Thank you for the class today. Was nice meeting you. Very different teaching techniques which was quite intriguing for me. I'm excited to practice more and gain some more consistency.
I was telling Dave all about it. I like the numbers you threw out today. Ex, lining putt up with the markings on ball increasing chance of making it by 11%... I think I understood that correctly.
Definitely lots to think about.
See you next week,
Hi Coach, My Monday lesson was very informative. I played yesterday and my ball contact has improved considerably. I'm regaining distance with all my clubs, ball contact will surely continue to improve with additional play and practice.
You asked for a review of the lesson:
- You asked what I saw? I saw the sun! after almost every shot I looked into the sun! No seriously, I'm not sure what your asking...but...what I saw was the need to improve my ball flight. I saw what needed to be done to improve my ball contact thru the games and drills...i.e. where the divot should be (after the ball). I saw where my body should finish, in the front quadrant. I saw that my alignment accounts for pulling the ball.
- What I felt: The angle of my swing got steeper to take a divot in front of the ball. The results are better ball contact and then ball flight. This then helps to move the body into the proper quadrant (front) at the finish.
- Drills and Games: All of them are great....the 4 tee drill, the ball 12" to 24" in front of another ball to force your body to feel what should be happening. The cushion to force me to take a steeper angle.
In summary, your okay as a teacher....LOL...only kidding, you have a unique and positive approach to coaching which appeals to me....one lesson and the the results have been very satisfying...I play in a Tuesday night golf league and noticed a tremendous improvement...my confidence has escalated and I look forward to playing.
Thanks, I'll see you again soon.
Hey Coach Mark!
Great lesson today! So much information given to her today. I think Madison is going to email you herself but she commented to me how she loved the lesson. I forget what words she used exactly but uniquely expressed how much she enjoyed it. She also said that she really took it all in!
We played about 3 holes hitting out of the rough. She had some good shots and bad. We would talk through them and then try it again. We will continue to work on it! We came back in then and she hit some more balls at the driving range.
I loved your chat with us at the end of the lesson. Later we were talking about how she really enjoys golfing and that she is good at it. It's amazing how much you have taught her this season. Prior to golf she did dance for many years but I knew she didn't "love" it. Tonight she told me that she enjoyed dance but it was just alright. She said she feels good about herself that she is good at something! We also talked about that we need to remember to always be appreciative - for all the things you do for her, as well as us, her parents.
Thanks so much - it is always a great time with you! See you soon!
Good Day Mark,
I now have a clear understanding of the game, and how my body needs to move from stance-to-take back-to-impact of the ball. I know that I still have a ways to go before significantly reducing my handicap and hitting the ball consistently, but this is the first time that I have a positive direction and growing confidence. I now feel that with additional instruction, I will be comfortable playing with anyone.
While I probably hit three good shots all day, without your "tap tap" drill I would not have been able to impart the moves necessary to better my game and my grip. I am so confident with the results of your lesson that I plan to continue lessons with you, so that my game and technique will continue to improve.
Thank you for the very special attention you have provided me, and I know that you really want to make me a better player.
Mark, hope you had a great summer!!
Hope all is well! I had a great golf season thanks to the changes you helped me implement. It took some time but about mid-July things started to click and I literally had the best golf season of my life.... Anyway, I'm still eager to make improvements and know there is still stuff to work on. Looking forward to working with you some more!
Hi Mark, it's been roughly six weeks since we met for a lesson. Here's the update I promised you I've had about a dozen practice sessions and I've played roughly 20 rounds. Your lesson focused on getting more flex in my wrists and to shift my weight forward into the shot. Initially I could do one or the other, but not both at the same time. After six weeks I'm beginning to get it. I'm hitting the ball farther and closer to the distances I had ten or fifteen years ago, but with a swing that I believe I can make when I'm 80. It's more fluid, almost effortless, and after a round I don't feel like I've been swinging a sledgehammer. Thanks so much for your help. Your teaching method is very strong on repeatable fundamentals and I'm proof that it works.
Hi Coach Mark,
I want to thank you for teaching and coaching Matthew this summer. He has learned a great deal from you about golf these past years. I am hoping to see you soon and he can continue. Thank you again.
My Monday lesson was very informative. I played yesterday and my ball contact has improved considerably. I'm regaining distance with all my clubs, ball contact will surely continue to improve with additional play and practice. You asked for a review of the lesson:
1) You asked what I saw? I saw the sun! after almost every shot I looked into the sun! No seriously, I'm not sure what your asking...but...what I saw was the need to improve my ball flight. I saw what needed to be done to improve my ball contact thru the games and drills...i.e. where the divot should be (after the ball). I saw where my body should finish, in the front quadrant. I saw that my alignment accounts for pulling the ball. 2) What I felt: The angle of my swing got steeper to take a divot in front of the ball. The results are better ball contact and then ball flight. This then helps to move the body into the proper quadrant (front) at the finish. 3) Drills and Games: All of them are great....the 4 tee drill, the ball 12" to 24" in front of another ball to force your body to feel what should be happening. The cushion to force me to take a steeper angle.
In summary, your okay as a teacher....LOL...only kidding, you have a unique and positive approach to coaching which appeals to me....one lesson and the the results have been very satisfying...I play in a Tuesday night golf league and noticed a tremendous improvement...my confidence has escalated and I look forward to playing.
Thanks I'll see you again soon.
Sorry it took me so long to email you after our lesson, but I really didn’t know what to write to you....until...it finally clicked! For a good while, I was still topping the ball, hitting the ground behind the ball, or whiffing. I kept trying and trying, focusing on the steps you showed me and I finally got my rhythm. What has helped most about our lesson are two quotes that I recite in my head before I swing: “hit the roots” and “TRUST THE PROCESS”. I also incorporated the Elvis action prior to the down swing and that has helped dramatically. As I survey the greens before chipping up, I think of you and focus on what I’m committing to: how hard of a swing, where to land the ball and where my arms should be to finish the swing, all the while, trusting the process. While I know the short game is the most important part, I’m rocking the driver. My furthest drive so far has been about 165 yards, straight down the fairway! At least once a round, I outdrive my husband!!
