By Kiel Christianson
SwingFix offers unparalleled access to the world's best golf instructors through the magic of the Internet. Well, not so much magic as technology. But for some old-school types, it feels a bit magical.
Mike Fay, one of the most recent teaching professionals to join the SwingFix team, is definitely NOT one of those instructors.
Fay, PGA Head Professional at the Monument Course at Boyne Mountain Resort in Boyne Falls, Mich., not only has his own website (mikefaygolf.com) with actual, well-written content (such as his instructional blog and instruction-related commentary and news), but even has his own golf instruction app for your mobile phone.
He also has an online golf show on Twitter called "Ask The Pro" on which he collects questions and sends them to the world's best instructors to help his followers' games. Guests have included the likes of Sir Nick Faldo, Hank Haney, Brandel Chamblee, Suzy Whaley, Rick Smith, and Charlie Rymer.
Needless to say, Fay is right at home with the SwingFix philosophy and technology. And he was gracious enough to take a few minutes to answer our Five Questions to introduce himself to prospective SwingFix students:
1. First off, talk briefly about your golf instruction philosophy and how you preach it at your facility.
FAY: I believe that the greatest gift I can give someone is to teach them what they need to do to improve and how they can fix their swing themselves. I also believe there is no universal way to swing the club but there are key points in the swing that all great players share. Those key points determine the future success of my players. Practice is essential to progress and I believe you can achieve your goals in only a very few minutes a day.
2. What attracted you to the SwingFix platform and how effective can this method be for golfers?
FAY: I think SwingFix plays a huge part in the future of golf instruction. It’s amazing how technology has changed golf instruction. Who would have believed just a few years ago that you could use your phone to video your swing, and next thing you know, you have the answers you have been searching for to fix your game. It’s very exciting! The SwingFix platform is very effective for all students of the game. It’s a great way to communicate with my students and share what I see. Plus, the drills that I can attach to lessons give my students what they need to succeed.
3. In your opinion, what is the secret to taking the "range game" to the first tee?
FAY: The secret to taking the 'range game' to the first tee is to practice with a purpose. Your purpose is to prepare you to play today. You should practice like you would on the course and you don’t have to hit a ton a balls to do it. When warming up to play, start with your shortest clubs then work your way up the bag to your longest. Next, visualize the course and play the first few holes on the range. Start with a driver and change clubs for your second shot. All the while, pick specific targets on the range and work on your pre-shot routine.
4. Is there a particular training aid that you tend to use most regularly and with the most effectiveness?
FAY: One particular training aid that I have had great success with is the Tour Striker. The Tour Striker helps my students really 'feel' what good impact is. In just a few swings, my students understand that they have to swing the club a certain way to create that impact. It can be used by students of all abilities. Great product!
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.?
FAY: Although all those ideas are very important to lowering your score, the fastest way to improve your golf game is a better short game. By eliminating three putts, poor chips and pitches, and bad bunker play, you can lower your score dramatically. I spend about half of my time with my students working on it. By creating fun practice routines we can lower your scores rather quickly.
Take a lesson with Mike Fay.