Teachable Moments

Words of Wisdom from the Dana Rader Golf School Team

I’m Kelly McKay, Sales and Marketing Director for the Dana Rader Golf School, and I have some random thoughts to share with those of you who’ve been golfing for a while.  Keep in mind, before coming to work for Dana Rader my golf expertise stemmed from occasional putt-putt outings with family or boyfriends.  Other than that, I’d never picked up a club.  I’m now taking private lessons after enjoying one of the school’s New2Golf weekend courses and have definitely caught the golfing bug.  That being said, please enjoy my random thoughts and email with your comments to kmckay@danarader.com. (photo: that’s me taking a selfie during New2Golf)


Random Thought #1:  Golf is the most difficult simple sport ever created.  It’s simple because the only things involved are clubs and balls.  Pick up a club, drop a ball on the ground and swing.  Piece of cake, right?  Wrong.  Golf is so much more challenging than the professionals make it look and I blame them for my day-one delusions of grandeur.  Just between you and me, I do NOT think I’ll make it on tour.

Random Thought #2:  That one great shot really does make up for all the bad ones and you couldn’t say that for any other sport.  For example, a basketball player who missed every shot during a game then made a 3-pointer at the end, which did not result in a win for the team, would not feel elated while walking off the court.  Yet, in golf, one great drive or putt can give a player a feeling of accomplishment no matter their score.

Random Thought #3:  Baseball player “It’s a swing and a miss” moments are incredibly embarrassing, especially when they occur while teed up and using a driver that has a club head the size of a small melon.

Random Thought #4:  There are way too many golfers in the Carolinas who put their clubs away at the end of October.  I’m from Ohio and spent 13 years in Indiana so I know what cold is and we don’t experience real cold in the Carolinas.  Besides, if you love something why would you only want to do it part of the year?

Speaking of, we have new winter coaching and tech sessions available November 1st through the end of February.  For our Winter Coaching Sessions we have the:

Two Hour Winter Tune-up60 minutes of short game and 60 minutes of full swing for $80

Full Swing Tech Session60 minutes of full swing with V1 Pro and BodiTrak as well as a Game Golf Demo $80

Defrost Your Putting60 minutes of putting instruction with drills and Blast technology for $40

(Above classes based on a 3 person minimum.  Sign up as an individual and we’ll put you in a group.)

Our Tech Sessions are:

Swing Tech Analysis:  30 minute session tech session utilizing BodiTrak and V1 Pro swing analysis $30

Putting Metrics:  30 minutes of instruction on putting utilizing Blast $30

If you have any questions on our winter programs don’t hesitate to reach out by email or phone.  kmckay@danarader.com or 704-542-7635.  And please share your random thoughts about golf via email or social media @DanaRaderGolf!




Archived Teachable Moments:

  • It’s with great pride that we announce Moon Cheong, a student of Julie Cole- Managing Partner of the Dana Rader Golf School, has been selected to the 2016 Transamerica Scholastic Junior All-American team!


    In order for you to understand what a huge honor and opportunity it is for Moon to have been selected you’ll need a little background information.  The T.S.J. All-American team consists of only 12 young men and 12 young women who have the ability to excel in golf, in the classroom and the community.  Those chosen to the team have high grade point averages, high SAT and ACT scores, are actively involved in their community and have a strong performance record in golf.

    The 12 women on this year’s team have a combined 17 top-5 finishes while the 12 men have a combined 17 top-10 finishes.  The average adjusted GPA for the members of the 2016 All-American team is 4.39.  The average SAT score is 2118 while the average ACT is 33.

    Moon’s GPA is 4.27, SAT score 2120, and ACT 33.  Her best finish in 2016 was 4th place in the Greg Norman Champions Golf Academy Junior Championship.  In addition to her studies and golf, Moon is an active fundraiser for the Levine Children’s Hospital and she volunteers her time with the LPGA USGA Girls Golf program here at the Dana Rader Golf School.  On top of that, she even finds a little time in her schedule to work in our office on a part-time basis.

    Everyone at the Dana Rader Golf School- a Golf Channel Academy loves and adores Moon and are extremely proud of and thrilled for her.  She is an amazing young lady and an incredible golfer.  We’re so happy she’s a part of our family and cannot wait to see what her future holds.

  • When it comes to junior golf having fun is much more important than winning.  Not to mention, at the Dana Rader Golf School we celebrate our students win or lose.  Yet this past weekend we co-hosted the Ballantyne Junior Open at the Golf Club At Ballantyne and, out of the 18 awards presented, 7 of them went to Dana Rader Golf School students.  We thought that was something worth blogging about!

