Huddle Up with Gus
Huddle Up with Gus

Episode · 1 year ago

Debbie Doniger

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Joining me in the Huddle this week is Top 100 golf instructor Debbie Doniger. Debbie picked up her first set of clubs at the age of seven in Greenwich, Connecticut and became a dedicated student of renowned golf instructor Jim McLean, who has been her mentor for more than 20 years. As a junior and amateur, Debbie won every New York Metropolitan tournament in the area and went on to play at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she captained the golf team both her junior and senior years and led the Tar Heels to an ACC Championship in 1992. She was later inducted into the ACC Hall of Fame.  Selected as one of five college seniors to represent the United States in the World University Golf Championship, Debbie was the only American to medal that year, taking home an individual bronze. After college, she went on to compete on The Futures Tour, The Gold Coast Tour, and then in 1993, The European Tour.  It was very interesting to me that she picked her college around the fact that the coach would not try to change her swing or coach her differently then her current coach, Jim McClean. Her college experience created lasting friendships and shaped her future in golf.  Debbie is a Lead Master Instructor at The Jim McLean Golf School, where she has worked for over 10 years, and Director of Instruction at GlenArbor Golf Club in Bedford, New York. For more on Debbie and how you can reach her please visit her website.  http://www.debbiedoniger.com     See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Welcome everyone to huddle up with guests. I'm your host, fifteen year NFL quarterback gusts. For Up. Weare here in the new thirty one digital news studio. If you want tolearn more or listen to previous shows, you can check us out of ourwebsite. Huddle up with guestscom or you can listen to us on the newRADIOCOM APP or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts. While in the huddle, our guests describe how sports shapes their life. Now let's join the huddle. Hey, everyone to another episode of Huddle Up. Let's guess on yourhost guests for rot, you could find US literally anywhere today. You know, if you are a radiocom person, you can find us on read ofthe new RADIOCOM APP, but wherever you listen to your favorite podcast, youcan also find us on a new thirty one digital news down and Watchington DCand you can find us on huddle up with guestscom. I'm not joined bymy hope cohost Dave today. I'm going Solo today, but you know Dave'snot a big golfer, so I was running this one all by myself.Today we're joined by somebody who is known as one of the top one hundredgolf instructors overall, out of every golf instructor in the country. She's alsohas many highlights, many accolades, many awards. One Super, super knowledgeableabout the game, loves to teach it and is super excited about the gameof golf. And I'm really excited to talk her ear off about golf becauseI'm not very good. So any tips I can get to day I willbe thrilled and hopefully I can use that to improve my game. But joiningus today is Debbie Gaunt donnager. Debbie, how are you doing? I'm soexcited to have you on. Huddle up with gusts. Thanks for havingme. I'm happy to be here. So we usually start way back whenyou know, it's hard for us to think about back in the day,but I was when I was researching and studying some of you your past.You know, there were some great pictures of your golf swing when you werewhen you were young. So tell me about you know, how you gotinto the passion of Golf. Was it a family or a member, orwas it you know, an uncle, or did you just fall in lovewith it. Well, for anybody out there that is wondering during the pandemic, what's for, it would be off my parents are not golf first Igrew up on a golf course in California because that's where we went on vacation. My grandparents lived out there. I am from the Northeast, I'm fromConnecticut, so my parents just let me play golf and I started when Iwas seven. I played other sports, I skated, I played tennis,I swam and then by the time I was twelve years old, I turnedto my parents fell in love with the game for five years. Instead,I want to go play the tour. So that's a different animal than justbringing your kids out to play. Yeah, with you and your family during thepandemic, but that is a way to get kids started. You know, your parents don't have to play. Just pull the trigger and get yourkid out on the golf course and hopefully they fall in love with the gameas well. Yeah, so what was it about golf when you were young, if you can think back to it, that really made you fall in lovewith the game? I think intrinsically I like individual sports versus team sports. I love being outside, I love I guess when I was a kidI love the challenge of it and fortunately I was pretty good. So whenyou're good at something and you know that you can even be better at it, and luckily my parents found Jim mcclaine when I was twelve years old andfor those of you that don't know who he is, he's arguably top threein the world now as a teacher. And so when you find the rightcoach, the right teacher, you have a mentor and then you start tosurround yourself with like minded kids and other teachers that are also passionate about thegame, then you know it can propel you too, however good you shouldor couldn't be, but at least you're surrounding yourself with likeminded passions and I'mjust fortunate that I've had that since the outset. So your I take yourparents were very supportive. You did play other sports when you were young andyou know now, as you got into golf lader life, did ever goback and ask your parents? It's like, okay, which one did you likesitting at and watching me and which ones didn't you like sitting at?You know, because sometimes, like even in swimming, you know it's you'reunderwater. They don't get to see you. You know you're in the pool.It's different than other sports. You know where, and golf is evenhard to because they're not like that, super close to you. You know, it's not like you're just stuck in a little square field like I alwayswas. Yeah, you know, there's that's a loaded question. So it'sa load of question. My Dad would...

