Happy but Tired Campers at Seltzer Golf Academy
By Kelly Hill
Kim Gary needed to return to work in order to relax.
After 90 holes of golf, thousands of swings and hours of swing analysis in a five-day period, Gary, who owns Kent Beverage, Inc. in Grand Rapids, needed to return to his office in order to rest. The five-day Jack Seltzer Golf Academy at Shanty Creek in Bellaire was all the golf Gary and his wife, Pam, could handle.
"It's nice to come back to work and relax a little bit," quipped Gary, who attended the camp that ran from July 29 through August 2. "Jack (Seltzer) said that five days might be too much, and I think I agree with him."
But there was no question the Garys were happy although tired campers.
For five days in late July and early August, Kim and Pam Gary had Jack Seltzer all to themselves. Long known as one of the state's best teachers, Seltzer was retained by Shanty Creek last year to launch his golf school at the well-regarded resort. Because no other students had enrolled in that particular five-day weekend session of the Jack Seltzer Golf Academy at Shanty Creek, Seltzer's 25 years of professional golf experience belonged solely to the Garys.
"I went up there with one expectation," Kim Gary said. "I've been a notoriously short ball hitter, and I mean with all of my clubs. I was about three clubs off what everyone else was hitting." Gary went to Shanty Creek with the mere hope of hitting his 3-iron more than 150 yards. He left Shanty Creek hitting his 7-iron 150 yards. He also left having improved every aspect of his game, including his course management.
Each of the academy's five days began at 8:30 a.m. and concluded with a late-afternoon round of golf. In between, Seltzer instructed the Garys on proper swing techniques, the short and game and course management tactics.
"We hit over 600 balls each the first day," Gary said. "The system (Seltzer) has in place includes his reviewing video with you. When he is reviewing your swing he also is making a tape of his critique of your swing. That was nice because we ended up with our full five days of lessons on a tape in our hands."
While Gary went to Bellaire hoping to improve his long game, he also improved his short game. "Unexpectedly, the school went into great detail about the short game," Gary said. "I learned an awful lot about the short game. My wife thought the same thing, that the lessons on the short game were the most valuable. (Seltzer) also explains things very well and he gave us a lot of good hints."
Seltzer also played 18 holes with the Garys each afternoon. "He helps you a lot the first day," Gary said. "The way he explains things, he tries to make them easy to remember."
Said Seltzer: "I really enjoyed the Garys. They're fine people and good learners. My approach with them as it is for all my students is to build a program around their needs."
While Gary purchased the five-day session for an undisclosed bid in a charity auction, the academy's normal cost is $2,240 per person midweek and $2,436 per person on the weekend.
"This is something I had always wanted to do," Gary said. "I had talked to quite a few friends who had gone to golf schools and had really enjoyed them." Gary thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from the Jack Seltzer Golf Academy, but his next session will be a shorter version. "I'm already talking about a three-day session and I'm even thinking about a one-day event for my management team."
For more informtion about Shanty Creek and the Jack Seltzer Golf Academy call 1-800-678-4111.
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