I hope you are well and enjoying the warm weather so far. I’ll look for you when I’m at BGC again.
I am still so happy about today's lesson. I feel as if I made so much progress in just one lesson - I am really convinced that by the end of our time together this year, I will have fulfilled my golf goals for this year. And then we will tackle next year, where my goals are a bit more ambitious.
I have to tell you that your teaching style is perfect for me. I feel connected, I feel understood, I feel respected.
You have an extremely encouraging style. Also - humor always works best with me - I don't relate very well to super serious people, so while your instruction is certainly serious and I appreciate the candid help, the delivery is so relaxed that my usual YIPS disappeared after the first couple of shots. You made me feel completely safe to just show you my game and look to your counsel and training. I trust you completely.
You are a really amazing teacher. I hope you hear that a lot, because you deserve to hear it often.
Looking forward to your helping me learn what I need to do in order to achieve my golf goals for this year and for some years ahead.
Mark, another great lesson!! I was feeling a bit frustrated with the way I was hitting the ball but after our lesson and then putting into practice the adjustments you suggested I have renewed enthusiasm on the progress I am making.
What I’ve learned and am now practicing:
1) I’m standing more upright at address which is allowing me to take the club back more to the outside and also allowing me to have a more balanced turn / backswing.
2) I’ve also discovered that by having the club in a more “outside” position in the backswing it actually enhances the transition of dropping it in for impact position. I’m better able to SHROTATE.
3) You made me realize I am way too stiff over the ball. When you had me hold the driver ahead of the ball take it back and just swing something clicked. I’ve now incorporated much more motion into my pre-shot routine. I’ve begun waggling which is something I’ve never done before and taking some nice relaxed practice swings just before address. Once I address the ball I am now beginning my backswing much quicker than I had previously. Instead of standing over it and overthinking I’m trying to be much more athletic and free. Because of this I’ve noticed I’m making better contact more frequently than previously.
I plan on utilizing the posture drills on the videos and hope to continually groove the adjustments you’ve helped me make.
Mark, thank you for another excellent lesson. I’ve listened to the “Putting Out Of Your Mind” CD and have been practicing what you have shown me and I am seeing great improvement already. I’ve also downloaded the Metro Timer App and use it as well….
Thanks so much!
It was the BEST lesson! Worked through the bucket of balls. I stepped back 2” from the ball to make me reach/stretch and was getting the swing you wanted. Feet Flat:-)) Straightened my flight path right out. Also gripped the driver a bit softer and swung 80%. Straight and consistant 225-250yd ball flight. Played with the M1 adjustments and got it dialed in. VERY STOKED!!!
Thank You for the videos, they are extremely helpful and I review them frequently to remind myself of what I should be focusing on.
I apologize for the late e-mail reviewing our last lesson. I’m currently away with my wife for our annual 2 week getaway and have limited access to e-mail. The interesting thing is I have absolutely no access to any golf clubs or practice facilities but I have been using a wooden beach umbrella stick as a pseudo club to practice what you have been teaching. It fits in perfectly actually because it hit home dramatically last lesson how much I “focus” on hitting the ball. Without a ball to hit here I can only focus on everything else I should be feeling during the momentum of my swing including the proper weight shifting, swing path and most importantly tempo.
I was a bit disappointed with myself at the beginning of our last lesson with the immediate reversion to my old swing pattern once I was put on the spot to show you where I’m at with my swing. I felt I had practiced a lot trying to groove what I’ve been learning but the instant I felt a bit of pressure I sort of went blank and fell right back into what was “comfortable”. Of course you spent a good portion of the lesson after that explaining a lot of the psychology that goes into a “proper swing mindset“. After reflecting on it for a while I came to the “AHA” moment of realizing I need to work on retraining my mindset as much as changing my swing. I’m trying to remember the exact term you used but it escapes me right now.
Anyway, I found that as I was swinging the wooden stick here if I took my right hand / arm off of it completely I was better able to shift weight , be on plane, have better impact position and follow through. I’ve been swinging it a lot and found that when I put my right hand / arm back on it somehow inhibits me and puts me off balance. Why do you think that is? I’m going to focus on keeping a very loose right hand grip so that I am not being bound by my right side. Does that make sense?
Mark, thank you as always for being an excellent instructor. Your passion for your craft comes through and I’m sure all of your students benefit greatly from your instruction. See you in a couple of weeks.
Mark, great lesson last night! Thank you, I do appreciate it!
I'll be working on practicing what you showed me regarding my swing plane, practicing to be more upright instead of coming back flat and then back over the top. I noticed that when I'm doing it correctly I feel a pull on the top of my right shoulder which I will use as a physical feel that I am bringing it back on a steeper plane. I feel I need to get grooved with this new plane and then gradually gain smoother / better tempo with it.
I also understand that as my club length increases the plane will gradually get flatter / shallower.
I will also be focusing on where and how I impact the ball, thinking more about the club impacting the ground in front of the ball rather than the back of the ball. This will promote hitting down on the ball for better impact.
Any recommendations on flexibility / strength exercises to improve my golf swing? I work out almost daily with weights etc. so I'd like to focus on some new exercises.
Lastly, I think you have an excellent teaching style and " Bedside Manner ". I surmised from last night that my progression will be " building block style " each lesson building on the last. I am looking forward to putting into practice anything you show me and I truly enjoy practicing and the whole process of improvement!!
Great example of effective note taking and review by 9 year old girl.
Private Lesson: September 29,2015
Putting was the focus of the lesson.
Started with reviewing the pre-shot routine for a chip near the green:
- Walking up to the green to get a closer look and then walking back to the ball looking back & forth to the hole
Percentage of making a putt from 3ft vs 6ft vs 8ft :: 93% vs 25% vs 15%:
- Therefore important to get the ball as close to the hole as possible to minimize the chance of 3-putts
Talked thru a 7-foot:
- Aiming/alignment of club face with the ball/needs to be square to the ball on the line that you choose
- Used the aim sticks 90 to one another to help with body alignment and aligning the putter face square to the ball.