    Drew Hackett came in 2nd in the Boys 14-15 division shooting 79, 70.  DrewHackett

    Alexis Sudijanto came in 2nd in the Girls 14-18 division shooting 76, 78.








    Nick Rubino also came in 2nd for the Boys 11-13 division shooting 79, 76.


    Cindy Song came in 1st in the Girls under 13 division shooting 77, 79.



    Meanwhile Nicole Nash came in 3rd in the Girls under 13 division shooting 95, 89.  NicoleNash







    In the Boys under 10 division Aston Lee took 2nd shooting an 88, 89.

    And Jason Zawtocki shot 93, 91 to take 3rd place.

    AstonLee  JasonZawtocki








    Congratulations to all of our student for a great job at the tournament!  We hope that you had fun and learned something that will help you improve and grow as players and people.  We’re very proud of you.


  • If you’ve been working on lowering your handicap without success we highly recommend you book one of our three-day golf schools.  We say “give us three days and we’ll give you a lifetime of better golf” and we back up our words with consistently great results that lead to amazing reviews from our students.


    Speaking of, we have students who have made the trip to our golf school from as far as Switzerland but golfers from all over the United States have also made the Dana Rader Golf School a golf vacation destination.  Even students who are local to the Charlotte area enjoy taking advantage of our Stay & Play packages, which include your hotel stay at either the Aloft Ballantyne or the Ballantyne Hotel along with your tuition for a three-day golf school.

    During a typical three-day golf school you’ll receive 15 hours of instruction covering all aspects of short game; putting, chipping and pitching, full swing with V1 pro video swing analysis as well as BodiTrak technology (if your swing calls for it), on-course instruction and more.  Full details on our three-day school can be found here.   


    Instead of continuing to be frustrated with your game, set aside three days to come to our golf school and let our team of award-winning LPGA and PGA instructors help lower your handicap.

    Upcoming three-day golf school dates include:  8/5-8/7, 8/19-8/21, 9/9-9/11, 9/23-9/25, 10/7-10/9.

    Call 704-542-7635 to book the school of your choice.

  • The definition of the saying Practice Makes Perfect is, “regular exercise of an activity or skill is the way to become proficient in it, especially when encouraging someone to persist in it”.  In golf, it’s crucial for a player to practice on a regular basis if he or she wants to elevate their skills.  Even 10 minutes a day can make a big difference.

    At the Dana Rader Golf School we have quite a few students who take the ‘practice daily’ rule to heart.  The Song sisters, for example, are so dedicated to the sport of golf that they’re at the Dana Rader Golf School to practice every single weekday no matter the weather.  Whenever Emily and Cindy are not at the golf school working with an instructor to hone their skills they’re out on course playing.  And their hard work is paying off.

    Recently Emily shot a 73 to win her division in the Peggy Kirk Bell North Carolina One day Series at Pine Island Country Club   Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 10.57.12 AM

    while Cindy shot a -1 to win her division in the U.S. Kids Golf tourney at the Divide Golf Course. (Shown on the right.)Cindy_USKidsGolf

    We’re very proud of the Song sisters and love that they’re a part of the Dana Rader family.  We know there are many more tournaments and wins to come and we can’t wait to see where golf takes them in life.

    In the next Student Spotlight we’ll tell you about Alex Rubino and why he was selected as a Golf Magazine Success Story!

  • JulieColeClassic1

    Julie Cole is managing partner of the Dana Rader Golf School and an LPGA Class A Professional who has won 12 tournaments worldwide.  She’s also an Ohio girl with a quirky sense of humor and a very giving heart.

    Although Julie has received quite a few accolades in her career, including being named one of the best golf instructors in the country by Golf Digest, one of the greatest honors for Julie came in 2010 when she was elected into the Ohio University Sports Hall of Fame for the Lifetime Achievement Award.  (Go Bobcats!)  That’s why it only made sense for Julie to head home to Findlay, Ohio when she decided to create a charity golf tournament that had the potential to raise a lot of money and do a lot of good.

    In 1989 the Julie Cole Charity Golf Classic was born and a partnership with the Blanchard Valley Health System was formed.  Since then $2.5 million has been raised for charity. This year’s Julie Cole Charity Golf Classic will benefit  Bridge Hospice, The Women’s Center of Bluffton Hospital, and the Julie Cole Junior Golf Fund– which supports The First Tee, a national organization that promotes life skills and leadership through the game of golf.

    Many celebrities have joined Julie in her cause over the years like Fuzzy Zoeller, Nancy Lopez, Scott Simpson, and Meg Mallon.  This year John Cook, an Ohio State University Hall Of Famer who has won 11 regular PGA Tour career events and 10 events on the Champions Tour, will join Julie.

