13th PGA Teaching & Coaching Summit with golf’s best instructors

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — For the first time in its history, the PGA Teaching & Coaching Summit will drop anchor in the heart of the showroom for the business of golf.

The 13th PGA Teaching & Coaching Summit, the game’s largest educational forum, will be conducted Jan. 21-22, at the Orange County Convention Center’s Chapin Auditorium in Orlando, Fla.

The Summit, which perennially attracts an international audience of hundreds of PGA Professionals and leading industry instructors and specialists, is the kickoff for the 60th PGA Merchandise Show, Jan. 24-26.

The Summit theme, “Where Communication Meets Excellence,” focuses on the importance of coaching in today’s highly competitive marketplace.

Leading the roster of nearly 20 Summit presenters is a duo of exceptional coaches representing their respective sports – 1991 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain and two-time PGA Champion Dave Stockton; and former Florida State University football coach Bobby Bowden, the all-time leader in victories in NCAA Division I.

A busy schedule also includes PGA of America President Ted Bishop of Franklin, Ind., and 2012 PGA Teacher of the Year Michael Breed of Greenwich, Conn., host of Golf Channel’s “The Golf Fix.” Breed will serve as master of ceremonies and as one of the presenters.

Breed will be joined by seven former PGA Teachers of the Year: Jim McLean (1994); Chuck Cook (1996); Randy Smith (2002); Martin Hall (2008); Mike Bender (2009); Todd Anderson (2010), and Mike Malaska (2011).

“There is no doubt that the Summit is our premier event for what we do as PGA members – and that is teach and coach,” said PGA Instruction Committee co-chair Tom Henderson, the head professional at Round Hill Club in Greenwich, Conn. “I’m 55 years old, and I continue to come away from a Summit with a list of ideas that I can take back to my club. It makes me better at my trade. It makes me a better PGA member; it helps me be better as a teacher and it makes me feel proud to be a representative of my club.”

Stockton, the 2012 PGA Distinguished Service Award recipient, is president and CEO of Stockton Golf in Redlands, Calif., where he teams with sons Dave Jr., and Ron to form one of the most popular teaching combinations in the industry. Stockton Golf counts among its many clients, World No. 1 ranked and reigning PGA Champion Rory McIlroy, LPGA star Yani Tseng and many more.

Bowden, 83, coached from 1976 to 2009, and guided Florida State to national championships in 1993 and 1999. One of the country’s most entertaining speakers, Bowden guided the Seminoles to 12 Atlantic Coast Conference championships and a Division I record 21 bowl victories.

Joe Plecker, the PGA director of instruction at Baltimore Country Club, joins Henderson as co-chair of the PGA Instruction Committee. Plecker said that the Summit value could be measured in several ways.

“Attendees improve one’s teaching through learning from the best teachers in the world, networking with hundreds of PGA Professionals and re-energizing one’s passion for teaching the game of golf,” said Plecker. “With so many PGA Teachers of the Year who will cover multiple topics and practical issues for teaching, a variety of expertise is the strength of the line-up. I am certain that everyone who attends will leave with great ideas from each of the speakers and strengthen their teaching, networking, and passion for golf.”

Among some unique PGA Professionals and specialists filling the Summit schedule are:

