A pair of golf instructors are bringing a teaching method that was first advocated by former PGA Tour commissioner Deane Beman to the Grand Strand in the hopes it helps grow the game in the area.
Darren deMaille, who has been operating the Double D Golf School at Tupelo Bay Golf Center in Garden City, and longtime instructor Bobby Lopez, who will be moving from Richmond, Va., are offering instruction called Quick Fix Golf at Tupelo Bay.
“It’s an attempt to try to grow the game. Golf is hard,” deMaille said. “What better place to try to grow the game than Myrtle Beach?”
Beman’s method was called the 6/90 Teaching System and was designed to have new golfers shoot scores in the 90s within six months.
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Beman introduced his 6/90 Teaching System in 2004 and 2005 at Cannon Ridge Golf Club in Fredricksburg, Va., and Beman reported that 90 percent of the approximately 400 prospective golfers who went through the program in the first year continued to play golf. But the program was not continued in earnest.
Quick Fix Golf is designed to make initial instruction more simple and less frustrating for students, thereby retaining more new players.
The eight-week program consisting of 15 lessons costs $279.
“It focuses not only on the technique but on the psychology, and that’s where a lot of beginners go wrong,” deMaille said. “The psychology is just as important as the curriculum. We’re doing a lot of things without a golf club, which keeps the frustration level low.”
A molded grip helps students with the grip, and the fundamentals of stance and posture are taught through a simplified method of visual demonstrations.
“What this program does is you train your body, you nag it into submission to go to a certain place, then you memorize where that place is before you even put a golf club to it. This simplifies it,” Lopez said. “I think a lot of instructors, the problem they had with it before was it’s almost so simple they feel they have to make it complicated to justify their existence.”
deMaille said a 7-iron and a long putter are the only clubs used in the program, which keeps a student from having to purchase a full set of clubs before the lessons.
Students hit into a net for the first seven lessons, then look at ball flight beginning with the eighth.
Proficiency around the greens is a focus of the program, as well.
“The long putter is a really quick way for you to develop the right technique as a beginner,” deMaille said. “That long putter is really going to give them a quick understanding of how the hands work, length of stroke, the pendulum type motion.”
Instruction emphasizes how the lead side – the left side for right-handed players – is important in developing the correct technique.
deMaille and Lopez, an instructor since 1970, visited Beman in Florida to discuss and learn the teaching system.
“Myrtle Beach will kind of be the training ground for it,” deMaille said. “We’re going to get it started here in Myrtle Beach and see what kind of success we’re going to have and then try to take it elsewhere. I think it will do well. It’s a really good curriculum.”