Dale Abraham: The Breadth of a Great Golf Teacher

Dale Abraham was just named the PGA of America – Southwest Section, Teacher of the Year. He’s been  the Director of Instruction here at the Desert Mountain Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, since 2009 and the whole of it makes for a great story. How does a young man, fresh out of college and trying to play professionally, wind up with a wide breadth of knowledge and teaching at one of the finest golf clubs in the world?

We began by talking about how people approach the game.

People lose sight of the fact that you’re just out there in all this beautiful scenery and the wildlife and the flowers and everything else. You’re supposed to be having fun. If you can learn to have fun, your scores will actually go with that. The problem is that most people think that fun and scores have to be….  

An anathema to each other.

Yeah, they have to go with each other, but you can have fun and play poorly and, I’ve seen it many times, people can play well and not have fun. But it is more about having fun and as you start having fun, you adapt that positive attitude of having fun and enjoying yourself, it’s surprising how much better your shots get.

So did you try to play out of college [professionally]?

Oh, yeah. I played four years college [UC-San Diego] and I tried to play out of college for a year, but I broke my wrist and tore a ligament…

Oh, that’s no good.

…in my right wrist, so that put me on the DL. So that took probably four months for that to heal where I didn’t hit a ball. And then as soon as it started to heal, I was supposed to go back out and then I got tendinitis for eleven months. And that’s how I got into the golf instruction.

When I had the tendinitis, I was back in the desert and I had been working with the Leadbetter guys. And they asked me to help out at their academies.

That was nice.

And in the interim — and I had pretty much figured it was a temporary deal until I could get healthy and get back out there — and I just didn’t get very healthy. It just didn’t heal the way that it should have or I wanted it to. And so I kind of started enjoying teaching and getting into it and met my wife. And I was like, ‘Well, I’m not so sure I want to go travel and be away for nine months of the year.’ Because I think the one year I did play, I think I was gone for nine months. I think I saw home once.

So when you’re not healthy and you’re not playing great, you have a physical limitation, that’s tough.

So how much tutelage is there in the Leadbetter system?

There’s a lot. I think one of the neat things about it is that you go through a whole training program, a nine-month training program.

Oh, really?

Yeah. And it gave you a foundation for looking at swings and at golf games and introduced you to things that other training programs don’t. And I really liked it. I really enjoyed it. It opened the door to me. It wasn’t everything…

Now did you use him when you were a player?

Not him. But I used some of the guys at the end of when I was starting to play, the last year I did. But that’s also when I got injured and everything else, but that’s totally separate deals; I had a freak injury. I had a ball in a divot that was going across the fairway; somebody had taken a practice swing ninety degrees to the direction of play. And when I hit it, it was like hitting a cement curb, you know, cold hard ground and it was cold.

So, yeah, I worked with one of the guys for about a year, intermittently with him and one of the other guys for about a year. And I kind of knew [Leadbetter’s methods] that way and I really enjoyed what they had to say. I was having some success changing.

And when I started teaching and they started asking me to help — they asked me to help them with the schools — and then that was getting me into the introduction of how they teach and what they teach and being around the good players that I got to be around and seeing how they did it.

And when they asked you to help, help them teach or just to help them produce the schools?

Yeah, it was teaching in the schools, like assisting. So they would say ‘Go help so-and-so with this.’ And at that point I’d knew — I’d been around them enough — I knew what they were — if they said, ‘Go help Bill with his prep and his swing plane, that’s why he’s taking it back this way,” I knew the drills and could help somebody with that. And that’s part of the training, is being around those really good instructors — it was around eight or nine months — before you’d be teaching on your own.

So it was great back then. That kind of opened my doors. That was at PGA West [in Palm Springs] at the academy we had back then.

Which course was that on?