...take me mainly to my golf tournaments, drop me off and and not watch and pick me up at the end. Also, you know, within what you just dast is the constant battleof parents now and kids that I teach. Do you specialize early on? Doyou play other sports so you're really athletic and all the planes of motion? And so the answer to that from one of my good friends would beI believe that you can emphasize early on, maybe not specialize, but everything ishappening earlier in terms of recruiting and how good you can be, andand so I think all of that has bumped up earlier than when I startedplaying. But in terms of my parents being pushy, they pushed enough becausethey found the right teacher. They took me to my lessons they took meto my tournaments, they organized every thing. I had a schedule, but alot of it is also dependent upon the kid and being selfdiscipline and andbeing passionate and having goals and and again, I really do believe now that Ihave kids in my own who play a different sport at a very highlevel. You know, there there's a line as a parent that you crossin terms of pushing, pushing too much, specializing, doing the right things,scheduling, no burn out, no injuries, and you know you reallyhave to do your due diligence and and know your kid, because your kidcould be different than another kid. And you know, it's interesting my journeyand how I got it done and and it's, you know, my ownpath. It's not the same as my other friends took by it worked.Yeah, I know it sounds like it worked out really well for you.So if you think about it, your journey and your Patt you talk aboutwhen you were twelve you started working with Jim Mcclain, and what was thatlike, because a lot of kids don't get those kind of opportunities. Wherethe other kids there with you or were you buy yourself so McLean in myarea. My mom had the foresight, when I was playing local junior tournaments, to ask the number one junior girl golfer at that time, who's oneof my closest and oldest friend friends. Who, who do you take lessonsfrom? And Jim mcclane was mentioned. And again, for the golfers thatout there that no, no of him. That was in the early s andso I started with Jim at a place called quaker rich when I wastwelve and Jim was one of the best in the met sections. Certainly notknown nationally as he is now, but he was starting to make his moveand and every year got better and better and he started to teach the bestplayers in our area, amateur professional junior golfers. And know, there weren'tother kids around. Again, this is an individualized sport and some kids justwant to be around other kids. And so the PJ of America with theidea of the PJ junior league, which I didn't have as a kid.I think that that's amazing and I have tons of juniors that claim it andit's so fun. It's just like they borrowed something from soccer. And soyou play as a team and you play around the country and you have toqualify to join the team as a golfer. But in my days it's a verysolo based sport. But that doesn't mean you don't have practice rounds withfriends and you don't make games in the afternoon. But you got to liketo be alone and and on your own path a lot in the game ofgolf, which I'm totally fine with. Well, you know, my wateris twenty five. She's in bed school now and I when she was growingup, I've coached her and all sports, all right softball to basketball. Sheplayed Lacrosse and then she end up playing field hockey in college. ButI know when I was coaching her basketball team when we live in Cincinnati Ohio, and you know, I have trying to get all these girls together,you know, around that kind of twelve thirteen year old age. A lotof them they want to listen. They wanted to do their own thing,and I know that golf is a huge mental game, right. And sowhen you were twelve and you were a Jim, how did he help yougo from you know, hey, I'm just playing, I really love this, I want to do this in the concentration has to be. So they'reright and I just wonder, I because I've never my daughter never got intogolf. I wish I would have gotten her in the golf because I loveplaying with my boys and I wanted to play with her. But now it'sI feel like it's maybe too late, but I don't know. But thatto me is like the it's golf is probably, at that age over asuper hard and mental game to focus.

So how did you get through thatand what did Jim teach you at that young age? First of all,most of my field hockey girls that I teach are good golfers. So it'snever too late. That's easy. She's for she she was a goalie.Okay. You know what, though, Brook Henderson on the LPGA, she'sone of the top top players. She was a goalie in Canada. Really. Yeah, yeah, I don't know how she can have that ball andout of that like that speed. It's crazy field hockey to me. Iknow, I know, I know, but there's hope and you should startearly. You should start now with her. But in terms of see, thisis where the coaching and teaching comes into play and you helped your basketballteam. So Jim instilled the right, I think, practice protocols, theright game plans to make sure that I I already fell in love with thegame before I Stud Jim Right. It was up to mcclane to to havethe wherewithal and the foresight to say, Hey, this kid's got talent,let's go about it methodically and let's see how good she can be. It'sdifferent if you have kids that play that don't have a lot of talent,then it can become frustrating. So sometimes if I have those kids, itdoesn't mean that they can't fall in love with the game and they just haveto have a different mindset. When you have kids with talent and they havedifferent goals and passions, then you know you can maneuver the game plans andtheir future in a different direction. But I think the overall arching theme isyou can ride the highs and lows of the game of golf and there aremore lows and maybe that it's in all sports. I'm thinking that's in allsports there are more lows than highs. But if you intrinsically love the thegame and the practicing and they getting better and the constant you know, reevaluationof things you can absolutely overcome all the emotional hurdles. I mean, I'vecried so much over this game because I wanted it bad, which I'm sureand be watching with a child who plays a different sport can totally empathize withwhat I'm saying. So with the right coaches at some point, if youneed a sport psychologists or mental performance, I mean there's so many avenues togo and research to you know, alleviate some of those down times. Butit's just you have to have the passion to override those lows. So thenyou get into high school and you go to high school and you've been workingwith Jim now for a few years, I take it, once you getinto ninth grade and you get into that and then you're automatically probably on thegolf team in high school as well and you have a different coach. Soit you know, and I've done that where I've had, you know,coaches outside of the sport I was playing and they teach you one thing andthen the coach are with teachers do another thing and sometimes it doesn't mix.Did you did your coaches kind of have the same philosophy for you? Well, I don't want to date myself, but I did go to high schoolin Connecticut and I did not play on the team because it was only boysand they wouldn't let me play, and so I never had to deal withthat. And also, though, I did play in college and I happento have chosen a coach that would not be intrusive in that way. ButI played nationally as a junior because we have it's the same tour, theAGGA. I love this tour, I love the people that run it andI didn't have to deal with what you're saying. Jim Has always been mymain mentor my main teacher. I play as well as I do today asI did then solely because of this man and his tutelage. One hundred percentof are none. I never sought out another teacher or another coach. I'veobviously had some kids that have come to me, taken lessons from other teachersand come back. I think it's okay if you want to get a secondpair of eyes, but you're in the same I don't want to say method, that's not right, but same liberal, I'm saying Liberals System. I thinkif you go to a different coach, that overhauls or believes a certain wayand wants to see certain thing. Maybe that will work for you.Not Saying, but it might also really...

