On Grand Strand Golf: Instructing McGinley among Bradley’s many endeavors

ablondin@thesunnews.comFebruary 4, 2013 

Paul McGinley has a new mission for the next two years as captain of the 2014 European Ryder Cup Team, and he also has a new golf instructor.

Nick Bradley, a Grand Strand resident for the past seven years, is the man commissioned with helping McGinley become more competitive in his 22nd year on the European Tour.

“Paul is still a very good player,” Bradley said. “It’s a privilege. I’m honored to do it. It’s a career highlight for me. Paul is a great gentleman.”

Teaching McGinley is one of Bradley’s many current endeavors. His second book is scheduled to be released in April, he’s involved in magazine pieces, he has created an instructional iPhone app, and he’s in the exploratory stages of creating a golf magazine.

“There’s a lot going on at the moment,” said Bradley, a resident of Sunset Beach, N.C.

McGinley is a four-time winner on the European Tour but he has struggled in recent years. Since 2010, he has missed 38 cuts in 66 events, including 9 of 16 last year and 3 of 3 thus far in 2013, when he has shot rounds between 73 and 77.

McGinley was unhappy with his play toward the end of 2012 and Bradley said the 46-year-old Irishman emailed him two videos to critique. Bradley gave feedback and the two spoke on Skype.

“He said, ‘Get me going,’” Bradley recalled, “and I said, ‘It would be a privilege.’” Bradley and McGinley worked for four days in early December at the private Eagle Point Golf Club in Wilmington, N.C., and later in the month Bradley flew to England to work with McGinley for another four days.

“I envision a good year with Paul,” Bradley said. “We might get close to a win. I have a good feeling about my time with him this year.”

Bradley, 42, is a native of London who worked at David Leadbetter academies before coming to the Strand in early 2006 to run a golf school at the expansive Barefoot Resort driving range.

He recently worked out of Leopard’s Chase Golf Links, and now works with clients at multiple clubs and is negotiating – along with partner Dr. Brian Lank of Coastal Integrative Health in Shallotte, N.C. – the establishment on the north Strand of a golf therapy and fitness clinic integrating golf technique with core conditioning.

Bradley worked with fellow Englishman Justin Rose from 2006-09 and helped Rose reach the No. 5 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking and win the 2007 European Tour Order of Merit.

He’s known McGinley about 20 years, having met him at Mount Juliet, a resort in Ireland featuring a Jack Nicklaus course. Bradley was working at a golf academy there and was introduced to McGinley, who frequented the resort.

McGinley will lead the Europeans into battle against a Tom Watson-led American team at Gleneagles in Scotland. McGinley was on three winning Ryder Cup teams in 2002, ’04 and ’06, was a vice captain on winning teams in 2010 and ’12, and has captained two Seve Cup winners.

Bradley’s second book, entitled “Kinetic Golf,” is set for a release on April 13. It has been in the making for more than five years and is a follow-up to “The 7 Laws of the Golf Swing,” which was re-released in paperback in December by Abrams Books in New York and is also available for tablets including Kindle, Nook and iPad. Bradley said his first book sold more than 100,000 copies worldwide and is being used by the Danish PGA to train its pros.

Kinetic Golf is “very out of the box,” Bradley said. “It’s very animated and kinetic.” He said the new book received good reviews at the recent Frankfurt book fare in Germany and can be pre-ordered on Amazon.com.

Bradley met with Golf Digest instruction editor Peter Morrice at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando last week, and Bradley said the magazine plans a multiple-page expose on the book in May, and subsequent two-page features in June, July and August. One of the book’s three chapters – Images of Swing, Images of Shots, and Images of Emotions, Attitudes and Affirmation – will be featured per month.

Golf Digest did a six-page article on Bradley’s first book in 2005.