    Golf may have taken her all over the world but Julie followed her heart home to Ohio to use her gifts to help those who knew her when she was just Ivan and Maxine’s little girl.  Who, by the way, would be very proud of the great work she’s doing- as we all are.

    The 27th Annual Julie Cole Charity Golf Classic featuring Julie Cole and John Cook will be played on June 6th, 2016 at the Findlay Country Club.

  • If you play golf you understand the work it takes for someone to become a PGA or LPGA teaching professional.  Our Director Of Golf Instruction, Nancy Harvey- who is also an educator and national evaluator for the LPGA Global Education Team- explains that there are three levels of education and practical experience that golfers must pass which then takes them from apprentice to Class B then on to Class A.  Nancy teaches for the level II team and is honored to do so.

    She just returned after spending a week in San Diego working for the LPGA educating golf pros attempting to advance in their career.  Although Nancy has been working professionally for over 15 years, and is a Master Instructor at DRGS and an LPGA Class A Professional, she says she learns something new with every trip and every teaching experience.

    But the biggest reward for Nancy is seeing other golfers come up through the program and achieve their goals.  “Feeling like I’ve contributed to a fellow golf pro’s success” she says,”makes all the hard work worth it”.


  • Anyone who plays understands that golf is a mental sport.  Having fun is paramount, sure, and proper nutrition is key to keeping your blood sugar level and your mind clear.  But what else can you do to improve your game?  Mental management.

    The Mental Management Systems program is a game changer, plain and simple.  I worked with the creator of the system, Lenny Bassham, and am certified to teach his Level One and Level Two courses.

    The system blends together mental strategy and mechanics and has proven effective in sports- professional or amateur.  Lenny created the system after failing in his attempt to win the Gold in the Olympic Games in 1972 in International Rifle Shooting.  He said he had a mental failure during the games which caused him to take Silver- and that just wasn’t good enough for him.  That’s how the Mental Management Systems program was born.

    I’m very passionate about the system as it’s made a profound difference in my approach to coaching and in my life.  Speaking of, last night I held a Mental Management class and it was as fun and rewarding for me as it was for them.



  • Dear Students and Friends,

    My friend and mentor, Lanny Bassham, author of “With Winning in Mind”, states that there are three types of golfer.

    • The informed.
    • The uninformed.
    • The overinformed.

    The informed golfer is the ideal. He/she has worked at the game with a systemized approach to learning, and to measuring success. He or she has a coach/teacher they see on a regular basis, to ensure they will avoid bad habits and to maintain a high level of consistency. I hear the phrase, “I want consistency” in every single group that comes to my golf school. I tell them that the informed student understands that there are no quick fixes, and that good coaching and dedicated practice are the keys to a repeatable swing, and a good, consistent golf game.

    The uninformed golfer is one that takes up the game of golf, picks up a few tips then blasts away at the game with reckless abandon. Maybe he or she hits a few hundred balls at the range…mostly the driver, then a few chip shots. Did you know that Tiger Woods hits one ball per selected club at the range, re-creating a hole of golf?  And, he repeats. He does not slam out 75 drives and 2 chip shots. The uninformed golfer does not want to change or to practice, and he or she thinks they play better than what their skill level really is. They get mad at shots that they don’t hit perfectly, as if they had the right to do so! They have not perfected, perfect!

    The overinformed category is where a large percentage of golfers are. These are highly frustrated players of the game of golf. They desire to get better by trying every tip, and many are from bad sources — the barber, their in-laws, a mechanic, etc…  It seems there are more ‘teachers’ out there than players!  These overinformed golfers are error focused not solution focused, and there is a lot of dialogue going on in their heads about how to swing the club. They have had enough success to know “its in there” but they have no idea how to put it all together.

    My philosophy and my team’s approach is to get you to where you are informed about your unique blueprint, your unique swing, and your game. Duplicate, repeat. And repeat! Our first priority is our students and our second is to deliver rock solid golf to them.

    To have more fun at the game, work towards becoming a more informed golfer. It will take a lot of frustration out of your game and give you a lifetime of better golf. Remember, it is a marathon not a sprint!

    I hope you’ll take a moment to sign up here for our bi-monthly newsletter.

    Thank you for your continued trust and support in our programs for golfers of all ages and abilities.

    Best to you always,

    Dana Rader
    Founder and Owner, Dana Rader Golf School
    Charter Lead Coach, Golf Channel Academy at Dana Rader Golf School
    National President, LPGA Teaching & Club Professional Membership