nearly 10 guest speakers on the show and plan to add many more in 2023.
Our public facility has a special “preferred play” membership and I provide more than 30 free clinics throughout the year. These are not compensated in my pay in any way. We have on average 6 students in each clinic and run them for 8 months. One of the big highlights this year has been one gentleman who has gone from a 24 handicap to a 14, won his flight in club championship, and hasn’t paid a penny for lessons. All he does is attend the free clinics. His story is just one of many. In addition I offer free 15-minute evaluations to anyone that desires one to get to know us or to be used once a year as a checkup for those that are members. I give more than 50 of these every year to players of all levels of play.