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Student and Alumni Newsletter - September 2014

Sep 29, 2014


Alumnus Played 2014 PGA Champion

Alumnus Played 2014 PGA Champion

GAA Orlando grad Dave Hronek played in the 2014 PGA Championship this year.

"It was incredible," Hronek said. "I mean, it's a dream come true to be able to play not only in a TOUR event, but my first event being a major. I couldn't have asked for anything better other than maybe playing a little bit better."

Dave is the PGA Director of Instruction at Countryside Country Club in Clearwater, Fla. as well as five-time Southwest Chapter North Florida PGA Assistant of the Year; 2010 North Florida PGA Section Assistant of the Year; played in five PGA National Club Professional Championships; played in seven PGA National Assistants Championships; North Florida PGA Tournament Chairman; and a TaylorMade Staff Professional.

As for what comes next?

"I'll go after the club pro in Philly next year and get the Top 20 and go to Wesleyan and do a little bit better job."


Two Quad City golfers sink holes-in-one on consecutive swings

Two Quad City golfers sink holes-in-one on consecutive swings!

What?! You may want to start watching for lightning striking twice because apparently stranger things do happen.

On Wednesday, Sept. 17, a group of five members were playing from the gold tees during Oakwood’s Closing Smoker tournament.

At the par-3 eighth hole at Oakwood Country Club in Coal Valley, Ill. Todd Nelson of Davenport stepped up with a pitching wedge and made his first career ace.

Fabulous, but it doesn’t end there. Next up was assistant pro Andrew Braun, who resides in Moline, used a sand wedge and also delivered a hole-in-one from 110 yards.

"It was unbelievable," Braun said. "You never think you're going to do it right on top of someone. When I teed it up, I said, "How do I top that?"

"It is incredible. I still get a buzz thinking about it. This will stick out forever."

According to Braun, the odds of two players making an ace on consecutive swings in the same pairing are 157 million to 1.

They were the last two in the group to tee off on the eighth hole.

"We all went crazy after the first one," Braun said. "For one of the guys, it was just the second time he'd seen a hole-in-one. I teed my ball up and said, 'You're about to see number three.' We were jumping and high-fiving.

"We had a lot of adrenaline going for the next three to four holes."

Braun, 26, is in his second year as an assistant pro at Oakwood. It was his second hole-in-one, the first coming in 2010 at Hillcrest Golf Course in Washington, Ill.

Oakwood members can sign up for "hole-in-one" insurance to pick up the bar tab. It is customary for the golfer who makes an ace to buy the house a round of drinks after the round.

Nelson paid into the fund. Braun?

"I didn't have insurance," he said. "I've got a big bill coming."

GAA Myrtle Beach Grad and Former Air Force Officer Puts Education to Use

George Carpenter recently reconnected with Martyn Woodhouse, PGA Professional at GAA – Myrtle Beach

GAA Myrtle Beach Grad and Former Air Force Officer Puts Education to Use

Just wanted to drop you a note to let you know that your class, Tournament Administration, and the lessons you taught have been put to immediate use by me in my new job.

Soon after graduation I was hired at Pawleys Plantation in the pro shop. Since then I have been part of putting together over a dozen tournaments for our members.

We build teams, publish scorecards and even produce a leaderboard in which we post the scores with our calligraphy skills. We also post and maintain our members' handicaps in the GHIN system.

I have been very comfortable with performing all of these based on the experience gained in your class and the work we accomplished in it.

Hope all is well with you and the rest of the folks at the Golf Academy!


Campus Director Notices Former Student's New Signature

During a recent email exchange, Campus Director Tim Eberlein of GAA Phoenix noticed his previous student had a new title: James Wooley is now the Director of Golf at Painted Mountain Golf Resort in Mesa, Ariz.

After offering his congratulations, Wooley responded, "Mr. Eberlein, Thank you, my education is paying off."

We never tire of hearing that.

Grad Shares News, Insights, and Advice

We regularly check in with our grads to see what they’re doing and advice they can give for others who are making or aspiring for a career in golf.

Tyler Ververs is a graduate of GAA Phoenix from December 2013. He is currently a Head Golf Professional at Antler Creek Golf Course in Peyton, Colo.

How did you achieve your current position?
By working hard and using the tools that the GAA gave me to succeed in the industry. I try very hard to focus on customer service in the workplace and show the customer a smile.

What were the biggest influences on your career choice of golf?
My influences were starting a career where I felt like I was going to have to go to work every day. I knew golf was something that I enjoyed so why not make a career out of it.

How did Golf Academy of America help you to achieve your goals?
Golf Academy gave me the tools to begin my career in golf and help me learn how to succeed.

What advice would you give those wanting to get into the golf business?
Hard work pays off in the golf business and if you work hard and show that you are friendly and upbeat there is a spot for you in the golf business.

Starting from the bottom is not a bad thing. I started my Outside service at Kokopelli Golf Club in March of 2013, I have made head pro before my second year being in the industry. And all it took was taking what I learned at GAA and working hard.

The best piece of advice that I have for students is that don't think that GAA is going to give you a job in the industry, they will give you the tools and it is up to you to take them where you want, the sky is the limit.


Myrtle Beach students celebrate Constitution Day

In addition to being encouraged to make or renew their acquaintance with the Constitution of the United States, students at Myrtle Beach celebrated their freedoms in their favorite way. See photos below.

Myrtle Beach students celebrate Constitution Day


As a Golf Instructor working with very skilled players, I felt that there was a big void in our relationships. I never felt as if we’re getting accurate feedback from their golf games and really knew the areas of the game to work on. I began working with a struggling professional and I had immediate access to all of her stats from tournaments. I knew exactly the areas she needed to improve. This player was about to quit playing for a living but after we worked hard on her weakness, she coasted through Q School and gained full status on the Symetra Tour.

The immediate thought for me was, wow, what if I had this for all my players. It is almost too easy to help players reach their goals when you know exactly where they are losing strokes. There have been so many times I would watch players hit on the range after we work on the wing and it looks great. I would then be asking, why are they not shooting their target scores? Now I know.

The Grind Golf App has the most in-depth stat tracker out right now. It goes way beyond Fairways hit, GIF, and Total Putts. Those traditional stats don’t give us near the data we need. Here is a great example: let’s say a player had 36 putts per hole, is that good or bad?

Everybody I have ever asked has said "bad" immediately. Well, what if that player hit 18 greens in regulation and had an average of 60 feet for their 1st putt? That's amazing putting. You may be over there working hard on putting and your score will never get better because you need to learn to hit it closer.

We need to know the entire story before knowing where to improve. Not only can you track all of this with The Grind Golf App, but as a Golf Coach/Instructor you have immediate access to all of your students' date for free.

The other big void in golf is that players have no idea how to practice properly. They do not know how to create a plan and follow it to their goals. The Grind Golf App is the only application that develops practice plans for players based on their stats and goals. It has a timer to tell players when to move on and what areas of their game to work on. There are also practice challenges to try and complete. Coaches can create their own challenges for their students.

Lastly, I have partnered with Dr. Joseph Parent, Bestselling Author of Zen Golf. Dr. Joe included a great mental game section to educate players on how to be mentally stronger and improve their minds. There are instruction videos and texts to help everybody's golf game.

The Grind Golf App is unlike anything out there. As a golf coach, I have never had such insight into my students golf games and what areas to improve. Every Golf Instructor or Coach should be using this and very golfer should be tracking their stats and practice.

For more info visit