- Maintain triangle with arms and rock the shoulders Keep an even pace with all the putts, long or short
Practiced putting to aim stick/ good practice drill:
- 10 balls and measure results
Talked about getting long putts close to avoid three-putts:
- Speed is critical to good putting along with proper alignment
- Need to imagine the proper line of the putt/use targets on the green to putt to such as leaves
- Focus on the speed of the putt with practice swings
- Read the putt from different angles to get a better feel for the longer putts/Last 1/3 of the putt is critical to making long putts
- Minimize movements between practice putts
- Speed control/ proper alignment(aiming) / visualization - key components to successful putting
(10 years old)
Mark, with the end of the golf year approaching I just wanted to thank you for your efforts and patience this past year. I know that I tried your patience almost to its breaking point but you stayed with me and it paid off this year. I dropped my handicap almost 6 points and I am regularly playing with an average score in the mid to low 80`s. I also can attest to your promotional phrase "no more slices '. Now my "bad" shot is mostly a hook. This is not to say that I won`t see you this winter. Still need to work on short game and even though I am getting older--try for some added distance. Again, thank you for all that you have helped me with this year. Best wishes for the coming year .
Thank you for all of your help. I ran out to a driving range this morning and was able to continue where we let off. I am able to now hit the ball out around 200 yards dead straight or with a slight draw. This is still on a nice easy swing and I am going to keep working on the swing path at this reduced swing speed for the next 3-4 times out. Once I see that it is repeatable over time, then I will try to slowly add a bit more. If I have any issues, and I'm sure I will, I will schedule another lesson. I will most likely do this regardless.
As far as a recap...I definitely saw the difference, not just with the ball flight but also in the mirror. When you had me try to swing like I was before, I watched in the mirror. It looked bad but it wasn't until I saw the correct swing afterwards that I realized just how bad it really looked. The correct swing makes me look like I've done this before (obviously I still need a lot more work on it).
The three most important things that I learned was the swing path, the rotation of my wrists/forearms to promote a draw, and standing with a slight rotation. I had tried each of these things separately and had mixed results. I now have a foundation on which to revert back to when I find myself having problems with a slice or other issue which will certainly happen.
In addition to the above three things, I also learned that I was not transferring weight to my front foot nor was I rotating my hips/shoulders enough. I do transfer weight forward when hitting the irons but I never had success doing it with a driver, probably because there were other issues that all needed to be corrected at the same time.
Thank you for all of your help yesterday. I'm sure I will be in for another lesson when it comes to adding some power into the swing.
Hi Mark...attached is my lesson review from yesterday.
This was the best lesson yet as I really did start to feel a better path. When I was hitting those balls at the very end as you left, I almost started to say it was too EASY! I was hitting them so good one after the other. Then I felt myself rushing as it was closing time, and my back was really aching using muscles I'm not used to, and that's when some balls started going off path.
I didn't hit balls today as my back was bothering me plus my league is Wednesday. I'm planning to hit some balls before my league and get the groove back. I REALLY like the idea of setting up my net in the garage to hit balls using a couple of the drills we just did. ESPECIALLY since you said to not worry about where the ball goes. If it's all about solid contact and hitting the ball in the right spot then that's perfect for me to do with my net.
Thought it fitting I report back to you guys about the Scramble I played today.
- A bump and run hit to within 6 inches of the hole.
- Three holes where I secured a one putt for the team. (Too bad I couldn't do that at Huntingdon Valley!)
- A text from Jodi after her husband saw one of my drives. He told her I crushed it.
- And feedback from the other guy in our foursome that hadn't seen me play in four years, "Where are you taking lessons?! That is money well spent!"
If it wasn't for the two of you, I wouldn't have any of this to report.
This game has been present in my life since I was about 7 years old. Thanks for making me believe I could actually play it. (But, joke is on you. Now I'm obsessed with my Quest for Scratch...)
See you tomorrow!
Clearly, I had engrained a bad habit over the years, and despite retaining quite a bit of what you had originally taught me, I just couldn't put my fingers on what I was doing wrong that was causing the constant fade/slice. After seeing/hearing your explanation of what was going on - too steep of a swing plane with a bit of over-the-top action, along with a left-hand grip that was not conducive to allowing my arms to roll over at impact, it really helps to explain the result I was getting. After our lesson, I spent a bit of time hitting balls trying to exagerated the open stance and outward swing path to retrain my muscles. I am also forcing myself to carry the club in my left hand in more of the proper position, in an effort to help memorize that grip feeling. On the range, I was starting to feel the new swing path slowly coming into focus (despite having several swings where, due to overthinking all the bits and pieces, I would clunk one poorly). However, when I stopped thinking and let the club fall into place, I noticed a considerable difference in ball contact, distance, and trajectory. One other thing that I noticed is that when I make a good swing (proper rollover & release of club), I am much more balanced in my follow through/finish - something that I didn't really notice until making these small changes. I am finding that these "tweaks" are more easily repeated with my irons (not sure if that is normal), and have been able to draw even short irons - almost predictably. Obviously, it's going to take a bit of range/course time for these changes to start feeling more natural, but knowing what the issue is and what I need to do has certainly given me the mental boost I needed to get over that hurdle. I'll keep you updated on my progress, and am thinking there's a chance of another lesson (putting) before end of summer ...
As always, thanks a bunch for the productive session!
Wanted to write to let you know how much Emma is enjoying the Girls Golf Saturday mornings at Bethlehem Golf Club – you are making learning how to hit a ball fun and enjoyable. She talks about what 'Coach Mark' teaches and says all of the time. She was very excited about getting out to 'play' down at Tumblebrook this past Sunday evening.
As a mom who loves the game, it is exciting to see her pick up on that spirit, as well.
Thank you in advance.
Christina (Emma's mom)
Thank you so much for the great lesson yesterday. During the lesson I learned to move my feet instead of keeping them cemented to the ground. You also instructed me in the proper body alignment, movements, and holding the pose which are all needed to hit the ball consistently. I can not believe how much my swing improved in such a short time. After the lesson I was hitting the balls consistently and the balls were traveling so much further. Thanks again for the great lesson and I look forward to the Ladies Club tonight.
