Golf Instructor, Grant Griffiths showing his form.
Where do you provide instruction?
I'm the Director of Golf for the prestigious Julian Krinsky School of Golf in Philadelphia, a summer golf camp that attracts students from 35 states and 30 countries. Students reside at a number of top colleges in suburban Philadelphia main line area, and we use over 25 golf courses, ranges and indoor facilities to host our coaching and playing ability on a day-to-day basis.
I also founded Grant Griffiths Golf, a year round golf academy that specializes in junior, ladies and collegiate golf. Our junior, ladies and men's lessons and clinics take place at a number of indoor and outdoor facilities which include:
- Ravens Claw Golf Club voted one of the best new courses in the United States by Golf Digest Magazine and a top 10 golf club in PA.
- Golf By Design, at the famous King of Prussia Mall where we have one of 11 Callaway Fitment Centers for lessons and fitting.
- Play a Round Golf in Malvern, an incredible indoor facility with state-of-the-art simulators for year round coaching and clinics.
- Body Balance for Performance in Conshohocken, where we can teach students about fitness and technique.
How long have you been a professional golf instructor?
I started playing golf at the age of seven, and played junior golf in South Africa. After I studied electronic engineering, I realized golf was a bigger part of my life and decided to pursue a career in professional golf. By the age of 25 I had established a golf academy in South Africa at a number of ranges with over 700 students, and was then invited to join the Julian Krinsky Group as golf director in my early 30's. I have been involved in golf all my life, playing junior tournaments that many greats from South Africa played in such as Ernie Els, Tim Clark, Retief Goosen and many more.
I have been Director of Golf for the Julian Krinsky School of Golf for the past several years and been involved in professional golf for 12 years now as a professional instructor. I am currently studying under Hank Haney to become an Associate Head Instructor and continue to Elite level over the next 5 years.
Who are some of your past and current students?
I never like to use names to self promote, but over the past several years I have taught, together with a team of 35 golf professionals who work with me each summer, many thousands of junior golfers from all over the world, as well as several hundred students that include ladies, men's and collegiate golfers. I am currently coaching Mathew Wylie from Ireland who is an incredible player and personal friends with Rory McElroy. I have a lot of great students in my junior golf program and look forward to helping many more in the future, and even a few on the PGA tour.
What is your training philosophy?
One of my philosophies is "Play, Learn and Have Fun!" I try to keep the golf swing simple and make the game fun for every student I teach. I start by creating an A to Z plan for every student, and break the swing down into parts to simplify the learning process.
I teach my students to focus on drills and technique at the practice facility, while playing the game and having fun on the golf course - this often produces the best results on the course when students relax and only focus on one swing thought for the day.
In my academy, game improvement is divided into three parts:
3. Mental Game Conditioning
I work with some great professionals and experts in their field to accomplish this, and they include Rick Sessinghaus from California, who is our mental game specialist, and David Ostrow, medical board advisor to the Titleist Performance Institute and CEO of Body Balance for Performance.
What are the three major flaws you find in most golfers' game?
1. Fundamentals, which includes Grip, Aim, Alignment, Stance and Posture
2. Swing Tempo
3. Confidence - not trusting your swing. Not so much a swing flaw, but more a belief in
yourself as a golfer that you have the ability to hit great shots.
More important: physical or mental side of golf?
My coaching philosophy is to balance physical, mental and fitness, and when you begin working on all three, you see great results in every student. If I had to decide between mental or physical, it would probably come down to mental every time, because even with the best swing in the world, if you don't believe in yourself or have confidence, you will not win tournaments.
What is your most memorable personal golfing experience?
The first time my father introduced me to the game of golf. I was seven years old and for my birthday, was taken to the pro shop in South Africa, a big golf store to purchase golf clubs and a new pair of shoes. I was so excited and decided on a McGregor set of irons and woods. I was taken to a public golf course and shot 102 in my very first game with my dad, and from there on I was addicted to the game. I lost my dad in 2006, and will treasure this moment for the rest of my life. Because of my father, I am making differences to thousands of golfers and this is the best feeling in the world.
I have played some great games of golf and shot some low scores since purchasing my first set of clubs, but playing golf for the first time with my dad, with him shaking his head at the natural talent I had was the best golfing experience ever.
What three words best describe the game of golf to you?
I have always said that you make the best friends and business partners on the golf course. Play 18 holes with anyone and you can tell what kind of person they are in life. This has served me well in my career and if I had to choose three words that best describe the game, it would be:
What is your favorite course to play near where you live?
In South Africa my favorite golf course is a Gary Player designed course at Sun City where the annual Nedbank Million Dollar Golf Challenge is played each year. Sun City originally developed by Sol Kerzner and Gary Player has to be one the best golf courses I have played.
In Philadelphia, the golf course no further than 5 miles away from my home is host to the 2013 US Open. Merion Golf Club and one I hope to play in the near future or even the US Open.
What SKLZ training aids do you use?
- » Gyro Swing
- » Swing Accelerator Driver
- » Swing Accelerator Iron
- » Refiner Pro Graphite Driver
- » Refiner Hinged Iron
- » Refiner Hinged Driver
- » Refiner Blade Putter
- » Slice Eliminator
- » Power Sleeve
- » Power Wedge
- » Smash Bag
- » Practice Pod
- » Practice Pod Pro
- » Perfect Plane
- » Putt Pocket
- » Smart Glove
- » Fly Trap Chipping Net
- » Tempo Tray
What is your favorite SKLZ training aid and how do you use it with your students?
The Gyro Swing is the most used and popular teaching aid with my students, especially with junior and ladies golf to feel the position of the golf club at impact. A few swings with the Gyro club and the difference is immediately noticed. I begin the student with mini swings and progressively build up to a full swing. Once the student has completed this drill for about 5 minutes, we continue with a golf club. The great thing about teaching with SKLZ training aids, is that it allows the student to feel the swing change, which is very important when teaching new motor skills. A great golf teacher should always have a bag of teaching aids to offer a complete and professional lesson. Teaching can be divided into verbal, visual and kinesthetic, and with the use of teaching aids; lessons are taken to a whole new level.
Best round you've shot and where?
65, Graceland Golf and Country Club in South Africa