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Pro-Am style of AmEx showcases stark contrast between professionals and amateurs

The PGA TOUR is in town for the 65th playing of the American Express.

Given the pro-am style of this history-rich tournament, Sports Director Blake Arthur thought it would be fun and informative to chat with two of the top teachers in the country, Bryan Lebedevitch and Joe Hallett, who work with both professional and amateur players.

QUESTION: What's the biggest difference you see between pros and amateurs?

ANSWER: Well, definitely speed is going to be a big element. The men on the PGA Tour are going to be averaging somewhere between 115 to 125 miles per hour, where most amateurs can't generate that kind of club head speed that gives them the ability to launch the ball higher, hit it farther and normally better. Stopping Power. What you see during tour events, golf courses get firmer and faster. So the assets that are created through speed and the ability to control the ball better obviously plays in the advantage of the professional. Other than speed.

QUESTION: What do you see as the big separator?

ANSWER: Well, honestly, one of the biggest things is from from our side of the ball, Brian, is is the ability of the student or the player to work. And there is a big difference between the pro and the amateur, and that's the amount of work that they put in. And that totally relates to the expectations.

We did kind of a questionnaire and it was kind of an interesting thing at our summit a few years back, and asked pros and he said, What are you working on? They said, I'm working on this. Well, how long you been working on that? About three months. When do you think you'll have it?

Probably about another three months. And to a tee, amateurs would say, Oh, I just learned this in the lesson and I've got it. So the minute you realize, hey, the work and your expectations go together takes longer to get better than you think it does. So how come I can do that with my seven hour, but I can't do it with a wedge.

QUESTION: When you're assessing, when you're teaching, what is kind of the first thing you look for with an amateur player?

ANSWER: I look a lot of ball flight. Ball flight tells me a lot about what's going on in the bottom half of their swings. Try to give them a little bit better understanding of what they need to do to make their ball go a little bit better.

ANSWER: Ball flight and ball contact is huge the way that amateur is connecting with the shot and you can kind of hear that in your ears. It's either a click, a thud or a smash, and we're all hoping for the smash. So if you kind of know what side of that they're on, it's how they're a little too thin or a little too heavy. Get it back so they make good contact and then they've got a chance of really doing what they need to do.

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Blake Arthur

Sports Director Blake Arthur joined the KESQ/CBS Local 2 team in August of 2015. Learn more about Blake here.


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