I wanted to write and thank you for the your efforts with me so far. Knowing I'm probably retaining about 70% of everything you have given me, I still feel way ahead of the process. The lesson yesterday was quite a challange, but in some important ways, I think it helped me make some additional progress; I have a lot of bad habits to break.
I want you to know how thrilled I am working with you. I plan on concentrating on what you imparted through the first 3 lessons. There's no question that I want to continue working with you beyond the course lessons, and will go on line to figure out some booking times.
Again, many thanks. Stay well and see you soon.
I just wanted to let you know Michele and I played today to test out my adjustments. I hit every drive but one exactly where I wanted to and the one that wasn't was still in really good shape. Thank you so much. Instead of anxiety at the tee, I just stepped up and ripped it. My score reflected too.
Just voted for you....hope you win! I won my league again last year and shot my best round ever, a 73 at Whitetail so it was a great season. I'll give you a shout when the weather breaks.
Mark, first let me say that I got more out of this first lesson than any other initial lesson I had ever taken. I think that I now have started on the path to swinging the club and not" hitting" the golf ball that I have been doing. The benefit of the two drills, the three ball drill and the verbalization drill have been that I believe that I am starting to "swing" the golf club and not "hit " the golf ball. I think that the verbalization drill (turn and rotate) have started me best on this path. It gets me to a point where I am thinking about saying the words and not about thinking about where my ball is going. The few swings I took doing this drill felt as if they were the freest and easiest I have felt in a long time with my swing. I wasn`t able to get out today for Infintee to practice but I plan on getting down there at least two or three times before our next lesson on Tuesday. I am looking forward to get out to practice. TURN & ROTATE -- TURN & ROTATE -- TURN & ROTATE.
I really enjoyed my first lesson. It was a completely different method than the other couple lessons I took from someone else as I communicated. I liked the “blank slate” because I am a beginner, the advantage is that I am so green I haven’t developed any bad habits yet. I liked the way you explained everything with applicable analogies and the inherent humor. I appreciated the suggestion to practice because of the concept of building on acquiring skills. I also gained some confidence from practice, I think I could enjoy this game. As a beginner I liked the fact that you didn’t overly focus on the mechanics (and I think part of that could be mental) but what comes natural. I really enjoyed the lesson and feel fortunate that it turned out to be a private lesson. I actually practiced twice and it was a treat compared to my cardio and lifting regime.
First, happy Thanksgiving holiday week! Great weather today; hope you had a chance to get out.
My application of the things I’ve learned from my lessons this fall have really been coming together in the past few weeks.
For my last few rounds this fall, my game has changed significantly. Off the tee I’m easily 20-35 yards longer & in the fairway or short rough on almost every hole! The big slice is gone. My short game inside 100 yards is also much improved using the fence post swing thought to keep my weight forward. The weight forward has really improved all my short game play. Overall, my game is 4-6 strokes improved vs. my best play during the summer. Wow! What a difference. My playing partners have noticed too. Below is the note I shared with my regular partners & a few other golf friends in the valley. I’m guessing a few of them will be headed your way.
Thank you for your coaching to energize my game & help me move to another level! I really feel great with my improved ball striking & play!
I’m sure we will be catching up in the spring. Accuracy & distance improvement with my middle irons is next on my self-improvement agenda. Getting my weight forward on the turn I’m sure will help there. I’m working on that.
"In my ongoing process to become a better golfer, I’ve been doing some sort of organized lesson(s) every year or so. I recently finished up the Coaching Plan 1 program with Mark. First, he’s a great guy & a lot of fun as a teacher/coach. He helped me fine tune a bunch of things in my swing & we did two of the four one hour lessons on the course which was really helpful to me in thinking about course strategy. Especially around & on the green. Definitely worth the money vs. other teaching investments I’m made over the years. I easily see myself going back to him in the future."
Really appreciate the insights you provided and I was amazed at the almost immediate results.... realize I've got of work and practice to get the full advantages....But in the span of an hour I felt so much better about my swing and I'm confident it will carry over to the course.....
This past lesson was great, I've never felt the smoothness in the swing that I did and the strike on the ball. I felt balanced, I felt loose and as we discussed it felt like a very easy swing. I've got to get into that routine before I hit, my arms weren't tight and I need to push my wrist down as I follow through with the hips.
Great lesson, thanks, see you on Sunday,
Just played at Muni. Happy. Out in 45 with 16 putts. In with 44 and 18 putts. For 89 which was a goal I had, to break 90. Wasn't sure I would do this season. I credit the lessons from you for this surge of improvement. Played another 9 on back 9, with again a 44 with 14 putts. What makes me happy is that my 3rd shot is either getting on the green or just off the green. And sometimes 2nd shot gets me real reachable. Can't believe how many times I did that 8 iron chip close to the green. A lot. Need to really concentrate on getting those closer to the pin. I'm looking forward to practicing more putting and near to green. I was playing the ladies, red tee.
You are wonderful Mark!
I just shot a 98 at Shepherd Hills. It all fell together and it was easy to break 100 for the first time!!!! This was in front of husband!
All to your Coaching and instilling the confidence in me that I could do it!
Looking to and believing I can break 90 next!
Nancy and I want to thank you for what you have done for our respective golf games. Your instruction and insight toward the art of hitting the golf ball has put distance, consistency and fun back into playing golf. Your individual instruction and analysis of what we each needed to do to be better has made a huge difference in both of our play. Although we have had previous private lessons your method has made the most difference in our games. Thanks again. The Coaches Plan I was the best summer investment we made!
All the best,
Carl and Nancy
You guys did a great job and made [Junior Camp I] lots of fun. Thomas has been involved in many different camps and yours is his favorite. He said you guys made it great.
Thank you, Lisa
Thank you Mark (& Alex too) for your patience and instruction. The Ladies Casual Club is a great program that isn't offered anywhere else, at least to my knowledge, and I think it's a great idea to get women out golfing in a less intimidating environment. I've made some new friends as well as learned a great deal about the game of golf. I'm looking forward to the On Course program in a few weeks. I feel like I've gained an incredible amount of knowledge about the game and about MY game as well. I know I still have a lot of learning to do but thanks to the program I'm moving forward with a lot more confidence. Thanks so much! See you in a few weeks.
