Famous Short Game Instructor

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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.

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