As a coach, Dennis believes that communication skills are the most critical to possess: listening to individual players, discovering how they best learn, translating technical concepts and movements into simple objectives, all are things that separate someone who understands facts and principles about putting from a successful coach who can help golfers improve.
Dennis has spent his career communicating, over 30 years in the information technology industry where he had great success in:
- communicating & teaching technical topics to non-technical customers and managers,
- learning how to work with different people and different technologies, and
- discovering new and better ways to accomplish complex things.
Those experiences help Dennis as a putting coach.
Golf-wise, Dennis has been a life-long student of the game, the “process of learning golf”, and a longtime custom club maker.
For the past five years, He has invested significant time and money into specific training, certifications (please see certification section), and technology to focus on becoming a quality putting coach.
Technology is a great thing. However, as a world-renown golf instructor said, “Just because you have a box, doesn’t mean you know how to teach!” That’s a sobering truth and it is why Dennis has spent over five years studying putting; both as a golfer and a coach. Dennis has sought out the best instructors he could find, to learn from them. As detailed below in his acknowledgements, Dennis’ instructional training has come primarily from David Orr, Bruce Rearick, and the Science&Motion Sports company.
David Orr is one of the world’s leading putting instructors and researchers. David has coached many PGA, LPGA, WEB.com, professional and leading amateur golfers. Dennis has been a student of David’s for over four years. He has been mentored by David and has attended David Orr’s conferences and “Flatstick” certification seminar. Dennis is currently a Certified Flatstick Level 1 Instructor and has authored multiple articles on the Flatstick Academy website.
Bruce Rearick is one of the earliest US representatives and trainers for the Science&Motion Sports company’s industry leading SAM Puttlab product. Bruce is a pioneer in the area of putter fitting, having researched and developed his proprietary process/protocol. In addition to exploring Bruce’s fitting protocol deeply as a player, Dennis has visited Bruce on multiple occasions, collaborated with Bruce on fitting some of his students, and Dennis regularly applies Bruce’s principles while putter fitting.
Science & Motion Sports invented and sells the world’s leading putt analysis system called SAM Puttlab. Dennis calls it, “the Trackman for putting”. Science&Motion Sports offers both technology and certifications. They offer 3 Levels of instructor certification. These levels move from: “Learning how to use their product”, to “learning how to apply the information to achieve improvement”, to “understanding better how humans learn new motor skills and the coaching techniques to teach them”. Dennis is currently the only Level 3 certified SAM Puttlab instructor in Tennessee.
DENNIS' Teaching Philosophy
Dennis is not a “method teacher”. He does not believe there is a single, best putting technique. There are many ways to skillfully putt, which is evidenced by the significant differences in technique amongst the best putters in golf’s history.
Dennis teaches from a framework of concepts, fundamentals, and skills. Using that framework, his objective is to guide the player on a discovery of the combination that is effective for that person. Some of the “big rocks” he focuses on include:
Concepts/ Belief Systems
A player must have a clear and accurate concept of what he/she is trying to achieve before they can reliably execute it. Some concepts are counter-productive and need to be reconsidered before improvement can occur.
Everyone “perceives” the world around them differently. This area is one where many years of traditional instruction have “come up short” of the best for players. This is a foundational starting point for Dennis’ instruction.
Some people can coordinate their upper torso independently from their lower. Some can’t. Some people are more coordinated using their arms to move the putter. There are several options. With Dennis, players find the source of motion that is most effective, natural, and repeatable for them.
An unbalanced tire on a car will work, for a while. Eventually, under enough pressure, it will fail. A player’s putter design should match their individual putting technique. Dennis helps players find the putter design that works with them and not against them.
Every aspect of putting: Learning, Practicing,and Competing, all are greatly impacted by the player’s mental state. This is a fertile field for quick improvement for most golfers.
Many golfers do not know “what to practice” or “how to practice, effectively”. Dennis uses technology, training, and experience, to prioritize each area of a player’s need for improvement; and provides them with effective drills to improve their skills.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS & REFERENCES
Dennis has benefitted from the teaching and mentoring of several industry leading instructors as well as his personal full swing instructor:
- Golf Magazine Top 100 Instructor
- Renowned putting instructor, fitter and 3D putting researcher
- Founder of the Flatstick Academy
Several paragraphs could be written about the success, qualifications, and expertise of David. He is truly a pioneer in the research, instruction, and coach-collaboration areas of putting on a global basis. Dennis is happy to call him a mentor and friend.
- Member PGA of America Consultant
- Golf School of Indiana
- Byron Morgan Putter Design Consultant
- Science & Motion Puttlab Certified Instructor
Bruce is a pioneer in the area of putter fitting and has developed his own framework and structured process for finding a putter to fit the individual golfer. Bruce has been more than generous with sharing his time and wisdom with Dennis. His unique fitting protocol has been instrumental in fitting Dennis for his personal putter as well as how Dennis helps his students discover their own best fit.
PGA professional with over 20 years of teaching experience.
- PGA Teaching Professional
- 2008 Knoxville Chapter PGA ‘Teacher of the Year’
- Two-time Titleist Scholarship Recipient in the PGA Golf Professional Training Program
Byron has been Dennis’ personal swing coach and friend for over 8 years. He is an excellent teacher who listens well and knows how to discover how each individual player learns. Byron balances Dennis’ analytical tendencies and adds the more subjective/feel-based elements to Dennis’ game and teaching. It was Byron who first recognized Dennis’ aptitude for teaching, and encouraged Dennis to pursue it.
Improve Your Putting Today
Talk to Dennis today to begin improving your putting today.