PGA Championship

Valhalla Golf Club

The Loop

Take a golf lesson live, at your desk

November 30, 2011

Those who might not have the time to take a lesson now have the opportunity to do so at their desk, 10 minutes a session, live, with a teaching professional, via the Internet.

It's called Golf Coach Direct and is the brainchild of Phil Auerbach, an entrepreneur and self-described golf nut, who has played in the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship and is a 10-time club champion at Brae Burn Country Club in Purchase, N.Y.


"What we've found is that lessons are not affordable or they're not accessible," Auerbach said. "People have limited time for golf. They'd rather play at golf than work at golf."

Golf Coach Direct takes the time and cost constraints out of the equation. "Ten minutes, $20," Auerbach said. "You just upload your swing and pick your coach."

It's a simple process that begins with video of your swing, which can be taken with any kind of device, even a smart phone. It's uploaded to Golf Coach Direct and analyzed by your instructor, chosen from among 100 of them from around the country, with whom you communicate via webcam.

"There are four different screens during the lesson," Auerbach said. "Picture the Ayatollah, Frank Chirkinian [the late CBS Sports director] in his truck deciding whether to go to the 15th or the 17th hole at Augusta National. Not only can your coach do that, he call put up a split screen and pull up a swing of yours from a different day, or one from his own locker to compare yours with, or even put up a tour pro's swing. Our library of tour pros' swings run the gamut -- Phil and Tiger, McIlroy, Mahan, a lot of great women players. Another view is when the coach comes onto the camera itself and shows you what you're doing wrong."

The instructor also can use lines and arrows and such to demonstrate where your club is supposed to be at various points of the swing. At the conclusion of your lesson, it is saved in your locker for referencing at your leisure.

Eventually, Auerbach said, he intends to add a fitness component to it as well.

"I'm proud to say the site is working incredibly well," Auerbach said. "It's a whole new age way of thinking."

-- John Strege