That was on the public course on the public side on the driving range of the Nicklaus Tournament and Stadium course. So it was on the far side. And then Landmark who was running it, had to sell it back during the Savings and Loan loan and RTC scandals. So [Jim] McLean, KSL bought it, who owns the right to the McLean golf schools — or did own, I don’t know if they still do — so when our lease came up, they wouldn’t let us renew. So we ended up going to Desert Willow which is a really nice 36-hole resort in Palm Desert, owned by the city and run by Kemper.

So we were there for a number of years until David sold his academies again to CCA…

Who’s CCA?

ClubCorp of America [now ClubCorp]. They’re totally competing entities, so I don’t think Kemper wanted them on the same property. So they didn’t renew the lease. So CCA told the five us, ‘We can relocate you to Houston or you can do your own thing.’ We all did our own thing.

So my director of that academy and I started the Desert Willow Golf Academy. And then, a year later, the guy who was the Western U.S. Regional Director for the Leadbetter academies hired me to help him come start a new golf academy. So I kind of jumped from one to the other and got to go spend my summers near Aspen, Colorado, [at the Roaring Fork Club] and the desert in the winter in Southern Cal, so it was pretty good back and forth as far as seasonal [members] and weather and everything else.

Now how did you end up at Southern California PGA [in Beaumont, California just west of Palm Springs]?

I was at the Roaring Fork Club and they actually recruited me. They called me up and said, ‘Hey, we’ve had a couple of recommendations. We’re looking for a Director of Instruction, not only for the golf club, but for the Southern California section, and your name came up more than anybody’s and we want you to come talk to us.’ But I was kind of [noncommittal], ‘I kinda like what I do, I’m liking my gig now,’ but they made me a great offer and I couldn’t really refuse it. So my wife and I were like, yeah that’s pretty good, so let’s go do it!

Yeah, I went to Q-School a couple of years there.

Yeah, and a couple of good golf courses there, but tough, and it can be real windy. In the Spring and Fall, it’s windy, the Santa Ana [winds] blowing through there and it can be really windy.

Yup, that’s the one that got me. So how long were you there?

I was there for almost four years.

And then how did Desert Mountain find you or how did you find us?

They sold the golf course.

The Section sold it? To who? A private entity?

Yeah, a Korean businessman. He owned animation firms. He did animation for Disney and I think he did some of the well-known animation shows or features. So I was just looking around and one of my buddies sent me the job opening notice at Desert Mountain and I put my name in the hat. And five interviews later…

Next thing you know.


It was really that big of a process?

Yeah. With Bob Jones, the COO and General Manager, and the Director of Golf, and [three of the six head pros]. They were all a part of it.

So you passed the sniff test.


So what I’m interest in with all of this technical stuff that you know about the golf swing and how to teach it and all the effectiveness [you have], I’m interested in the mental side of the game.

So I guess one of the ways you could start talking about it in terms of what’s the best way for a student to come to one of your lessons. What do they have to do on the mental side of it to be prepared to see what you’re trying to give them?

Well, that’s one of the biggest parts about golf anyway. In general, it’s just a whole mental game, right? And that’s one of the things I found doing schools. When I was teaching schools, I hired a sports psychologist to come in and prep my schools.


And part of his thing was, he would come in and say, ‘Okay, Bill. What are you here for?’ And you say, ‘Well, I want to do this or I want to do that.’ Whatever it was, XYZ. And he’d go around the whole room and he’d say, ‘Well, let me tell you what you’re here for. You’re paying “x” number of dollars,’ — and it was a pretty high fee — ‘to feel strange, uncomfortable, awkward, weird, different…’ And they would all kind of look at him and say, ‘No, no. We don’t want any of that.’

And that’s literally what it is. You’re paying to change. And how willing you are to jump out of your comfort zone — imagine a little box and you’re in a box, and there would be four people at a school.