...hurt. So that's a different discussionas well and and it's when I have with other teachers, my peers,because it's an interesting one. When you see top, top players leave theircoaches and their teachers and go to somebody else who decides to really make achange. Are you ruining the DNA of that player or are you enhancing itand and is it the right move? So it's a it's a really interestingdiscussion and we see it all the time on the tour. So it's avaluable question. I just never had to deal with it. So do youfeel like so when you're in high school, you know, and you don't havea team. They're like a golf team. Do you feel like thathas changed a lot since you've been in golf since high school, like you, obviously you played a lot of tournaments. You still got an opportunity to goand play in college on a great team. You were an ACC champion, all those things and you know, you still got recruited. So doyou feel like golf in high school, four girls should be, should bemore of a fit, you know, more of a sport and all highschools across the country. Or is it okay if the schools don't have them? I yeah, Um, well, look, there's a lot of collegesthat are canceling some golf programs, which I completely vehetmently don't side with asnothing to do with title line. It has to do with these are kidsthat work their ass off to be graded something and you had the opportunity,and I so much believe in the student athlete and everything they have to overcomeand go through in time management, everything that is so wonderful about athletics,and then pair it with academics that I am fullbor on golf teams, Ido think most high schools have actually my high school from both my kids.My daughter will play on the golf team, but it's it's mixed. So lookfor me, did it. was I wanting that and yearning for thatat Greenwich High School? Not in the slightest. I was so happy playingon the Aghda and some other tours with like minded kids. I mean tobe honest, I felt like a total loser growing up in Connecticut Playing Golf. This was a long, long time ago and a lot of kids thoughtI was like ridiculous, and why aren't you playing field hockey and soccer andacrosse? And here I am falling in love with a sport that was notpopular. So in that respect for me it was like she's a big loser. Meanwhile, you know, I got recruit it early. I went toChapel Hell and circuitously now I teach the parents and the kids that thought Iwas like what are you doing? And now it's all cool to play golf. So you know, again it's a different experience for me, but Ilove student athletes and I hope schools find it as valuable. I'm sure asyou you played football. I'm sure we are on the same peach with notdropping programs and doing everything we can to support the student athlete because they bringso much value to the school. Well, yeah, I I am in totalsupport of that, because I think schools, if you have the programsand you've recruited kids, you should make the effort to keep those programs.Because what are you? One of those kids have, then that's what theywent to your school for, that's what you recruited them for, and thenall of a sudden you drop the program and it's like good luck. Youknow, it's terrible. My friend with the William and Mary, yeah,and they dropped three or four programs this year and it's just, you know, what are those kids do? They get to automatically transfer, transfer,you know, and then all of a sudden they're they're uprooted from where they'vebeen. It just it's a terrible situation. So so to drop a program Idon't think it's an easy thing and I think schools really need to reevaluate. You know, where money goes, and I'm sure that the reason they'redropping is because of money, you know, and it's kind of sad, butyou know. And so when I think about what you're talking about,you know, all of a sudden you go to college and you're now you'reon a golf yeah, like you haven't really played like that before, andthen you become captain. You're junior and senior year. Was that experience?Was it to death? Excite you every day. Now you're on a teamwith all girls and like we need to go compete together, and it's youknow, it probably be different. Greatest time in my life, the greatestblessing and maybe it just worked out that way because I didn't have it inhigh school and some of the girls and...

