Engaged to Jill Newman; one son named Hunter who is 23.
Fishing, college football, working out and walking
How long have you been with Cordillera Ranch?
April 1, 2016
How did you get started in the golf business?
I played golf in college and tried playing professionally for about five years. In 1987 I interviewed for an Assistant Golf Professional position at Oak Tree Country Club in Edmond, OK with Brent Goodger. I had no experience whatsoever but I told him that I have an incredible passion for the game and that I would work harder than anyone else. I moved to PGA West in 1988 and gave lessons there. My first job as a Teaching Professional came four years later at the Aspen Jr. Golf Foundation teaching kids how to play the game as well as life lessons through the game of golf.
What is your philosophy about teaching the golf swing?
Very simple — that there is not one golf swing for everybody. It is my responsibility to find that one swing that they can repeat under pressure time after time.
What do you feel about the balance between practice and play?
It is so individual. Look at how Harvey Penick handled two of the greatest players of all time in Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw. One loved to practice and one loved to play, and he understood that. We have two terrific juniors here at The Club in Will Williamson who likes to practice and Zach Heffernan who likes to play. Not one way is best.
Why don’t more people work to improve their mental game when so many top players do?
Most people just feel they need to hit it better. I think everybody just thinks they can fix it themselves.
How many PGA Tour Players have you instructed?
About 25 or so.
What have you learned from teaching PGA Tour Players?
All truly great players have an incredible amount of discipline in their practice regimen. They never hit shots without a target in mind.
What is the key to making a great player even better?
Who is the most difficult Tour Player you have ever worked with?
Notah Begay. He is extremely intellectual and very headstrong. He challenged me on everything and I became a better teacher for it.
What are you most proud of in your work with Jimmy Walker?
The relationship and friendship that we have. I look at Jimmy as a second son to me. I am very proud of the success that we had together as well as the success he has had since then.
What is your most memorable moment in teaching?
In 2000, Notah was having a good year but had not earned a spot on the upcoming President’s Cup team. Captain Ken Venturi told Notah that he would not select him as a Captain’s Pick because he had no international team experience and that he would have to earn his way onto the team with a Top 10 finish. Notah birdied the 17th and 18th holes on Sunday at Valhalla to finish 8th and make the team. That was a really cool moment to walk with him off the green knowing how far he had come and what he had accomplished.
What are you most proud of in your career?
To have taken five players with no Tour experience all the way to the PGA Tour.