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Cook County’s Golf in the Schools featured on FOX21 in Grand Marais

March 27, 2017

Cook County’s Golf in the Schools program was featured on FOX 21 KQDS-TV as they were the first school to host this program in the Northland Area. Superior National Head PGA Professional, Heath Ekstrom, and Kathy Swanson, Director of Member Services and Player Development, helped organize the program and week’s activities.

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The Minnesota Section PGA consists of PGA Professionals who are experts in the game and business of golf. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals, the golf industry, people who play golf or would like to start playing golf. PGA Section Offices oversee the 41 geographic regions throughout the United States and provide the grass-roots network for the nation’s 25 million amateur golfers and with the PGA’s 27,000 members.

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Inside “The Secrets of the Golf Whisperer”

March 14, 2017

His business may be known as “The Secrets of the Golf Whisperer,” but it is no secret that Dan DeMuth knows how to coach the game of golf. For many clients, his process has helped them relate to all aspects of their vision. DeMuth has gone from professional golfer to highly successful golf and business coach. His career was inspired by a sudden inability to keep the ball in play and lack of control over where he wanted to hit golf shots during his time at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan, where he was enrolled in their Professional Golf Management (PGM) program. This inspiration triggered a realization for Dan—the way an athlete or person performs in their respective profession is a direct reflection of their inner state. This belief and his growing expertise on the mental aspect of golf is evident through his coaching processes, passion for helping others reach their potentials and various success stories.

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Dan’s coaching process is unconventional but proven to be highly successful. The purpose is to demonstrate to the student how the power of focus and concentration can improve not only your golf game but business aspirations and personal goals as well. People learn quickly how beneficial this can be. Attention to detail such as keeping your focus on the target sounds very simple but can be overlooked. “Keeping your focus on the target” is not only a sports metaphor but a tactic that provides tangible results both on and off the golf course. The workshops intend to not only make you aware of your mental process but to create results through newfound awareness in business, personal goals and golf. It is the client’s awareness of self-interference that is able to help them to make positive changes through DeMuth’s coaching process. This realization allows his clients to overcome let downs so that they are able to refocus and, in a majority of cases, move beyond what they didn’t believe was possible.

The topics that are covered in theses workshops that help clients reach their full potential, include, but are not limited to: power of focus, broadening perspective, engaging self and others while strengthening relationships, examining perception vs. reality and embracing change. The end goal is to help the client become more self-aware of his or her thoughts and responses on and off the course. The mind plays an intricate role in golf, often being overlooked.  These focus-based exercises help one examine his or her thinking process in different situations and how it affects performance. Once a client’s habits and reactions are realized and understood, Dan aims to help him or her discover ways to deal with different situations.

A statement that Dan often uses in his coaching is, “there is no coaching, if there is no target.” Meaning, as a teacher, it is impossible to provide instruction or help if you do not know what the person wants out of their own experience. In turn, this mental process intrigued him to the point where he felt he needed to share his experiences with others to help them realize their possibilities.

“There is no coaching, if there is no target.”

The beauty of Dan’s philosophy is that it does not only have to apply to golf, it can apply to business, and frankly, everyday life. He has had success with all types of people in business, school, sports and of course, golfers; whether that be top performers or the casual player who is looking to learn and improve as well as business and leadership teams.

One of Dan’s past clients was Wells Fargo who used his workshops and exercises to explore how they could work better together as a team. They had prior issues with being on the same page and having one voice. Many of the employees were in different stages of their professional careers and needed to better understand each other’s goals and aspirations.  Dave, the Vice President, noticed that one of the easiest ways to improve upon these bad habits and issues is to focus on establishing better communication efforts and setting common goals.

Dan and his team conducted an offsite retreat in Northern Minnesota for seven of the team members. They were not told what they would be doing in order to have no expectation and preconceived notions heading into the two-day retreat. On the first day of the retreat, they participated in several assessment activities, a cooking activity as well as activities on both the putting green and driving range to allow for the experiential learning. Dave said what he noticed when doing these activities is that it allowed his team to realize how well they could perform without being told how to do the exercises, even non-golfers were performing better than they ever thought they could; it was Dan’s coaching process that allowed for them to see new possibilities. It was at that time in the discussions that they could all relate to some of the key issues that they were facing. Dan later explained to the group that when given safety to explore and room to fail that they will learn fast, thus they can take on a lot of challenges to succeed.