...boys that I teach to do playon a high school team. They feel like I did in college. SoI'm so happy for them. Yeah, I wish my kids that. Iagain, I told you, play a different sport. They don't have theirhigh school doesn't have their sport, and so I always say I can't waitfor you guys to go play in college. So you can feel the way Ifeel. It was the greatest four and a half years in my lifeat North Carolina and those are my friends till the day I die, andI just I happen to have picked the right school the right team and Iwas very fortunate and Lucky. I've had a few kids, not all,like one or two kids, that picked the wrong school team wise, notnecessarily academically, but team wise, and it was a struggle for them andit was the dichotomy of what I had. So I always felt bad for theirthose those two students in particular, and they went to high, highlevel do one teams, high talk and top five teams, and so that'sa shame. So what is the percentage of people that go play golf incollege that make it to the professional ranks. What do you think? That isnothing. Yeah, must up. Yea five percent. Yeah, that'skind of what the NFL is right like you make it. There's a lotof people to play college football and you know they try, but the percentageto go on to play in the NFL is very small, and I'm assuminggolf is a lot like that. Yet becoming on the LPGA earlier and earlier, like maybe you should just go to college for two years. Remember,there's a whole South Korean contingent that they play. They turned professional early on. They have to play the Korean LPGA than another Korean tour before they're allowedto come over to the LPGA. There's only a certain amount of spots tomake the tour. So it is increasingly competitive. Much, much younger,younger than you're going to see on the PGA tour. But when I literallysay these are the best in the world, this is the top one percent,I mean that's all there is to it. So it's a goal,it's a dream. It's for many, many girls and boys, but thelikelihood of it happening is not high. Yeah, so can you explain?I me. Obviously you've played in you want an in, you know,championships in college, and then you go on and I think, what isthe tour called you were on after college? I'm trying to think here. Igot it right here for the Golden Bear, the gold cloths, andthen I played the European tour, right, so, so and then, butyou were on the I think it was world university matches or something.Is that a big that seems like a lot of fun. So tell meabout like, because I know when I'm playing my first game in college ormy first game in the NFL, the butterflies and how nervous I get.So when you get ready, like even when I go golf now, Idon't really get nervous right, because I'm not. I'm like I've been hitby the biggest lineman out there. Like if iding Shank a drive, I'mI'm fine with it right. You know, I've been through other things, butnow I but I've never competed as like a like that, like youhave competed. So are you nervous? You get nervous when you when youknow in one of those situations. Um, that's a good question. I getasked that a lot. I think if you play enough, like youdid, from a junior golfer through college, through Amateur Golf, High Level AmateurGolf, yes, of course you're nervous, but you've been doing itsince you're twelve, thirteen, fourteen years old at the biggest stage. Soyou learn how to deal with nerves and you know everybody's nervous on the firstteam. So if you have that logical sense, that will everybody he's nervous, and you learn for yourself how to calm down, how to get intoyour routine or the process, whatever the case may be. Then you knowall systems are go. But you learn that and you continue to learn itas you go through the stages and the protocols. I was listening to asports psychologist yesterday on a different podcast and he brought up a good point thatI haven't thought about in a while and I do think he's correct, andI've seen this with my own kids, that if kids can learn to winat the appropriate level versus skipping levels, I think that that's also valuable.And if you learn to learn to win at every stage, you're supposed tolearn to win that also helps with, you know, part and parcel ofwhat you're saying, versus skipping levels and then maybe mentally or emotionally, youhaven't already been there, done that,...

...and that can hurt some kids thatare growing up playing as well right right now. Yeah, I definitely understandthe game of golf like because not at your level. I mean I've neverbeen able to play at your level, but I mean I've played a lotof golf in my life and and it it can be very emotional and mentaland and most amateurs, like I am in the wheel fall off, theget fall off and you're never getting back on. But I think professionals likeyou know how to put the wheels back on. You know, fix theflat. Will get back on the road. Not all the time, not allthe time. So like, for the love of you know who,get me off this golf course. Just get me out of here. Imean you be nice. Sometimes clan B doesn't work, clan see doesn't work. Your Short Games often you just call it a day. You know,it's just but that's the game of golf. And again, he learned that earlyon. I mean, if it is what it is, which iswhy put a number at the end of the score card and that's that's whatshe shot. Yeah, now I get you. Hey, everyone, we'retalking to Debbie Doneger Golf instructor extraordinary top fifty women's golf instructor, you nameit. She has a list as long as you can imagine. We're goingto take a short break and then we'll be right back to join it backhere on hottle up with Guff Hi. This is former NFL quarterback gust farat. Six thirty one digital advertising is your onestop shop to promote your businessand get new customers. For Award winning creative to getting as online in displayvideo, Ott connected TV and streaming audio. Go to six thirty one digital ADVERTISINGCOM. Welcome back everyone. Thanks for joining us in the new thirty onedid little new studio produced by amp TV. You can find us on huddle upwith gustscom. Now let's join the huddle everyone. Welcome back after ashort break. We're talking with Debbie today and I think that it's so interestingspeaking with her about her career and her path, and we all have adifferent path to take in her transitions have been amazing. We just learned alittle bit about her college life. So, Debbie, let's get into more aboutthat college experience for you and really what you took from college, andmaybe not what Jim taught you, but what your college coach taught you alittle bit to let you go into the pros and be a pro. Somy coach was more I chose Carolina and I chose my coach because she justlet us be us and trusted that we had a team back home that wouldmake us play the best we could in terms of technically and then that sherecruited kids that and eventually women that totally got along and and we're likeminded andso we could work as a team and we had the same goals. Imean we wanted to win a national championship period. So I was with,you know, five travel and golf, but there were about eight to ninegirls at a time qualifying and you know, like I said before, had thetime of my life and these women now are just, you know,they're part of my heart and my soul. That's how much I love them.And so that's how much I made. That's how good my decision was,right. But in terms of turning professional, look, you know,it's like what I said before you have success in college, you need that. You go play very high level amateur tournaments. Again. Now you're playinga not only against the best in the country and Gal College, but thenamateur wise again, you're playing all summer and if you have success and thebetter you play, the cool invitation to get to play in other tournaments.Like you mentioned the World University Games. I was with five or six othergirls, if I remember correctly, from around the country who were the bestseniors. So all kinds of teams are going to state Simon as I statelike we had the best time and we traveled to Spain and we played againstother countries, and so I think if you see success and you see youcan hang with ostensibly the best at that point in time, the wherewithal tosay if you've if you've got money, because it takes money right, youknow, maybe you could try and and so I did. So it's notnecessary cerrely that. My coach at college was like go dad, you cando this. It's just that you have...

