next on the tee is a golf podcast featuring conversations with the greats of the game.
Hear Tour Legends, Players, and Top Instructors sharing their stories, insights, and playing lessons to help you play better and have more fun.
In this special segment of Next on the Tee, I’m joined by Michael Vrska, Director of Custom Fitting & Player Performance for Callaway. Michael is one of THE foremost authorities on equipment in the industry. He and I sat down at the PGA Merchandise Show to talk about their new AI Smoke driver and iron set. He explains how Callaway went about designing the new line, the research and technology that went into it, and why that technology will help you hit longer and straighter shots. Michael also talks about the importance of getting fit for the right golf ball and what to do to find the right one for your game.
On this episode, I’m joined by former Rams Pro Bowl QB Jim Everett, 2014 Georgia PGA Teacher of the Year Kevin Roman, former Tour Caddy and Founder of Inspiring Warriors Golf Russ Holden, and Oklahoma Junior Golf Hall of Famer, Tour Caddie, & Wife, Tami Mayfair.
Jim Everett is a long-time friend and his football IQ and insights are off the charts good. I get his thoughts on the Steelers QB situation, where he thinks the Steelers should go in the draft, his admiration for Jared Goff, Dan Campbell’s ill fated decisions to forego 2 crucial field goals, and some of his favorite Pro-Am stories.
Kevin Roman is not only one of the Top Teachers in our game, he’s also an equipment expert. If you’re thinking about buying new wedges, irons, or a driver Kevin lets you know what to consider and how to pick out what’s right for your game.
Russ Holden has had a passion for giving back to our military Veterans and wounded warriors for many years. First, he established the Caddy for a Cure program to provide wonderful experiences for Veterans to caddy for PGA Tour stars plus presenting them life-changing gifts. He’s taken that up a notch with his new organization Inspring Warriors Golf (www.iwg.golf). If you’re a Veteran or know one, this is an important segment.
We round this week’s show with a visit from Tami Mayfair. Tami has had an amazing career in the game. We hear about her junior golf career which culminated with her being inducted into the Edmond, Oklahoma Junior Golf Hall of Fame. She starred on the Arizona State Women’s Golf team at a time when both the women’s and men’s teams were winning national championships. She’s also had a fantastic career in the broadcasting side of golf. She tells us some funny stories from her days covering The Masters. Tami is the one who figured out that her husband Billy Mayfair, might be on the Autism spectrum. Hear what tipped her off and what life has been like for both of them since he was officially diagnosed.
Tom Patri is back with me this week along with 3 Next on the Tee rookies, 1984 National Champion John Inman, 1986 Florida State Amateur Champion Barry Cheesman, and Robert Morris University Head Men’s Golf Coach Steve Shingledecker.
TP and I got into this past weekend’s Wasted Management Open and if it has gone from being The People’s Open to needing The People’s Court? We also talk about the rash of 60 and sub 60 rounds we’ve seen recently, plus the resurrection of the Maxfli golf ball.
John Inman won the 1984 National Championship while at the University of North Carolina. We hear about that victory, what it was like teaming with Davis Love III and Jack Nicklaus II to win the 1983/84 ACC Championship, getting the better of Rocco Mediate twice at the ’84 Western Amateur and the Provident Classic, plus whether his brother Joe, a 4-time winner between the PGA & Champions Tours, would make a great next Commissioner of the PGA Tour.
Barry Cheesman started out as a Minor League baseball player in the Cardinals farm system back in the 70s. He later turned his attention to golf and won the 1986 Florida State Amateur Championship. We hear that story plus about his 2 wins on the Ben Hogan Tour including at Quail Hollow outside of Cleveland. We also hear what it took to be a long driver out on Tour in the days of persimmon woods and balata golf balls.
Steve Shingledecker is a great multi-sport athlete. He was an All-American baseball player at North Carolina State. He coached Franklin High School in the Pittsburgh area to the 2006 AAA PIAA basketball state championship, and he’s now the Head Men’s Golf Coach at Robert Morris. We started out talking about his high school friendship/rivalry with Top 100 Instructor and fellow Pittsburgh area native Eric Johnson during their Oil Creek Region days. We transitioned to his college baseball days at NC State where he was the ACC Tournament MVP in 1990. We then got into his golf career and being in the mix at the 2002 Pennsylvania State Mid Amateur Championship, what it was like leading Franklin High to that state basketball championship, and now building the Robert Morris men’s golf program.
