Jeff Ritter Mental Toughness Seminar Part 1 – Nike Jr Golf Camps

Jeff Ritter discusses the attitudes behind living a high performance life both on and off the course with a group of junior golfers at his Nike Jr Golf Camps in Pebble Beach.

Sink or Swim

Check out the latest issue of Golf Infuzion Magazine!

Aaron Olson is Staff Teaching Professional with JRG/TSGA programs at the Raven Golf Club Phoenix. In addition, he is Assistant Director of Nike Junior Golf Camps hosted at the Pebble Beach Resorts on the Monterey Peninsula.  Click Here for more information on private and group coaching with Aaron and the entire JRG/TSGA Staff.

The “Wax On Wax Off” Attitude

To see the full article click here to go to Golf Infuzion Magazine.   You can find articles monthly from the JRG / TSGA staff;  Jeff Ritter, Martin Chuck, Aaron Olson and Megan Padua.

Megan Padua is a PGA Certified Instructor, LPGA Member, TPI Level 2 Junior Golf Certified, a TPI Level 1 Golf Professional, Coutour Certified Putter Fitting Professional, and a Staff Teaching Professional with JRG/TSGA programs at the Raven Golf Club Phoenix.

Smash 101

In this video is a great tip that Martin Chuck demonstrated during a Tour Striker Golf School at The Raven.  Many people make the mistake of setting up too close to the ball on the driver.   This is due to the optical illusion of the club sitting on the ground versus when it  is up in the air (which is where it will be during the strike).   If the ball were teed up at the height of a tee ball tee,  it would be necessary to set up much further away in order to hit the sweet spot at impact.   This tip will help you get more yardage off the tee and keep your driver in the fairway.

Megan Padua is a PGA Certified Instructor, LPGA Member, TPI Level 2 Junior Golf Certified, a TPI Level 1 Golf Professional, Coutour Certified Putter Fitting Professional,  and a Staff Teaching Professional with JRG/TSGA programs at the Raven Golf Club Phoenix

In the Spotlight: Kyle Stanley

Today’s post is dedicated to Kyle Stanley.  Congratulations to him on his first PGA Tour victory at the Waste Management Phoenix Open yesterday!  In a time of adversity, Kyle dug down deep to find greatness.

Who is Kyle Stanley? Kyle isn’t just a young kid that won a PGA event in Phoenix,  he has a record of excellence and will be someone that we will hear more and more about as he continues to shake up the PGA Tour.

Kyle Stanley has always possessed an incredible amount of talent.  When Kyle was 17 he went to TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) for the first time and his ball speed 186.  His ball speed today is 175.  In high school Kyle won 4 AJGA events and won the Southern Amatuer two times. When Kyle was a freshman at Clemson University he established 18 individual scoring records.  During his college career, Stanley was the only Clemson golfer in history to finish in the top 10 at 3 different NCAA National Events.  He joined DJ Trahan and Jonathan Bird in the Clemson history books as one of three to win 3 consecutive First Team All ACC awards.  As a sophomore in 2007,  he played on the Walker Cup Team.  In 2009, as a senior in college, Kyle won the Ben Hogan Award as the best amateur player.  After completing his last year of college golf Kyle turned Professional in 2009.

Last Sunday, 24-year old Kyle Stanley was brought to tears at Torrey Pines after a devastating loss after leading the Farmers Insurance Open by seven shots in the final round.   As he stood on the 18th tee box, he had a four shot lead and preceded to make a triple bogey and then lost in the playoff to Brandt Snedeker.   Did he crumble under pressure?  Not necessarily…

Though he could have and maybe should have gone for the hole in two shots,  he laid up which most would say is the right play in this situation.  He put a little too much spin on his approach shot which would have panned out differently if it landed a few feet further.   Instead the ball trickled into the water.   He ended with a three-putt from 45 feet away from the hole.  On his playoff hole, he lipped out his putt that would have kept him in the hunt.   It wouldn’t be fair to say that he totally blew it or that he wasn’t ready to win.  Kyle Stanley was READY TO WIN and he had a few tough breaks at Torrey Pines.

This week, Stanley got his redemption at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, our local PGA tour stop at TPC Scottsdale.

Similar to the change of events last week, the recovery from being 8 strokes behind is an unlikely occurrence.   At the 18th tee the mood was much different.   This time he was not trying to protect his win; he was determined to capture it.   As the group stood ready to address their shots a lunactic fan decided to swim across the lake and into the fairway.  He was tackled by 3 officers and dragged away.  After a few laughs the tour professionals, had to focus in and finish strong.   Kyle sank a 4 foot putt on the 18th hole to capture his first win on the PGA Tour.