And he would always say, ‘One of you will jump out of the box and walk away and leave that box. And you’re the guy in about a month, or you’re going to be the golfer, who’s going to be ecstatic because you’ve improved so much. The rest of you, one of you is going to peek out and just hang out at the top of the box and just stay there. The other two, you’re going to peek out, take a look around and decide, Ah, I don’t like this feeling of change, and climb right back in the box. And a month from now, you’re going to be doing the same thing you are now and a year from now you’re going to be doing the same thing you are now.’

That’s kind of the mental approach.

So how did that go over?

It actually went over really well. It kind of shocked them and it would get them to a point that they would say, ‘I don’t want to be the guy who spends all his money and doesn’t change.’ And that’s what he was there for. He was there to motivate them to want to change. Because everybody wants to get better. Not everybody wants to put in the work to get better.

And you can band-aid somebody’s swing, but how long is it going to last? It’s like adding more links to a chain. At some point, you’re going to have so many links in it and so many compensations for so many different things that your swing winds up being pure timing. And as we get older, as we all know, it gets harder to time that out. And you get more links in it and more timing issues and you can’t have any consistency. And that’s really what it is. Consistency.

So once someone makes those changes, what do they have to do going forward in terms of maintenance? How much time should they be putting in? How many times should they see you?

That’s all individual specific. Some people can integrate things pretty quickly — the tortoise versus the hare, and which on are you? — and knowing your tendencies is actually kind of important. Are you someone who changes very rapidly, but has to monitor it? Because if you change very rapidly, you’ll go from one extreme to the next to the next and next and just go back and forth.

Are you one of those people who more commonly doesn’t change very much at all and really needs to exaggerate things just to move it an inch when you really need to go a mile?

So knowing your tendencies and developing a kind of pattern of what your tendencies are can help you then when you practice to monitor it and say, ‘Alright, here’s what I really need to do. I really need to feel like I’m overdoing it.’ Or if you’re somebody who changes quickly, ‘I just need to feel like I’m doing it a little bit because I can overdo it quickly.’

But that’s really uncommon. I would say that 95 to 98% of the population doesn’t change very much. So they have to overdo things in order to be able to change at all.

You don’t really appreciate it until you look in the mirror and see….

How hard it is to change…

…it feels like you’re moving it a foot and you’re moving it an inch.

And that’s where the technology really comes in. It comes in as more of a feedback device, not to confuse people or anything else. It doesn’t need to be overly technical, it’s a feedback device. If you’re working on your club path and you want it to be 3 degrees to the right, or inside/out for a right hand golfer, you can look up [at the big screen display] and see, ‘Alright, I’m 12 degrees left. I made that swing and I swear it was 45 degrees to the right and you look up as see that it says, 4 to the left.’ You know that you have to keep going more and more and more. And that’s just great feedback. Same thing with video. You can use it for feedback.

That was certainly my experience. I’ve been on video before but no system like this [at the Jim Flick Golf Performance Center]. Is there a better one?

Not really. There are different systems that do the same thing. And there are just different software programs. But it’s like Mercedes, BMW. Which one do you like better? They both do the same thing.

So you get through the change process and you practice and practice and practice. And you finally have a golf swing and you think, ‘You know what, I think I’m going to try to go play.’

Well there’s a progression to the whole changing [process]. It’s like, can I do it once on the range? And once you can do it once on the range, can I do it five times on the range? Or can I do it five out of ten? You start to test it that way.

Can I do it do it with different clubs at different targets on the range? A driver with one and some iron with another and then with a hybrid. And then going back and forth. Can I do that?

Well, now can I take it to the golf course and do it a couple of times on the golf course in nine holes? Can I do it more times? Can I do it 50 to 75% of the time?

And once you get to that stage, can I do it when I’m playing with the guys in a fun, money game?

And then for somebody on the PGA Tour, can I do it on a Thursday or a Friday? And then can I do it on the weekend? And then can I do it on Sunday on the back nine? And then can I do it in a major?