...the right opportunities in front of you, the right tournaments, you play well, you show that maybe you can dothis. You see what's out there. Were already and you can compare andcontrast stats and data acquisition was not prolific at all when I created isnow, so now you can start to measure. Well, do you evenhave a chance? That's and you know so for me it was just likeeverybody else at that point in time. Are you playing well? Do youhave success? Are you one of the best, or is this just awishful thinking kind of thing and you're going to spend two years on the minitours and nothing's going to happen? Right? So, you know, you youhit a little bit on what I wanted to ask you about, likeself scouting and kind of maybe if you're growing up against opponent, you havea scouting report on them. You know, most sports, if you're going toplay somebody, you have a scouting report, whatever it is, wheretheir weaknesses are, where their strengths are, and I don't know in golf ifthere is anything like that where you can you know, do you filmyourself a lot? Do you know to check on your swing, or isit just going out and play and have somebody else watch you and kind ofunderstand where your strengths and weaknesses are? And then if you are playing againstsomebody, do do. I mean there's a big mental game to it thatI can, I could put pressure on this person in certain areas of thegame that they may fold or I may have a chance to be better thanthem. Okay, so it's interesting. So you don't you really don't knowwhy in golf so now and if you're if your viewers and listeners are thesame, it's completely changed. The landscape has totally changed. There's many statsand data platforms that have track not only the PJA TORP but also the bestin college and and it is so delineated. It's from five feet in in twentyfeet in in zero to twenty yards. How not just how far you hittingthe golf ball, but how far is the number one college golfer hittingthe Golf Ball? So every facet of the game that can be tracked,except for the inside. You know, the five footer for Bertie, orare you wait faced with a five footer to save par and makes a cut? You know. So your heart necessarily is not being measured. There's nowreally good technical stuff that's measuring the brain and how it's functioning. So that'sthat's the newest platform. So there's so much technology and golf. I thinkbecause it's a non moving ball, that there's so much we can track offthe course and on the course. You know there's launch monitors, which I'mjust going to mention because you may not know just based on your question,that can spit out from a D perspective exactly how the ball is flying andspinning in the air, but also the dimensions of the golf club halfway downto impact, the halfway through. Then we also, in the game ofGolf, have force plates and pressure plates. So again, though, you're inthe studio, which is easier than your sport because you're running around,but we can measure in a studio your force data. Is it in theright time? Is it in the right space? How much force are youproducing? Everybody has lateral, rotary, in vertical force. Is the timingcorrect? which is more than another? Should it be more than the other? And then we also have tons of D that we can put on somebodyto really see not only the forces, so the Kinematics, but also thekinetics. So the kinetics are the forces, the kinematics are the motions. Sowhen you see still pictures, it doesn't really do anybody a service anymore. Because it's a still picture. You don't right know when the force hashappened to create that still picture. So right, you know there's there's somuch technology. I think our sport is the most in terms of using technologythan any other sport. But again I think it's because it's easy. Wecan put you into studio and you grab all this data and then we puton the golf course and grab all this data and it is so valuable.Nah, it's all information. So what the coach, the teacher, thestrength and conditioning coach, the PT, the Cairo, the mental performance coach, the stats guy, the nutritionist,...