Facts About Kyle Stanley 

(Resources:  The following information I got from and my friend Andrew Black, PGA professional from Mayacama Golf Club and Clemson PGM Graduate)

At the beginning of the year Kyle Stanley’s world golf ranking was 148th

Today’s World Golf Ranking is 52nd

FedExCup Ranking: 1st   with 846 FedEx Cup Points

Kyle earned an exemption to play his favorite course Augusta National in the Masters this  April.   His first opportunity to play in this major event.  

Kyle is also exempt to play in the Accenture Match Play Championship Feb. 22-26th at the Ritz Carlton Golf Club in Marana, Arizona.  

Scoring Average 68.47

Turned Professional in 2009

Born in Gig Harbor, Washington and still lives there 

College: Clemson University

Earnings from the Waste Management Phoenix Open: $1,098,000

Career Earnings:  3,492,361

Career Victories: 1

Height: 5 ft 11 inches  Weight: 165 Lbs.

Kyle Stanley’s Golf Instructors:  Mike Taylor and Dr. Milt Lowderas

Kyle has one sister and thanked his Mom and Dad during his victory speech at TPC Scottsdale.  

Other Fun Facts about Kyle Stanley 

Favorite Pro Team: Seattle Seahawks
He is superstitious about wearing the color blue
Favorite TV show is ESPN’s “SportsCenter.”
Favorite Athletes to watch: Kobe Bryant and LeBron James
Dream Foursome: His Dad, Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus
On His Bucket List: To win all four major championships
Has made 4 hole in ones.

Check out What’s In Kyle Stanley’s Golf Bag


Megan Padua is a PGA Certified Instructor, LPGA Member, TPI Level 2 Junior Golf Certified, a TPI Level 1 Golf Professional, Coutour Certified Putter Fitting Professional,  and a Staff Teaching Professional with JRG/TSGA programs at the Raven Golf Club Phoenix


Last week the Jeff Ritter Golf Tour Striker Academy went to Orlando to take part in the 2012 PGA Merchandise Show.   This event includes the latest and greatest in the world of golf.  Personally, I have gone for the past eight years in a row and each year I discover something new and exciting.   Here is a list of my favorite finds for the PGA Show this year.


Birdee Golf  (click to view website) –  This is a new product making its first appearance at the PGA show.  It’s a fun game of badmitton golf that is great for juniors and adults.  It even floats in the water!   The founders of the product use it at their lake house in Minnesota.   I can see it being a hit at the Penn State Tailgating parties.


Mini Zoo Covers-

This was a find that I can’t wait to bring to junior golf.   I actually got one of these for my own golf bag.   They have a large selection of animals and can make ones specifically for you!  The next item I get from them will be an Alligator duffle bag to carry all of my junior golf teaching aids.


New Products by Tour Striker  (Click to view Website)

This week Martin Chuck introduced more innovative products by Tour Striker including the Educator, the new Tour Striker Driver and the Tour Striker Impact bag.   The impact bag is not like any you have seen before,  attached to it is a plane board with impact visuals to show the objective of striking it like the tour players.


The New Belly Putter Fitting Tool by Coutour Golf–   I ordered one of these and can’t wait to get it at The Raven in a couple weeks!   Todd Sones has changed the game for many and slowly companies are beginning to strive to meet his standards on putters.   The new belly putter tool will help find the correct length putter for the individual either in conventional length or anchored to the body.


iPAD/iPHONE APPS for Swing Analysis- There were several new products including the Swing Byte,  Swing Smart and the ES12 (by Earnest Sports) that will give you data of the club or swing and send it to your iPad or iPhone. If you haven’t seen it yet,  the Ping App is great for putting analysis.   These products will revolutionize the game is the data is found to be accurate.


Congrats to MIKE MALASKA for winning the PGA National Teacher of the Year!

It was great to catch up with my old college golf buddy Sara “No H” Brown at the PGA show.   You may have seen her from her appearance on the Big Break.  Now she is playing on the Ladies European Tour and will be playing on the LPGA this year.  I’m proud of her for keeping her bright personality while having such success on the golf course and in the media spotlight!   Keep it up Sara!

These are my new shades from Sundog.  Every year I seek out the latest in the Paula Creamer Collection.   I have a hard time finding glasses that I really like and as golfers we need to protect our eyes and skin.   Click here to take a look at the women’s collection.

That’s only a glimpse at some of my favorite finds from the PGA show.  With hundreds of vendors it is always tough to sort through but I felt very satisfied with the products I came across.  Enjoy these new products in 2012!

Megan Padua is a PGA Certified Instructor, LPGA Member, TPI Level 2 Junior Golf Certified, a TPI Level 1 Golf Professional, Coutour Certified Putter Fitting Professional,  and a Staff Teaching Professional with JRG/TSGA programs at the Raven Golf Club Phoenix

Get Better STAT!

I’m proud to say that, I played golf for Penn State in college.  The best golfer to graduate from the Penn State Women’s golf team is currently on the LPGA Tour, her name is Katie Futcher.   My college coach, Denise St. Pierre,  shared this visual with me, it’s the one that Katie uses. Ever since I have used it to evaluate my game. 

