As a golf course supertintendant, it is no surprise that golf is the cornerstone of my life. I love it, live it, and have the obvious career devoted to it. I have constantly strived to be the best at whaever I do, investing time, energy and most of all effort. So when I took up playing the game of golf I wanted to be the best player I could be. My outline for success was simple: use all of the tools at my disposal as a golf course worker to the fullest extent. Free driving range privileges, access to free lesson from my golf professional coworkers, and unlimited playing time on the golf course. With these tools at my disposal there would be no reason that I could not achieve my goal...and do it quickly.
The pursuit for (unachievable) perfection started in 2007. I would go to the range daily and intently practice for 2 hours....short game, mid irons, long irons, driver: the entire gamut of golf course skills. I would then go home and read swing theory and watch video's from Mac O'Grady, Butch Harmon, Hank Haney, Sean Foley, Brian Manzella, Wayne DeFrancisco. The result: I got better, hit the ball further, and my scores went down. Scores that started in the mid-90's in 2007 were in the 70's by 2010. I practiced harder and devoted even more time and effort. In early 2011, I broke par for the first time. In 2012, I shot several rounds in the 60's (including one seven under par 65!).
Had I achieved my goal? Yes, partially. It was fun to shoot 67 but a travesty to shoot 77. Something needed to change. More time and effort at the driving range? That was my go to. I had a journal of every swing thought and swing change I had done for the previous 6 years and their relation to score. What I determined was there was a direct correlation between the amount of practice and score. Practice more...score lower. Practice less....score higher.
I took a break from playing in 2013 and early 2014 devoting 100% of my time to my career in construction of a golf course. I didn't putt, chip, or hit a drive and definitely didn't play golf. If fact, I had not played 18 complete holes on my golf course until August or 2014. When I started playing again I set a goal not to invest as much time practicing. One of the revelations I had during my break from golf was... MY TIME IS VALUABLE. Sure, I had not spent a dime on lessons, range balls, or playing golf for 6 years (NOT ONCE) but I had invested nearly 4,000 hours of my time to improve my golf game over 6 years. Something needed to change.
I contacted Mark Polich in August of 2014. I had met him previously and I knew he had the ability to to TrackMan based instruction. I wanted to get a digital baseline for my swing so I could quantify results differently: no longer based on score but on my swing attributes (believing that the scores would likely follow). This would be the first time I HAD EVER PAID FOR A GOLF LESSON! Mark treated me different than previous instructors. He was the first instructor to actually measure my physical attributes. He told me that my unique anatomy (very long arms) required me to swing differently than those golfers whose arm width matched their height. He expained this in a way that I could understand and it made sense. He also tailored his type of instructor to ME.
After every coaching session, I improved. In fact, after every session I left knowing more about MY swing. And after every session, not only was I making more solid contact, the TrackMan data confirmed my improvement at a fundamental level. The best part....I now do not have to practice as much as I did in the past. I am getting better, investing less time, and the game is as fun as ever. Quite the opposite of my previous theory...practice less and score higher. I honestly believe now that my golf game had reached a pivotal point where I couldn't advance it any more with the approach I had been using. The funny thing is....I had access to 18 different instrutors, millions of free range galls, and endless golf resources over 6 years to improve my game, something very few golfers have.
I now believe what my game really needed was coaching from Mark and that is something anyone can have. There is no doubt in my mind that I am better today than I was in 2012 (after a year and a half sabbatical) and I have only had 5 coaching sessions with Mark. I would recommend Mark to anyone. If you value your time, want to improve, or want to enjoy golf again, go see Mark..... it will be time and money well spent.
JW, Golf Course Superintendent (December 2014)
I recently spent three days watching my friend Mark Polich teach a group of amateurs using the TrackMan system. I was amazed not only at how quickly he was able to pinpoint areas that needed attention but then his ability to communicate these issues to the students and help them implement the changes.
There is no question that TrackMan is a powerful diagnostic tool in the hands of a skilled coach. I feel qualified to say this since I have been his teacher and mentor for the past 25 years watching him delvelop first as a player and then later as a top-ranked coach.
However, there comes a time for every teacher when it is appropriate to pass the proverbial torch onward. I have always believed that if the teacher had done a great job his prize student would surpass him not only in the knowledge that he possess but the ability to apply it wisely. I believe that time has come for both of us so I chose this last visit to Tucson to pass the symbolic torch on to Mark.