I played Fox Hallow today. 43 front 9 and 47 back 9 with 36 putts. My stretch goals are to break 90 in 2014. (so almost did that today.) I felt good about my play. Then my long term goal is to shoot my age…80 at 80 or just an 80 sometime. Maybe in 4 or 5 years. Thank you for being my coach. I have improved greatly with your help.
My take aways: If I want, can shorten driver to be one inch longer than my 3 wood. (I've decided to wait and see how I think about doing this until mid or late August: thinking if I can master the draw with it at current length would go farther. But if I can't master it by end of summer then I will seriously consider shortening it).
Also learned two drills … grab driver half way down with butt of club out to left of left hip, and swing in the air and must make sure that the butt does not hit my left hip. (makes me extend out toward target. Other drill… grab driver with left hand down the club, put butt of driver into my right hip. Swing back and forward making sure the butt stays connected to my hip at the same angle as start position.
Thank you for amazing tips. When I go out and practice on the coarse immediate after our lessons, I do my best. I don't do quite as good my next time out, but working on that. Thank you that opportunity.
Vicky - Age 8
Thank you for your tips and advice on how to become a more consistent golfer. As I review what I learned, I am able to now get a better understanding on how to create better contact by keeping my club square to the golf ball. I liked the drill that showed how to inside the ball while focusing on aligning my shoulders. I am now becoming more comfortable with the new grip, which is also keeping the club more square as well. After hitting balls yesterday and going out on the course today, I can already see a difference in not only consistency but distance as well. I look forward to seeing the videos of my lesson, so I can get a better understanding of what I need to do to become a better golfer. Thanks.
Good Morning Mark,
A couple of things...
I won't be at golf lessons the next two weeks... going to Las Vegas so I will not be there on May 21 and May 28. And although I am excited about going out there, I really wish I wasn't! I DON'T REALLY WANT TO MISS ANY LESSON!!!!! I never would have believed in a million years that I would actually feel this way about golf and we have only just begun!!! I can't believe how much I am enjoying these golf lessons!!!! Wish I would have done this 5 years ago when Mark first talked to me about lessons... I just want to say thank you to you and Alex for being such excellent coaches/teachers! I am truly inspired by you. I really want to learn golf and play for real!!!! Who would have thought?????
Thank you Mark!
Thanks for a great lesson Monday. I was amazed at how much I was ready to learn.
Focusing on short shots around the green has already helped my game. I learned to keep my weight to the left, lift the club with no body rotation, hit down on the ball and take a divot from in front of the ball, following through with my whole body towards the target.
After the lesson I took a large bucket of balls to the practice chipping area. You gave me some plastic guides to use, but there were already a number of red lines spray painted on the grass, which I remembered from a lesson with you two seasons ago. I used them for alignment, taking the divot in front of the red line. I hit all 100 balls and was amazed at how much control and accuracy I developed in such a short time.
I played 18 holes today and tried some of the chipping principles to other shots and found that they applied there, too. This resulted in some loss of control, since everything in the swing is connected and changing one thing affects the others. But I could tell that the principles of weight forward, striking down on the ball so the divot is taken in front instead of behind can drastically improve my game.
I'll continue to practice and will schedule another lesson soon.
Thanks again, Mark,
- Don G.
The biggest change(s) were the fact that I was so focused on the ball and not on my swing which I believe came from my Little League baseball days. I have read many articles, watched online videos and had many people attempt to help me correct my slice with little or no results. Before the lesson, I had spent time on the driving range trying to make adjustments to my swing, grip and feet position with various results but never really understanding or getting a feel for how I was hitting or not hitting the ball. After the lesson on Sunday, I felt as though I had a feel for how I was hitting the ball, I hit more balls, not all went straight, but I adjusted my grip and felt the difference on the next swing. I know there is a lot of work to do to be consistent but for the first time I am anxious to hit the driving range -- I will let you know the result. Thanks again, it was money and time well spent.
It was really great to see you again yesterday and a I thoroughly enjoyed lesson number two! You are really passionate about what you do and it shows!!
Well, once again I stated a problem and within a very short time you had it corrected. This time I said "I'd like a lower ball flight with my driver...my balloon ball is driving me nuts and costing me distance, especially in the wind!" and sure enough by the end of the session I was hitting the ball much lower, and farther! So cool!!
I also really appreciate your insight, advice and specification details on the proper driver shaft for my game...semi-stiff flex, tip stiff with high kick point & low torque.
Can't wait for the playing lesson with you next time!!
Just wanted to thank you for all your help this year. I was picked most improved in my league @ Green Pond, and I also won the net championship! It was a fun summer! Hope you have a good year and will see you in the Spring.
Thank you for a wonderful Introduction to golf and a great learning experience that was truly enjoyable! You are an excellent teacher and Instructor who clearly enjoys his students and their learning experience and teaching them the pleasures of golf and eliminating the Intimidation factors for the new golfer!
Thank you again,
Thank you Mark! I promise I will be purchasing many more lessons from you this coming year! You have taught and made me relax and enjoy the sport! For that, I am so grateful! I know I am going to get great pleasure golfing in my remaining years because of your great teaching and understanding and perception, in part because you are a great PGA Pro, but even more because of your Love for Your Profession! That is Priceless!
I cannot thank you enough for your lesson on Friday! Because of your expert instruction, I shot very well in my tournament. I contributed many good shots...and even if my shots did not contribute because others shots were closer to the green or pin, they would have been good enough to play if I were playing alone! In addition, I played with a man who had not played in 20 years. After teaching him what you taught me (below) he shot straighter, higher and further!!! He was so grateful and contributed several great shots!!!
