Student Comments

Be honest! I would like to know how your swing change is developing. Please contact me and give your lesson a grade from a learning perspective, or comment on your enjoyment of  Sienna Plantation Golf Club.

Current Comments

Dear Neil,

 I hope this letter finds you and your family doing very well.  I have been checking out your website this morning and see the great success you have been sharing with your students.  This is by no means an accident and you deserve your measure of the credit.  I have needed and been meaning to send you this message for some time now.  You know, life gets in the way, and all those other senseless excuses apply that keeps us from doing and saying the things we should.

 I would like to start by telling you that I could never say thank you enough times for the time and effort you invested in my game and in me as a person.  I miss those moments more than the competition to be honest with you.  I would not trade my professional golf experience for anything, but probably would do a few things different.  I will never regret making that phone call to you.  My only wish in regards to that is that I would have made that call ten years earlier.  Hindsight is 20/20.  I learned numerous things in the world of golf through your eyes and your direction.  I also realized given the chance you and I both could fix what ails the Astros and the Rockets on any given day.  Ha Ha!  There is great importance to be found in the relationship made between a student and his teacher, but I must say that it pales in comparison to the one formed between friends.  I wanted you to know that as of October 2008 the USGA reinstated my amateur status.  I now look to make my mark in that arena of golf.  I consider you my teacher and mentor to this day and I hope to make you proud.  It is with the greatest pride though, that I still call you my friend.  My best wishes and prayers to you and the family.  Keep glancing at the door on the range, because one day soon I might be walking through it. 

Your friend, RH


Neil, I am sorry to bother you if getting these emails is tiring. There is no need for a response. I just want to let you know how much my game has improved since the last time I saw you. I have put together all that I can from the last few lessons, especially what you put forth last time. I have really shortened my back swing, added width, staying on plane, but mostly adding hinge and keeping lag. My wrists are staying completely cocked as they pass my right thigh. I am having to learn all new yardages, so I am using my GPS to measure my shots. Today I had 3 drives over 290 yards: 291, 295 and 299. Using a little of the slope on the 1st hole I hit a 4 iron a total of 228 yards. I hit my 5 iron 193 yards to within 15 ft of the hole on one par 3 and my 7 iron 170 yards on another par 3. Before my last lesson I had 1 eagle putt in my life. In the last 2 weeks I've had 5 eagle putts either from the surface of the green or the fringe. Thanks again. Have a great week. I'll see you April 20th.
R. L.


Neil, I don’t know what you taught M. yesterday, but I have never seen him play a tournament round with so much consistency – he was next to the flag pole on almost every green!!!! WOW! Thank You!!!!

Also, T. had much success at UT camp – he won the tournament shooting a 68 – 5 strokes ahead of second! We are currently in the process of constructing a Neil statue in our back yard! Thank you – Thank you - Thank you!!!!!!!!!

Regards, H.S.


Neil, Thanks for your help a couple of weeks back. The changes I have been able to make have really helped. Just straightening up my posture, bringing in my left foot to a more square position, and working on maintaining the angle from my upper hip to my lower back through the follow through have all brought about more consistency. Over time, I’ll gradually work on adding a little more width to the swing.

I missed US Publinx qualifying by three. I shot 5 under (69-70) and didn’t make anything. In fact, on the last 7 holes during the second round, I only converted one birdie when I was inside 8 feet on every hole. Didn’t putt poorly, just didn’t make anything. This was after I bogeyed two of the last three the first day for 69. Disappointing not to make it after the way I played, although still promising all things considered. My swing and ball striking remained consistent for two straight days and through a couple of rounds in the 60’s out in California last week. I’m back to feeling like I have a chance to take it low, rather than just scrambling to keep it around par.

I’ll figure out my schedule over the next couple of weeks and get on your calendar. I would be interested in checking out the K vest.

Thanks again, K


Neil, it's working...

I shot 74 yesterday and that was with a 2-foot missed putt on 14 for birdie which would have put me at 2 under, then bogeyed 15, 17, and 18 - all three having to hit out of green-side bunkers - I guess I was getting tired (or felt the pressure of actually having an opportunity to break par). I think I have learned more from the two lessons with you than my life history of golf lessons. One of the guys I played with said, "Jay, you didn't really putt very well", and as I thought about it, I probably had 5
or 6 putts at birdie inside 12 feet that I missed. Let's see if this takes me to a new level. For a long time, 80 was a good score for me - I want to adjust that down about 5 strokes. Anyway, thanks for the help and I will be back.