So there’s a progression to it and it takes a while. That’s why Tiger when he originally changed his swing with Butch, it took him a year to do it. And you could see when he took the change from Haney to Sean Foley, you could see that he could do it all the way up to when it was the weekend of a major. And I think the first year he was over par for the weekend for all eight rounds of the majors. And yeah, it takes time. It’s not easy and as you get older, it gets harder.

So let’s say you’re to the point where now you can play. How do you, being a former player yourself, how do you sustain that mental acuity under pressure? What do you use? What have some of your coaches told you? What are you telling your players? [Laughs]

You have to be aware of your thoughts. And you have to have an Allowed List and a Not Allowed List. And you monitor yourself, just like you monitor your golf game or you monitor your swing; you monitor your mental thoughts. It’s not that Tour pros don’t have bad mental thoughts. They just catch themselves, they reframe it and they get themselves into right mental thoughts and they go about doing something.

Steven Bowditch [winner of the Valero Texas Open] talked about that this last weekend. Because he suffers from depression. He’s substantially beyond it, but he’s still dealing with it. But he had all these thoughts running around in his head and he had to, as he said, draw himself back in.

All the gremlins, yeah. And you have to be aware of it. And if you think your golf game is hard to change, changing your mental game, it’s pretty difficult. You start being aware of your thoughts, you start becoming aware of what you should be thinking or that you’re allowed to think about, what’s productive to think about and what’s not.

So what would be examples of some of those things.

Well, things that you can control versus things that you can’t control. So bounces or unlucky and lucky and stuff like that. You can’t control any of that. You can’t control whether you make a putt or not. You roll the ball on the best line that you can at the best speed that you can and you hope it goes in, but you have no control over whether it does or not.

What anybody else is doing. What anybody else is thinking. People set goals to win a tournament, you know, ‘I really want to win this tournament and I’m not going to be happy unless I win.’ Well, what if you shoot your career round or rounds and you shoot your career best by a bunch and somebody beats you. Are you not going to be happy?

So yeah, you’re disappointed that you didn’t win, but you also need to be happy that you’re showing the signs of improvement, you’re doing the things that you need to do and maybe the next one’s your turn.

So that’s an important part of it. It’s being aware of the thoughts, monitoring them, if you get off, you tell yourself to stop, get back to the task at hand. What are you trying to focus on? You’re trying to focus on doing something simple and boiling it down to the most simple equation, ‘I want to hit this ball at this target to the best of my ability,’ and that’s all you’re trying to do on each shot. You can rate each shot if you want: ‘Did I do that to the best of my ability: yes, no. Okay, well the next time I’ll have another opportunity on the next shot and I can do it on that one.’

A lot of the players on Tour now are talking about that approach almost exclusively: seeing the target, seeing a shot to that target and then playing that shot without even thinking about your swing.

Um-hmm. Right. You can’t be thinking about your swing when you’re playing under that kind of pressure.

But when I interviewed Jack [laughing] last year, he said that he thinks about his swing all the time and as many as five swing thoughts. I asked Tiger once, down at the Accenture Match Play — I had discovered that all of these guys are just playing to targets — and I so I asked, ‘So do you think about your swing when you play?’ because I thought that was like an anathema to what these guys are doing. And he says, ‘Yeah, all the time.’

Well, I think you can think about your swing pre-shot. I mean, think about any other sport. If you’re a pitcher in the major leagues and it’s Opening Day, are you going to be thinking about how you’re going to throw a curveball? You’re just doing it and thinking about where you want the curveball to land. Same thing with the fastball, same thing when you’re throwing darts, same thing in the NBA or college basketball. They’re shooting free throws; if you have to think about where your elbows should be and how the ball should come off your fingers, and all that, you’re toast.

And I think the same thing is true with golf. The more you can get to the point where you can just focus on the target and get the ball to go there — you may have a brief, one swing thought, at the most, but you want it to be more about feel. So you make a practice swing to get a feel and then you try to replicate that feel. But it should really — target, target, target, as much as you can. It’s like throwing a dart at a bullseye. You just look at the bullseye and hopefully you hit it.

