I haven’t had the chance to physically meet Chris yet, but it’s hard to ignore what he is doing. Chris is the Director of Instruction at Maderas Golf Club and is the man behind x-Golf, the next generation of golf instruction. But what is x-Golf? According to his website, x-Golf is, “The hottest new golf instruction concept that is certain to transform your game. x-Golf is a group instruction model that teaches you all the skills and allows you to compete.”
In an effort to promote Chris and x-Golf, I reached out and asked for an interview. He was nice enough to spend some time with me, over the phone, telling me more about what he is doing on the practice tee and with this new x-Golf concept. It was great learning from him, and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for this golf professional. Without further adieu, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Chris Mayson.
I had the chance to play Maderas Golf Club last year. It was truly an unforgettable experience. Tel l me more about your time at Maderas and what it is like working at one of the premier facilities in San Diego.
I have been fortunate enough to be at Maderas for over 4 years now. I was brought on by Bill O’Brien, former general manager, to start The Maderas Golf Academy presented by Chris Mayson. We now have 4 coaches working at Maderas Golf Academy, we are home to the first USA Junior National Golf Team on the West Coast and we are proud to coach the very best juniors, college players and PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour professionals in the country. We have coaches that teach all levels and do a great job.
Maderas obviously is one of the best facilities and courses in America, as highlighted by the Golf Digest Top 100 award. The range is spectacular, from the mountain views, 3 putting greens and probably the best short game facility in San Diego County, I am very lucky to call it home.
You were born and raised in England. Do you visit the UK often?
I usually get home twice a year to see my friends and family. I miss them a lot, but I don’t miss the weather or lifestyle anymore. I have been here for sixteen years and become more American every day. I am certainly a SoCal softie now… I love the sun!
Speaking of the UK, what are some of your favorite golf courses overseas?
I miss links golf. You have to be a real artist on the courses, shaping shots, flighting the ball in the wind and being creative around the greens. St Andrews Links is such a special experience, even if the golf course isn’t memorable. Wentworth Club and Sunningdale Golf Club are also a real treat, and more similar to the golf where I grew up, just outside of London.
Wait… You made an ace at 8 years old? That is awesome! How far and do you remember what club you used?
It was 98 yards and I used my sisters 9 iron. At the time I was the youngest player in Britain to get a hole in one. The papers came and took photos of me, and told me I was going to be in the Guinness World Records! It was all very exciting until I got a phone call only 3 weeks later telling me some kid in Scotland had a hole in one and he just turned 7! It had to be a Scotsman!!!
What is your favorite hole at Maderas?
I love the 18th hole. It is a risk reward hole, and the long hitters can go for it in 2. The mountain and vista views off the tee and into the green is spectacular. You have the forced carry off the tee, the “Maderas” tree to contend with, the rock feature down the right side of the fairway, and then the stream wrapping around the green. It truly encompasses everything Maderas has to offer, and I would put it up against any hole in Southern California.
What is x-Golf?
x-Golf is my new instructional program that I have been working on for 2 years now. For $150 a month you can come to unlimited classes at Maderas! Classes are one hour in length and we offer about 3 to 4 time slots per day. In each class the coaches will teach you a specific golf skill (such as bunkers, shaping shots, driving or reading greens), you then practice that skill under the guidance of the coach, and then you finish the class with a creative competition. Think “Big Break” style competitions and apparatus!
It is designed to make practice more specific, fun, social and engaging and is ensure to make you a better golfer. The skill and competition changes every day and I do the programming so that each week and month are completely different.
We have a website and an app! The app is really cool. You can sign up for classes, view over fifty instructional videos and competitions, and track your results of the daily competition on the worldwide leaderboard. There is also a personal record locker that tracks all your competition results in a graphed format so you can measure your improvement.
I am really trying to redefine how people learn and practice in an age where there is such little time to focus on your game. When people do practice it is usually not specific, pointless and boring, and thus they don’t get better and don’t enjoy it. x-Golf is going to change all that, and for a monthly fee that is less than taking a one hour private lesson with me, it really is a no brainer.
