Average Golf Score Still 100? How Can That Be?

Hard to believe but according to a 2014 National Golf Foundation report the average golf score is STILL 100 and has been about the same for decades! How is this possible?

The modern game is replete with advanced clubs and balls, better playing conditions, better fitness and nutrition, more and supposedly better information, lesson videos on the internet, the Golf Channel, and the like.  With all these so-called advances it just doesn’t make sense that the average player can’t break 100! Something is clearly wrong.

Not only does the average score remain high, player data from the most prestigious golf organizations including the National Golf Foundation (NGF), the PGA of America, and the USGA also indicate high rates of attrition.

Player attrition is blamed on many aspects, the most common being:

  • Game takes too much time
  • It’s too expensive
  • Game is too difficult

These are all viable points BUT I believe that the main issue lies within the world of traditional golf instruction – I mean what else is left to consider? The insane and readily accepted orthodox doctrine of head down, left arm straight, make a shoulder turn, right elbow in, weight shift, etc. is just too hard and frustrates new and experienced players alike!

If the game is too difficult then it’s that way because it’s been made to BE that way through so-called traditional golf instruction.  If traditional instruction is as large a part of attrition as I think it is, instructors, teachers and coaches need to wake up, do some real work on how people learn physical motion, then apply that education so their students can improve. It isn’t easy to do.

Whether a teacher or a player, breaking through orthodox doctrine is exceptionally difficult and requires an understanding that some think harkens back to a different era – the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s when fundamentals meant something different and swinging a golf club was a physical event that came from athletic intuition. A time before re-treaded how-to magazine articles, You Tube, Golf Channel and the internet.

If it’s true that all things old become new again, then today is the day when you’ll be allowed to just use your hands and arms to swing a club and hit the ball!  Go ahead, just do that. I dare ya’.!!!  When you do, you’ll be pissed about all that time you wasted trying to figure out what to do with your lower body!!

This is much like golf was taught in the 30’s and 40’s when most teachers were also excellent players. They used a different language than is used today today but it was effective.  Back then, it was a learning language composed of sense, feel, intuition and an emotional awareness that got players around the course and back home again.

Harry Vardon refers to the “low man” in one of his books. Who was the low man? He was a player who was a 20 handicap or less amateur! How can it be that a score of 92 was so highly respected back then!  The answer is Arnie’s Army and television!

Television ruined amateur golf! Television has made average players think that they’re supposed to be better than they could ever be!  How can it be that today – even with all of our technology – most players tend to use statistics and swing technique intended for professional use – not for the daily-fee and/or club player. Television. Kostis talking about width and NOT SAYING  “don’t try this at home” is ridiculous! Less than 1% of my students can accomplish such a feat! Television makes the rest think otherwise.  Listen up people: 340 yard drives ARE NOT NORMAL. Even the low man need not entertain such fantasies.

At this juncture, it’s important to realize that the Old-School Golf Professional (where I learned how to play) was looked up to and respected.  There was no internet, Golf Channel, or 1,000 magazine articles on how to swing. Placing trust in and relying on the Professional was without question.  Today, golf instructors in general are seen as snake-oil salesman.  Is it true?

I unfortunately have to say yes.  The business of teaching golf has changed from a viable means to an end to something that needs to be scrutinized at every step.  Television, general technology and the internet haven’t made things any better.  Understanding what “keeping the head still” REALLY MEANS has been replaced with angle of descent, hand plane, power angles, launch angle, and a hundred other data points. What happens? Keeping the head still means nothing at all – and if it does, it’s so difficult to understand that the average player just gives up, accepts mediocrity, and trudges along doing the same ol’ crap until they die.

Many instructors are victims of traditional doctrine themselves. They don’t continually research and evaluate their profession, continue their professional education, or taken any additional college courses. They are stuck, just like a player gets stuck.  Except for a cookie-cutter approach, they don’t know what to teach, when to teach it, or even why they are teaching.

If you’re looking for something different and you like to think different than the rest, we would be a good combination. If you need a traditional language approach, then you should look for another golf instructor.  I would not be your guy.

Cost Confusion?

