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SE Michigan instructor recommendations


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#1 etrichards

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 01:37 PM

Hi!  I know there was a similar post several years ago, so some of the answers would be out of date.  

Specifically I've been trying to self guide thru swing changes (without video, kinda stupid I know) and with limited time.   I am a pretty good ball striker when I am on - but I can completely lose my swing for either a few holes or few rounds and shoot scores that I have no business shooting.  Additionally, while i am a five handicap, I will play with scratch players in a game a few times a year.  Assuming I am not having a day when I can't find my swing, I am usually the longest, hit the most fairways/greens and on the greens I hit am generally the 1st or 2nd closest in the group.  While this lets me hold my own in a match play/skins format, I lose on stroke play because 1) My misses are much worse, 2) my short game is attrocious and 3) My putting was much worse as a whole (although this is no longer the case since a putting lesson in August with Bruce Rearick.  Highly recommend him to anyone!).   What this leads to even when Im playing well is a high number  of holes that are birdies/ or GIR pars, but the holes that I don't hit the green are often doubles or worse.

Given that I can't hit as many balls as I used to, I am looking to simplify my swing, hoping it helps remove the big miss and the rounds where I just cant find it, and when I lose it allows me to get back on track quicker.   What I had been doing while trying to decide who I should see was figuring out what changes I should make, and trying to add them one at a time and not moving on until I felt I had it.  This was actually working, as my GIR/Birdies were all way up, and number of misses were coming down, and even shot what was tied for my second best score, but on a much more difficult course than the others were shot on.  That is until I tried my next change, and everything fell apart.  To make matters worse I havent been able to shelve it and get back to where I was (I think I tried to make it work too long).  

Anyways in the past I had someone who I would work with on my swing.  He could very quickly get me to hitting it solid, but was always difficult to get ahold of.  So instead of taking one step forward and building on that - it was take one step forward, then fall back and have to get that step back.  While he could quickly get me going, I wasnt really able to catch when things went wrong and what to do to fix it on my own.  He has gone from hard to get ahold of to non-responsive, so I've been at it myself the last 2 years.  

Sorry for the book to get to this point.   I know the instructors at Miles of Golf are highly rated - but it isnt really easy for me to get to.   I've talked with Scott Hayes before several years ago and am considering him, but was wondering if anyone had any experience with Patrick Wilkes-Krier (sorry if I misspelled) and between the two whom you would recommend?

Also any other recommendations not tied to Miles of Golf?  I was considering Alex Macko at Jawor's or Bob Menzies out of multiple places - because they are a bit closer and might be easier to get to, and have heard good things with them.

I'd be interested in any feedback both on those I've mentioned and any that I havent.  

Thanks for the time!


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#2 garyt

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 05:47 AM

I would recommend Bob Menzies. I've taken a lesson here and there from a few instructors around town and Menzies is the only guy who noted all my faults in the first lesson. Not that we worked on them all in the first lesson, but he saw them. The other guys didn't, and a couple when I asked them said "I didn't notice that". I plan on going back regularly this winter.
  Alex Macko, while a nice guy would not be anybody I'd consider. I went to him for a driver lesson. I told him my miss was a pull hook. I was trying something to correct that when I saw him and was hitting a fade/slice. His idea was to get an adjustable driver and put it in the closed position to negate the slice. I had developed severe arm overswing and he never mentioned it, and was one of the "I didn't notice it guys" Maybe I just caught him on the wrong day. Maybe because I came in with the driver he figured I was a "one and done" lesson wise and looked for a quick fix, although I told him I was OK with a package.
   Like I said, Menzies caught and mentioned all my faults we needed to work on in a follow up video he sends you the next day. I still go back and watch that.

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#3 smdykas

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 06:10 AM

Try an online lesson with Dan. I just did and it was the best lesson I ever had!

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#4 gatorMD

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 09:13 AM

View Postsmdykas, on 10 October 2018 - 06:10 AM, said:

Try an online lesson with Dan. I just did and it was the best lesson I ever had!

Dan is solid.
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#5 AlecEmersonGolf

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 09:59 AM

Steve Vecellio out of Birmingham CC is my guy.  Most of the time you need to be a member to get in but PM me and I think I can make something happen if you want.

I've also heard good things about:

Dave Van Loozen (Oakland Hills CC, will need a member to sponsor you but far and away the best)

Paul Haase (Miles of Golf)

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#6 ferrispgm

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 03:28 PM

Steve is a good guy...i knew him back when I was a golf pro for a few years.  He used to be the head pro at St. Clair CC.  Another guy that I worked with was pretty good...Pete Kingsley.  He teaches out at Jawors as well as Macko.  

Scott Hayes is good but.....he is heavy into TGM or at least he was and it can get really confusing.
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#7 Kball10

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 08:58 PM

View Postetrichards, on 09 October 2018 - 01:37 PM, said:

Hi!  I know there was a similar post several years ago, so some of the answers would be out of date.  