J G


Neil,

I thought you would like to hear that A. had her personal best round yesterday. The Clear Lake Girls hosted the Clear Lake Invitational High School Golf Tournament at Bay Oaks CC. Aly tied her teammate AF (ranked 4th in the state, has made it to final match play round in the U.S. Girls Junior the last two years, and just accepted a scholarship with TCU) for low medalist honors both shooting 76 (A.'s personal best). In the sudden death playoff, with a large gallery following her including some Division 1 coaches, she hit her best drive of the day and followed with a beautiful 7 iron to a tucked pin to 8'. AF. sticks her approach to 10 feet and makes her birdie putt. A. lips out to finish 2nd place but was really excited. The Wichita State Coach who was following them and talking with me about A. and commented that from a coaching standpoint he really looks for swings that will hold up under pressure and A. really seemed to have that type of swing. A. thinks she has the best swing coach in the country. Thanks for all you continue to do for her. The Lake Girls won the tournament with an all time school record low score of 308. I think they are going to have a special year.

Thanks again, JS


Dear Coach Neil,

This is CH, S's mom. How are you?

I'd like to say thank you to you. Hope you know how much we appreciate all that you have done for us. Thank you very much!

S shot 75 and 77 at River Ridge last week. She got third place. The school won second place. See you on next Sunday!

Have a nice week! CH


Hey Neil,

I appreciate all the help you have provided me. Because of your outstanding instruction, my game improved enough to win the "Houston Amateur Golf Tour" event at Longwood Golf Club. Keep up the good work and I will see you at my next lesson.

Regards, DE


Neil,
Hey!! I just wanted to let you know I got back from Wichita Falls today from the Texas Oklahoma Junior and I won the boys 14-15. I started off rough with a 75-78-153 (6 back) start but on Wednesday in about 35 mph winds I fired a 69 with only 24 putts. Going into Thursday I had a 1 shot lead and we played the Air Force Base, which was only a few yards under 7100 yards for us with really bad greens and I shot a 74, to win the TO by 4. There were 94 players in my age group and I will still be in 14-15 next year....just wanted to say thanks and all of the work with you and hard work on what you taught me is finally paying off.....I will send you pictures soon.
Thanks, CM


Neil, Friday was great. I was expecting a low key visit over 9 holes. I wasn't expecting a playing lesson so I must apologize for not being prepared. I'll make it up to you when I get back from Dubai. 

I learned a lot about game management. Thanks for the CD. I've listened to it twice. I played today and tried to use some of the new things. There was some success, but I only shot 76. I didn't hit it very well and had two 3-putts. See, I have to get over the results focus. I have a long way to go. David played great - he shot 75.

I must take exception to one thing you said. I don't think stubborn is the right word. I have a very strong desire to improve and will always do what you suggest. My desire to improve far outweighs my need to be right. However, I will question things so I can better understand why I'm doing it. OK so sometimes I may be a little stubborn, but in the end you have to admit that I always get to where you want me to be. Would it be as much fun if I made it easy for you?

You never answered my questions, but you gave me the information to answer them myself. I dream about being a competitive tournament golfer. I believe I will get there. I have enough golf skill to compete, but my mental skills are almost non-existent. Patience, you can't force it, stay in the present, be committed, process over results, play to play great, have fun, have fun, have fun. 

Thanks for being a friend and mentor. I'll get there one day.
W.


Neil, Attached is the photo that we took of you and Ben. This was a very successful year for Ben. The victories and placing at each event throughout the year at the weekly Little Linkster Tournaments, the win at the Tournament of Champions at River Ridge, and the Player of the Year in the 7-9 year old division at the First Tee @F.M. Law Park. But more importantly this year Ben did an interview with Channel 39's Building Better Minds, he was a speaker at the First Tee's Anniversary, and we found out today that the Pasadena School District wants to do an interview with him for one of there publications on this coming Thursday. Melanie and I would like to take this opportunity to Thank You. Without your guidance mentally and instruction physically, we do not believe this would have been possible. Your ability to teach has brought out Ben's confidence in himself. It is evident in not just his golf game but in his every day life. If Ben never reaches his dream of playing on the Tour, his Mother and I will consider the time that he has spent with you a complete success. We wanted you to know the deep gratitude and heartfelt appreciation that we have for you. We consider are relationship with you a friendship, one that we look forward to continuing for a long time to come.
God's Blessings to You 
N.