It’s come to my attention that there is a problem with my online scheduling and pricing information. I have solved the problem.  YOUR ONE-HOUR INVESTMENT WITH ME IS $95 AS INDICATED HERE AT DANHERNANDEZPGA.COM.   Previously, when clicking on the Book A Lesson link, the cost of $120 appeared. This has been an error which is now corrected. So much for hiring help! I’ll continue to do all of this on my own, even if content gets stale due to my VERY BUSY schedule. Thank you for your understanding and patience.

Golf Tips Revised

Pretty sure I’ve done this before but just in case here are some really general tips about playing golf:

    Lower hands are better than higher hands
    Narrower stance is better than too far apart
    Slightly closed to the target line is better than open (square to the path)
    Favoring the right side is better than favoring the left
    Right elbow down and in is better than right arm straight
    Ball more forward for longer clubs (hit on slight upswing)
    Head up is better than head down (it’s OK, you’ll still be able to see the ball)
    Let your hands and arms strike the ball from BEHIND your center line
    Allow backswing to finish BEFORE starting towards the ball
    Fire right side into back of ball (Ballard)
    Swinging any club behind you is better than lifting it straight up (radial)
    You can only REALLY keep your head still if it’s BEHIND YOUR CENTER THE WHOLE TIME
    Chips go low and run out (7-8-9 iron)
    Pitches go high and stop (pw-sw-60-etc.) Using these everywhere around the green is a dumb idea.
    Higher hands work better than lower hands
    Weaker grip works better than stronger grip
    Try PW or 9 iron out of sand – you’ll be surprised
    The closer you get the harder the game gets – be calm around the greens
    Open to the line stance means you can see better
    Try slicing your putts onto your line – you’ll be surprised (Vardon)
    Be tall on long putts
    Be short on short putts
    Look all around you for gravity’s effect. Course designer is trying to make you just look at the green! It’s a trick!
    Pushing the ball with the right arm is easier than pulling with the left wrist (just sayin’)
    Find high targets off the tee and swing there. Looking at the fairway (ground) will make you swing down.
    Deep, slow breathing actually works (brain needs oxygen)
    Feel club in you fingers for better “shot sense”
    If you suck on the front and not on the back, or vice-versa, divide 18 by 3. Now you have 6 hole increments and no front or back!
    If you’re having a hard time – just think about time. As in  “…in twenty minutes this isn’t going to be happening like this.”
    To relax, make fists as tight as possible for as long as possible – then let go.  You’ll be surprised
    Eat small bits all day
    Drink small bits all day
    No burgers or dogs at “the turn”


Movin’ on Up

I am pleased to announce that I have become just the 39th PGA Certified Professional in the State of California and the first and only in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Of course, my area of speciality as a Certified Professional is Teaching and Coaching. The Certified Professional Classification is the second highest level of PGA of America achievement.

By Dan Hernandez, PGA Posted in How To's


Yep…those of us who hold some sort of PGA of America credential must meet a minimum number of education and service hours during a given period. To that end, going to seminars is a way to earn credits. Does anyone in any profession really want to go to a seminar?  I know I sure don’t.  Especially when travel, hotel, food, etc. is on my own dime.

But…I always lean another new thing – something I’ve never heard before; something that makes sense; something exciting; something inspirational and motivating.

Bob Madsen, one of the world’s most renowned professional golf instructors was teaching us teachers more about how to teach. When he was discussing a lesson HE was taking from another pretty famous dude, Bob was telling us how he was asking his instructor question after question – and then even more questions – about every detail he could think of.  The instructor apparently became a bit un-nerved at the barrage of questions, leaned into Bob’s Personal Space, and said:

“If you wanna’ just do parts and pieces let’s go chop a chicken!”

Bob, like myself, wants players to be more attuned to the “WHOLE” picture, the whole feeling, the WHOLE sensation.  Only by understanding the WHOLE can you understand a PART of it.  By clearly understanding a part – AS IT RELATES TO THE WHOLE – you will be able to make sense of the mechanics that truly matter.

A lot of my time is spent  “un-teaching” players.  Most players are over-taught and most instructors over-teach.  There is no TRUE NEED to know most of the stuff that I hear – whether it’s from players or fellow teachers.  But hearing a cool thing at a seminar is a different story. Let’s never stop learning.  Something to think about.

By Dan Hernandez, PGA Posted in How To's

Junior Golf Certification

I am honored to have become Santa Clarita’s first and only U.S. Kids Golf Certified Instructor.  If you would like to know more about the Foundation and the Positive Coaching Alliance, click on the images below.   If you have any questions, please text message me or leave a voice mail at (661) 645-0804.  Thank you!


By Dan Hernandez, PGA Posted in How To's

Jack & Tiger

In case ya’ll didn’t know….

The reason Jack continues to say that Tiger “will figure it out” is because JACK KNOWS that saying “TW CAN’T DO IT” simply means that TW WILL.

I’m no Jack, I’m not famous – nor do I want to be – I’m not on Golf Channel. I’m not known as a coach with any influence. I don’t sell grips or training aids and I don’t do articles for magazines. I don’t share much about my time on TOUR with players who have won out there. That’s because I’ve never hit a shot in a PGA TOUR event.

What I am is a dude that’s been teaching for over thirty years – in the weirdest of ways – and I say to you TW……YOU SIMPLY CAN NOT DO IT ANYMORE…..


When players EXTRICATE THEMSELVES from the DARK ABYSS it’s because of who THEY ARE and NOT how well OR HOW POORLY they may have been coached.





An older book I’ve studied on and off over the years is a tome named. “The New Golf Mind.”  Very early in the book we’re asked why we watch sports; what exactly is our vested interest?;  will the outcome of the game have any effect on our life?; why do we get so very excited and then so very disappointed?

It’s all just because we all want to see the players BRING IT! We can hardly wait for that GREAT MOMENT!

And man…what a great moment I saw!

I’m not sure what tournament I was watching yesterday (Saturday) – I think it was the WGC at Doral – or it might have been the Puerto Rico Open. Apologies for not knowing. I almost always turn off the sound and just watch the players play.

Golf was on and that’s all I really know. The other thing I know is that I saw two (2) HIO’s within 30 minutes. Not only were they on the same hole, the landing area of each ball and the ensuing hole-out were virtually identical!  Now that’s freaky and a great moment!

No wonder we simply watch…….. and wait.

U.S. Open Championship - Final Round

Why We Watch Golf!

Times Have Changed!

I recieved my 2014/2015 TOUR Credential a couple of weeks ago. (yes – it’s STILL very cool to have one of these.)  I received my first credential in 2001, then continued working on TOUR in 2002.  Unfortunately, I seem to have misplaced those credentials but, as you can see, 2003 is here for your observation.

2003PGA-Credential 2015 Credential 2I’m bringing this up because:

Those of us who are fortunate enough to work with the best players in the world ARE NO LONGER REFERRED TO AS INSTRUCTORS.  


Although not within the cadre of all players, many players have a veritable entourage of “specialists.”  It is not uncommon for a player to enlist professional assistance from sports-psychologists, strength and flexibility trainers, life-coaches, and even nutritionists.

Additionally, when it comes to the the actual action of golf, it isn’t unusual for players to employ a full swing coach, a short game coach, a putting coach, etc.  I personally and professionaly hope that an “8-iron coach” is not waiting in the wings!

Call me old school if you want – BUT – what’s happened in golf is a bit of a travesty. Players like Bubba, Henrik, Gainey, Cabrera, Jimenez and yes – even Fred Couples – are few and far between.

Bubba does whatever he wants to and there is no way he’ll have a “lesson” anytime soon.   Does that mean he hasn’t learned anything form other players?  Probably not.  I’m sure Bubba has heard a thing or two, which he translates into Bubba-Like understanding/implementation. He then just moves on.  He has his own way.

(btw, Bubba read the back-side of my business card a while back and he said “..that’s really cool.”)

A young, un-trusting TOUR player tends to have “rabbit ears”  that are almost impossible to shut down.  No matter the skill-level, what a player hears and where it comes from needs to “register” to them completely.  For example, “keep your head down” is full of ambiguity! What does that actually mean and what does that have to do with the shot you want to hit?

Competitive golf has no place for uncertainty. A player needs to know that what they do by instinct is very likely to work out OK.

In my view, if a player needs to have an entourage as I’ve been describing, that player is suffering from nothing more than a lack of confidence!  That player does not TRUST their intuition, their athletic instinct or even the most basic ways they think about golf!  And yes, I’ll even include TW as a player with “installed” confidence – rather than “natural” confidence.

If you shoot 92 – i.e. a 20 handicap more-or-less, all of this applies to you too! You just gotta’ use your head, prioritize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses.  If your brain is working properly and you can make a realistic appraisal of your game, you could shoot 85! Seriously, you could shoot 85!

I don’t know what ever happened to that commercial, that was on a while back – the one where Arnie was encouraging everyone to “…do your own swing.”   For me, that was some of the very best advice I’ve ever heard!  I was hoping there would be more installments to that campaign but haven’t heard a peep since.  What a shame.

If you want to learn more about how YOU CAN PLAY YOUR BEST GOLF, click here and let’s hang out and have some fun!!!!

Why listening to other golfers is costing you shots every game

Dan Hernandez, PGA:

Here’s one thing that REALLY bothers me: When I talk to people about the visual/neurological component of golf and relate that to hand eye coordination, they say things like “….oh. so this is like Zen Golf?”

Are you kidding me? If trying to help players understand that playing golf is a physical/athletic event and not a mental exercise filled with pedestrian golf sayings, then, I suppose, I am guilty of teaching Zen Golf…

The idea that ‘Public Information” is the right information is frightning! I applaud Mr. Hardie for his keen insights into learning or improving one’s golf game.

Originally posted on golfhabits:


“The worst advice in golf is, Keep your head down.”Patty Sheehan

By Ian Hardie

In other areas of our life when we need advice, guidance or simply information

We usually start with the people that are around us most often

People that we already know and trust

Which is generally a family member or a close friend

However if after talking to them a little we realise

That they know nothing or very little about what we are asking

Our next port of call is normally a school or work colleague

Who we may not know quite as well but we will still trust what they say

Because if we are going to bother asking at all

We want good advice – don’t we?

Although these days I suppose instead of asking people

We may be more likely to just ‘Google it’ to find the answer


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By Dan Hernandez, PGA Posted in How To's
too many thoughts


(First in a series about playing golf)


head down, left arm straight, right elbow in , weight shift, make shoulder turn, V’s point here, weight on the inside of your feet, slow backswing, stay on plane, just like railroad tracks, square over the ball, fire the right side, clear the hips, belt buckle at target, make a divot, keep head still, keep eye on the ball, one-piece takeaway, don’t use the hands, swing in a barrel, follow through, grip like you’re holding a baby bird (one of my personal favorites), don’t swing too upright, don’t swing too flat, low backswing, accelerate through the ball, swing to right field, don’t chop at it, pause at the top, swing across your chest (unless boobs in the way – (ooopp-sie, I’m fired – and kicked out of the PGA )), hit down on the ball, stay connected, don’t swing too fast, don’t jerk the club back, shoulders should be square, and on and on forever…!!!

Until you drop dead on the 6th hole because this is how you think it’s supposed to go?!?!

How much more of this crap are you supposed to be able to process! Is it really possible that anyone thinks that “THE LIST” is what matters most about playing golf???

Don’t most players think that if they could MASTER “the golf swing” all would be right with the world?

If you just take a minute, use your head, and simply imagine the word GOLF – you will realize how large the game is. How amazing the game is, and how wonderfully simple the game can be.

If you REALLY BELIEVE that “mastering the golf swing” is the answer to all your golfing troubles, you should just stop playing. You should stop because you have the wrong idea about how the game goes. You’ll never be satisfied and you’ll never SURRENDER to the mystery of the game.

Something to think about…

7 days to “your best year of golf ever”

Originally posted on golfhabits:


“Forget the last shot. It takes so long to accept that you can’t always replicate your swing. The only thing you can control is your attitude toward the next shot.” Mark McCumber

By Ian Hardie

Each year during the holiday season, most people around the world take the opportunity at some point to have a few (however brief) minutes reflecting on what has happened to them over the past year – as well as spending a few minutes

Considering the things that they would like to happen over the next year

If you are currently or have ever been a regular golfer then I’m sure that at some point in your life – probably during one of those holiday season periods

You will have thought about the idea of “having your best year of golf ever”

Unless of course you happen to live somewhere that has the amount of…

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By Dan Hernandez, PGA Posted in How To's