On this episode I’m joined by PGA Professional & Director of Golf at Alpine Country Club John Mascari, 2019 Champions Tour Player of the Year Scott McCarron, 2-time winner on Tour and now Top Instructor Rick Fehr, plus 2008 Minnesota Teacher of the Year and 2022/2023 Top Instructor in South Dakota Todd Kolb.
John Mascari weighs in on the state of professional golf and where he thinks it’ll be 5-10 years down the road. We hear the best pieces of advice he’s been given in his business and golf careers and if the golf ball rollback is much to do about nothing.
Scott McCarron shares his thoughts on golf becoming more of a worldwide game and if Rory was right in saying we could see a Premier League like structure. He also shared his thoughts on what it will be like when Tiger comes to play out on the Champions Tour, and we looked back on his first PGA Tour victory and how Johnny Miller’s comments on the practice range fueled him to turn a 1 shot lead over Tom Watson into a 5 stroke victory. We finish off hearing about a great property he recently bought down in the Bahamas in Jack’s Bay Club which features courses designed by Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.
Rick Fehr won twice out on the PGA Tour. He is also one of the most decorated amateur players in the last 40 years. He helped BYU win a national championship and he was low Amateur in the 1984 Masters and US Open. Rick teaches in the Seattle area. We focused our conversation on the mental side of the game. We talked about how to get into a flow state or “the zone”. He shared tips for how to figure out which tips on the internet are good and which ones may be leading us down the wrong path. Rick was annually one of the best putters on Tour and provided some drills to help us make more putts.
Todd Kolb rounds out the show. He’s one of the Top Instructors in the north-central part of the country. He has written a wonderful book titled, The Bad Lie, Why Traditional Golf Instruction is Failing You and What To Do Instead. We delve into why that’s the case and what his Vertical Line Swing System is. We get tips for how to hit a high, soft flop shot, how to gain more distance off the tee for those of us north of 50, and how to get your hips to turn versus sway in your downswing.
I ran into two great friends and Top Instructors in our game, Rob Strano and Debbie O’Connell while walking the floor of the PGA Merchandise show. We talked about new putting products, AI’s impact on the game, resurrecting old equipment, feel vs. data, rooting for small businesses, Season 6 of The Golf Kingdom, the power of the mind, focusing on our positive shots, and getting over the one hole that always gets us.
What a privilege to get to spend some time with one of the great people you get to meet in this life, Melissa Fitzgerald.
Melissa played Carol Fitzpatrick, CJ’s assistant, on The West Wing. You’ve also probably seen her movies like The Truman Show and Monument Avenue or on other TV shows like Gray’s Anatomy and Chasing The Hill.
Melissa and I start out talking about growing up in Philadelphia. She is the daughter of a father who was a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Judge and her mother was also politically active and volunteered in the community. They are graduates of the University of Pennsylvania. I asked Melissa what it was like for her to give the commencement speech at Chestnut Hill College. We then delved into how loyal West Wing fans are to the cast and show. She talks about the support she’s gotten over the years from her West Wing cast members, and the new book that she and Mary McCormack have written about their West Wing experience called, What’s Next, due out later this summer.
We then transition into the incredible work she’s done following the show. We hear about how the In Excelsis Deo episode became a reality for her when she was hired as the Director of Justice for Vets, a non-profit organization focused on veterans’ treatment courts. It has recently gone through a rebranding to All Rise. Her cast mates have rallied around her in her new role to help raise money and awareness for the great things this court system is doing to help our Veterans, who are dealing with substance abuse or mental health issues, get their lives back on track.
Be sure to check out the great things Melissa and All Rise are doing online at www.allrise.orgplus give her a follow on Instagram or X @maffyfitz. The book will be available later his summer in August. You can pre-order on Amazon. I will try to get both Melissa and Mary McCormack to join me when the release date gets closer.
I had the privilege of spending a few minutes with Jill Spiegel, President of the PGA Tour SuperStore, on the floor of the PGA Merchandise Show. Jill is one of the most influential people in the golf retail business. I got her thoughts on the shift in the retail soft goods side of the business over the years, some of the merging trends for 2024, where Nike stands in the market now, their relationship with the Travis Matthew brand, and what influences AI will have going forward.
