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Hi Craig,

Hope all is well. Thought I would touch base and provide an update on the state of my golf game after the instruction I received from you earlier this year.

For various reasons, I did not manage to get practice or play for about three months after attending the golf school. Consequently, the start of my golf season was at the end of June on a guy’s golf trip. All I had right before going on the trip was 80 minutes on the range to find a swing (any swing!) and the notes I took during our time together – no putting or short game practice which had been the focus of our sessions. Suffice it to say, I was disappointed I had allowed 3 months to elapse and to dull any mental and muscle memory I had acquired. My expectations were low and I warned some of my buddies not to expect seeing any improvements as I hadn’t practiced. Well, to my surprise and that of my buddies (based on their chants of “sandbagger” which I accepted with pride), my notes and recollection of our various conceptual discussions were enough to produce a very obvious improvement and newfound consistency in my putting and short game. It also saved/made me a chunk of money from a “three-putt” game where I have been consistently picked on over the years.

Right after that trip, I joined a golf club in order to begin practicing/playing in earnest. Well, in less than two months, I have taken a 15.8 handicap factor and brought it down to 6.1 as of today. In that short span of time the improvement in my game/scores caught the attention of my friends, club members and club staff. Naturally, everyone who has seen the strides I have made are curious how I improved so quickly and consequently, your name, Bird Golf Academy and the teaching philosophy have come up quite a lot over the past couple of months!

Anyways, I just wanted to thank you again because while I always believed I would see improvement from your instruction, the speed and extent of that improvement has been unexpected. Having confidence that I have a better understanding and practice tools to improve my game has really elevated my enjoyment of golf.

All the best.

Wayne Fu
Calgary, Canada

Golf School: Arizona

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I apologize for this note being 6 plus weeks after our session with Shirley but I wanted some time to practice, play a few rounds and in general, assimilate (Jay, ask Shirley, she’ll know why I used the work assimilate and she’ll probably laugh at the word, I hope so) all the instruction and information Shirley provided to Amy and me.

If I had to use one word to describe the experience and value we received from the week with Shirley it would be AMAZING.

The accommodations? Excellent. The golf facility? Fantastic. Shirley? Priceless!!!

Frankly we could have played on a cow pasture and stayed in a tent and Shirley still would have made the experience amazing. It truly is a treat to spend time with someone that is beyond knowledgeable, truly loves what they do, great personality and fun to be around, and can share their knowledge in such a way that you are not intimidated to get out of your comfort zone by trying sometime different.

In my bio to you I mentioned I was looking for fine tuning of my game for better scoring – specifically long irons and wedges. Early on the second day, Shirley approached me with an option that she could provide some fine tuning but based on what she had observed and through watching video, she would recommend something slightly more than fine tuning… more like rebuilding my swing. Shirley completely made the decision my choice. Based on the limitations that I knew about my swing, Shirley’s advice and the video, it was an easy decision to rebuild a swing 35 years in the making. An easy decision but not so easy to implement so it’s a good thing Shirley is extremely patient… I left at the end of the week comfortable with the knowledge I knew what I needed to do improve my golf game. Fast forward a month; my rounds have been 86, 82, 84, 78, 75 and 82. As I’m becoming more comfortable with the new swing and not over thinking things, my ability to consistently hit much better golf shots is improving. I’ve no doubt I should be able to stay in the 70’s consistently. This level of improvement was exactly what I was hoping to get from my experience with Bird Golf. Thank you Shirley!

You may also recall that Amy is an occasional golfer that wanted to learn the fundamentals of the game. Because of Shirley, Amy is now more than an occasional golfer! I can easily imagine that this one week of golf instruction saved a decade of frustration with the typical learning curve of periodic lessons, playing, getting frustrated and them more periodic lessons from someone different than who you started with and who probably provides contradictory information which just adds to the confusion and frustration.

We thoroughly enjoyed the week!