What helped me the most from our lesson was remembering one simple "trigger"...as soon as my shoulder is under my chin, drop the club/swing through. Remembering body position (spine being center) was also key, along with feet being firmly planted and correct position of feet after swing follow through... No more wobbling. I also slowed down the swing and balls hit further and most
importantly...straighter! Your quick lesson on ball positioning with different clubs also helped. I was more attentive with aiming the ball, but could use more help with aiming...perhaps during our next lesson on the course? I believe I got a lot out of your lesson and look forward to many more with you!
I want to start off by saying "THANK YOU", I can't express in words how happy I am with the 1 hour lesson we had yesterday. You have made such a big impact on my game and I am actually enjoying going out there to play. I played 18 holes today and I felt so comfortable on the tee box with my swing, something that I never felt before. I was actually debating where I want to hit the ball in the fairway and was so close to the points I picked. I hit 15 out of 18 fairways today and it felt great! I did not have great distance, but I do trust that will come in time. I look forward to our next lesson!!!
Thanks, Anthony E.
A Student Referral ...
Terry here from physical therapy. The golf instructor I mentioned yesterday is Mark Csencsits in Bethlehem. He is a super nice guy and a great instructor.
Take it from a guy that spent 20yrs beating balls at the range and ingraining bad habits....get some lessons and save yourself the aggravation and start playing better right away. That way you know what to work on at the range instead of wasting time. As you know, the better you play the more enjoyable the game is.
Here is a link to his website... http://www.lehighvalleygolfpro.com
Click on "private lessons" and then Coach's Packages. I signed up for the 3 lesson one but I'd go for as many as you can afford. He'll have you playing great in no time. As I mentioned, he provides video with voice over via e-mail after the lessons so you can go back at any time and review what you learned.
See you next week at PT.
PS: I don't get anything out of this. I just met Mark a couple weeks ago at my first lesson and was really impressed. I'm just a golf nut and anything I can do to help a fellow golfer enjoy this great game makes me happy. No worries either if you decide to go a different direction.
Perfect Example of a Great Recap by a Student ...
You probably never got a review this quick. As you are well aware by now, I am a confirmed golfaholic. Hopefully those handicap numbers below will be dropping before too long! I have now doubts you are the guy to get me there!! I like the fact that you are so thorough in your evaluation process and you expain everything really well.
I gotta hand it to you...I never thought I'd be hitting draws/hooks after a one hour lesson! Well maybe I did, until I tried it in front of you. It took me 'till about the end of the first range bucket to start "getting it" so I got a second one....plus extra balls guys left around :) I didn't want to stop!! As I mentioned I was hitting everything from straight shots with hook spin after landing to baby draws to 40-50yd hooks. I've been trying off and on for years to hit something resembling a draw and might have pulled it off 3 times by pure accident. What an awesome feeling to know I will be able to do it on command!!
Anyway, I know you think I'm a bit nuts/fanatical (guilty as charged) and I'm rambling on so I'll try to keep the rest short (yeah right):
- Mental Attitude- staying in the moment instead of thinking of the past (bad shots) & future score/outcome. (the rubber band!)
- Swing Path - you clearly proved that I have an out-to-in swing path leading to my pulls & slices.
- Patience - don't expect miracles overnight.
- Never say can't (unless you want to do push up's!)
Visual & Physical Keys/Changes:
- In order to incorporate and ingrain proper swing path aim feet, hips & shoulders along line WAY right of target (closed stance), ball very forward, and club face pointed at intended target (closed)....then swing along body line to promote in to out path.
I gotta tell you I did not get why you had me position the ball so far forward and could not get comfortable with it until I "got it" on the range. The only way to keep my shoulders aligned with my hips and grip the club with my right hand was to tilt my upper body to the right (which I know from all my amateur reading and swing studies is a proper set up - I just could never do it before!). It also took me a while to realise the looser I gripped the club the better realease/draw I was getting.
Mental Keys/Drills/Practice Habits:
- Stay focused on shot at hand
- Use alignment aids during practice
- We are making major changes to a swing I've incorrectly engrained over 20 years, so give it time!
- Stay positive
- Never say Can't!
I plan on hitting the local range (williw brook) more than the course over the next couple weeks. I'll probably schedule my next session in about 2 weeks. I hope to have my new swing & draw perfected by then.
Thanks again....you rock!!
Shot 104 yesterday at willow brook, tying a career best.
Driver & 3 wood off tee was strong.
Fairway game was on.
Short game from 110 in solid.
Putter absolutely FAILED me! Probably 3 putted 9 holes... If I putted like I did earlier this year I shoot 97.
Greetings! My name is Frank and I am looking to take formal golf lessons. I was recommended to check out Bethlehem Municipal Golf by a friend, Michael.
After looking around at your website, I was pleasantly surprised to see that you offer a free lesson to military veterans. As a 20 year Navy veteran (and Active Reservist) I applaud you and your staff for this! I also noticed that you offer a "Learn Golf for $7.14 per hour!" class and an assortment of private lessons packages.
With all that being said, I was hoping that you could guide me in the best course of action, with regards to a lesson plan, to elevate my game.
I look forward to hearing from you!
I have to share this with you.
So I played 9 on Sunday. Bad stuff. I went back to my old habits with an old buddy, at a familar course. Not good.
So I then travel to Rochester on business today. I had a few meetings. Of course, I noticed that the forecast was 76 degrees and that a driving range was right down the road from my hotel...so I took my clubs. I was able to hit a few balls between my meetings and a dinner engagement.
I started out hitting a few balls. From the start, it was better than when I was on the course, but nothing to write home about. I kept concentrating on the few things we had discussed, posture and a more upright swing. Well, a 76 degree day in Rochester, in April, brings everyone out. Before I knew it, there was a group waiting for a spot. It looked like a bar two or three deep on a Friday night. I started concentrating on the ball. More than anything, I want a smooth swing with a complete follow through. I started to realize that complete concentration on the ball eliminated too many swing thoughts. I could concentrate on posture before the swing. I could then think about my backswing but then just concentrate on the ball and let the rest of the swing just happen.
I was running late, so I told they guy behind me that I would hit a few more balls, and he could have the rest of the bucket. At that point, something clicked. The club felt relaxed in my hands, and I started to hit some balls clean. I hit about ten balls. The last one was my best. I turned around and said, "I am ending on a high note. It's all yours".