...what you do with that information isprobably even more important than gathering the information, because it's just information. Now,how you apply it is really the art of it. And so whenyou get to this kind of rabbit hole, yeah, with a student, youbetter have a team around you that can extrapulate what's important what's not.What's you what's not? Is it important? You know. So it's there forus and it's amazing, but then the application of it is the key. Do you ever? Do ever see all this new technology, because I'msure with what you do, you see it all coming at you everybody wantyou to try. Hey, we just got this new thing we're put onthe end of the club. We can major and monitor every inch of everylike you said, rotation, you name it, if you ever seen anything, and you go. Man, I wish I would have had that whenI was playing back in high school. A hundred percent. I would sorrythe why AMCA doing some crazy exercise thing that I saw in golf digest nowright. I mean it's a joke. I mean the fitness trailer on thePJ tour is literally a joke. My best friend, or one of mybest friends, is a trainer on tour and so he and I talked allthe time. I mean the the amount of incredible information to build a workoutprogram for said individual is not only paramount, it's imperative. And again, thosepeople, I'll be it, not as many as one would think,but but those people are out there and oh yeah, yeah, if youhave to be strong to play this game, you have to hit the ball farto play at a very high level, and so that information, I wishI had that. The equipment now versus when I played is awesome.And then, like I said, it would be awesome to have had forceplate data. That would have been cool. It would have been awesome to havelike all kinds of stuff on the golf club and D data. Imean, I don't know, would have been amazing, and so I justthink it's so cool in our sport that we have all that at our fingertips. Again, though, it's the application of it that is the most importantthing. Yeah, it's so amazing to me that that how the people canzoom in and they just they just know their distances and you know they're readingeverything. I don't even hardly even use a you know, if I'm ahundred fifty out, I just kind of have a field for it and I'dsay I'm a hundred fifty out. It feels like the winds blown a littlebit. I'm going to hit my nine instead of my pigeon edge, youknow, something like that. So I'm kind of old school. I don'tuse a lot of the technologies and everything. That's probably why of my games notso great right now. But you know, how do you feel likebecause because do you see like players that have played back in the day kindof use that, or are a lot of the older players really taking thetechnology to heart? And using it to their advantage. I would say theladder. It would be odd for me to see somebody at the very topof their ladder, top of their game, not using some sort of technology tomeasure. There's no reason to guess if you can measure nowadays. Imean, that would just be ignorant the players and and the coach is andthe teachers. I mean there would be. It would just be ignorant and ifyou're trying to gain an edge on another player, I don't know whyyou wouldn't use technology. Doesn't mean that there aren't great teachers out there thathave incredible eyes, which Harmon you know, Jim let said, Chuck Cook,Crandy Smith. These are guys that I now, thankfully, can callfriends. They're at the top of the food chain in terms of instructors.Mike Adams, he's amazing. He's become a mentor of mine. They haveincredible eyes, they have thirty years of experience on me. They've taught thebest of the best, but they use technology. So if you can marryboth, that's where the art and science comes in and that's where those guysare brilliant. And there are many more that you know just they're just brilliantteachers. So, like when I coach you on quarterbacks, I can kindof see if their mechanics are off. You know what I mean by howthey're doing certain things. How fast you recognize that when you're teaching somebody likehey, you're not your swings not the same as it was last week whenyou came in. Good question. I think you should go with ball flight. What their ball flight? What's the ball doing? You know, justme personally, like, for example,...

...when I would play on the Europeantour and come back after four weeks, I mean I definitely had my setupwas different, my ball flight was different because I'm playing in the wind,in the rain for four weeks and you know, at that point in time, Jim, I would come back and see Mclean and be like, ohmy God, what's happening here? But the conditions I was playing in,that that can start to alter the geometry of your swing, the ball flight. So you always work, in my opinion, off of barring that youhaven't injured yourself and you're okay. They you work off a ball flight andwhat it should be for you. Everything is individualized. It's end of oneand that's becoming more and more prevalent engulf to it's not this broad picture.It's definitely end of one. You are who you are. This is whatyou do, these are your anthropological measurements. This is what your body can andcan't do. We've had you physically assessed in the gym, by theway. I'm making this very simplistic. And this is how your grip shouldbe and this is how your body should move and and this is the ballflight we're going after. Those are those are swing DNA things that you know, slowly begin to learn for yourself. Nothing it's easy to self correct.But the broader picture is its end of one. Right. Yeah, no, I agree with that, because everybody has a different swing. I meanyou got and play with New People all the time and you see it's like, you know, we're all different, but the balls getting the same spotsomehow, some way. So let's go back to when you're playing professionally.Now you're on the you're on a few different tours, you're doing different things. When did you have the idea that you know, like for me,I knew I was like enough to play a long time in the NFL,but I knew it wasn't going to last forever. So I had to figureout at some point my transition what was going to be. And you obviouslyhave become a great coach, a great teacher. When did you think thatthat was going to be your path? I know it's a good question.You know I my mom doesn't love when I say this, but I camehome from the European tour was fully prepared to qualify for the LPGA and Imissed it by one or two shots. And this was my fourth time missingq school and I was in my mid s and again, very emotional.I'm a woman. And Yeah, I wanted it so, so bad andyou know, there were there were a few factors. One, I hada few friends that left the tour. I didn't hit it very far.I'm going to say far enough, but not far enough. You know,when I played against Lord Davies, I mean she would hit it fifty byme. So does that mean I'm not as good with my seven wood asshe is with her seven iron? No, because I had to compete. ButRight Day out on a major tour, the odds are she's going to kickmy butt more often than not. And then also financially at that pointin time. It's very it was very top heavy. So how much moneywas I really going to make? And I want I wanted to make money. I have to support myself. So there were a few factors. Also, you know, if if you have a dream of having a relationship andhaving a family as a woman, it's not the easiest lifestyle. Yeah,reguardless of which, whatever side of the aisle you're on, it's not aneasy lifestyle. You are on the road and if you want to have children, eventually you're on the road. So I talked to Jim because he healso played for living and then left the tour and we both decided let's takea little break, need to figure some stuff out. And I took alittle break and he suggested that why don't I just look into teaching. Imean I know I've been with him my whole life and I could put ona fast track within his system. At the time, the McClean school,we were one of the number one golf schools in the country. There wereother ones competing with us, but like led and like Adams and a littlebit no butched. I'm not sure it's sure. Bich had a school backthen, but I fell in love and poured as much passion as I didfor playing for a living. Well, and I wanted to you know,Jim was my mentor and now my boss, and I wanted to you know,I was I was twenty five of twenty six. I wanted to showhim that I could do this. So, you know, some of it wasthat, some of it was I loved now teaching and coaching. Iloved what he did and I just poured...