Well, one of the problems with golf is that you’re not looking at your target when you’re making the motion…

Um-hmm, that is one of them.

…so you have to hold that target in your mind’s eye while you’re doing the physical motion. It’s easier in basketball when you’re looking at the rim or darts when you’re looking at the target.

Much, yeah. That is one of the challenges.

Any thoughts about how to hold that target in your mind’s eye while you’re trying to make the swing? Because we’re all seduced into going back and thinking about our swing.

Um-hmm. Part of it comes down to your ability to focus on your target. Can you focus on your target for a few seconds. If you’re standing over a golf ball for a long time, the longer you stand over it, the more chance you have of every other thought in the world coming into your brain.

If you get up there and go through your pre-shot routine, and it might include making a swing so you feel it, visualizing that ball flying to the target. And then when you’re over the ball, you’re saying, ‘this ball, at that target,’ whatever that specific target is. That’s the best chance of doing it. And then, pull the trigger. You don’t have a lot of extraneous thoughts. And practice helps, right?

Did you see Andrew Loupe this weekend?

Who was that?

Andrew Loupe, a new kid on the block at Valero who had a pre-shot routine where he was trying to get the feel of his club and it was excruciating. Finally they put, not the group on the clock, they put him on the clock. And so he’s got 40 seconds to hit the shot once it’s his turn and his first time was like 56 seconds.

And I don’t think he even realized how long he was taking. And now, the next bad time is no longer a fine, it’s a stroke. Which I think is going to save the game.

Well, I played in the Colorado State Open one year. I remember it to this day and it was 10, 12, 15 years ago; the two most excruciating rounds I’ve ever played in golf. And it wasn’t me, it was a guy I got paired with in a threesome who stood over the ball without moving for between 48 and 50 seconds. Over every shot. He would literally address the ball and then stand over it for 50 seconds. It got so bad that I actually started timing it, just to see. And…

So when the officials came out, you wanted to be ready…

No, the officials never came out, that was the problem.

You were going to have your proof right? [Laughing]

Yeah, right. We were trying to figure out why was this taking as long as we are? And we’re looking at our watches, so we knew that we were so far behind. There was nothing we could do other than have a conversation with the guy’s caddie, ‘Hey, you need to speed the guy up.’ But, I think playing faster would help the game.

Yeah, it would help a lot because it seems to be the bane of everybody’s existence.

So, do you work with anybody who’s trying to play now?

A little bit. One of the…

You don’t need to tell me who, but just…

Yeah. Without saying names. Yeah. I’ve got a good junior who’s going to be playing in college; a lot of fun to work with.

So you spend most of time with them working on their swing, yes?

Not necessarily, no. It’s more short game than anything. I would say it’s probably 50-50. But when they practice, I tell them to practice more short game than full swing. The one who’s trying to play on the Tour, I just pretty much work exclusively on short game with him.

PGA Tour?

He’s trying to, yeah.

Well, that’s what separates the men from the boys out there.

It is.

Because, guess what? You’re going to miss greens [laughing] so you better be ready.

Um-hmm. And if you’re an average guy, you’re going to miss 6 or 7 of them a round.

Exactly. That’s what kept me out there so long. I had a great short game and I putted like a maniac. My problem was that I was saving pars instead of making birdies.

Um-hmm. Yeah. But I don’t care how good you strike it, you still have to putt, right?

Right. I had that part and I had the short game down. I just kept waiting for my swing to catch up with my short game [laughing].

Well, I’ve been on both ends of that spectrum and I’d rather be on the short game end. If your short game is unbelievable, then you’re not putting so much pressure on it. Because, no matter how good your full swing is, the short game is always going to have pressure if you can’t make the putts. And nothing more infuriating than hitting it unbelievable and not making anything. And then, it gets to you and you start hitting it poorly and you can’t get up and down.

