05/01/2016

Most golf lessons last 30 minutes, or 60 minutes tops. But for those who want more, Golf Channel and the PGA of America are hosting a full day of instruction from the practice tee this Wednesday, May 4.

Called National Instruction Day, the lessons will feature 22 noted PGA Professionals (teaching pros, not touring pros) giving tips from six golf courses around the country. The list of lead pros is impressive, from Hank Haney and David Leadbetter to Martin Hall and Michael Breed.

Each of those pros will be featured in a one-hour segment, along with a Golf Channel host and a pair of guest instructors, to drill down on the intricacies of the many different aspects of the game.

[bctt tweet=”Skill is more important than style.” username=””]

Cog Hill’s Director of Instruction Kevin Weeks will be working with lead instructor Stan Utley for their one-hour segment (4 to 5 pm EDT) focusing on developing junior golfers. Weeks says the lessons for juniors are totally applicable to players of any age and ability.

“Don’t get wrapped up in mechanics,” Weeks said over the phone while taking a break between lessons at Cog Hill, a four-course complex in Lemont Township, Illinois, where the Dubsdread course has been the site of numerous pro tournaments.

“Everyone has a certain amount of natural athleticism and even though bodies are built differently, and swings are different, each body has a way of hitting shots that can be developed.”

Weeks says four years ago he started working with a 36 handicap – last week he got a text from the man after he had shot a 2-under par 34 on the front nine.

“We all have touch and feel from throwing balls or Frisbees – it’s just a matter of developing that into a swing. It takes patience and work, but that’s what it takes to be good at anything.”

Martin Hall was named the 2008 PGA of America’s Teacher of the Year. His segment (11 am to noon EDT) from Ibis Golf & Country Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, will focus on power.

“Don’t get wrapped up in mechanics…”

— Kevin Weeks

“Power with the driver is essential for every golfer, no matter at what level,” Hall told me in a phone interview.  “Last year the top-5 pros in driving distance won something like 9 times while the top-5 in driving accuracy weren’t nearly as successful.”

Hall says there is no one way to swing the golf club and good instructors understand that.

“Skill is more important than style,” he says, “but at the same time, if I work with a student and I don’t change his swing somewhat, then I’m not doing my job. It’s like Butch Harmon says, ‘I watch you and tell you what to do. You do it and get better.’”

I asked Hall what the secret to a powerful golf swing is. He answered with an almost visible smile, “Tune in Wednesday on Golf Channel and you’ll find out.”

“Skill is more important than style”

— Martin Hall

[bctt tweet=”It takes patience and work, but that’s what it takes to be good at anything.” username=””]

*********

WEDNESDAY, MAY 4: NATIONAL INSTRUCTION DAY SCHEDULE (All times ET) 

7 a.m.-10 a.m.  Golf Channel’s Morning Drive (Orlando, Fla.)

                          Special Guests: Pete Bevacqua, CEO, PGA of America (in-studio);

                          Blair O’Neal & Jeff Ritter (in-studio co-hosts for National Instruction Day)

10 a.m.-11 a.m. Baltusrol Golf Club (Springfield Township, N.J.)

                          Lead Instructor: Michael Breed

                          Guest Instructors: Lou Guzzi, Tom Henderson

                          Special Guest: Derek Sprague, President, PGA of America

11 a.m.-Noon    Ibis Golf & Country Club (West Palm Beach, Fla.)

                          Lead Instructor: Martin Hall

                          Guest Instructors: Jim McLean, Craig Harmon

                          Golf Channel Host: Sara Brown

2 p.m.-3 p.m.    Keeton Park Golf Course (Dallas)

                         Lead Instructor: Cameron McCormick

                         Guest Instructors: Tony Martinez, Randy Smith

                         Golf Channel Host: Matt Adams

4 p.m.-5 p.m.   Cog Hill Golf & Country Club (Lemont Township, Ill.)

                         Lead Instructor: Stan Utley

                         Guest Instructors: Todd Sones, Kevin Weeks

                         Golf Channel Host: Charlie Rymer

6 p.m.-7 p.m.     Golf Channel’s Golf Central (Orlando, Fla.)

                          Special Guests: National Instruction Day instructors

7 p.m.-8 p.m.    Fossil Trace Golf Club (Golden, Colo.)

                         Lead Instructor: Hank Haney

                         Guest Instructors: Trent Wearner, Sandy LaBauve

                         Golf Channel Host: Brian Crowell

8 p.m.-9 p.m.    TPC Harding Park (San Francisco)

                         Lead Instructor: David Leadbetter

                         Guest Instructors: Suzy Whaley, PGA of America; Josh Zander

                         Golf Channel Host: Lisa Cornwell

9 p.m.-11 p.m.  Golf Channel Studio A (Orlando, Fla.)

                         Lead Instructors: Michael Breed, Martin Hall

             Guest Instructors: Mike Bender, Cheryl Anderson