...my heart and soul into that,which makes sense given my personality. And so I've been teaching and coaching eversince and that journey in and of itself is so interesting and I'm very fortunateand, you know, very lucky. I mean golf has given me alot. So I'm I'm super lucky to be doing what I'm doing. Yeah, I feel the same way about my career as well. So do youremember the first person you actually like? This is my first student that I'mgoing to coach. You know, that's good question. No, I don't. Yeah, but McClean, I saw. I went on a fast track withhim a draft. Then he sent me to Pja West. We hada golf school out there with some top one hundred teachers as well, andand I spent a ton of time with somebody named Carl Weldy, who isone of Jim's mentors nonetheless, and and I was teaching there and I rememberthat. You know, I had a good basis for what I was doingby I never really you know, I hadn't really taught a lot before Iwas assisting in golf school. So I was watching Jim all the time,watching other top a hundreds. But I feel like I was very much acheerleader at that point in time. Like did I get people better? Yes, but I was very like, oh my gosh, you did it,you know, fast for you know, twenty five, thirty years later.Yeah, I have no problem saying look, Dude, this is not okay,this is not you know, we need to get on a plan herein a peach here that makes sense. So we're not going to get anybetter. So you know, that just comes from years and years and experienceand watching. But I don't remember that first student. Well, it's funny. How about this one? Have you ever had a parent come up toyou and say I think my son or daughter could play in the PGA tour? Right now. I had that I was at coaching my son's youth teamand I had a dad come up to me. Our kids were eight yearsold and dad said, Hey, did you meet my son? I saidYeah, Andrew was a really nice kid and he goes yeah, yeah,he's nice whatever. I said, yeah, what do you want, Rick andhe goes, do you think he has a shot? I said ashot at what? What are you talking about? Well, do you thinkyou can plain in the NFL? And I said Ricky's eight right there,you know, like, I don't know, he can never grow again, hecan fall out of love with the sport. You might want to playsomething else. How can you ask that? So I'm how has that been likewhen you have to deal because the kids are one thing, the kidsare always usually great, but the parents are did a whole nother story.Yeah, I mean just I think it's an every sport. I know it'smy sport all the time. What's worse is I get parents who want theirkid to play at a very high level DNE program and you know, Ithink you and I can tell by the time they're fourteen, fifteen, whetherthat may happen or may not. And so that's a hard conversation to bringa family back to reality, and sometimes it's just too late, sometimes itdoesn't happen, sometimes they don't want to recognize it. But then I havea ton of families who are like, let's just see how good she canbe. I mean that's one of the things Dr Rotella, he's a notedsports psychologist, told one my students whose family had other ideas and he justpared it down. Let's just see how good she can be. And theother cool thing, and I think you'll like this in particular, I won'tmention the school. It's a very I would say, let's just say topthree program in the country for men's College Golf. Okay, that coach saidto me Debby, if they're good, we will find them. So yeah, that whole that stuck with me and that has turned out to be onehundred percent true, because we have had kids who haven't quite played a plethoraof agga tournaments or national junior tournaments. It's been sporadic, but they're goodand we have gotten inquiries from top, top coaches said tell me a littlebit about this kid. They do find you. Oh yeah, they do. I mean I went to a tiny, tiny school here in Pennsylvania. Wehad nineteen kids my senior year. You know, we didn't know howto get recruited or anything. And they find you. I went to Universityof Tulsa and and, you know,...