And that comes back to the mental side of it of being patient and everything else, not forcing things. But, let’s be honest, most people are going to start to press and get upset. At least that’s what I see the trend to be, the tendency. And so, if you’re not hitting it well, and you’re short game’s great, you can still make good scores. You’re in every hole.

One of the players I focused on in the LPGA’s Kia Classic was Dori Carter. She’s a four-year player; I never heard of her before. And she comes out and shoots 64.


Not only did she shoot 64, that was with 11 birdies.


And so, it’s like, yeah, I’ve got to give a tip of the hat to that round [and made her the “Popup Player” of the day]. So I was very interested in how she was going to do the next day. She didn’t do very well the next day, which happens so often. And basically she said, you know, ‘Yesterday every putt went in and today, they didn’t. I played about as good as I played yesterday.’

Yeah. She probably hit it almost the same. Yeah, that’s amazing. When that hole looks big, you can…

So anything else? I think that people tend to think of teaching pros as embedded in their teaching practice and not so much in how to take it out on the course. I know you give teaching lessons like everyone else…

Well, that’s one of the reasons I give so many playing lessons.

Do you?

Yeah. A lot of that is about, what are you thinking about out here? What are you trying to do? How are you trying to accomplish it? Because the ultimate goal is playing better, it’s not about hitting the ball great on the range. It’s playing better, which means scoring well or — playing better doesn’t necessary mean hitting it well. There’s a difference. Some people, if they want to just hit it well, that’s great. But that’s maybe not going to change your score; it might change your score a half shot or a shot, total. And that might be for a 12 or 13, 15, 18 handicap.

So it’s, how do you score better? You teach people how to play angles, how to manage themselves, where to miss shots, how to hit it, how to get up and down, what shots give you the best percentage from certain spots around the green.

And that teaches them course management and how to manage their own game. And teaches them how to score. And that’s really part of the mental part. Good players know how to make their way around a golf course even when they bring their B or C game.

Tiger’s always talking about you have to go figure out the angles.

Um-hmm. That’s exactly what you’re doing. You’re just trying to figure out where you’re trying to hit it, which shot. That’s the goal.

And that’s what you’re trying to do in playing lessons. You’re trying to figure out, alright, what are the scoring keys? And having a go-to shot, knowing where your misses are going to be, having a good short game, perfecting club selection. All those little things; reading the lies properly, knowing how to accurately read greens, all those little things that add up to being a good player.

Some of this stuff that you probably take, as a good player, for granted.

Uh, yeah. Because I just see them. Someone said to me once, ‘Well, how did you know that was downhill?’ And I said, ‘Well, I just looked at it.’


And they said, ‘Really?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, just walk and feel yourself walking downhill. And they said, ‘Ohhh. I never knew that before.’

But those are all things we do in green reading in clinics and out on the golf course. And I teach people — and around here, they’re using carts most of the time — I teach people to ‘Park your cart here and here’s the reason why: not only because it’s closer to the next tee, but because you can start looking at your putt from here already. And you can look and see, from a perpendicular line whether it’s uphill, downhill or flat and how much it is. And you can start to look at the colors of the grain and the sheen so you see which way the slopes are going.’

So they start to learn the whole process of playing better golf, not just striking a ball better. Playing better golf doesn’t necessarily mean striking it better. That can be a component of it, especially if you’re a poor ball striker…

There are a lot of good ball strikers out there that don’t have the rest of it.

Yeah, right.

So any last thoughts you have?

Any last questions?

No. I mean, one of the things I’ve enjoyed about working with you, is I know that you meet me where I am and I actually wrote a blog post on ‘How to Take a Golf Lesson.’ And it was about that first two hour lesson we had.

Oh, yeah.

Yeah. I’ll send you a link to it.

Yeah, I’d like to read it.

I didn’t want to [give it to you ahead of time] — I didn’t want to prejudice our conversation today.