The team members applied the learning while they played eight holes centered on the intent of mapping out a strategy. Dave stated that they learned through this experience that often our perceptions are different than the reality. Having a clear intent while having new tools to deal with interference made their goals much more attainable. They concluded the session by discussing individual visions for the upcoming year and through discussion, they learned new developments that they never knew about each other. New insights about each other improved their communication and helped get them a common understanding of vision and goals moving forward.

Dave mentioned that the coaching process allowed Wells Fargo to make key decisions that allowed them to save over $300,000 on one initiative alone.

Throughout the years, Dan has also had success coaching multiple junior golfers including Preston Kopel who participates in the Minnesota PGA Junior Golf Association. Preston became a student of his on June 30th and has seen massive improvements in his game with his scoring average dropping from the upper 70’s to 72 in tournament golf. He credits building confidence in himself by his recent ability to let go of bad shots which allows him to become a fearless golfer. It has also been very helpful for him to communicate to his parents on what his vision and goals are both on and off the course. DeMuth’s approach is often to work with both the parent and athlete. This enables them to learn how to communicate with one another when dealing with the breakdowns and breakthroughs in addition to developing a clear vision and goals.

“With Dan’s help, I now feel like I’m attacking the course rather than the course attacking me,” emphasized Kopel. “This newly discovered confidence has allowed me to be more clutch under pressure and execute [the gameplan] more effectively throughout the round.”

Another parent whose kid, Kyle Ringhofer, received instruction from Dan had this to say, “we were able to see such a difference in the way our son enjoyed the game of golf. At one point, he was ranked third  in the state for high school golf.  However, for us it was more so about his ability to apply his learning to all aspects of his life.”

Dan’s experience with different types of groups and people demonstrate how important the mental aspect of everyday life is. He continues to prove this with the success his customers have in their respective industries using the same philosophy of concentrating on intent and a target.

The Minnesota Section PGA consists of PGA Professionals who are experts in the game and business of golf. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals, the golf industry, people who play golf or would like to start playing golf. PGA Section Offices oversee the 41 geographic regions throughout the United States and provide the grass-roots network for the nation’s 25 million amateur golfers and with the PGA’s 27,000 members.

Golf in the Schools Visits Sibley Elementary, Redtail Ridge

March 7, 2017

Sibley Elementary School in Northfield and Redtail Ridge Elementary in Savage hosted Golf in the Schools programs and were added to the list of schools who have reaped the benefits of this opportunity. Northfield became the newest community to adapt the golf program at one of their local schools as we continue to see this trend grow. This was Redtail Ridge’s second year offering golf in their gym curriculum.

Jon Abbott, PGA Professional at Northfield Golf Club, volunteered to help the Sibley Elementary gym teachers run the program throughout the week.

“This is something that I’ve wanted to do for awhile and have been working with our Director of Golf on,” said Abbott. “We want to invest in the community and we feel strongly that the youth of Northfield are missing out on golf.”

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Similar to other schools’ golf programs, Sibley Elementary and Redtail Ridge spent the week teaching the fundamentals of golf: putting, pitching/chipping and the full swing. The inflatables made appearances at both schools to the delight of the young kids.

“I think this program is fantastic. Being able to put a golf club in all of these kids’ hands.” said Sibley’s Physical Education teacher, Andy Jaynes. “Giving them exposure to a great, lifetime sport is what we hope to get out of it. I see a lot of smiles right now, so it’s awesome.”

PGA Professional, Gary Botkin, of Stonebrooke GC  helped organize and conduct Redtail Ridge’s second consecutive year of a Golf in the Schools program.

“It is so much fun to interact and watch kids who really have no [initial] interest or knowledge of golf hit that first good shot. The excitement is very rewarding and they are hooked,” Botkin said. “They come in the gym and there is a 20-foot Golfzilla there and the kids’ eyes light up; even the teachers make a trip through the gym to see the special guest. The school becomes alive with golf stories.”

Are you a PGA Professional looking to host this golf program at a school near you? Or are you a staff member who wants to organize this at your school? Reach out to Kathy Swanson, Director of Member Services & Player Development, to learn more and start golf in your school!

