Famous Short Game Instructor Stan Utley Talks Golf
by Scott A. Sumner
“ To have chance to do what you love everybody and make people happy is pretty cool. The goal of every teacher should be to help people improve,” said Stan Utley, former PGA Tour player and now golf instructor. “ I give golf lessons to anybody from the tour player to every day player based here at Grayhawk and do travel a lot to tour stops and visit clubs all across the country, really the world. I just came back from Spain not too long ago doing a clinic
over there. Things are good. When you get a lesson from Stan Utley his generic day of teaching golf is two three hour sessions . When somebody comes to his school you get a minimum of 3 hour sessions sometime two days in a row. The work focus on the game primarly from 80 yards in making any shot you can dream of. “ I love people to get better. Teachers get notable because tour plays say nice things about them. Nobody has become
famous with out tour players putting them on th map. Jay Haas was the guy that helped me and elevated my notoriety. It was God’s timing I guess. We were at a random place at dinner when asked me a few questions and the answers I gave him caused him to ask more
questions and it kept getting better. That was in 2001. I have been in the golf area my whole life.” said Utley.
“ The PGA tour player is out there 35 or 40 weeks a year and spending $3 to $4,000 per week. It is easier to stay home than not making any money. As a player my speciality was putting and getting into the hole from places I shouldn't have. Now I love to help people who get giddy and big grins on their faces. I believe what I have to say is old fashioned golf. I didn’t create anything but identified things that work,” noted Utley. “ My model is to make putting look easy. Why teach something radically different. The business model say we will figure out the most different way to run our business. The next guy copies that until they figure out another
way to do it better. The genius behind the Tour players is they work at making it look easy. How low you shot is all tha matters. When I teach technique I go to the guy to copy who makes it look easy.”
“ All the greats have a mind set that most of us don't relate to. They demand so much more of themselves that most of us do. Sports is 97% physical, 1 % you can’t control and 2% mental. If you have no game to begin with I can’t talk you into playing well,” smiles
Utley. “ My approach is not 1 swing with different wedges. Personally I choose 1 club and master lots of shots with that club. So much about teaching is I need to make this club get the ball to the hole. I can dream up different ways to do that such as if I want it to go low to the hole or high and roll over softly. I picture what the ball does. What causes the ball to do what it does is how the face gets there. When the face gets there delofted or hooded with the toe closed that causes the ball to be a low runner. I would rather be a guy tha controls the feel with my hands. Many people to take their hands out.”
“ I need you to be wristy and I say that guardedly. My daughter is 14 and just learning basketball. She used to do ballet so is coachable. She had a nice looking shot and have nice form but her sequence is completely off. You have form then sequence. I work on sequence first before form as a tune up. Some player shove the handle towards the target with their shoulders. I want you wristly, not to look wristly but so the head comes around. You accelerate the club head. Your wrist will snap the club head. I think of golf as three circles. My body is a circle not too big, my hands and grip are a little bigger and the across the club head is bigger. It has a long way to come, it is a hard thing. On little chips I am wristly but I am looking for sequence.”
Stan Utley certainly had some interesting thought on golf which resonated with me. He is someone I would like to work with more to develop short game.