Fact Based Instruction & Banter with Andrew Marr

Where would I be without Twitter? I wouldn’t know half the people I know. I met this guy on Twitter too. We were following each other for a while, and I had the chance to meet him down in Orlando at the 2012 PGA Merchandise Show. I love this guys… he is funny, always has a smile on his face, and says, “mate” all the time. Oh, and he lives in San Diego. I hear the weather is perfect in San Diego. This guy is a the PGA Director of Instruction at GolfTEC San Diego. He hasn’t been there long, but is already making an impact. He graduated from the University of Central Lancashire… that’s not in the U.S. I love having international friends. I am glad that I met him, and am stoked to introduce you to Andrew Marr. He’s my favorite mate!

When I type your name in to Google, Jason Helman’s website is on the first page. How is that possible?

Jason was kind enough to ask me to be a part of 7 Nights At The Twitter Academy late last year, so that is probably the reason. He is a great coach; being “found” alongside him is a good thing.

I met you for the first time at the 2012 PGA Merchandise Show. Did you have fun down there in Orlando?

Yes, it was great experience and of course meeting many tweeps (people I know from Twitter) who I had been interacting with for a few years was the highlight.

Did you get to play any golf while you were down there?

Not in Orlando… it was all business and networking for me. Although I did spend two days in Jupiter after the show playing golf with a high school friend who is also a pro in that area.

You haven’t posted a blog since December 20th. What’s the deal? You need to be blogging more than that!

Sorry for the confusion. My blog has been inactive since December, as I have switched all my content to www.andrewmarrgolf.com There a few more posts on there.

Speaking of your latest blog post, it was on the 7 Nights At The Twitter Academy. I already know what that is, but how did you get involved with it?

You know, I’m not 100% sure. I do know that Jason Helman invited me but I have a sneaky feeling my friend John Graham had something to do with it.

You currently live in La Jolla, California. I bet the weather out there is perfect. It’s freezing cold here in the Midwest. I bet you played golf today. What’s the weather like out there in the winter months?

The weather in Southern California isn’t too shabby. I play golf once a week and practice at least twice. It’s a far cry from my 6 years of cold winters in Philadelphia and 25 years of rain and wind in Scotland.

You do a LOT of work with video. How do you think video has helped you reach a new audience in the last 12-18 months?

I use a lot of video for teaching and have discovered first hand that people learn at least 3 or 4 times faster with visual feedback so I felt that would be an appropriate strategy for my website.

The Internet makes sharing that video possible. In your opinion, how has the Internet changed the way you do business?

Oh good question. I don’t really have anything to compare it to as I started teaching full time 7 years ago and I have always used the Internet. I think the Internet has helped accelerate the learning curve of coaches due the vast amount of information available.

What’s your favorite golf course?

I have three:

  1. Royal Troon Golf Club
  2. Philadelphia Country Club
  3. The Farms Golf Club

What is GolfTEC?

GolfTEC is a national teaching company that uses video and motion analysis to help golfers play better golf. There are 150 in the nation and I have been with the company for 2 years.

You are also a head golf coach. That is so cool. I played high school and college golf. What’s it like being a head golf coach? Do you also give your students lessons or do you just help filter their talents?

Yes – I coached the The Bishop’s School girls team last fall. The majority of my time with them was spend focusing on course management, practice habits and short game.

Have you ever had a hole-in-one?

Yes, believe it or not is was on a par 4 – 14th hole at Fullarton Golf Course in Troon. I have 16 years old.

I recently started working out. On purpose! How important is fitness to being a good golfer? Does diet and exercise play a big role in what you teach?

Diet and fitness is extremely important for golf… but it goes way beyond golf.

How often do you get to play?

Typically once a week.

What’s the best round you have ever played? What course was that?

Oh good question. It has been a long time since I shot in the 60s, and as far as I remember it was 1997 at Lochgreen Golf Course, Troon. I shot a 69, which is 5 under.

Have you ever been to Augusta?

I have never been, but my dad and I were supposed to go this year. He was diagnosed with accurate prostate cancer, so we have postponed the trip until next year.

I am Tiger’s biggest fan. Do you honestly think that he will break Jack’s record?

I like Tiger; he is great for the game. Yes, he will beat Jack’s record.