The Minnesota Section PGA consists of PGA Professionals who are experts in the game and business of golf. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals, the golf industry, people who play golf or would like to start playing golf. PGA Section Offices oversee the 41 geographic regions throughout the United States and provide the grass-roots network for the nation’s 25 million amateur golfers and with the PGA’s 27,000 members.

2017 Venture Bank Minnesota Golf Show Preview

February 16, 2017

It’s that time of the year again… the weather is getting warmer again, at least temporarily, and the 2017 Venture Bank Minnesota Golf Show presented by ESPN 1500 is this weekend!

Most of us have been vacationing or pursuing other interests to pass time before the golf season makes its long awaited return. Well, the wait is over and it is time to start thinking about this upcoming season and how to make it the best one yet.

Yearly, the golf show experiences an influx of 11,000 passionate golfers that come to the Minneapolis Convention Center for the Upper Midwest’s largest golf show. Here, you will find the latest demo golf equipment, free 10 minute lessons from local PGA Professionals, potential golf trips to book and the latest deals on golf apparel and equipment.

Events at 2017 Golf Show:

  • $100K Long Putt: 1 finalist each day will putt for the chance to WIN $100K! The finalist from each day will also receive a season-long family pass to Eagle Lake.
  • Custom Club Fitting: An opportunity to demo the latest and greatest technology from the top club manufacturers. Second Swing will provide custom club fitting at the show or you will be able to book an appointment for after the show with their exclusive tour van. The same technology that the professionals use!
  • PGA Instruction: Free 10 minute lesson from a local PGA Professional

If you’re not busy this weekend, it only makes sense that you stop by this year’s Minnesota Golf Show at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Also, make sure to stop by our booth! For more information, visit the Venture Bank Minnesota Golf Show web site.

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The Minnesota Section PGA consists of PGA Professionals who are experts in the game and business of golf. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals, the golf industry, people who play golf or would like to start playing golf. PGA Section Offices oversee the 41 geographic regions throughout the United States and provide the grass-roots network for the nation’s 25 million amateur golfers and with the PGA’s 27,000 members.

Brimhall Elementary Hosts Golf in the Schools

February 14, 2017

Brimhall Elementary School became the latest school to host a Golf in the Schools program with the help of local PGA Professional Chad Fuenffinger of Southview Country Club. Chad’s son is a student at Brimhall, so he seized the perfect opportunity to get the school involved with the game of golf.

“When we had originally set up the clinic, I thought it was just going to be a one class type of deal,” said Fuenffinger, who spent three days at the school this past week. “We wanted to make it equal, so we decided to hit every class. Assuming they were present at school, each kid got an opportunity to go through the program.”

There were 700 kids, Kindergarten through Sixth grade, in total that went through the golf-based gym class for three days last week. Each kid rotated through the three stations: full swing, chipping/pitching, and putting—practicing each skill daily.

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It wasn’t all about trying to improve, it was about getting the kids interested in the sport and having fun.

“The principal and teachers were wearing the SNAG suit (pictured above) during the day. The kids were hitting them with the foam balls.” Fuenffinger said with a chuckle.”It’s a great opportunity. You know, this is a very diverse school. We are reaching a large demographic and almost three-quarters of the kids have never touched a club or been around golf.”

Also, making the trip were the inflatable Golfzilla and Hippopotamus.

“They’re very excited to participate and when they see the blow up inflatables they get even more excited,” he added.

The gym teachers have already expressed significant interest in having the golf program return in years to come. The reviews have been amazing as the kids can’t stop raving about the program.

“This is the perfect way to get kids interested in golf,” emphasized Brimhall’s Phy. Ed Teacher Missy Brink. “They see all the fun things—colors, inflatables, equipment—and it gets them interested in something they may not have had interest in otherwise. 700 kids have gotten the opportunity to try golf that would normally never have that chance.”

The Minnesota Section PGA consists of PGA Professionals who are experts in the game and business of golf. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals, the golf industry, people who play golf or would like to start playing golf. PGA Section Offices oversee the 41 geographic regions throughout the United States and provide the grass-roots network for the nation’s 25 million amateur golfers and with the PGA’s 27,000 members.