* Eric Alpenfels, PGA director of instruction at Pinehurst (N.C.) Resort and Dr. Bob Christina, research and education consultant to Pinehurst Golf Academy. Christina is a nationally renowned author on the psychology of golf learning and performance.
* PGA/LPGA Master Professional Judy Alvarez of Palm City, Fla. – Author of “Broken Tees & Mended Hearts,” which outlines her career in serving both amateur golfers and Wounded Warriors. Alvarez is one of the most respected adaptive golf instructors in the country.
* Dr. Paul Schempp – A professor and the director of the sport instruction research laboratory at the University of Georgia. Schempp’s message, supported by more than a decade of research into the characteristics and development of expertise, applies to individuals and organizations in business, education, and sport.
* PGA teaching professional Will Robins of Citrus Heights, Calif. – A survivor of the 2004 Southeast Asia tsunami, Robins developed a golf academy in Northern California that is the site of remarkable success stories for students of all abilities.
* Jon Novosel Jr. of Lawrence, Kan. – Novosel has worked and consulted with golfers of all abilities, including beginners to PGA, LPGA and Web.com Tour professionals.
* Dr. Stephen Norris – The director of sport physiology & strategic planning at the Canadian Sport Centre Calgary, Norris is a consultant for Canada’s Winter Olympic sports teams. He also is an adjunct assistant professor of applied physiology within the Human Performance Laboratory (HPL) at the University of Calgary. In addition to his working with several national sports teams, Norris teaches and supervises graduate students specializing in applied physiology and sport science.
* Dr. Joe LaCaze of Lafayette, La. – A former Navy Seal instructor, LaCaze is a practicing doctor of chiropractic and a popular speaker on performance enhancement and neuromuscular therapy.
* Tim Kremer of Jupiter, Fla. – A peak performance coach and consultant, who is president and founder of Spirit of Golf, LLC, a program utilizing innovative and pioneering mind/body and psychological techniques which help participants (athletes and non-athletes) learn to achieve greater success.
* David Donatucci of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. – Director of the Institute of Performance, PGA National Health Club at PGA National Resort in Palm Beach Gardens.

Golf Magazine will host a reception for all attendees on Monday evening, Jan. 21 to honor its latest inductees into the biennial Top 100 PGA Teaching Professionals roster.

Worldgolf.com

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2013 Save The Dates

North Coast Golf Shows

BaltimoreJanuary 12, 2013

New JerseyJanuary 19, 2013

WashingtonFebruary 2, 2013

For more information visit http://www.northcoastgolfshows.com

Toronto Golf Show

March 1, 2013

For more information visit http://www.torontogolfshow.com

National Golf Expo

Boston– March 2, 2013

For more information visit http://www.paragonexpo.com

PGA of America Appearances:

Teaching & Coaching SummitJanuary 21-22, 2013

Demo DayJanuary 23, 2013

PGA Merchandise ShowJanuary 24-26, 2013

Northern Ohio PGA SectionMarch 26, 2013

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Michael Breed 2012 PGA Teacher of the Year

MICHAEL BREED – PGA Teacher of the Year 
Michael Breed of Greenwich, Conn., whose telegenic instruction skills through his signature Golf Channel program, “The Golf Fix,” has motivated countless viewers to enjoy the game, has been named the recipient of the 2012 PGA Teacher of the Year Award.

Breed, 50, is in his 12th season as PGA head professional at Sunningdale Country Club in Scarsdale, N.Y. He follows Michael Hebron (1991) of St. James, N.Y., as the only Metropolitan PGA members to receive The PGA of America’s highest honor for a golf instructor.

A native of Greenwich, Conn., Breed began his athletic career in baseball as a shortstop, and was introduced to golf at age 13 by his father.

Breed is a 1985 graduate of Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va., where he was a standout player for the Yellow Jackets, and was a 2004 inductee into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Breed declared professional in 1985, and made a bid in 1991 to earn a berth on the former Ben Hogan (now Web.com Tour). Breed was a PGA assistant professional at Augusta (Ga.) National Golf Club from 1989 through 1992, before serving as assistant from 1992 to 1995, for former PGA Professional National Champion Darrell Kestner at Deepdale Golf Club in Manhasset, N.Y. In 1994, Breed competed in the Greater Hartford Open on the PGA Tour.

Breed made his venture into golf broadcasting at Golf Channel in 1999, appearing on numerous “Golf Academy Live” programs as both a guest instructor and host. He has served as an on-course reporter for the former Nationwide Tour and PGA Tour events, and as a guest on such Golf Channel programs as “Viewer’s Forum” and “Golf Central.” Breed also contributed numerous golf tips for CBS, Turner Sports, and Cablevision.

In 2009, Breed was selected to host “The Golf Fix,” elevating it into one of golf’s most popular instruction programs on cable television. He also serves as host instructor for Golf Channel’s “Big Break Academy.”

Breed’s broadcasting venture, he said, would not have been possible without the support of his home facility, Sunningdale Country Club, where he has been PGA head professional since 2001.

