2005: ‘Golf for everybody’
As director of the network of Arnold Palmer golf academies, Brad Brewer gained a deep appreciation for teaching golf to players of different abilities.
Now with his own academy at Shingle Creek Golf Club, Brewer has developed a series of instructional programs that he calls “Golf for Everybody.”
For serious players, Brewer is using the Internet as a teaching tool. He can do this because of Dartfish Golf, provider of motion analysis software that allows Brewer to view and analyze the swings of his students over the Internet.
The program was developed by Dartfish director of golf Marc Matoza, who is the nephew of former British Open champion Tony Lema. It is called eCoaching, and Brewer is now realizing a dream.
“I’ve always had a fascination and belief that the Internet could be a good tool to continue to communicate with my clients who come down in the wintertime and aren’t here the rest of the time,” Brewer said. “Looking for a tool to help do that was always a quest of mine.”
Dartfish is used by many Olympic athletes to train in their respective sports, and now it has spread to golf.
“I have 27 or 28 students who are using it regularly,” Brewer said. “When I can actually see that living image in front of me, it is much better than just a phone call. It is much clearer what’s going on and what they’re doing.”
Other programs organized by Brewer at Shingle Creek:
The player development membership, a 12-month program in which students receive personal instruction for one hour each week. Practice routines are set weekly, and quarterly goals and objectives are established.
“It’s a commitment on the part of the students and provides a really good way to evaluate their long-term progress,” Brewer said.
A four-for-one program is designed for a visiting foursome. All four golfers receive four hours of instruction – one hour on the short game, one hour on the full swing, and two hours on the golf course.
“We have had great success with this,” Brewer said. “Applying what they learn on the golf course is the part that really appeals to people.”
Traditional golf schools of one, two or three days are available. Learning effective practice habits is a big part of these golf schools.
Five-day introductory junior clinics are offered in the summer. Juniors rotate through five different practice stations, and Brewer strives for an atmosphere of fun and learning.
Sometimes dressing as Old Tom Morris, Brewer talks to the kids about history and tradition and etiquette.
In conjunction with the Dr. Phillips YMCA, Brewer has devised a Fit4Golf program that helps golfers achieve more flexibility and strength.
After analysis for a person’s golf game -- their strengths and weaknesses -- Brewer works with a YMCA trainer to create a separate workout program for each golfer.
Brewer inaugurated a popular nongolfer program to go along with corporate outings at Shingle Creek.
“We take them out and run them through the basics,” Brewer said. “We entertainment them. The goal is to get them to play in the tournament next year.”
Another feature is a discussion group called Lessons and Leadership from the Links. Brewer explains the training of high-performance golf professionals and relates this to the business world.
“People in the business community are fascinated by the ways that top golfers prepare themselves for competition,” Brewer said. “We keep adding elements, like stress management. The whole thing is a corporate program with a golf theme.”
Welcome to golf instruction, the 2005 version.