Golf Instructors

  • Garret Cwalina

    Garret Cwalina
    PGA Director of Instruction

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    Garret is in his 3rd season at the Penn State Golf Courses.

    Garret is a Penn State Professional Golf Management graduate in the class of 2021 and a PGA Golf Professional with over five years of teaching experience with advanced and beginner juniors, high school, adult, and senior golfers. He is a U.S Kids Certified Coach and uses a fun-first teaching style, allowing his students to enjoy getting better and learning a game they can play for a lifetime.

    Garret is available for individual or group lessons. To contact him, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    Garret’s Golf Tips:

    Have trouble with long-distance putts? Try using a metronome on your phone. Find a tempo to use that feels comfortable for you. Take the club back on one click, and hit the ball on the next one. This drill will create a consistent tempo with every putt, crucial for distance control.

    Chipping is a valuable skill that can save you several shots in a round of golf. I notice far too often that players chip with the same stance as a 7-iron. Have your feet close together and choke down on the club one inch. Open the clubface, so the bounce of the club is exposed.

    Struggle hitting iron shots behind the ball? Try putting a golf towel down 1 inch behind the ball. Then try hitting the ball without making contact with the towel.
  • Brian Short

    Brian Short
    PGA Head Golf Professional

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    Brian has been the PGA Head Golf Professional since 2017. He was our PGA Assistant Golf Professional since 2003 at the Penn State Golf Courses. His teaching backgroung includes running junior programs, clinics, teaching PGA PGM Player Development classes at Penn State as well as 15 years of private and group instruction. Brian was elected to class A PGA Membership in May 2010.

    Brian's Golf Tips

    Splash the Sand!

    Do you spend too much time in the sand? Do you take more than one or two shots to get out of the bunker? Well there is a simple and easy way to get your ball up and out in a hurry.

    The sand shot is the only shot in golf where you forget about the golf ball. The most important idea to think about when hitting a sand shot is to splash the sand onto the green. The big question is how do you splash sand onto the green? You start with your stance, have a good knee flex and let your arms hang down naturally. Second, the alignment of the clubface and your feet should create a “V”. This will allow you to swing on a more upright path, which will allow you to slide the clubface under the ball without digging deep. When swinging the golf club, try to keep a quite lower body, meaning there is not a lot of weight being transferred from your front to your back foot. Another important aspect of splashing sand onto the green is to remember to always follow through on your swing. If you do not follow through on your swing it is more than likely the ball will stay in the bunker. If you have any questions or concerns about sand shots feel free to contact one of our P.G.A. Golf Professionals for further instruction.

    Always be ready to Hit

    Plan your shot and pick your club while approaching the ball.
    Carry a spare ball in your pocket. When in doubt, play a provisional.

    Don't Waste Time

    Never record your scores on or near the green.
    Don't leave your bag in front of the green. Leave it off to the side towards the next tee.
    Give instructions only on the driving range.
    When a ball is lost for two minutes wave the following group through.
    Drop off cart passenger, and then go to your ball.

    On the Tee

    The first player ready to hit should do so.
    Watch other players drive so you can determine location of ball, if necessary.
    After hitting, return to your clubs and be ready to proceed.

    On the Green

    Park your cart and clubs to the rear of the green, in line with the next tee.
    Line up your putt before your turn.
    Putt continuously until you hole out, unless restricted by another golfer's line.

    Picking up

    Take a maximum of eight strokes on any fairway.
    If you are a low handicapper, pick up after a triple bogey.

1523 W. College Ave, State College, PA 16801