18 Holes with Donny Fisher from Forest Dunes Golf Club

18 Holes with Donny Fisher from Forest Dunes Golf ClubThis year, I had the chance to travel north and play some golf. And when I say north, I mean way north. Over six hours north to be exact. I headed from Indianapolis all the way up to Roscommon, Michigan. Sheryl and I were spending the weekend at Forest Dunes Golf Club. I would play a couple rounds of golf, relax a bit, get in some reading, and just relax the weekend away. While there I had the chance to play with the head professional, Donny Fisher. I had met him (on the Internet of course) several months prior and now was finally going to shake the man’s hand. We had chatted on Facebook a time or two, but had never met in person. I would play eighteen holes with him that Saturday, watch the fireworks that weekend with him and his wife (and newborn baby), and get the chance to have dinner with him as well. It was a perfect weekend spent on a perfect golf course. That wasn’t enough for me though. I had to get to know Donny a little more. I also wanted my readers to get to know him as well. So Donny and I sat down and what you see here is a better look into his life, on and off the golf course. Donny has gone from being a client to a friend almost overnight. It is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to Donny Fisher.

How long have you been playing golf?

I have been playing golf for fifteen years now.  I did not play in high school, but worked at a golf course where I grew up during high school and fell in love with the industry.

Who is your favorite player on the PGA Tour?

My favorite player to watch was Tiger Woods.  I remembering watching him at Torrey Pines on Saturday and getting goose bumps.  I enjoy the young players like Ricky Fowler now.  He has a little flair and is making orange a popular color to wear again.

Tell me a little bit more about working at Forest Dunes Golf Club.

Working at Forest Dunes Golf Club is a true blessing.  We have the most caring staff and it is a joy to come to work every day.

Do you ever get bored living in the middle of nowhere?

Roscommon is a wonderful place to live.  We have Higgins Lake, which is a crystal clear lake nearby and many outdoor activities at our fingertips.  I love the outdoors and love living in northern Michigan.

What is the best round you have ever shot at Forest Dunes?

My lowest out here is a 68.

Have you ever shot anything better than that? If so, where?

Not yet.

From driver to golf ball, what’s in your bag?

  • Callaway FT-9 I-Mix 9.5 degree Driver with a Mitsubishi Fubuki Tour shaft
  • Callaway Diablo Edge Tour 3 –Wood
  • Callaway FT Hybrids – 3 and 4
  • Callaway X-Forged Irons with Project X 6.0 shafts – 5 – PW
  • Callaway X-Forged Wedges – 50, 54 and 58 degrees
  • Odyssey Black Series Tour #1 Putter
  • Callaway Tour i(z) Balls

How many times a week do you get to play?

I try to play at least two to three times a week.

Do you like working for Troon?

Absolutely, Troon Golf is an outstanding management company.  Troon Golf manages over 180 courses around the world and offers excellent opportunities for advancement.

Tell us a little bit more about the process to become a teaching pro.

I am going through the PGA PGM program.  To get into the program there is a playing ability test and then three levels of business and game books.  All levels check points are at the PGA Learning Center in Port St. Lucie, Florida.  The books are very in-depth on all aspects of the golf operation.

What are your thoughts on teaching aids like The Putting Arc or the Medicus?

I have never been big on using manufactured teaching aids such as the Putting Arc or the Medicus.  I like to use alignment sticks and even have used a tennis racket in a lesson.  I feel it is important not to get too technical and preach using the big muscles.

I recently wrote a blog post on my pre-shot routine. What is your pre-shot routine like?

I believe that a pre-shot routine is very important to have in your game.  My pre-shot routine is to get behind the ball and visualize the shot I want to hit.  I always pick a spot a few inches in front of the ball to aim to.  As I talk my stance I focus on my grip and swing away.

What is your favorite thing about the game of golf?

Golf is such an honorable game, it the only game that the player is responsible for calling a penalty on himself or herself.

I know you are a Tiger Woods fan. How do you think this entire scandal will affect him and his career.

Just that it will.

What do you like to do when you are not playing golf or giving lessons?

I love the outdoors and spending time with my wonderful family.  I enjoy hunting and fishing very much and relaxing takes a close second.

What is your favorite thing about living in Michigan?

The natural resources located right in our back yard to start.  There are so many great things to do that nature has given us.  From the lakes to wilderness to streams.  I am in heaven.

There are a ton of lakes up there. Do you have a boat?

I do not own my own boat.  Boating and golf seasons tend to clash up here.

Have you ever had a hole in one?


Forest Dunes has a 19th hole to help settle bets. Have you ever won a bet on that hole? What about lost a bet?

When we go out to play we usually use the 19th hole to see who is going to wash and put away the cart.  I am not sure on my overall record.

What is your favorite hole at Forest Dunes?

They are all great and we really do not have a signature hole, but hole number eight stands out as my favorite.

I bet you guys get a lot of snow up there during the winter. How do you stay busy in the winter?

As a staff we have a lot of work during the off season from attending golf shows to ordering merchandise and planning for the upcoming season.

What is your favorite kind of music?

Right now I am listening to a lot of Jack Johnson and Dave Matthews on my iPod.

What is the best concert you have ever been to?

Entertaining was Garth Brooks. Best ever was Jimmy Buffett. I am looking forward to seeing U2 next year at Spartan Stadium.

You are really involved with junior golf up at Forest Dunes. Tell me more about what you are doing with that and what your goals are with that in the future.

I very much enjoy working with the juniors.  They are the future of golf and I love the energy the have.  Seeing a junior grow up right in front of you is a wonderful feeling.

Forest Dunes is literally in the middle of nowhere. What kind of wildlife do you guys have up there? (Granted, I saw a deer and some turkeys during my visit.)

We have deer, turkeys, bald eagles, badgers and the occasional bear.

There are a few bowling alleys close to the golf course. Do you ever go bowling?

Not very often.  I did bowl in a league one year to see if I liked it.  Not so much.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Chasing my right now seven month year old son around and teaching him different sports.  I plan to still be with Troon Golf as well.

What do you want to be remembered for when this is all said and done? I am talking as a player, as a professional, and as a man.

I want to be remembered as a genuine person.  I am very caring and wear my emotions on my sleeve.  I really enjoy making people laugh and feel good.  I want to make a difference whether it is on the course or in someone’s life.

In all of the interviews that I do I always give the artist the last word. Why not you? Go!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain