Core Beliefs

By: Jim Petralia, PGA

After 50 plus years of trying to help people improve their golf, a few things have become clear.


  1. Students are all different and they tend to learn in their own special way. We can impede their progress by overloading them with detailed information.  Their improvement is determined more by their work and their talent.


  1. The ball responds to the program delivered by the club through impact. There is no luck, there is only law.  The shot may get lucky or unlucky, but the ball is responding to the club.


  1. The face is either open, square, or closed at impact.  The shaft is either above plane, on plane, or below plane.  The clubhead at impact is either in front of the hands, caught up to the hands, or lagging behind the hands.  Students should become aware of these conditions as they develop.


  1. A model swing is great to have as an instructor. But I have never had a student duplicate it.  And I have had some very good students, including a 2-time Ryder Cup team member, a US Mid-Amateur champion, an NCAA Champion, a Senior tour winner, and numerous club champions.  Some were close.  My most important student, me, never got there either.


  1. Once the student understands basic concepts, then most of the learning will take place through trial and error. I could write another hundred pages to try to impress people with my vast knowledge and understanding, but I doubt that it would help anyone become a better player.  Our job is to guide them in their journey and let them learn.


Jim Petralia, PGA