Breed served from 2005 to 2010 on the Metropolitan PGA Board of Directors and is in his second term on the national PGA Instruction Committee. A past chair of the Metropolitan PGA Education Committee, Breed won two Ely Callaway Awards in 2010 and 2011, recognizing individuals earning the most service hour credits for education recertification. He was the 2000 and 2009 Metropolitan PGA Teacher of the Year, and recipient of the Section’s 2006 and ’07 Horton Smith Award for contributions to PGA education.

For more than a decade, Breed has served as a Titleist Leadership Advisory Staff member and is among Golf Digest’s Top 50 instructors in the U.S., and since 2003 has been listed as a top 100 instructor by GOLF Magazine. Breed’s worldwide travels include trips to Canada and China to promote PGA education and has appeared before more than 15 PGA Sections nationwide.

Breed has coached 2003 PGA Champion Shaun Micheel, and past Tour winners Chris Smith and Joe Ogilvie. His current students include five-time Web.com Tour winner Darron Stiles, Ron Whitaker and LPGA winner Meghan Francella.

Breed also is co-author of “Picture Perfect Golf Swing: The Complete Guide to Golf Swing Video Analysis” (2008) and “The 3-Degree Putting Solution” (2011).

Breed and his wife, Kerri, live in Greenwich, Conn., and are parents of a son, William.

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Stiles Secures PGA Tour Card!

Darron Stiles won the News Sentinel Open on the Web.com Tour on Sunday. Stiles also won the event in 2002 and is also now the all-time leading money winner on the Web.com Tour. He got off to a rocky start on the first hole on Sunday but made a 30-foot putt for birdie on the second hole which helped to relax him and then he was able to go out and win. You are always nervous in the final round when you are in contention and he was definitely nervous at the start of his final round on Sunday.

Stiles has likely secured his PGA TOUR card for the 2013 season and this is particularly important considering the changes that will come to the PGA TOUR next year. There has not been that much discussion among players on the Web.com Tour in large part because there will not be that many dramatic changes on that tour. Stiles is very excited about the changes and thinks that they will serve to help the Web.com Tour in many ways.

He works with Michael Breed who is the host of The Golf Fix on Golf Channel. When they are on the range, Breed is much more subdued than he is on television and Breed is an exceptional teacher and Stiles said that he enjoys working with him a great deal.

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Great putting requires a great grip & starting the ball online!

Here are two of the tools I used on the show tonight. They will give you a huge leap towards your best putting ever. Check them out!

Putting Scope >>>

Lifeline Putting Grip >>>

You’ve gotta try these out, you’re going to love them!

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Two Different Reads on How to Putt Better

I am by nature a bookish sort of person, and most of what I know about almost anything at all I picked up from books. But last summer, as readers of this column may recall, I forswore reading any more books or articles of golf instruction. I had been rendered a basket case of self-consciousness, so crippled by swing thoughts that I could barely take a club back.

This summer I have backslid. Not completely. I will no longer go near Ben Hogan’s “Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf,”a book that I believe would have screwed up even Hogan had he bothered to read it instead of just write it.

But I have been toggling back and forth between a couple of very different books about putting: “Unconscious Putting,” by Dave Stockton, and “The 3-Degree Putting Solution,” by Michael Breed. Like most weekend golfers, I pay next to no attention to my putting, other than to announce loudly several times a round something that really needs no pointing out: “I can’t putt!”

But if you’re a typical golfer, putts probably account for more than 40 percent of your strokes. So considering how important putting is, a quick fix seemed like a good idea, especially if one could be obtained just by flipping through a couple of books. Would that it were so easy!

“Unconscious Putting” is a lot like Dave Stockton himself, or as I imagine him anyway: laid back, laconic, unassuming, wryly funny and very good company.

It’s my kind of golf book, because its secret premise is that golf books are a dangerous idea. This book’s idea is so simple that its pages are actually padded a little with anecdotes and with a preface written with Stockton’s son Ron and a foreword by Phil Mickelson, one of many pros Stockton has coached.

Stockton wouldn’t say it this way, but he’s a Platonic putter. He believes that we already know how to putt, the way we know how to walk or sign our names, and that problems arise only when we start to think about it. There is a natural stroke already inside you, and the putter’s job is merely to rid his head of all the swing thoughts and technical advice that has accreted there over the years — swing straight back and through; no! arc the stroke; weight on front foot; no! back foot. It’s like the gunk in your pipes that keeps the sink from draining.

