136: Teaching the Art of the Short Game with Stan Utley

Today I am very excited to announce our guest; Stan Utley. Stan is a professional golfer who has played on the PGA Tour and the Nationwide Tour. He is renowned for having one of the best short games in the game of golf. He holds the PGA Tour record for fewest putts in nine holes, with six at the 2002 Air Canada Championship.

As his touring career was winding down, Utley began to take advantage of his reputation as one of the best chippers and putters in the game. He began a transition into teaching and writing with a focus on his specialty – the short game.

Utley has now risen to prominence as one of the best instructors in golf, with Golf Digest naming him one of America’s 50 greatest teachers.

Stan Utley’s Background

  • Utley was born and raised in Thayer, a small town in southern Missouri.
  • He attended the University of Missouri where he was a member of the golf team, a three-time all-Big Eight selection, and two-time All-American.
  • He turned professional in 1984 and joined the PGA Tour in 1989.
  • Utley’s sole PGA Tour victory came in 1989 at the Chattanooga Classic.
  • He lost his PGA Tour card in 1992 and decided to play on the Nike Tour (now known as the Nationwide Tour).
  • Stan soon began to focus more on teaching other golfers and professionals.  He quickly became one of the most prominent and sought after short game coaches in all of golf.

Highlights from this Episode

  • We go into Stan’s background growing up in southern Missouri, and how he originally got into the game of golf. He originally wanted to be a basketballer, and we get into what made him ultimately decide to focus on golf instead.
  • Stan is now a full-time teacher, and we talk about how he made the transition from professional golfer to professional teacher. There was a clear moment when Stan realized that he wanted to be a teacher and that he would excel at it.
  • Stan goes into some of the most common mistakes that people make when they practice their short game. In Stan’s view, it is all about getting the optimal timing between the handle speed and the head of the club speed.
  • A few tips and drills that Stan recommends for people to improve their short game. Stan also mentions a few players on the tour who are doing it well, and who other golfers should emulate.
  • We talk about the training aid, the‘Orange Whip’. Stan gives his thoughts on why it works, and how it can be used for golfers to improve their game.

Caddy Shack or Happy Gilmore?

 Happy Gilmore

What would be your “walk-up song “to the tee?

Billy Joel – River of Dreams

Who would you like to spend a day on the course with, and where?

My son Jake, at Pebble Beach

What has you most excited moving forward into 2017?

Every time I help one of my students get better quicker, it’s a rush. I look forward to doing more of that.

Where to find Stan Utley

Website: https://stanutley.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/stanutley

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StanUtley/

Episode Sponsor:

PGA Tour Mobile App: Find the version you need HERE! (iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows, Blackberry)

SuperSpeed Golf: SuperSpeedGolf.com

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