If you did not get a chance, my last two postings were titled “the need for speed” and “hit your mark”.
In this visual, the red box represents the fairway and the circle represents the green.  In conjunction with the accuracy/distance blog,  the red line down the middle of the fairway represents the accuracy line (how accurate are you hitting your tee shot?)  The end of the box bisects the middle of the green. This portion of the box will represent your distance control on the green. Since the diagram is a circle, every green will not look like this,measure your statistics as if the center of the circle is in relation to the hole.  From here, plot each shot you take during the round.

This is an example of 9 holes,  the numbers with astricks  *  represent your approach shots.   At the end of your round you can evaluate which area you tend to miss a shot.  


Megan Padua is a PGA Certified Instructor, LPGA Member, TPI Level 2 Junior Golf Certified, a TPI Level 1 Golf Professional, Coutour Certified Putter Fitting Professional,  and a Staff Teaching Professional with JRG/TSGA programs at the Raven Golf Club Phoenix

Happy Holidays!

Click Here for a Special Gift from the JRG/TSGA Staff (another silly video)

Happy Holidays from Jeff Ritter, Martin Chuck, Megan Padua and Aaron Olson!

Divvy Up!

At The Raven Golf Club – Phoenix, we are very fortunate to have a large grass driving range to hit golf balls from.  The divot etiquette is something that you may or may not be familiar with.  If you can make a small adjustment to the way you practice, you will help keep your course in great condition.  Remember that the goal is to hit the golf ball and then the ground.  This video will introduce the appropriate process for preserving grass while practicing on the driving range.

Megan Padua is a Coutour Certified Putter Fitting Professional, a PGA Certified Instructor, LPGA Member, TPI Level 2 Junior Certified and a Staff Teaching Professional with JRG/TSGA programs at the Raven Golf Club Phoenix


It has been said many times that golf is a great metaphor for life. Where else can you put yourself under the microscope and within four hours find out how well you handle success, failure and all the little voices in your head?

One of the interesting parallels is how golf reveals a person’s issues with ego. It is amazing how we put our self worth into the approval of others. We do this so much that golfers routinely lie about their scores to save face as they enter the clubhouse. If they don’t lie, they will often devalue the experience with statements like, “If I could only putt,” or “At least I’m not dead,” or “Where’s the bar?” This pattern is so predictable you can find the same boring, recycled conversations occurring on every golf course on the planet!

Feeling like less of a human because you didn’t play your best is ridiculous. Filtering your performance with lies is an indication you may have some work to do in other parts of your life as well. Your golf score is not who you are. But, how you respond to it is.

This idea of authenticity has way more impact than just how other people view your golf game. It is the key to enjoying successful, loving, effortless relationships. Fortune 500 Leadership Coach, Austin Vickers says, “Our choices in how we communicate set up a cycle, which will lead us down either a circle of pain or a circle of gain.” According to Vickers, “No matter who we are, there is a segment of the population who will love us, while at the same time, there will be another segment who will not. This is the law of attraction and repulsion.” At its most severe level one can wonder how in the world someone who is imprisoned for a heinous crime can actually be married and find love. Prisoners repulse many, while still attracting some. Conversely, we can find people revered for their compassion and loved by many who still have enemies as well.

At the beginning of each cycle is personal choice or how you choose to communicate and respond to the people around you. Doubt and fear often cause us to communicate in an “unauthentic” manner. We don’t speak truthfully about who we are and how we really feel. Once our choice of communication is sent, we are either attracting or pushing away others. Communicating unauthentically attracts those who we would normally be repulsed by and pushes away those who we would be genuinely attracted to. As the toxic cycle continues, we become insecure about our relationships because they are operating out of fear. Fear of approval, fear of acceptance and the fear we can never reveal our true selves.

If our choice is to communicate in an “authentic” manner, then we are revealing our true self to the world. Here we are saying, “This is who I am and this is what I am all about.” Now we know the people who will be attracted to us are the ones who are genuinely cool with who we are. Communication based on truth means we have nothing to hide. We are then able to have secure and stable relationships. We can now operate freely from a place of love versus fear. Living confidently and without fear is an especially great way to feel on the golf course. Make it your goal to approach your life and golf game with a higher level of authenticity. Give each shot your best, enjoy the challenge and let the chips fall where they may. After your round, smile, state your score and make no excuses. You’ll find the truth, will indeed, set you free!

This lesson is an excerpt from Jeff Ritter’s bestselling book, “Your Kid Ate a Divot! Eighteen Life Lessons From the Links”

Jeff Ritter is National Director of Instruction for Nike Golf Schools and Junior Camps. In 2010 he was named one of Golf Digest’s  “Best Young Teachers in America”  Click Here For more information on coaching with Jeff and the entire JRG/TSGA Staff!