The guy behind me was probably in is late twenties. He said to me, "Your backswing is so light and graceful. So different from mine". I almost fell over. The first true complement I have ever received in golf. I told him that I had taken a lesson and I thanked him. I knew that I was hitting those last few balls in a different manner, but I could not believe the feeback.
On Tuesday you helped to cure me of the "k-shanks". I was anxious to try the swing adjustment and hit a small bucket Wednesday morning. Not one "k-shank"! Last night was league night and I shot my season best 39. I was very accurate.
Thanks for your help, I hope it sticks.
It was a pleasure participating in the coach’s program these last few months w/you. Your succinct feedback (especially video) has been very helpful; I’m a better golfer from it and know what I need to do to get better. Getting out on the course that last lesson was extremely helpful also. I’ve been recommending you & your program to my other frustrated friends & look forward to working w/you in the future. Great stuff!
First, I want to thank you for the lesson, I found it informative in that I had heard the terms "casting" and "over the top" but prior to seeing it on the videos, I didn't comprehend the concept.
Second, thank you for the videos; obviously for the information noted above but also that I have wanted to see my swing. The added graphics are very beneficial.
Now, for what I learned. In being able to see myself coming over the top and the correction to lining up with a closed stance I can understand how I was coming across the ball at impact. I knew I was doing it but I couldn't envision why. In addition, the rolling of the wrists when coming through the ball and into the follow through allows me to understand how to get the draw I want to have when teeing off.
I heard you mention about bringing my downswing "into the slot" and its also a phrase I have heard when watching golf. When we started the lesson, I mentioned that I felt that I was hitting too hard and didn't have the effortless feel that pro golfers seem to utilize. Although we didn't use my driver in the lesson I had previously adjusted that swing to bring my hand down into that slot position (although I wasn't certain that is what I needed all I knew is it seemed to work). What I didn't do was hit out (to the right) or roll my writs at impact. I generally had a straight drive but felt that I should be getting more yardage (hitting out to 225 plus roll) and that is why I felt I was "working" too hard. If I begin to use the methods you showed me and include the roll of the wrists should that provide an easier swing and perhaps additional yardage!
Just checking in to let you know I will not be at class next week..... vacation has sadly gotten in the way of my golf training.
I really enjoyed the first class, the energy, enthusiasm and the training team's love of the game and dedication the Bethlehem course.
See you in two weeks.....
Casual Club Member
Thanks for the followup lesson today - very helpful. As far as our first session, I really appreciated your knowledge and quick response to the issues I am having and the way you explained everything and your different analogies as far as getting in a linebacker stance or wrestling stance and the positive reinforcement.
I just had a chance to review the videos - they are are really helpful. It was great to see how I started out and how I finished just after an hour. I personally think the videos are an excellent learning tool also.
Again, thanks for the help. Looking forward to Thursday's session, I am truly excited about playing golf again.
Just wanted to say thanks for the lesson. I cannot believe how much I learned today. After we were done, I hung around and hit more balls. I could not believe how consistently long and straight I hit the ball. I have already booked my next 2 lessons. I have a tee time at Bethlehem tomorrow morning I will let you know how it goes.
Again thanks for the help,
It was really cool for me to hit straight drive after straight drive after the lesson, that's something that hasn't happened for me in a long time. Each step in the process you showed me has a physical reminder attached to it, and that will allow me to become more repetitive with my practice and know what went wrong if I don't hit the ball straight. I'm looking forward to implementing this process on the course as I continue working to improve my game and lower my scores!
Thank you for the video recaps.
I came away from this lesson understanding the cause and effect of launching myself forward in front of the ball and trusting that the motion and rotation will close the angle and club face. Got it! What a difference. Feels like hitting butter when it's right. And the corrected angle "INSTANTLY" recovered my lost distance. I loved the drill with the painted lines. Will use that one again. I think I've always tried to hit the "back of the ball". Now my primary thought is to create a divot in front of the ball and coincidentally the ball happens to be in my way, so I have to drive thru the ball to get my divot. Surprisingly still feel like I have the really "high" ball flight, but I've recovered the distance. I did notice when I move the ball position I seem to have a slight draw as well. Still playing around with that.
Work in progress, but now I know what I'm working on. My confidence is back. It was worth the lesson investment and then some.
Thank you Mark. I learned a lot and had fun too. I played my first tournament on 6/24 and won the longest drive for the women. Thank you again and will see you soon. :)
Great lessons. Lots of common sense. Mark makes it easy and fun to golf. Thanks!
Thank You for your patience and awesome instrcuctions! I feel more confident about the game everyday.
Thank you so much for giving me a great foundation upon which to biuld a better golf game. I'm enjoying it more than ever and look forward to playing more so I can continue to improve.
Your the best golf coach I have every had...I have tried 6 different teachers. You were the one that helped me understand how to play the game rather than perform shots or moves. You genuinely cared about me playing better and enjoying the game more.
Mark is an amazing teacher and coach. After just 2 lessons and coaching sessions I am driving the ball 50 yards farther! Mark uncovered how I learn best and used that mode to teach me. He is a perceptive and effective teacher.
I am a 60 year old male with a 10 handicap. I am a recent student of Mark's and I believe with Mark's help I can definitely lower my handicap. Mark is very passionate and progressive in his approach to coaching golf. He is a high-energy individual and often uses humour to convey his point...he is very personable. I personally know that he is continually researching and sharing new ideas with other professionals about the physical, emotional and mental aspects of golf instruction...resulting in him being an extremely knowledgeable coach. I know this because I met Mark at the PGA Village in St. Lucie Florida where he was attending workshops, presentations and observing top 100 Instructors in America conduct their lessons. Mark is a 'complete' golf coach, not just a swing instructor.