Minnesota PGA Visits LeadingAge Institute

February 10, 2017

The Minnesota PGA and its highly sought-after golf inflatables joined the LeadingAge Minnesota Institute to celebrate their 50th anniversary year at the St. Paul RiverCentre.

The annual LeadingAge Minnesota Institute is the top networking conference for adult services providers. This is a three-day event with educational opportunities, special events, such as our golf station, and the ability to network with other adult services.

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“This is an event that has over 4,000 professionals attending,” said Jenny Prosser, Vice President of Conferences and Sales for LeadingAge Minnesota. “Down in the exhibit hall we have 210 exhibitors that provide services and products to nursing homes and senior housing units throughout the state of Minnesota.”

The LeadingAge Minnesota Institute is the largest of its kind in the Upper Midwest. Typically, the Expo sells out in the fall of each year with many top-tier organizations wanting to meet members of LeadingAge.

The Section was able to bring equipment and inflatables down to the RiverCentre and give many of these LeadingAge members their first taste of the sport of golf. The reactions were priceless as many couldn’t hold back their smiles as they hit countless shots at the inflatables.

“Golf is a great sport to do for a lifetime and a great way to keep people active,” Prosser emphasized. “It’s an opportunity to network and this provides them the opportunity to learn the game and enhance their skills.”

The Minnesota Section PGA consists of PGA Professionals who are experts in the game and business of golf. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals, the golf industry, people who play golf or would like to start playing golf. PGA Section Offices oversee the 41 geographic regions throughout the United States and provide the grass-roots network for the nation’s 25 million amateur golfers and with the PGA’s 27,000 members.

Director of 41st Ryder Cup Jeff Hintz Named CEO of Minnesota PGA

January 18, 2017

By: Andy Skoogman

The Minnesota Section of the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) announced that Jeff Hintz, Director of the 41st Ryder Cup hosted by Hazeltine National Golf Club, has been hired as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Section and its Foundation.

Recently named “Sportsman of the Year” by the Star Tribune newspaper, Hintz, 38, brings extensive experience in golf management, administration and event operations to his new dual role.

jeff-hintz

Jeff Hintz, Director of the 41st Ryder Cup, was named CEO of the Minnesota Section PGA

The Indianapolis native’s impressive golf resume began in Minnesota long before he moved to the state two years ago to lead the 2016 Ryder Cup, the biennial match between the United States and Europe, heralded as the most compelling event in golf.

“I am deeply honored, and grateful for the opportunity to serve as the CEO for the Minnesota Section of The PGA of America,” said Hintz. “I look forward to leading our staff in serving the most critical growth ingredient in the game of golf, PGA Professionals.  I also look forward to expanding our charitable foundation’s activity and programming which is vital to the future of our game. A profound commitment to excellence will be at the core of everything we do.”

The Minnesota Section PGA Foundation was founded in 1995 as a 501(C) 3 charitable organization. It focuses on Youth, Military and Diversity & Inclusion initiatives. Since inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $300,000 to students and has conducted impactful PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) programs with local VA hospitals that serve men and women military personnel by using golf as an activity to assist veterans in their progress in rehab. The Section also has a long-standing relationship with Special Olympics Minnesota.

“We’re very excited and fortunate to hire a proven leader like Mr. Hintz,” said Minnesota PGA President Joel Burger. “Our Board of Directors recognized a unique opportunity to keep someone in Minnesota who arguably delivered the greatest event in the history of golf. His hiring accelerates our ability to improve service to our Section members and grow the game of golf in our Section.”

Hintz started his golf career as an intern at the Coldwell Banker Burnet Senior Classic in 1999. He began working on PGA of America Championships in 2001 and held various leadership positions with within the Championship Department including serving as Championship Director for the Senior PGA Championship in 2012 and 2014. For the last two years, he served as Ryder Cup Director.

The Minnesota PGA also named Jon Tollette as the Chief Operating Officer in the restructuring of the Section office.

The Minnesota Section PGA consists of PGA Professionals who are experts in the game and business of golf. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals, the golf industry, people who play golf or would like to start playing golf. PGA Section Offices oversee the 41 geographic regions throughout the United States and provide the grass-roots network for the nation’s 25 million amateur golfers and with the PGA’s 27,000 members.