From the beginning in golf research into skill acquisition has primarily addressed the teacher’s skills in teaching while neglecting important correlations in the relationship between instruction and how students cognitively learn.  Teaching in golf has relied on student sensory preferences such as visual, feel, audio, as a primary identity as to how to impart information, as though, this alone would adequately prepare students and facilitate learning. These are sensory terms used as effective means of gathering information, but have little to do with how students cognitively learn. Teaching in itself, has very little to do with student learning, but, for the most part, has been widely accepted throughout the history of the game of golf, as the primary means of student learning. Historically, our teaching paradigm, has given little attention to how students cognitively learn and has proven to be a very frustrating and often ineffective as a sole means of student learning. But, today, we are beginning a slow transition from today’s physical teaching centered paradigm into a cognitive learning centered paradigm, where the curriculum and instruction will be consistent with how students learn.

A thinker sees his own actions as experiments and questions – as attempts to find out something. Success and failure are for him answers above all.

Friedrich Nietzsche, German Philosopher, 1844 – 1900

My long time instructor Jackson Bradley, PGA

In 2002, I was the teaching professional at Augusta Pines Golf Club, in Spring, Texas. One afternoon, I was introduced to Dr. Jay Hall, a club member who enjoyed playing the game of golf, as well as the physical and psychological study of the game. He was a Professor of Organizational Behavior in the Graduate School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. He was a social psychologist with specialties in cognitive-behavioral learning and author of seven books including (The Executive Trap) written on the psychological correlations between the games people play and the way they function in life. The Executive Trap is a book that demonstrates just how closely the way you play the game parallels your performance as a business professional. Dr. Hall was an avid golfer and student of the game and techniques who recognized the challenges in instruction and student learning. Early on, in our conversations, it became evident we shared similar views and interest in researching the physical and psychological relationships of a golf curriculum, instruction, and student learning. We agreed on a project that would require thinking outside the box of current understandings in teaching and would require years of research into the relationships of a curriculum design, teaching, and student learning. Using a structured cognitive process, we began building a curriculum consistent with how students cognitively learn. After fifteen years of field-testing our research, we have created a curriculum and written a manuscript together called, “Critical GolfThink”. Our manuscript provides teachers and students alike, the means in how to conceive and conceptualize the golf swing in terms of how they think. This approach to teaching and student learning, enables students to achieve a conceptual and physical ownership of their golf swings. Golf is such an awesome mental and physical study with very few, if any, ever achieving mastery, however, students of the game can achieve a level of mastery in how they learn. To quote Michael Hebron, PGA Master Professional “A master of anything was first a master learner.”

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Danny Crowley, Jr., PGA
PGA Teaching • Coaching Professional

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Danny Crowley Jr.

Danny Crowley, Jr., PGA
PGA Teaching • Coaching Professional

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Because I now live in Virginia, and working with the Dodger’s organization, I’ve had only a few opportunities to work with Danny over the past ten years. But, if I lived in Houston, I would be a regular student. Each lesson has had a profound impact on me. In my very first lesson, Danny helped me not only with golf, but also in my career as a Major League Baseball Player. He taught me how to conceptualize my golf swing as a relaxed athlete, just as I’ve always done swinging a baseball bat. He taught me about taking a moment to absorb the results without judgement, and with measurement. I last worked with Danny a few months ago, and he quickly noticed something in my performance. Within a few minutes I added several yards to my driving distance.

Danny has not only a great understanding of the golf swing but more importantly, is able to communicate this to me in an easy to understand manner. I have played golf for over twenty five years and was able make vast improvements almost immediately. His approach of getting back to the inner athlete and building a solid foundation to build the swing around is a trait of all great instructors and coaches in any sport. As a person who has spent considerable time studying movement and swing patterns, I can appreciate Danny’s expertise and his understanding of the swing as the similarities between golf and baseball are very closely related. I have been fortunate to spend time with many great baseball swing instructors in my career and Danny’s method to teaching and getting results is as good as or better than these individuals who teach at the highest levels..

Danny has great athletic insights in the mental and physical workings of the golf swing. As an athlete and a professional golfer, I think his philosophies in athletics and golf performance have helped in changing my perceptions and understandings in what is responsible for achieving a repetitive dynamic golf swing motion that can last a lifetime.

Danny Crowley and I have been friends for many years going back to my years in Houston. Danny has the proper attitude and love of people which will enable him to become one of golf’s premier teachers.

As a teaching colleague, I have greatly appreciated your approach to teaching. First and foremost, you always showed great sensitivity to your students, with an uncanny ability to adapt to different levels of abilities and styles. At times, I would come to you discouraged about my swing and in five minutes you would fix it once again. I expect to be your student and friend for life.Thank you for what you have given to Marsha and me. It’s a priceless gift!

I would like to thank you for being a great golf coach. We played the Alliance Cup Charity Event yesterday at Memorial. I am a Director of WTGA as I try to give back to the game I love. I shot 69. My first ever. And we still have lots of improving to do. Thank you.

I just wanted to say thank you again for the lessons, you truly made my swing so much easier and gave me way more confidence. I hit my first hole in in one at the 115 yard par 3 at Mulligans Course. It felt great! I had a lesson with you at the end of December and then the second just two weekend ago. I had won 2 lessons from my company. Man, what a lucky drawing that was for me.I have already recommended  a few friends to you, and will continue to do so. Your approach to teaching is very refreshing and a big difference from others. I know I don’t have the perfect grip or posture, but you didn’t even mention them and allowed me to just swing without worrying about 50 thing being identical to the pros beforehand.

Danny has a unique ability to explain most complex things about golf in most simple terms. Not only that, he does not teach just general golf-he teaches the golf that is just right for you; what will work or not work for your specific habits and physical abilities. My wife and I took several series of lessons from Danny and I would highly recommend him for anybody interested in golf-from entry level to advanced and experienced golfers.

I truly enjoyed my lesson with you yesterday, and feel that I made great strides towards understanding what was wrong with my mechanics. You are very clear and concise in your instruction, easy to understand, and I had fun while I was learning.

I look forward to my next lesson on the 17th. I also enjoyed our conversation. It is always good to find thinking folks. Thank you again, and take care.

I started playing golf twenty years ago with some ongoing physical limitations that contributed to a flawed swing with many incorrect habits. Danny has helped me to understand how to work with my limitations successfully while identifying and eliminating flawed habits. His ability to communicate understandings of the golf swing that can work for me has helped in lowering my handicap from 20 to 6 in spite of my physical limitations.

I started playing golf and taking lessons from Danny two years ago. He has a keen understanding of the golf swing and is very articulate and patient in his instruction. Danny knows my learning style and has individualized the lessons so that I understand what I am doing. He has taught me how to apply my knowledge so as to play with confidence, and I love the game.

Thanks a bunch for yesterday’s lesson! Not only for sticking with it until you found the solution, but also for encouraging me to stick with it! Your commitment to fixing my swing is very much appreciated, and I’m still smiling about the progress made int eh last 10 minutes of the lesson! When I got to my car last night, I grabbed a 5 iron and 6 more balls … I just had to see if the fix was real … And it was! High-five and kudos to your diagnostic and training skills!