This week I am joined by 4 of the Top Instructors and Body Movement experts in the game.
Keith Jarvis is a Lead Instructor at Golf Channel Academy. He can be found in the New York/New Jersey areas and on the V1 app. Keith breaks down Trackman data and helps us understand what smash factor is, what good spin rate numbers are off the driver, how to take a pivot after we strike the ball, and why you should tee the ball lower than what you’ve been told.
Terry Hashimoto is the Founder of BodiTrak Golf and Golf Rehab.com. Terry explains why all good players have 80+% of their weight on the lead leg by the time they get to the top of their backswing. We also learn why golf is a great rehab game for those suffering from concussions, and which fundamentals are no longer relevant.
Katherine Robers is the Top Movement Skills person and Yoga Instructor in the world in my opinion. She’s about to begin her 10th season working with the Chicago Cubs. She takes us through how she can help those of us suffering from some sort of injury get back in the game. We hear how ground reaction forces can help us generate more distance, and some stretches we can do to warm up before we go play.
TP joins me and shares his thoughts on last week’s PGA Merchandise Show, the time he spent working with Jackie Burke Jr., Rory’s about-face on yet another LIV issue, and who he’s picking to win the Super Bowl.
Former Giants 2-time Super Bowl Champion DB Mark Collins joins me on this special segment of Next on the Tee. Mark talks about his favorite Pro-Ams to play in including the Mid Penn Bank Celebrity Golf Tournament. We hear about his recent trip to the TaylorMade Kingdom, his week working with Butch Harmon, how Butch got him to realize that golf is supposed to be fun since he doesn’t play it for a living, the courses on Mark’s bucket list, and who he thinks will be playing in the Super Bowl.
This week I’m joined by Tom Patri and a trio of Next on the Tee rookies, one of the Top 100 Teachers to Watch for 2024 & 2025 Meaghan Francella, one of the most decorated Amateur players ever Steve Scott, and the Director of Golf at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts Brendan Walsh.
TP and I recap where we aren’t with the PIF/PGA Tour merger, Keith Pelley’s resignation as CEO of the DP World Tour, Martin Slumber’s resignation from the R&A, plus a playing lesson to help you fix your slice.
Meaghan Francella won back-to-back New York State junior championships in the late 90s. She would go on to win the Conference USA title at the University of Memphis before transferring to the University of North Carolina and winning the ACC Championship there. We hear those stories plus her remarkable debut on the LPGA Tour where she beat Annika Sorenstam in a playoff to win the MasterCard Classic in just her second start on Tour.
Steve Scott was another accomplished junior player having won the 1992, ’93, and ’94 South Florida Junior Championship. He was an All-American at the University of Florida, winning 3 individual titles his senior season. He famously battled Tiger Woods in the 1996 US Amateur taking a 5 UP lead into the last 18 holes of their match. If Steve hadn’t reminded Tiger to move his ball mark back on the 16th green, he would have won the match 3&2. Instead, he did the right thing and went on to lose the match on the 38th hole. The golf gods gave him great karma as he went on to a great amateur career including 2 appearances in the Walker Cup and now as a top Broadcast Analyst for ESPN and PGA Tour Live.
Brenden Walsh is the Director of Golf at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. He is the 12th of 15 children to a father who is a Philadelphia golf legend and a mother who is clearly a saint. Brendan played his college golf over at the College of Wooster just outside of Akron, Ohio. He won the 1996 Connecticut Open. During his tenure at The Country Club, he hosted the 1999 Ryder Cup, 2013 US Amateur, and the 2022 US Open. Hear all those stories and more during our conversation.
In this special segment of Next on the Tee, I'm joined by Michael Vrska, Director of Custom Fitting & Player Performance for Callaway. Michael is one of THE foremost authorities on equipment in the industry.
On this episode, I'm joined by former Rams Pro Bowl QB Jim Everett, 2014 Georgia PGA Teacher of the Year Kevin Roman, former Tour Caddy and Founder of Inspiring Warriors Golf Russ Holden, and Oklahoma Junior Golf Hall of Famer, Tour Caddie, & Wife, Tami Mayfair.