By Kiel Christianson
Tyrus York grew up on a small par-34 9-hole course in the mountains of southeastern Kentucky, so golf has always been a part of his life. Today he is a Class A PGA Professional at the Larry Ward High Performance Golf Academy at the University Club in Lexington, Kentucky.
1. First off, talk briefly about your golf instruction philosophy and how you preach it at your facility.
YORK: I put a heavy emphasis on getting to know my student and their goals before our lessons begin. Everybody has different expectations for their own game, and it is my job to guide my students to meet those expectations. It is very important that my students know how much I care for them and their game. By building trust with the student, they are more likely to accept any changes that we may have to implement to achieve their goals. The 'swing' method I use is to simply find the best method to help each individual student.
2. What attracted you to the SwingFix platform and how effective can this method be for golfers?
YORK: I have long discussed with my colleagues about having a platform where my students could upload videos of their swing for me to analyze. SwingFix was able to create this platform and make it 10 times better than I had even thought it could be. I love the idea that any student from any part of the world can upload a swing for us to analyze. It is also more cost effective for the students than taking private lessons in person. This hopefully will allow them to take more lessons that will help them achieve their goals.
3. In your opinion, what is the secret to taking the "range game" to the first tee?
YORK: Having spent the majority of my teaching career at a practice facility, learning to take the range game to the first tee is a problem I hear golfers talk about all the time. The secret is all in how you practice on the range. Set clear goals for yourself before you begin. For example, today you may want to focus on improving mid irons. Spend half of your time focused simply on your goal. When the time is up, use the rest of the time to simulate shots you would hit on the course. Imagine a fairway, rough, and any hazards that may be out there and visualize the shot you need to hit. Be sure to take your time using a good pre-shot routine.
4. Is there a particular training aid that you tend to use most regularly and with the most effectiveness?
YORK: There are hundreds of great training aids out there, but the one I keep going back to is the Impact Bag. As instructors, we can argue all day long about positions in the backswing, downswing, and even the finish. But when it comes to the moment of truth, impact, then most of us will agree. The best way to practice impact position is to simulate a swing and have it stop at the moment of impact. The Impact Bag does this, and allows the student and instructor to demonstrate the correct positions at the moment of truth.
5. Is there a way students who have worked with you most often dramatically improve and achieve that coveted five-shot drop in scores? Power, consistency, short game, management, playing more golf, etc?
YORK: Nine times out of ten, when a student approaches me wanting to drop five shots, the first thing we will do is head to the short game area or the putting green. Even the best players in the world can easily lose five shots around the green in any given round. I will conduct a short game assessment which usually takes about half of a lesson, and from there it is easy to identify what the student could improve the most. I’ve seen students drop five shots from their score within a week after they spent time working on short game.