You were named in Golf Digest as one of the “Best Young Teachers in America 2014-2015.” What does that recognition mean to you and how has that helped you as a teaching professional?
I was so honored to be recognized by Golf Digest. I have worked extremely hard over the last decade to be the best coach I can be and learn as much as I can. Usually recognition for a golf coach comes because one of our players has played well, but to be recognized for my full body of work was fantastic.
The award has afforded me some great opportunities and experiences thus far. I will be featured in my own Golf Digest article in the coming months, I have picked up some television work and magazine articles too. I have had players fly in to see me from Japan, Korea and China, and also some golf instructors a lot more keen to get to know me, collaborate or even just watch me teach. My goals still stay the same though, I want to keep learning to be the best I can be, and hope that I can help people enjoy this game more.
My feet point right. My divots point left. The ball goes straight. What’s wrong? Mind you, Hank Haney said not to worry about it… But I need a second opinion.
If it goes straight, don’t mess with it!!! Work on your short game and putting!
How do I get over the first tee jitters?
It is just a mental game. Everyone gets nervous. It is just about embracing the feeling and trying to do your best. I would recommend 2 simple things, though. Find a very small specific target that you want to aim at, and then breath, focusing all your attention onto that target. Then let her rip!
Let’s say I book a lesson with you… What does that first lesson look like for a new student?
We talk a lot. I want to know what they are working on, what thoughts they are having, how they practice, strengths and weaknesses, what teachers they have seen before, what shape they like to hit. I then get them on TrackMan Golf and take some video and then make a simple plan from there. I will always teach the player what their problem is, what the solution is, a drill to make it better and what ball flights to look for so they can coach themselves to improvement when they practice. The first lesson is important because you have to build a relationship and trust with that person quickly. The first lessons are the most fun for me!
I am Tiger’s biggest fan. Who is your favorite professional golfer?
I used to love Tiger Woods, too. I really don’t watch golf anymore because I work on the weekends and have a young family, so there is no time for that! If Brendan Steele’s in contention, then I will record it. I am excited that we have the young guns at the top now though… Day, Spieth, McIlroy and Fowler. I think it is good for golf, and generates some excitement.
We come to San Diego every year to drink craft beer… With nearly 100 brewing companies in the area, what are some of your favorite brewing companies in the area?
I have to say the big ones, Stone Brewing and Ballast point. We have been to Stone a few times and it is beautiful and the food is great. I am enjoying the Grapefruit Sculpin from Ballast Point this summer… Yummy!
You work with Brendan Steele. What other PGA TOUR players have you worked with?
I have worked with 5 other guys who have played on TOUR, but no full cards, yet, and 4 players on the Web.com Tour who have not quite made the leap yet. I am thrilled with my work with Brendan Steele. He had a great year in 2015 and is currently at his highest ever World Ranking.
My work has been pretty extensive on the LPGA Tour working with 8 players. I have worked with I.K. Kim (3 LPGA Tour victories), Beatriz Recari (3 LPGA Tour victories), Hee-Won Han (6 LPGA Tour victories and former Rookie of the Year), Sun Young Yoo (Kraft Nabisco Championship victor), Maria Hernandez (LPGA Tour victor, Ladies European Tour victor and NCAA Champion), Tiffany Joh (LPGA Tour player and U.S. Amateur Public Links victor) and LPGA Tour players Hye-Min Kim and Min Lee.
What’s next for Chris Mayson?
I am fully involved in getting x-Golf running smoothly first and building the brand, programming and more quality videos and apparatus. I am really excited for its future and hope to be able to offer the programming and app to other clubs around the world in the coming years. I will be traveling on the PGA TOUR with Brendan, and hopefully spend some time with my family!
In all of the interviews I do, I always give the artist the last word. Go.
“When we seek to bring out the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves.” – William Arthur Ward
I’m a coach… What did you expect!
Connect with Chris Mayson Golf:
ORIGINAL PHOTO CREDIT: MARK LEY