Bob Wells
Riverton, CT

Golf School: Nevada

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Jay, just wanted to reiterate my thoughts from our phone call last week.
This experience was awesome!

Jim’s ability to:
… break down the elements of the swing; in language I understand
… identify areas where modifications are needed in each element
… and explain why/how those modifications will effect positive change in my swing
… structure a practice session that enabled me to identify “did it”
or “didn’t do it” in each element
… and then give me the tools to make those movements a habit when I
return home
… all while keeping me laughing.

Truly what I was looking for without knowing what I was looking for.

The resort was fabulous as well. The ability to enjoy a day on the golf
course, followed by some pampering spa-treatment action, a wonderful meal
with a nice Vino, I found my Thanksgiving Tradition Nirvana!

You truly have a jewel of a program and I thank you for all the effort you
place on making it authentic, educational, practical, and fun.

Looking forward to doing it again…. and again… and again!

Jennifer Cushion
Seattle, WA

Golf School: Arizona

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“What a great time I had with Shirley Furlong, LPGA star and Bird Golf Academy in Borrego Springs!  I have been waiting to send you a note of thanks for pairing me up with Shirley!  But wanted to be able to report back on some of the progress I have been making.  I started using some of my new “Shirley” tips on the golf course and am happy to let you know the results have been noticeable.  The 4 days of awesome “one on one” golf instruction has made a huge difference in my game!   I am very happy I decided to attend this type of instruction.

Shirley is a very precise instructor, making learning easy.  She has a keen eye and sees where you need to make even simple adjustments that make all the difference.  Not only was Shirley a delight to be with she made 4 days of 6 hours of instructions per day fly by and a pleasure.  I couldn’t wait to get back to my home course and try out my new moves!   I will be able to use the tools she gave me to be a more consistent and accurate player for years to come.

Thank you Jay and Shirley for delivering what you promised and making it enjoyable all along the way!  I’ll be back!” 

Nicole McHugh
Santa Barbara, CA

Golf school:  California

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Dear Jay,

I wanted to let you know what a phenomenal week I had in Miami at your school. Amy Benz was my instructor, and she over exceeded my expectations providing me with professional and expert guidance beyond anything I could imagine. I have been playing golf for about 25 years and have had instruction. However, if Amy had to say something 50 different ways for me to catch on, she figured it out. I left Miami with a solid grasp on golf fundamentals. More importantly, I left with tools to fall back on, when my game (inevitably) goes to pot!!  I plan to attend the school again, probably next February in Phoenix. I will be requesting Amy, and I can’t wait to have another go at improving my skill set! Thanks for crafting such a great training concept, for hooking me up with Amy, and for your amazing follow-up prior to my signing up. I own a catering company, and in my world it is all about details. Clearly, we are philosophically on the same page. Can’t wait to see you all next year.

Joan Rosenthal
Cleveland Heights, OH

Golf School: Florida

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Nancy and I had a wonderful 4 days in Pinehurst with Mary Mills. The entire experience far exceeded my expectations: Mary was FANTASTIC. We liked her immediately, and were impressed by the depth of her knowledge, her ability to communicate, astute critiques of both of us, and her continued passion for the game. She was professional and efficient with time, demanding in a good way, and at the same time good fun. She was friendly and encouraging. You have a gem of a teacher in her! Thank you so much for all the work it must take to run your fine operation; I will highly recommend Bird Golf to everyone.

Carolie Frazer
White Marsh, VA

Golf School: North Carolina

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I attended the Bird Golf Academy in Sedona, AZ in October 2017 to tune up my game. I am a 12 handicap and wanted help getting back to my days as a single digit player. Craig Waryan was my professional instructor and I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the one-on-one, four day academy. I have had many lessons in the past, but Craig is, without doubt, the finest instructor I have worked with in the past. His demeanor, professionalism, experience and
just being a cool guy added so much to my learning curve. The small but important lessons around and on the green were instrumental in helping me refine my playing skills and approach to the sport. The playing lessons each afternoon were so much fun – reloading on the tee box and trying different shots from the fairway and bunkers added so much to my confidence. Craig is a terrific pro – Jay and his team were always available to me and answered all of my inquiries promptly and positively.

