You were just named the 26th best golf teacher in the nation by Golf Digest. What do you think sets you apart?
I started teaching when I was 16 years old. I’m 53 years old now, so I’ve been at this a long time. The constant thing I’m told from the students who take lessons from me is that I can express complex things in understandable pieces.
How old were you when you began playing golf?
I started having fun with the game when I was 7 years old. I entered my first junior tournament when I was 11 years old. I was hooked at an early age.
What still draws you to the game?
You always feel like you can improve on elements of the game. You never own this game. You may rent it from time to time! The feeling of a pure golf shot is my drug.
You own Tour Striker Golf Academy with your wife, Stacey. What inspired you to open the golf school?
My wife! I was the manager of the golf operation at a few nice places over the years. Stacey was the one who said, quit all those other responsibilities and focus on what you love. More great advice from my wife. It is certainly what I was meant to do.
Best advice for someone interested in golf?
It’s really important to learn some of the basics correctly. A lot of people dabble in the game and start with bad habits that are hard to overcome down the road. That’s when you need me! Find an instructor who you connect well with and who cares about you and your game. Take pride in doing the basics like grip, posture, stance, and alignment well, and that will be a foundation you can count on the rest of your golfing days. Once you do that, get out and enjoy the game. You’ll find your swing feels and stick with them.
What should someone look for in a golf instructor?
A serious interest in you! Teaching golf requires patience. It’s a really hard, yet rewarding game.
You invented Tour Striker training products—can you tell us about that?
As I stated, I’ve coached for a long time. If I can create a shortcut for the student to understand the correct motion, I introduce a prop, or aid to help accelerate understanding. Well, over the years, I’ve developed a handful of products that have proven very helpful to golfer development. I am really humbled and honored that many of the world's best golfers playing at the highest levels trust my products with their game.
Favorite course you’ve played?
The National Golf Club of Canada, in my hometown of Toronto.
Favorite course in the Valley?
I love San Marcos Golf Club. It’s old and has wonderful shade trees and it isn’t perfect. I’ve played a ton of fancy, over-manicured golf courses in my life, and there is a charm to an older course with small greens and less-than-perfect conditions. It’s a course for everyone.
You grew up in Toronto—what brought you to Chandler?
I’ve lived in the United States for most of my adult life. I went to college at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico. After that, I lived in Florida, Texas, California, Nevada, Oregon, and finally settled in Chandler. I chased a little white golf ball a lot of places, and finally found a wonderful home in Arizona.
Any favorite places around Chandler?
My wife and I love downtown Chandler. I’m a fan of DC steakhouse. Funny story—I was in Northern Ireland at Royal Portrush doing a golf school. Rory McIlroy was also there entertaining winners who won an opportunity to play a round of golf with him. I happened to say hello to one of the winners and asked where they were from. Well, it happened to be Laurie and Deano, the owners of DC steakhouse. I had to go all the way to Ireland to meet them when we actually live about a mile apart from each other. When they told me they owned DC steakhouse, I said, “Oh my gosh, that’s one of our date night places!”
What was your favorite moment playing golf?
I’ve had some fun tournament moments. It’s always nice to prove to yourself that you can get things done in competition. That said, my most favorite moments were playing golf with my father when I was a kid.
For information on Tour Striker and the Tour Striker Golf Academy, visit TourStrikerGolfAcademy.com.