IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Greg Ciavarelli “Mr. April” Interview

We’re proud to announce that we are going to run a new weekly feature on the blog to introduce you to our golf professionals at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex.  We begin our new feature series, “In the Spotlight” by sharing our recent interview with Class “A” PGA Professional, Greg Ciavarelli.

When did you get started in golf? How old were you?
I started golfing when I was about 7 years old. My grandfather, uncle, and father would always play and they had the biggest influence on getting me started. At age 13, I started playing competitively and I was hooked!

When did you realize you wanted to be a golf instructor?
After receiving several lessons in high school, I took the things I learned and started helping my high school teammates try to improve their games.  When I positively impacted [another player’s] golf game, it made me realize how rewarding being a golf instructor could be.

Tell us about your golfing education

I attended Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where I majored in business with a concentration in Professional Golf Management.  The PGM program as it was called, provided 16 months of internships, 8 golf related college courses, as well as several seminars from top teachers in the business.  After college, I have continued to expand my teaching knowledge through teaching seminars, fitting seminars and most recently, the PGA Certified Program.  I am proud to say I am now 1 of only 388 PGA Certified Instructors in the country.

What has been your greatest success story as a golf instructor?
My greatest success story as an instructor would have to be a student who came to me shooting scores in the 110’s and now shoots in the 80’s consistently.  The biggest thing I have learned from him is that there is no substitute for hard work.  Although I have given him the tools to succeed, his desire to practice and work hard at his golf game is equally as important. 

If you could play any golf course in the world, where would you play and why?
I am going to answer this question in two ways.  First, if I could play anywhere in the world that I have not played it would easily be Augusta National.  Second, if I could play anywhere that I have already played it would be Ballybunion in Ireland.  Links golf is my favorite because it requires imagination and shot making. 

Our readers love the game of golf and are always looking for new ways to improve their game.  Can you share a golf tip with us?

Great Tempo = Great Short Game!

Do your chips and pitches hit the green and run forever, with no intention of stopping?  Have you ever wanted to hit a pitch that hit the green very soft and settled next to the hole?  I’m sure all of us would love that and here’s how to do it…

The first step is to hit all of your short game shots with very light grip pressure.  Most golfers end up squeezing the club too hard which results in a fast and inconsistent stroke.  In addition to that, the ball is hit with such force that it has no chance to sit softly.  The next step is to slow down the pace of your stroke.  Next time you are practicing, challenge yourself to hit pitches and chips as slow as you can until you find a comfortable pace.  You’ll quickly notice how much higher and softer your shots will be and this will quickly lead to more up and downs.

To schedule your next golf lesson with Greg, please call 916-808-2531 to contact our Appointment Office at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex.

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