Specifically I've been trying to self guide thru swing changes (without video, kinda stupid I know) and with limited time.   I am a pretty good ball striker when I am on - but I can completely lose my swing for either a few holes or few rounds and shoot scores that I have no business shooting.  Additionally, while i am a five handicap, I will play with scratch players in a game a few times a year.  Assuming I am not having a day when I can't find my swing, I am usually the longest, hit the most fairways/greens and on the greens I hit am generally the 1st or 2nd closest in the group.  While this lets me hold my own in a match play/skins format, I lose on stroke play because 1) My misses are much worse, 2) my short game is attrocious and 3) My putting was much worse as a whole (although this is no longer the case since a putting lesson in August with Bruce Rearick.  Highly recommend him to anyone!).   What this leads to even when Im playing well is a high number  of holes that are birdies/ or GIR pars, but the holes that I don't hit the green are often doubles or worse.

Given that I can't hit as many balls as I used to, I am looking to simplify my swing, hoping it helps remove the big miss and the rounds where I just cant find it, and when I lose it allows me to get back on track quicker.   What I had been doing while trying to decide who I should see was figuring out what changes I should make, and trying to add them one at a time and not moving on until I felt I had it.  This was actually working, as my GIR/Birdies were all way up, and number of misses were coming down, and even shot what was tied for my second best score, but on a much more difficult course than the others were shot on.  That is until I tried my next change, and everything fell apart.  To make matters worse I havent been able to shelve it and get back to where I was (I think I tried to make it work too long).  

Anyways in the past I had someone who I would work with on my swing.  He could very quickly get me to hitting it solid, but was always difficult to get ahold of.  So instead of taking one step forward and building on that - it was take one step forward, then fall back and have to get that step back.  While he could quickly get me going, I wasnt really able to catch when things went wrong and what to do to fix it on my own.  He has gone from hard to get ahold of to non-responsive, so I've been at it myself the last 2 years.  

Sorry for the book to get to this point.   I know the instructors at Miles of Golf are highly rated - but it isnt really easy for me to get to.   I've talked with Scott Hayes before several years ago and am considering him, but was wondering if anyone had any experience with Patrick Wilkes-Krier (sorry if I misspelled) and between the two whom you would recommend?

Also any other recommendations not tied to Miles of Golf?  I was considering Alex Macko at Jawor's or Bob Menzies out of multiple places - because they are a bit closer and might be easier to get to, and have heard good things with them.

I'd be interested in any feedback both on those I've mentioned and any that I havent.  

Thanks for the time!

Dave Kendall at miles of golf is awesome!  I highly recommend him.  I started with Scott Hayes and he was to technical for me.

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#8 larrybud

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 08:24 AM

Where in SE Michigan?    When I was looking for an instructor 4-5 years ago I went to a LOT of different guys.  Frankly, most were terrible. From "band-aide" fixes (like, I had a pull going at the time, so I was told to aim more right.. jesus...), to guys who don't know basic ball flight laws, to guys who were model instructors.    I essentially "interviewed" these guys by asking ball flight laws, or questions like "Can you explain what the 'release is'?" and then I'd run if they told me to "roll my arms over".

Someone mentioned Menzies... maybe he's changed, but the lesson I had with him he wanted me to have the same setup angles as Tiger.... Yeah, not going to happen, completely different body proportions.  I'm 5'7 and have short arm.  Sorry bud, not going to match the image of Tiger you have on your V1.  I couldn't end that lesson fast enough.

I went to Larry Hamilton a few times @ Twin Lakes, and as a bonus he has an indoor studio in downtown Rochester.  Good guy, knows his stuff.  Worked well with my wife too, and he was able to change his style to the ability/knowledge of the individual.

I also went to Jeff Goble when he was at the Great Lakes Crossing dome.  Very knowledgeable (was a Kendall guy), *very* technical, not good for newbies or who don't know the terminology, imo.    My wife was going to him and I had to translate half the stuff he said to her.  However I did like the progression he did with her from chipping to hitting 9-3 shots.

In the end, I took 2 online lessons with Monte (my wife did 1), and that trumped everybody, and I still work on the two things we talked about 4 years ago.  Never played better golf in my life, even though I'm getting older (almost 50).

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#9 oukeith

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 10:50 AM

Anyone know a decent indoor practice area in the area for winter?  Say near Auburn Hills?

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#10 ferrispgm

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 11:45 AM

View Postlarrybud, on 12 October 2018 - 08:24 AM, said:

Where in SE Michigan? When I was looking for an instructor 4-5 years ago I went to a LOT of different guys.  Frankly, most were terrible. From "band-aide" fixes (like, I had a pull going at the time, so I was told to aim more right.. jesus...), to guys who don't know basic ball flight laws, to guys who were model instructors. I essentially "interviewed" these guys by asking ball flight laws, or questions like "Can you explain what the 'release is'?" and then I'd run if they told me to "roll my arms over".