In celebration of that fact, I asked Mark to work with me on MY golf game before returning to Minnesota. As part of the process I made a calculated decision to totally, without question or equivocation, surrender myself to his expertise. I should state here and now that I have suffered from a life-long swing problem that I nor anyone else had been able to accurately diagnose and fix during my 52 year golf career.
The irony of the situation is of course as both an accomplished teacher and player, I had single-handidly healed thousands of other students over my 40+ year teaching career. However, despite years of practice and experimentation, I could not heal myself.
What I want to tell you is that with Mark's help and the amazing feedback from TrackMan, together we were able for the first time to accurately diagnose the problem and then identify the solution that actually worked not once, not twice, but everytime, ending more than 5 decades of frustration.
My advice to you in not uncertain terms.... put your game and your swing in Mark's hands trusting that he will do the same for you as he had done for me. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.
PGA Master Professional
GOLF Magazine "Top 100" Insructors in America
Mark, I wanted to let you know that after our last coaching session, I did something I haven't done for YEARS.... shot back to back 74's. Thanks for all your help.
RICK C. (November 2014)ember 2014)
Hi Mark, I wanted to give you some feedback from our latest coaching session. On the course, I stuck to the plan we made which wasn't that hard since I was hitting the ball so well. I hit solid shots with every club - even the 3 wood. No more slices either. And I played the entire round without a single penalty shot. Probably the best coaching session I have ever had. Thanks.
ED F. (November 2014)
"Mark Polich is not only the best golf instructor I have ever worked with but he is simply the best teacher I know in the very general sense. His knowledge of the game, the swing, biomechanics and the neuropsychology of learning are unmatched. These qualities have garnered national recognition and respect. Anyone who loves the game and wants to perform at their best should gift themselves with the opportunity to work with him.
But more importantly...me... Golf is hard. It is really difficult when one loves it and suffers from old age, lack of talent, no coaching as a youth, multiple spinal surgeries, and a fake hip. Even worse has been interaction with teachers who are unwilling or unable to start with a student who brings nothing useful into the lessons other than desire. Instead of disdain or disinterest, Mark has from the onset never given up on me and my goals to become as good as I can or want to be. When I started with him, the only repeatable shot I had was the shank. It is the absolute truth that 50% of my efforts were shanks and the rest were worse.
Since that first meeting (where Mark probably threw up a little bit in his mouth) and asked me what my goals were, I have shot a 70 and many rounds in the 70's, had rounds with 6 birdies, and won the only golf tournament I ever aspired to win. And I did all this with faulty but improving technique. More importantly, I have persevered even in the midst of trying to eliminate the muscular memories that are so difficult for older players to eradicate. I don't play great golf yet, but it is because I am totally committed to Mark's journey for me and I am (sometimes frustratingly) absolutely willing to score badly while I learn on the course. I have absolutely no doubt that I will eventually accomplish one of golf's greatest thrills: I will shoot my age and it will be from tees in the mid 6000 yards. No doubt at all.
Additionally, Mark's Studio is an amazing creation and a superb learning evvironment with State of the Art technology (TrackMan) used by an expert. The bottom line is that Mark listens, observes, corrects, and eloquently gives the support that only gifted teachers can."
STEVE SUFFECOOL (December 2014)
I have played golf for over 50 years. During this time, my scores have ranged from the high 70's at my best to to low 90's at my worst. Several years ago, when my game began to decline, I started working with Mark. I found him to be very personable, knowledgeable, patient, and perhaps most importantly, totally committed to my improvement.
We have worked on all areas of my game including full swing, short tame, putting as well as performance on the course. I am very pleased to say EVERY part of my game has improved since we starting working together: scores have gone down, fairways hit and greeens in regulation have increased, up and in percentages have increased, and my total number of putts per round have decreased from 36+ to between 30 and 31.
On three occasions this year, I have shot even par the first nine holes of an 18 hole round (something I was previously accustomed to accomplishing every 10 years or so.) I can't wait for my handicap to catch up with my scores so I stop getting so much grief about being a sandbagger. Thanks Mark!
Dr. Jim (October 2014)