Vistal Golf Club

February 28, 2015

The closest thing to the Catalina Mountains (in Tucson where I’m from) in Phoenix is South Mountain Preserve located in the southwest part of the city. Nestled right at the base of the mountain is Vistal Golf Club. The course was re-designed in the year 2000 by PGA Tour Design Services in conjunction with local PGA Tour players Tom Lehman, Billy Mayfair, and Howard Twitty and opened in the fall of 2001. The…

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Midterm Season – Rules of Golf

February 26, 2015

Midterms start next week as we reach the halfway point of our first 16-week semester at the Golf Academy. You may think you know the Rules of Golf, and I’m not saying you don’t. But we have to know them word for word. That’s every a, an, and the. Here’s a sampling of what we’re likely to see on next week’s exam. Define the following: Bunker = a hazard consisting of a prepared area…

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The European Invasion

February 25, 2015

European golfers have become more dominant on the PGA Tour in recent years despite the fact that in years past, the Tour was dominated more by American players. In my humble opinion, there are several reasons for this “European invasion.” Golf has truly become a global game. It is played at a very high level on professional tours worldwide. The European Tour, for example, regularly tests professionals on golf courses…

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The Forward Swing

February 24, 2015

In Golf Fundamentals with PGA Instructor Jay Friedman, we discussed the principles of the forward swing. These last three principles make up the 14 swing principles that we have been studying so far this semester. Research has found that the average duration of the golf swing is less than 1.5 seconds. The backswing represents roughly 75% of that time. That means there’s very little time to make corrections during the forward…

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Sedona Here We Come!

February 24, 2015

The Golf Academy of America Phoenix has formed its first Club Golf Team, and I’m proud to say that I’m on it! On Monday, the Academy held a team tryout with 40 players vying for a total of eight spots in a qualifying tournament at Moon Valley Country Club. The round featured a little bit of everything too – wind, rain, and pressure. Here are my teammates and what they shot (Par…

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Q: What’s a WHACK & HACK?

February 23, 2015

A: A team event consisting of four players, typically two low handicaps and two higher handicaps. Each team member plays his own ball. The high and the low score for each hole are combined to calculate the team score. If the low score for the team is a birdie or better, then the team gets to use the two lowest scores on the hole to calculate the team score.

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Eberlein Wins Smith Award

February 21, 2015

Tim Eberlein, Campus Director at the Golf Academy of America Phoenix, recently received the Horton Smith Award from the Southwest PGA Section. Tim has served as the Chapter’s Education Chairperson for four years, coordinating more than 40 education seminars for both PGA Professionals and Apprentices. The Horton Smith Award recognizes the PGA Professional who is a model educator of PGA Golf Professionals. The award is designed to give special recognition to an…

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Chipping Should Be Easy

February 19, 2015

The Golf Academy has a saying: Putt when you can. Chip when it’s not possible to putt. Pitch when there’s no other option. That may sound a little extreme, but consider this – putting consists of using one lever (shoulders). Poor contact gives you at worst a fair result. Chipping also utilizes one lever (shoulders), but because the ball gets off the ground slightly, contact needs to be more exact. Pitching is…

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What Arnie Had That Jack Did Not

February 18, 2015

Arnold Palmer decided to turn pro after winning the 1954 U.S. Amateur at The Country Club of Detroit. Call it a Samuel Adams. It was a great decision. Palmer would go on to win 62 PGA Tour events and seven major championships. He was the first man to win $100,000 in a season and was the first player ever to amass more than $1 million in career earnings. While Jack…

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