SwingFIx instructor Dan Carraher teaches in Jacksonville, Fla., at Hidden Hills Country Club.
He has taught players on the PGA, Nationwide, and LPGA tours as well as top amateur and collegiate golfers, including multiple NCAA national champions, and his website, dancarrahergolf.com, includes a long list of notable students.
Dan took time from his busy teaching schedule to introduce himself to prospective SwingFix students, who can avail themselves of his expertise from wherever they happen to be in the world.
1. First off, talk briefly about your golf instruction philosophy and how you preach it at your facility.
CARRAHER: My philosophy revolves around matching the swing pattern to the ball flight the student wants to see and then going about creating that in the most efficient way possible for that student. The goal is to have a swing that creates a predictable curve with some margin of error built in for less than perfect swings. I also preach learning to score and play golf, not simply hitting golf balls. I do this by having students play “worst ball' and play from the most forward tee to get comfortable shooting lower scores.
2. What attracted you to the SwingFix platform and how effective can this method be for golfers?
CARRAHER: SwingFix allows students from the world over to get quality instruction for golf pros they otherwise might not have been able to see. It's also more cost effective and allows students to work at their own pace. This method can be very effective; while not necessarily being as effective as in-person lessons, it is also more affordable and allows one to take more lessons for the same amount of investment.
3. In your opinion, what is the secret to taking the "range game" to the first tee?
CARRAHER: The key to taking your game to the course is practicing effectively. There is a time for hitting balls and working on mechanics/drills, but you also need to practice hitting different shots, hitting your clubs different distances, and varying your clubs more often in order to more accurately simulate real golf. The closer your practice becomes to playing golf, the more effective it will translate into success on the course.
4. Is there a particular training aid that you tend to use most regularly and with the most effectiveness?
CARRAHER: I don't use many training aids. Most often I utilize alignment sticks or similar device to help visualize aspects of golf, including where a student is aimed, the path the club should take, and a gate for the ball to travel through. This helps students focus on aspects which will help them play better golf, not just make better swings.
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.?
CARRAHER: I think most golfers don't truly understand how to play the game of golf effectively. There are, of course, exceptions, but generally better course management and assessment of their strengths and weaknesses will allow them to make better decisions on the golf course. The swing and hitting a golf ball are just two small parts of the game of golf.
Take an online lesson with Dan Carraher.