Bradley has created the app “ThePlaneTrainer,” that is available for iPhones. Promotional videos for the app were recently shot at Long Bay Club with the help of Sam Stein, who has designed a number of golf-related websites. The phone is held in the right hand and is first used as a lie and loft detector through the app, producing data that can be used to teach an individualized swing plane for the user. The app is offered in three modes: pro, experienced and amateur.

“We wanted to test the market with iPhone and see what the market is, and then maybe justify spending the money for Androids,” Bradley said.

Bradley is also working on publishing an online and tablet golf instruction magazine called “Your Golf Success.” He’s in the process of raising funds, identifying advertisers and assembling a staff, and plans to publish the first issue in December.

Redding busy in 2013

Bradley isn’t the only local golf instructor with a lot on his plate.

In addition to staging golf schools in China in July and possibly April, and hosting Chinese players in golf schools on the Strand, Brad Redding of the Members Club at Grande Dunes will be immersed in many intra-industry teaching duties this year.

Redding is playing a large role in PGA Master Professionals 2.0 initiative. He is a PGA Master Professional and will be mentoring PGA pros who want to earn Master status.

The qualification process has been revamped, requiring aspiring Master pros to present a thesis on a subject in the golf business, and give a live lesson to a subject the candidate hasn’t met in front of a panel of Master pros. Redding is one of 12 Masters pros on the 2.0 faculty.

In addition, Redding is instructing a Level I golf instruction class this week in Port St. Lucie, Fla., to apprentices in the PGA of America program, will be a roving adjunct professor of instruction with the PGA’s Professional Golf Management Program that is available at Coastal Carolina and other schools, and is giving lessons twice a week to Golf Academy of America students to help them pass the Playing Ability Test.

“I’m looking forward to all of it,” Redding said. “It’s giving back to the game. A lot of great instructors have done that with me, including Hank Haney.”

BMW spots contested

Murrells Inlet resident Zack Byrd and his former Coastal Carolina teammate Drew Ernst of Seneca are among 24 pros competing Tuesday at Thornblade Club in Greer for two exemptions into the 2013 BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by SYNNEX Corporation.

The $650,000 Web.com Tour event will be played May 16-19 at three courses in the Greenville area, including Thornblade Club. Byrd played in the event last year as a conditional member of the Web.com Tour and tied for 62nd.

Tee times Tuesday are between 11 a.m. and 12:10 p.m. Ernst and Byrd are in the final two threesomes. Other players with South Carolina ties vying for the exemptions include Brent Delahoussaye, Tommy Biershenk, Robbie Biershenk, Corbin Mills, Stephen Poole and Frank Wrenn IV.

CCU opens spring

Following the first two rounds of its spring season Monday, the Coastal Carolina men’s golf team is third in the SeaBest Invitational hosted by Jacksonville University on the TPC Sawgrass’ Players Stadium Course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

The Chants are ranked 47th in the nation by Golfweek Magazine and trail No. 33 Tennessee by 17 strokes and No. 26 Texas A&M by 11 at 596. The Chants rebounded from a 307 in the first round with a 1-over-par 289 in the second.

Junior Roberto Ballesteros is tied for ninth individually with a 4-over 78-70—148. Sophomore Ben Wheeler rebounded from an opening 81 with an afternoon 68 to move into a tie for 13th at 149, sophomore Andrew Dorn shot a 73-76—149, sophomore and Socastee High alum Easton Renwick shot a 75-77—152 and senior Sebastian Soderberg shot an 81-75—156. The final round is Tuesday.

In the fall, the Chants finished in the top half of the fields in three of their four tournaments, including a tie for second in a 15-team Air Force tournament and third in a 15-team Northwestern event.

The CCU women, who finished in the top half of the fields in all four fall tournaments and had three top-fives, begin the spring season in the Central Florida Invitational from Sunday to next Tuesday. The CCU women are ranked 51st by Golfweek.

Read Blondin’s blog, Green Reading, or Twitter page at myrtlebeachonline.com

Contact ALAN BLONDIN at 843-626-0284.

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