...just having a good career and theyjust find you. And I tell kids at all the time. These kidswant to go to yeah, I know, I was just I was just sayingthat. You know, if you're good enough, they find you.I tell kids that all the time. No matter where you are, justbe who you are, enjoy your experience, play the game that you love,play the sport that you love, and if it's meant to be,it's meant to be, and I truly believe that. So, Debbie.Now, now you're you've been doing this for a long time. You haveplenty of experience. You travel probably all over. I know you've been.I've seen you on, you know, whether it's in a magazine or onthe golf netwhere, or the you know, golf channel, different things. You'realways you're always doing a great job of promoting the game. What exciteyou about the game of golf? And to excite I think really to bringmore people involved in it. I think we missed the crowds this year anda lot of the tournaments. But what excite you right now about the gameof golf? Well, I think the game of golf, unfortunately, becausewe're in a pandemic, has grown because of the pandemic. So I can'tstand what's happening in the world. I mean I can't. I physically andemotionally can't stand it. But having said that, people have come to thegame of golf. I mean I've taught I don't know, twenty people knewto the game that would have never taken it up at all. So thatexcites me because now we've got New People in the game. Junior golf isgrowing, junior girls golf is growing. We had a woman president as thePJ of America. She have to be one of my close friends. Ihope that golf is becoming the only reason I brought that up with Susie isI think golf should be an example of just maybe changing with the Times thatwere. We're all inclusive. I don't want people to think that golf isjust what the connotation was years and years ago, that it's it's for acertain person or a certain class of people. It's not. It's for everybody.I teach kids that play at the public golf course. I mean it'sit's there for the taking for everybody and it's a fabulous sport that you canplay for the rest of your life in business, you're outside. I havenever had more fun laughing, crying hysterically then with my friends on a golfcourse. So I just hope more people take up the game and and there'sso many coaches and teaches at teachers out there across the country and at thesame passion as I do, that just want to teach and have you lovethe game as much as all of us have. And I think it's universalthat my peers, people, even mentors that I look up to, thatI go and watch teach, even them. So peers and they and also thosepeople there's among the best. We all want to learn, we're allstriving to get better. That's universal and we are all so thankful for thegame of golf and what it is brought to us in terms of relationships andfriendships and connections and networking and all of those wonderful things about this game.So if anybody's out there and has never taken it up or want to.If you just remember those valuable tenants, I can't imagine that that somebody wouldn'ttake it up right right, and I think that even you know, asyou hear about the old country clubs, you know, and there their privateand these people, I mean I live right by one. That's that.Sometimes I even feel like that when I go in there because I'm not amember of that club and and it. But as you get in there andyou realize that that golf has from become way more progressive, kind of right, and I think that that's that's been great. There's still some old rulesand understandings that this is this is how things were done, that's how we'realways going to do them. And I've played a lot of golf courses overthe country and I think you're right about that. We've seen the inclusion andagress. Let us know how everyone can find you and you know what you'reup to next, where we can see you, what you're doing. Imean you've helped author books, you've done all kind of stuff. So pleaselet everybody know how they can find you. So I guess just follow me onInstagram at Debra DB R a age dona, Guarddo and IGAR and Idon't use twitter that much. It's at Debbie donegar. But I do abunch of stuff for Digest and Golf magazine and I'm trying to put out somevaluable drills and you know, hopefully we'll...

...see what happens in terms of seriousand the pandemic. Maybe I'll be out there again next year, which Iloved, and we'll see what happens. You know they be golf media landscapeis ever changing. So who knows that there's an opportunity out there on I'mhappy to give it a go. Of given it so, but thank youso much for your support and thank you for all those questions. Very interestingand if it inspires anyone with a anybody with a kid out there to takeup the game, then then we did our job. Yeah, that's that'swhat it's all all about, getting more people to play, because it isa fabulous game. So one last question for me as an amateur, I'mlike an aid handicap. I'm I'm what. I just have fun playing. Butif there was one thing you would tell me to go work on rightnow, but even know my game, what would it be? Well,givring your background and that you played football, I would go get a physical evaluationjust find out where you're mobile, not mobile, stable, not stable. I'm you have enough mass so that's not going to be a problem andhitting the ball far. But I would be armed with that information on asimplistic level to take to a teacher and say, Hey, I have nohit mobility, what do I do about that? Or because you can havea swing that can fit your body. But you need to be armed withthat information. Yeah, so is that like? I mean, I've donethe track man before, but that didn't give me any that information. No, you literally have to go see somebody to be physically evaluated. Just ifwe're can I movement? Just go to your local gym, but I wouldgo to somebody who's, you know, smart and trained and has done thisyears and years and can just give you look. It can get as detailsand crazy as you want, but if you just like to know how yourbody functions, then a simple human movement screen would be very valuable to taketo your next lesson. Awesome, awesome. Well, Hey, debby, Ireally appreciate you joining us. Sorry that we cut out a few times, but I know this is this is a crazy day and you know we'reall excited to see what happens. So and probably we're all excited to seeto have it over with as well it's been. It's been an insane processthe last few months. So I appreciate you taking the time to join uson huddle up with gusts. Thank you so much for having me all right. Thank you, debbi. There she is, Debbie Donegar, one ofthe greatest coaches out there. If you want to see her, obviously followher on Instagram at Debor donegar. So, everyone, I really appreciate you joiningus another episode of huddle up with gusts. You can find us onRADIOCOM or wherever you listen to your favorite podcast. You can also find uson huddle up with gustscom and the new one thousand six hundred and thirty oneto join news. Have a great day. Hi, this is former NFL quarterbackgusts far at six thirty one. Digital advertising is your onestop shop topromote your business and get new customers. For Award winning creative to getting asonline in display video, Ott connected TV and streaming audio. Go to sixthirty one digital advertisingcom.

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