Last night we arrived back home - weary, but excited nevertheless about our wonderful holiday. Never in a million years did I imagine that my golf lessons would turn out the way they did. Somehow those words - golf lessons - don't begin to describe the learning experience that I enjoyed. You are indeed a pro ... in more ways than one! You are a gifted teacher with an array of incredible skills. Somehow you managed to make the diagnosis and prescribe 'the fix' (by not only introducing appropriate drills, but helping me to internalize the 'feel' that was required) - all the while keeping the pace perfect (where on earth did the morning go?!!) and making the whole experience interesting and fun.
Your enthusiasm is contagious. I've always loved the game, but you have made me even more excited about the possibilities! Before arriving in Port St. Lucie I knew I was missing something important in my swing. Now, thanks to you, I finally understand what I need to do. That is huge. I do realize I'll have to put in a lot of work to make the necessary changes, but I now have hope! You have shown me how to go about my practice - what it is I need to focus on.
As if that isn't enough ... now I have received your wonderful cSwing videos that illustrate precisely the modifications I need to make. Now I have no excuse! You have certainly gone above and beyond. I know that taking the videos, studying them closely, and adding the audio guidance/recommendations all takes considerable time. Thank you sincerely for providing these wonderful videos. John has downloaded them onto my computer for me.
Finally Mark, thank you for your expertise, your insights, and for helping me to progress. Now it's my job to show that you can teach an old dog new tricks after all!
John and I wish you all the best!
I wanted to let you know that after an up and down golf season at Moravian, Rachel was given the Coach’s Award last evening for leadership. She also was named Captain for the 2011 season. I thought you might be interested since you were her actual coach and gave Rachel the skills she needed to compete in high school golf. She couldn’t have done this without your guidance and expertise so a portion of these awards are a reflection on you!
Take it from this 43 year old golf novice that spent 25 years of his life reading books, watching videos, buying training gimmicks and listening to friendly advice while never really hitting a golf ball the way it was meant to be hit.
If you want to improve your game, spend your golf money wisely this year with lessons from Mark!!!
In all of my 25 years of golfing, I have never hit a drive even close to 250 yards straight down the middle which I finally did after just one 60 minute lesson and video with Mark. The $100 video lesson well was spent as I could finally SEE and UNDERSTAND my common mistakes as Mark explained them to me in a visually descriptive way like I have never seen before. After watching my video and 20 minutes of posture and swing plane lessons, I hit a couple of drives that I never thought possible, one even past the 250 marker (unless Mark moved the yardage signs closer prior to my lesson...hmm). For someone who struggles hitting his drives 200 yards let alone in the fairway, I was amazed. I have a lot of hard work and practice ahead of me and I miss hit my share of practice shots but for the first time in my golf life, I actually think there is a light at the end of the tunnel! I cannot thank you enough Mark! Maybe golf will actually be fun for me one day soon! If my wife is reading this, lessons make a great Birthday or Christmas present! After all, if Tiger and Phil need lessons, I guess I do too.
Mark is one of the top professionals in the area due to his knowledge of the golf swing, his approach to each session and his ability to breakdown your swing and make the improvements needed. Mark video taped our session and was able to determine that I was keeping all my weight on my back leg after making contact with the ball. After two months of doing drills on my own that Mark recommended I'm playing golf with less back pain and driving the ball with more distance. If you want to improve your game and learn drills to do on your own, I strongly recommend Mark as your instructor.
Personal Trainer and Fitness Professional
Hi Mark, its Collin. I was looking around the internet about golf related things and I came across your website. I dont know if you remember me but I got a few lessons from you and was in the junior program for a few years. So I just wanted to inform you that I am one of your success stories. I made Central Catholics team as a freshman and I transferred to Parkland this year. I made their team and improved my game by 20 shots in 2 years. I broke 80 for the time last week and came in 2nd in a tournament at Iron Lakes this past Wednesday and Thursday, shooting 87, 78. I just wanted to thank you for kick-starting my golf career and hope to see you at some point in the future.
Thank you so much for all you taught me over the past five weeks. I have to admit I was skeptical coming into the lessons that I would learn anything. After three years of playing I thought I was beyond these lessons. After you pointed out all the things I did wrong with my putting the first week, I knew I was totally wrong. I do not believe I have ever chipped prior to your lessons, and now I’ve realized how often I’ve pitched when I should have chipped. Even tonight, as simple as it was to point out, I never thought about pointing the arrows on the golf ball to where I wanted to hit the ball on the tee.
I love the game and challenge that is golf and I think that I will enjoy it for years and decades to come. But now I have a whole new appreciation and what I feel are a whole new set of weapons to attack the courses that have frustrated me since I started. I'll try to keep in touch as I progress to let you know how things are going. Again, thank you very much for all your help.
Thank you for the lesson. Your suggestion of standing more upright and improving my posture was a winner. Thursday, Friday and Saturday I played in my member guest outing and played the most consistent golf of the year. Shot two nines of 41 on Friday and one nine of 43. Saturday shot 40 and 42. My partner and I had the closest to the pin on the par threes both days, and I won one of those as well. 165 yards to a back pin placement, and my eight iron landed 4 inches from the hole, hit the flag and ended up 2' 9" from the hole. The next day I almost hit it in the hole again. My iron play has been much better in both accuracy and distance. Sunday I hit a 5 iron 197 yards to pin high with a wind in my face.
Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your help and guidance.
Alex had an excellent playing lesson. (He shot a 79 at Southmore the following day ... Need I say more?)
Thanks for everything.
I just want to thank you for the lesson last Saturday. I know you said I might get worse before I get better, but that was not the case. Thursday I played my first round since the lesson and shot 43 on the front and 37 on the back nine missing several birdie putts under ten feet. This was the first time I broke 40 on nine holes in four years. I thought you might enjoy hearing about my short term success.
Tom and I just wanted to thank you very much for all your great instruction and wonderful help with Erik. He learned so much from you! We've enjoyed the videos and especially watching him get excited about his improved golfing. We appreciate all you did for him. Thank you!
Donna & Tom G.
On behalf of everyone in Bethlehem Special Olympics, I'd like to thank you for your warm welcome to our golfers. Please express our sincere thanks to all the employees who are so gracious to us.
Thank you for inviting us to the tournament last fall. Everyone had a blast and you were wonderful to our athletes.