If you want to sharpen your game, or just better understand the fundamentals of golf, I strongly recommend Craig Waryan & Bird Golf Academy – I was so impressed, I convinced my wife (a brand new golfer) to set up her first lessons with Craig – she will learn the right way the first time and have fun doing it. I shot a 77 the first day back to my course – thanks, Craig!!

Charles Jones
Seattle, WA

Golf School: Arizona

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“Just wanted to follow up with you after our golf school at Whispering Pines this previous week.  Just a reminder that I worked for 28 years with NASA–and during that time I participated in numerous training activities  for our engineers and scientists. So I am quite familiar as to how difficult training is for complex tasks.  And learning a golf swing at any age is certainly that.  So as the astronauts would say–Mary has the “right stuff”.

With that said (and I know you already know this)–Bird Golf should consider itself extremely fortunate in having Mary Mills as a professional staff member on their team.  In particular she has this marvelous ability to tailor the appropriate instruction with just the right amount of detail for each student.  After years of viewing You Tubes–I really didn’t expect to see any drills that I had not seen in some form before.  Boy was I wrong.  Her extensive knowledge of all facets of the game combined with her patience, courteous but direct and honest manner are just a few of her major strengths.  It is easy to see how she has had and continues to have such great success throughout her career.

As Mary said before we left–our expectations especially for Elizabeth would be that there would be a few bad shots before the good shots would start to appear.  Well Elizabeth had a practice session on Friday after we had gotten home on Thursday.  It was without a doubt the most positive ball striking sessions she has ever had. And she has requested we go out again this afternoon (that is a first!).  Again we know bad shots will continue to occur–but that practice session just re-affirmed our investment in Bird Golf.  And just to complete the loop–I played yesterday and had two really good up and down chips from tight lies using a gap wedge–a club I have never used for that purpose.

Also the accommodations were fantastic!

So again many thanks to Mary and to you Jay for pairing us with her.”

Best Regards,
Elizabeth and Doug Cannon
Very Satisfied Clients of Bird Golf

Golf School: North Carolina

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I can’t tell you how pleased Sonya and I are with the lessons that Sonya received over the past three days. Mary patiently and accurately diagnosed both Sonya’s golf swing and her golf state of mind, and focused on exactly the areas where Sonya needs work, in a way that was clear, logical and understandable to Sonya. We were meticulous about taking extensive notes (Mary saw to that) that will memorialize the lessons for us.

Sonya has had a few sporadic lessons over the years, but none have remotely approached the level of detail contained in Mary’s lessons, and none involved such a careful diagnosis of Sonya’s game and temperament.

Sonya will be on the practice tee on Friday, ready to build on the superb instruction that she received from Mary over the past three days. She may be a candidate for Most Improved Golfer of 2016!

Thank you all so much. We hope to see Mary and perhaps you in the future.

Dick J.
Ipswich, MA

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I would like to express my complete satisfaction with the training provided by Tim P. of Bird Golf Academy. It turned out to be a great experience and well worth it. Tim easily identified my major flaws and quickly had me working on fixing them. He did not have me start from scratch (the last person I took lessons from wanted to do just that — start over after forgetting what I did for 10 years!). Instead, Tim retained the ‘good’ parts of my swing and had me working within my physical abilities. I was pleased to see the results. I got a great deal out of the time we had am now confident that I will be able to play a good game.

Tim was easy to work with and I have a great deal of respect for his teaching abilities. It is now up to me to do the work and then see the benefits in the course. I will keep Tim updated. I hope to give him good news in a few weeks!

Thanks to the Bird Golf Academy!

Philip Thambidurai. PhD
Mt. Laurel, NJ

Golf School: New Jersey

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