Someone mentioned Menzies... maybe he's changed, but the lesson I had with him he wanted me to have the same setup angles as Tiger.... Yeah, not going to happen, completely different body proportions.  I'm 5'7 and have short arm.  Sorry bud, not going to match the image of Tiger you have on your V1.  I couldn't end that lesson fast enough.

I went to Larry Hamilton a few times @ Twin Lakes, and as a bonus he has an indoor studio in downtown Rochester.  Good guy, knows his stuff.  Worked well with my wife too, and he was able to change his style to the ability/knowledge of the individual.

I also went to Jeff Goble when he was at the Great Lakes Crossing dome.  Very knowledgeable (was a Kendall guy), *very* technical, not good for newbies or who don't know the terminology, imo. My wife was going to him and I had to translate half the stuff he said to her.  However I did like the progression he did with her from chipping to hitting 9-3 shots.

In the end, I took 2 online lessons with Monte (my wife did 1), and that trumped everybody, and I still work on the two things we talked about 4 years ago.  Never played better golf in my life, even though I'm getting older (almost 50).

I forgot about Larry....He is really good...I interned under him when he was at Oakland U.  Super great guy and he really does know his stuff very well.

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#11 etrichards

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Posted 15 October 2018 - 11:18 AM

Thank you guys for all the feedback!  Definitely a lot to think about.   Im leaning right now towards either doing an online lesson or I may start off with Larry if I opt in person/local.   Thanks again, I really appreciate it!

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#12 ferrispgm

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Posted 15 October 2018 - 11:26 AM

IMO you are better off doing in person at first so you can get a good basis then use the online lessons as follow up.
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#13 mbarnocki

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Posted 15 October 2018 - 03:01 PM

I had some lessons with Scott Hayes at Miles as well. He was very technical and I think he pushed his ideas more then he tried to improve my current swing which at the time was not terrible. I had a 5 lesson pack and only did 4. Tried to change my setup completely to look like impact with hands pressed forward.
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#14 larrybud

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Posted 16 October 2018 - 11:53 AM

View Postoukeith, on 12 October 2018 - 10:50 AM, said:

Anyone know a decent indoor practice area in the area for winter?  Say near Auburn Hills?

Evolution Sportsplex, Auburn & Opdyke.

Limited for golf, though, as weekdays only, and usually until 4:30pm or so

https://www.evolutio...tsplex.com/golf

GREAT dome, however.  Last time I was there they had good balls and new mats.  Also the dome is translucent, so it's nice and bright in there.  Done is also 115 yards deep, which gives you good feedback.

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#15 gripandrip

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Posted 16 October 2018 - 12:22 PM

Not sure where you are located, but I have had pretty good success with Jordon Young, out at Fox Hills. I'm not a big lesson guy, but have gone to him a few of times trying to fine tune parts of my game. Some small observations he made concerning foot pressure and extension brought me to a better level of consistency. He also fixed some basics in my short game that took strokes off my round (After incorporating the changes).

You only have to overcome the fact that he hits the ball from the wrong side.

While I have never worked with Monte on line, you can't argue with the reviews he has and the results he seems to get.


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#16 oukeith

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Posted 16 October 2018 - 08:22 PM

View Postlarrybud, on 16 October 2018 - 11:53 AM, said:

View Postoukeith, on 12 October 2018 - 10:50 AM, said:

Anyone know a decent indoor practice area in the area for winter?  Say near Auburn Hills?

Evolution Sportsplex, Auburn & Opdyke.

Limited for golf, though, as weekdays only, and usually until 4:30pm or so

https://www.evolutio...tsplex.com/golf

GREAT dome, however.  Last time I was there they had good balls and new mats.  Also the dome is translucent, so it's nice and bright in there.  Done is also 115 yards deep, which gives you good feedback.

Thanks!  I will check it out.

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#17 mgoblue83

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 02:03 PM

Doug White out of Lake Forest in Ann Arbor. Former head pro at Barton Hills CC. Amazing instructor because he recognizes that everyone swings the club differently and will provide ideas and drills to help you hit your best shots more consistently.

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#18 ferrispgm

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 04:45 PM

View Postmgoblue83, on 17 October 2018 - 02:03 PM, said:

Doug White out of Lake Forest in Ann Arbor. Former head pro at Barton Hills CC. Amazing instructor because he recognizes that everyone swings the club differently and will provide ideas and drills to help you hit your best shots more consistently.

Excellent guy as well....I know his twin brother Don.....those two are hilarious.
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Putter: Taylormade Daytona Rossa with agsi.

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