Wanted to copy an article Dave wrote for everyone. Realized many don’t know the history of Dave… and as he is one of our Master Instructors and now one of our new Directors, thought it might be good for everyone to “meet” Dave…
From Cop to Golf Pro – My Journey with GGA
By: Dave Predzin, PGA, GGA Director of Instructor Certification
It occurred to my bosses (Tim and Todd) that some of you might be curious as to how and why I came to be the one overseeing our new Licensed Instructor’s Program. So, reluctantly I will share my story. Trust me, I’ll make every attempt to give you the Cliff Notes version.
I learned to play golf as a teenager and even made my high school team (I had access to a car and could get team members to the matches). I learned to work around a huge slice and usually shot somewhere around 80 but was not interested in practicing. I was smart enough to know I would not get any better so I put the clubs in the garage and got busy with my first career as a police officer.
I’d still go out and hack it around with buddies once or twice a year but for the most part I stayed away from golf for 20 years. I spent nearly half of my police career at the police academy, primarily training officers in self-defense, firearms and patrol tactics. I designed the physical fitness and self-defense programs for both new and veteran officers. I went on to become an Instructor Trainer for the state of Virginia, conducting certification courses and re-certification courses throughout the state. I also spent 17 years on our SWAT team and was one of the primary trainers for the team.
My interest in golf was sparked after working the President’s Cup matches so I decided to get back into the game (and after 20 years of competing in triathlons I suddenly had a huge void in my training schedule). Competing in triathlons taught me how to train in earnest so I applied the same logic to golf. I spent a year hitting balls every day (I may have missed 4 or 5 days due to snow), reading and watching everything I could get my hands on. And after my year of diligent effort I was actually worse and totally confused.
Along came Natural Golf’s ads on the Golf Channel. Moe’s single plane swing made a lot of sense to me and oddly enough, it looked very familiar to how we taught police officers to swing their batons. I bought the Natural Golf video package, tried it out, saw some improvements, took a one-day school, and saw some more improvement. I was excited but did not feel I understood everything I needed to know, especially since I was contemplating making golf my 2nd career. Hang in there, we’re almost done.
In 2000 Todd and Tim began teaching their Signature Schools so I signed up for a school in Orlando. We struck up a friendship at that time and they steered me in the right direction for getting into the business of teaching golf. As an experienced teacher I was certain of two things: Moe’s single plane swing was the answer for me as both a player and instructor. I also recognized good instruction and knew I’d found two of the best teachers in the business to learn from and partner with.
I opened my own teaching academy in 2003 in Virginia after retiring from law enforcement. I continued teaching with GGA at their schools across the country. As my teaching experience and knowledge of the single plane swing and GGA’s method expended, so has my role with GGA. Those years of teaching with GGA, teaching at my Academy, along with my prior work experience as an Instructor Trainer put me in a position to help develop and implement our Licensed Instructor program. We’ve been discussing this program for years, with an emphasis on making sure the quality control for instruction remains at the high standards set by Tim and Todd. Seeing this program come to fruition has been very gratifying.
Thanks for hanging in there…nothing I hate worse that talking about myself.
In our next article we’ll discuss more about the specifics of our Instructor Training program and the type of instructor we are looking for.
Dave Predzin, PGA
Director of Instructor Certification
Graves Golf Academy