First Impact Zone Teacher Workshop

The first IMPACT ZONE Teacher Workshop was held on August 29th and 30th and was a time I will long remember for how special it was. To have Lee Martin and Ben Doyle, my two mentors who taught me the game, join me for two days was really amazing, as this has never happened before.

The interaction, comments, questions, etc. made for a powerful exchange that all who attended enjoyed. The wisdom of these two men reflects their 100+ years of involvement with the game.

We were also blessed to have U.S. Amateur Champion and PGA Tour winner Sam Randolph in attendance, along with Ed Angulo, Brenndan Cooper, Pat Parrish, Allen Burton, Kathryn Marren, Ross Kroeker, Dave Gantt, David Gannon, Mark Degnan, Andy Crinella and Jim Fulgentis. Dr. Glen Albaugh, golf coach, author, and sports psychologist attended the second day and was our lunchtime presenter.

I had just returned from Seattle, where I finished T37 in the Boeing Championship. A disappointing finish for me as I felt I played so much better. I shot even par the last round with 7 birdies. On the plane ride to Carmel, I began to focus on the workshop and tweak the program. My goal was to give all in attendance a poignant look as to how “IMPACT-BASED teaching” works and how it differs from traditional “style-based” teaching methods.

After a breakfast hosted by Quail Lodge’s Director of Instruction, Kathryn Marren, who did so much to make the workshop run smoothly, we entered into the classroom (Quail’s Garden Room) and walked through the “In-Depth Understanding of the 5 Dynamics and Their Importance” PowerPoint presentation that Master Instructor Brenndan Cooper helped me put together. We were really able to show how widely different the swing styles of the best players in the game are today, but how common the conditions are that they create at impact. From there we were able to penetrate the depths of each dynamic and peel back the layers to take a very detailed look at each one and its significance.

Ben Doyle was the featured speaker at lunch on day one. We all enjoyed Ben’s comments especially when he shared his thoughts about the release. A classic line that day from Ben was, “The only time one should release the club is when it’s given to the caddy”. We will long remember that nugget!

After lunch, we headed out to the driving range for some demonstration and I dove into how to best teach “impact-based teaching” and revealed for the first time the 10-step approach for teaching the IMPACT ZONE. Many commented to me how valuable this was. From there we returned to the Garden Room and finished up the PowerPoint discussion with how equipment affects the Five Dynamics and some Q&A. My wife, Marianna, then introduced the new “IMPACT ZONE Player Certification Program” that she and our marketing team had worked with me to design. She then worked with the instructors to fine-tune this marketing venture to drive more lessons to our teaching professionals. This was extremely well received and all look forward to our rolling out this program soon.

Day two began with breakfast served on the range and a little impromptu Q&A with Ben Doyle. Afterward, I spoke about the steps for how to best teach a beginning golfer and the preferred swing style IMPACT ZONE instructors will teach beginning golfers (this is the only time swing style is introduced). Afterward, the instructors, including me, were all videoed by Kathryn and Brenndan and preparations were made for the swing analysis segment after lunch with featured guest speaker and friend, Dr. Glen Albaugh who discussed, “Winning the Battle Within”.

Many remarked how the swing analysis segment after lunch was the best part of day two. It was one thing to talk about how to teach impact-based teaching, it was another to demonstrate it in the real world. We even discussed how to teach and improve my wife’s swing! That’s always the touchy one for me! The purpose was to reveal how we all have improvement to make and identify what are the key points, the first steps and how to go about prioritizing those improvements. Day two concluded with a discussion of the importance and tips for marketing one’s instruction business, including the acquisition of new students and then retaining them. Brenndan and Marianna demonstrated how to use the IMPACT ZONE Website and all the tools available for instructors to utilize and enhance their own business. We’ve made quite an investment in developing the website and the platform is ready for our instructors to take advantage of and expand.

All in all, it was a great two days! I was very pleased to hear from many that it was the best teaching conference they’d ever attended. I can’t wait until January 23-24, 2012 when we will be conducting our second IMPACT ZONE Teacher Workshop at the Shingle Creek Golf Club in Orlando, FL immediately before the start of the 2012 PGA Merchandise Show. I hope you can join us.

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