In principle, this is very encouraging advice. It feels right, and you want to believe it’s true. But for me anyway, it has proved harder than you might think to put into practice. The very reading of Stockton’s book puts more stuff, not less, into the swollen, clogged chamber that is the golf brain. You can find yourself wishing for the mental equivalent of Roto-Rooter.

Michael Breed is younger than Stockton, and grew up part of that golfing generation that believes in stats and video analysis. If you’ve seen him on the Golf Channel, where he’s a regular, you know that he’s enthusiastic, inventive and boundlessly encouraging. He believes he can fix anything. His book is much the same. It’s a little more technical and prescriptive than Stockton’s, but it too comes down to one simple idea. Breed thinks you need to deloft the putter by tilting the shaft ahead of the ball and then hitting it with what amounts to topspin.

(In this respect he overlaps a little with Stockton, who recommends using a highly lofted putter, but then tells you to initiate the stroke with a forward press, so that you wind up rolling the ball much the same way as Breed prefers.)

Until picking up these books I didn’t even know my putter had loft. Don’t we call it the flat stick? The whole notion seemed so puzzling that not long ago I drove out to Sunningdale, in Westchester, where Breed is the head pro, and asked him to clarify it for me.

Breed is a born enthusiast and explainer, and a natural skeptic when it comes to received wisdom. He likes to point out, for example, that the reason most putters sold these days are 35 inches long is not because that’s the ideal length for the average golfer (who, if he’s under 6 feet, should probably use something shorter), but because at that length it won’t drop too far down in the golf bag.

Breed also has something of a clergyman’s fervor: he wants you to see the light. He told me of his own conversion experience, putting one morning in the dew and noticing that his ball left no track at first, popping up in the air before it rolled, and then he jumped up from his desk and pulled down piles of old golf books showing great putters like Walter Travis, Horton Smith and Bobby Locke, who all hooded the clubface when they putted.

Conventional wisdom these days, Breed explained, is that the ball, at rest on the green, sits in a little dimple or depression caused by its own weight and needs a little putter loft to lift it out and set it on its way. But Breed is convinced that the loft initially puts backspin on the ball and causes it to check up before it starts rolling forward.

“Trying to prove this to people is like trying in the old days to prove that the world is round,” he told me.

But he has pages of statistics and a computer full of video to demonstrate that a negative putter loft of about 3 degrees rolls the ball farther and more consistently.

It works. Try it for yourself. The problem is that merely rolling the ball isn’t sufficient. You need to roll it into the hole. Breed and I went out to the putting green, and I hit a few, putting a forward lean on my putter and striking them pretty nicely, I thought. I didn’t can any, but I left mostly tap-ins and not the kind of knee-knockers that I reliably convert into three-putts.

“Pretty good?” I said.

“Pretty bad,” he said. “The idea is to sink those.”

He then explained that I hadn’t aligned myself properly and that my shoulder action was all wrong.

I think that when it comes to golf instruction, Breed is a Stocktonite and a Calvinist both. On the one hand, he believes mightily in the importance of positive thinking. There is an anecdote in his book about one of his pupils, essentially a good putter but one who lacked confidence. Breed’s advice, for which he didn’t even charge the guy, was that he go home every night and, no matter how he had played that day, tell his wife that he was becoming a great putter. I like this approach a lot, and have begun to implement it myself — softly, when my wife is out of the room.

On the other hand, Breed parts company with Stockton in that he doesn’t really believe that there is a natural golf stroke lurking inside of us all, one that could be liberated if we just learned to get out of our own way.

“I think everybody’s natural is naturally bad,” he told me. “If it was naturally good, golf pros wouldn’t have a job.”

By Charles McGrath

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The 45th PGA Professional National Championship Live Coverage From Michael Breed

Broadcast Schedule on Golf Channel:

First Round: Sunday, June 24, 9:30-11:30 p.m.

Second Round: Monday, June 25, 3:30-6:00 p.m.

Third Round: Tuesday, June 26, 4:00-7:00 p.m.

Final Round: Wednesday, June 27, 4:00-7:00 p.m.

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