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Golf pros technique: $10 for a 10-minute lesson

BROOKSVILLE

In the time it will take you to read this story, you can have a golf lesson. That may sound like the beginning of an infomercial, but it is what the The Dunes at Seville Golf Club is offering. Just before golfers hit the links, they can grab a short golf lesson to tinker with their swing.

Dubbed the Ten Minute Tune Up and for a small $10 fee, an instructor will help a golfer at the driving range, fine tuning anything that might be wrong with his or her game.

"When they get here and see something bad (about their game) they think 'Oh my god, what am I going to do?' " Dunes course pro Harry Andrews said. "But we can set them straight and they go off the first tee with a positive attitude.

"This 10-minute thing gets them on track so they can play."

Course manager Jim Cocchi basically stole his own idea. He used to do this 27 years ago when he worked at Plantation Inn and Golf Resort in Crystal River, where he would just help people on the range before they headed off to the first tee.

"I thought I just go back to what I used to do," Cocchi said. "It's a nominal fee and most people don't do lessons — if we're lucky 1 percent of them do — and something like this they'll do because they say, 'Hey, help me out. I'm struggling.' "

Decked out in lab coats, there are four instructors available Friday through Sunday, and as the fall season picks up, Cocchi hopes to make a "technician" available daily starting Oct. 1.

One of the instructors, Steve LaFalce, owner of Indoor Golf Center in Hudson, says a golfer might get to the course and won't be hitting the ball well. So, even with the limited 10 minutes, it's about working on the swing.

"It goes back to fundamentals with the Ten Minute Tune Up — they're not hitting the ball solid, so what is it? Is it the posture, the grip or the alignment?" LaFalce said. "That's all you can cover in 10 minutes and those are things that they can work on during the round."

Cocchi might be right about most people not taking serious lessons. Many casual golfers like to self teach themselves and learn as they go on the course. Similar to Sharon Zimmerlin, who, like her husband, Mike, use the quick lesson just to tighten up their games beforehand.

"I like this a lot because sometimes you don't want an hour-long lesson and you have little problem that you need to work out," Zimmerlin said. "It's like touching up a painting — putting finishing touches on something that needs to be fixed."

Cocchi, along with Andrews, acknowledges the time constraints that golfers will have at the course. A lot of times, golfers won't even have time to get to the range. But for those who do, something may still be off and just not seeing it because they are within their own swing.

And that's where this 10-minute concept is perfect.

"This is for people in a funk, and we can knock them right out of it," Cocchi said. "People will grab a bag of balls and try to find their swing and can't. That because they can't always see what they're doing.

"This will be professional advice by professional eyes that will see it and help these people find and make their shot."

Community Sports Editor Mike Camunas can be reached at mcamunas@sptimes.com or (352) 544-1771.

>>Fast facts

Ten Minute Tune Up

Where: The Dunes at Seville Golf Club, 18200 Seville Clubhouse Drive

Who: Four instructors on site to offer advice

Cost: $10

When: Available Friday through Sunday, but The Dunes looks to make it available every day as the fall season picks up

For details: Call Jim Cocchi at (352) 596-7888.

Golf pros technique: $10 for a 10-minute lesson 09/23/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 23, 2008 6:07pm]
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