PGA MASTER PROFESSIONAL
Program Director, The College of Golf
Brian Hughes is a PGA Master Professional in Instruction. Mr. Hughes comes to Keiser University after working for the San Diego Golf Academy, Carolinas Campus since 2004. He is an expert in golf education, having graduated from the Golf Academy of the South as Valedictorian. During his time at the TPC Avenel in Potomac, Maryland he assisted in the operation of six PGA TOUR events and played an integral role in the club being named one of Golf Shop Operations Magazine’s top 100 Golf Shops for five consecutive years. Later, as Head Golf Professional at the Golf Club at Yankee Trace in Centerville, Ohio, Brian was twice named the Southern Ohio PGA Merchandiser of the Year and was an extremely visible member of the community. Mr. Hughes went on to help develop two more facilities, Jericho National Golf Club in New Hope, Pennsylvania and Musket Ridge Golf Club in Myersville, Maryland. He brings to The College of Golf at Keiser University a wealth of educational, golf operations and tournament experience.
- PGA Master Professional in Instruction
- Mitchell Certified Club Repair Technician
- Mizuno Certified Golf Club Fitter
- Ping Certified Golf Club Fitter
- 1996 Southern Ohio PGA Merchandiser of the Year
- 1996 Southern Ohio PGA Merchandiser of the Year
Golf Industry Experience
- Golf Program Director, Keiser University College of Golf, 2009-Present
- Associate Director, Golf Academy of the Carolinas, 2004 – 2009
- General Manager, Musket Ridge Golf Club, 2001-2002
- Head Golf Professional, Jericho National Golf Club, 1999-2001
- Head Golf Professional, The Golf Club at Yankee Trace, 1994-1999
- Assistant Golf Professional, Tournament Players Club at Avenel, 1989-1994
- Assistant Golf Professional, Valhalla Golf Club, 1988-89
BRIAN HUGHES’ TEACHING PHILOSOPHY
“It’s your time” are the best words to summarize my philosophy on teaching the game of golf. The way they are said can force many meanings in golf, from “it’s your time, don’t waste it “to the more positive usage of “It’s your time to shine – play your best!” This phrase with regards to a philosophy of instructing the game of golf means “It’s your time, what do you want to do with it?”The answer to the question has a dramatic influence not just on the course of that lesson but on how all future development of the student’s game will occur. It is the student’s time during a golf lesson and it is the student’s time away from that lesson, so what we work on together needs to be what the student wants to accomplish. What their goals are leads to how every step of the process works and what aspect of the ways a student improves, through improvement in technique, equipment, physicality or mental game, we decide to emphasize that day.
Initial goal setting with the student involves an understanding of ball flight. What is the golf ball doing now and what is the desired ball flight in terms of curvature, distance and trajectory. The student needs an understanding of golf club mechanics as it relates to their current and desired ball flight, as the world’s best players have varied swings, but their common denominator is the club position at impact.
After this understanding is developed, emphasis shifts to how to get the club in the proper positions to achieve ball flight objectives. Particular emphasis is placed upon the foundation of the golf swing, pre-swing fundamentals. Alignment and setup principles are critical to success and once proper starting points are determined, focus shifts to how to make those positions consistent from shot to shot. A students’ grip is also analyzed, with an emphasis placed on whether or not their grip position, placement and pressure is conducive to the type of shots they want to play.
If pre-swing adjustments do not solely accomplish the student’s ball flight improvement goals, focus is adjusted to in-swing principles that are most important to reaching their goal. Control of the golf club is the primary concern, as tempo, rhythm and timing are stressed along with helping the student understand to plan of action for the shot. As adjustments to the golf swing are difficult at best, the speed of the swing is important, as we tend to learn things best at a slower speed.
While proper positions of the golf swing vary from player to player, a common goal to be achieved during the swing is to get the golf club coming from the inside on the downswing. From this delivery method, most all of the ideals of the powerful consistent golf swing can be achieved – full release, extension toward the target and proper balance can occur much more easily and almost without effort – the goal of any good golf swing.
The player’s physical strengths and limitations must be considered for one to play their best golf. Everyone is built differently which is one of the reasons a “one size fits all” approach to golf instruction tends to work with some, but not with others. A player’s fitness level, athletic ability, flexibility, age, strength and physical disabilities all have to be dealt with in order to help a student reach their goals.
Golf equipment is yet another variable that must be considered. Once again, a “one size fits all” approach can do more harm than good with a student. In addition to the basic aspects of club fitting – club lie, shaft flex, length and the like – importance is placed upon the set makeup of the player’s bag. The clubs available must fit the player’s skill level, strengths and weaknesses of their game and the courses they play.
A final component that ties everything together is the mental game and its’ influence on the student’s ability to reach their goals. Strategy, course management, dealing with emotions and expectations are all factors to improvement. Understanding the student and their goals is critical to helping the player deal with the many mental hurdles golf puts in our way to success. A proper understanding can help the instructor accomplish the primary goal of golf instruction – giving the student a foundation for their definition of success at golf, be it on a competitive level or simply a diversion in the form of a game to be enjoyed for a lifetime.