Starting with your driver, and working your way all the way through the golf ball, what’s in your bag?

  • Driver: Callaway Razor FIT.
  • Hyrbrid(s): Callaway Razor Tours (2 and 3)
  • Irons: Callaway Razor Tour Irons – (4 -PW)
  • Wedges: Callaway Jaws (52, 56, 60)
  • Putter: Odyssey Tour Series.
  • Ball: Callaway HEX Black Tour.

Beer or wine? Pick your poison.

Both  – but mainly beer. San Diego has some great local beers.

Let’s say that I want to get a lesson with you. What’s that going to cost me? What’s the first lesson like?

The first lesson would be a 90 minute swing evaluation – it would cost $175. The evaluation is designed to get know ball flight patterns/misses and inform all clients of WHY the ball flys a certain way and an improvement road map is then created. I’m a big proponent of explaining ball flight laws in the swing evaluation.

Have you seen the new Cleveland driver? How sick is that?

It looks cool – not sure I would use it.

Do you listen to music while you practice/play?

Never. I’m not real big music guy, although recently I did see Elton John play live in Las Vegas – it was awesome.

You are always calling people “mate”. Why is that? To you, what does the word “mate” mean?

Buddy… bro…

You are TPI certified. Everyone I talk to seems to be TPI certified. What level are you and do you see a lot of value in that certification?

Yes – I am TPI Level 1. It is loaded with very good information, however getting my clients to commit to a flexibility program is challenging.

Are you AimPoint certified? You know… John Graham makes everything!

I’m not, but AimPoint is a brilliant system and my mate John came out to San Diego and conducted 2 clinics back in late January.  That guy has great hair.

Wait a second… you are from Troon? I do a lot of work with Troon Golf Management. Is there a connection there?

No connection as far as I know – Troon, is a quiet wee town on the south west coast of Scotland.

By the way, you look great in a kilt.

Why, thank you – I think so to!

Did you play golf in high school and college?

Yes – both.

There is a list out there… the top 100 teaching pros. In your opinion, who is the best teaching professional out there?

Ah, great question. There are many great coaches out there. I couldn’t possibly single one out.

What was the last movie you saw? Did you like it?

Hunger Games – good movie, but it’s no Avatar or Harry Potter!

There are a LOT of teaching professionals out there. Do you find there is a certain level of competition in your area, or do you guys all seem to get along?

San Diego has a very competitive teaching environment. That suits me fine because it keeps me on my toes. I recently joined the teaching committee for the Southern California PGA so I’m excited to learn from many experienced coaches.

When you shoot videos for YouTube, what kind of camera are you using?

I use a Flip video camera – I need to get into the modern age and pony up and purchase a good Casio.

Who is in your dream foursome?

Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Kenneth Marr. That’s my dad.

Do you watch a lot of golf on TV?

Yes, I watch too much!

There are a lot of golf magazines out there. I saw Golf Digest was recently offering a “5 minute fix to your slice”. Can I fix my slice in 5 minutes? Do you read those magazines?

Yes, I read them solely because my clients read them and always have questions about them. I don’t read them for the content… ouch.

I dig your logo. Who designed that for you?

A client of mine named Sandra Mercer.

Since you live so close to the water, do you surf? What about scuba diving?

I live about a PW away from the ocean, and yes I surf if you regard surfing as paddling out stumbling and falling off the board before standing up. Scuba diving is next on the list.

There are a lot of young guys on the PGA TOUR starting to make some noise. Who, out of that group, can come in and take Tiger’s thunder? Do you think there will ever be another Tiger Woods?

There are many great players on tour, but as far as any taking “Tiger’s thunder” I think that is very unlikely but if I can to pick I would say Rory McILroy and Matteo Manassero have the best chance.

What’s next for you? Do you have anything in store for 2012?

I always have a lot of projects on the go but like every other year I plan to teach a lot, study hard, spend time with as many instructors as I can and evolve as a teacher.

Andrew, I could ask you questions all day. In all of the interviews I have done, I always give the artist the last word. Go.

Thank you for the opportunity Ricky. I’m lucky to be involved in a sport that I dearly love, but as teachers we always have to remember our #1 responsibility is to grow the game of golf through quality instruction.

Andrew Marr Golf Instruction

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