So I’ve just had a fabulous experience with you.

Oh, great.

Oh, I know. Tell me about this TPI Level 3? [The Titleist Performance Institute in Oceanside, California, certifies teachers in golf biomechanics]. Is that like the highest level?

Yeah, for golf fitness — it’s funny — when I was at the Leadbetter Academy, due to my wrist injury, I couldn’t swing the way everybody wanted me to swing. I had a physical limitation with my wrist. I had to figure out a way to swing that would get around my wrist problems. Everybody was telling me to hinge my wrists in my backswing — I couldn’t; my whole forearm would swell up for about two weeks. And I’d have to quit doing everything.

So I had to figure out a new way and I was also in charge of the Senior sessions back there. And I would, after a while, started jokingly asking people, instead of, ‘Do you have any physical limitations,’ I would ask, ‘Tell me about what works.’ Instead of giving me the binder an inch thick of what doesn’t work, what does work?

So I always joke about about that, but that really taught me that, ‘Hey, it’s great to have a model swing, but not everybody can swing the same way. And methods don’t necessary work because everybody can’t swing the same way. And I may have a physical limitation in my wrist, or somebody else has in their back, or somebody else has one in their hip rotators, or whatever, that makes them not be able to swing the way they want.

So you have to be able to work within those. So I wound up going to the C.H.E.K. program and getting certified in golf biomechanics. And I worked with a lady named Janet Alexander for about 10 years. A phenomenal lady. She is one of the smartest ladies I’ve ever met…

Is C.H.E.K the same as TPI?

Yeah, it’s just different entities. Paul Chek started it a long time ago; he was more the fitness side. TPI, Greg Rose, is the fitness part of it. And they’re kind of competing entities I guess.

So I went through the C.H.E.K. program, this was way before TPI was TPI, and started working with Janet for about 10 years, taking my clients down there. I would go down there and just pay her for a half day and pick her brain for 3 or 4 hours. And that’s how I started to learn about biomechanics.

Oh. So it was more about biomechanics rather than fitness?

Yeah. It is. It’s much more. It’s corrective exercise, it’s — “bio” is life — and then “mechanics,” so it’s how the body works, what muscles are responsible for what roles, how to work around things, how to correct things, what to do if somebody has XYZ problems with this muscle, how to give them stretches to improve in that area, how to analyze that area and see what’s wrong with it.

So it was all about what somebody can do with the limitations they have. And they might not even know they have limitations. They may say — I’ll ask them, on a scale of 1 to 10 how flexible they are — and they’ll say a 5 or 6, or middle of the road. And do a couple of little [diagnostics], and they’re a 2. So they don’t understand that their limited muscle range-of-motion in the muscles in a certain area in the body is causing this problem in their swing.

So that was the introduction that I had and then I did TPI Level 1, 2 and 3 for the golf pros. And then last year, I also did the TPI Power Coach Level 2, which was really enlightening about how to achieve more clubhead speed for people. And they had some different protocols, one was by Dr. Tom House, it’s a newer one from baseball and you can apply it to golf. It’s been great. I’ve had people who have gained as much as 10 miles per hour in clubhead speed in just a little bit, not lifting weights, just doing a certain set of drills.

So, it’s not always the driver then. [Laughing]

As far as — [laughing] yeah, it’s the drivee, exactly. With the same driver, I should say.

So yeah, part of my quest is that I want to better myself every year, know more, and get better at teaching and get better at all aspects of it. So every year I try to pick at least one area to get better in. So I just, every year, try to get better.

Well, thank you for all of the effort that you’re putting in because I’m certainly benefiting from it.

Well, yeah, I figure when I stop learning, I should stop doing. I should retire.

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One Response to Dale Abraham: The Breadth of a Great Golf Teacher

  1. Roger Dunbar says:

    Great article and great instructor from one of Dale’s students who is a “1” on flexibility scale.