Neil -- thanks for the tune up last Friday. I am pretty excited about getting rid of the c-wing on a permanent basis. I went out to High Meadow Ranch yesterday and hit 15 greens. Unfortunately, only converted on 3 birdies -- all inside 4 feet. Putter let me down a little -- couple of 3 putts -- and didn't convert on a number of birdie putts (at least 5 good chances inside 15 feet). Ended up 1 over but was just a decent putter day away from being in the 60s. Not bad for a guy who actually gets on the links once or twice a month. Anyway, thanks for the help. Hope you and Wes survived the weekend. A.


Neil, I have meant to send this message for awhile but just now am making the time.

Since the last lesson a month or so ago, I have seen an increase in driving distance (20-30 yards) and iron play (about 10%). Additionally, I have been able to shape shots easier. I can hit it high or low and have very good distance control. I am striking the ball as good as I ever have, thanks to you!

I know getting my turn at a better angle is the key and I have struggled with making my body do that for a number of years but you helped me see it and change it. 

Now, if you can help me score better that would be a real trick.

My putting is off, only slightly, but as you know if it is slight, you might as well be off 10 feet! I have been hitting more greens in regulation but have not converted because I am just not getting the ball on line...but I am close.

I saw the book you recommended on your web site and I will pick it up but I have always been a great putter from all lengths but have lost it just a bit in the past 2 years or so.

Any tips will be greatly appreciated.  M


Neil - It never fails. Every time I come see you, I start to hit the ball great again. It has been almost ten years since I have had someone that has been able to help me the way you have. You have a great eye to be able to spot the error in my swing and not necessarily the symptoms of the error. I have not found any other teachers that can do that.

I don't think I will ever forget the lesson about a year ago before I went on a four day golf trip. As usual, we played over 100 holes. I had never hit the ball better in my life. It felt like I was hitting marshmallows. The balls was travelling high and long with an effortless swing. It was truly unbelievable. Not the typical trajectory for a guy growing up in Corpus Christi with a 30 mph average wind.

Just wanted to drop you a line to let you know how much I appreciate your help!

Regards,  M


I had a nice call from Robert yesterday and he said some very nice and well deserved things about you and your commitment to his growth as a player. Just thought you'd like to know that what you do as a human being, not just a teacher, makes a difference in people's lives. Proud to know you...

B.


Hi Neil, I am in Australia and have just found your site while searching Google looking for some tips on fighting an over the top move! Your $1 Dowel tip sure looks like it would help, guess who is off to the hardware store tomorrow :)

Can I please say that you seem like one hell of a person and an awesome teacher. I wish I was able to access your knowledge! Most of the teachers in my area (Toowoomba, Queensland) are club pros with little interest in teaching. I am 29 and playing off 6 after starting the year on 9, I was playing off 3 at one stage 10 years ago but life got in the way of my golf until I discovered it again last year. I juggle a 9-5 job, a beautiful wife and 2 awesome daughters so golf sometimes takes a back seat but the internet really has helped me and I have met a lot of great people who have the same interest in Golf.

I don't usually write to anyone like this but I am impressed, thanks for your great site.

Regards, L.


Neil, Perhaps it was the great teaching you gave but what is ironic is my confidence has changed and now after just one lesson, I feel back on track.

I played on Friday @ Hearthstone (lesson was on Wednesday), no practice, just remembered that it would feel awkward and I let 'er rip...good enough for even par 71 with only two birdies on the back side...nothing phenomenal. Hit all but one fairway and 12 greens but had 30 putts.

Today at Cypress Lakes, just had to get used to that uncomfortable position at setup, stuck with it, hit 9 fairways, 14 greens and only 25 putts...66!!! Birdied 5 of last 7 holes and the last three in a row. Got to three under and said lets get to six, got one more, gave it back, then closed strong. 

Haven't shot that low in two years. I think the difference is confidence. Funny, I don't remember that part of the lesson...think I'll review the tape.

Thanks for your help. Referrals are on the way.  M


Neil: Thanks for the excellent lesson yesterday evening. I practiced in front of the mirror last night, used the heavy bar and the medicine ball at the Club this a.m., and then hit balls at lunch at Memorial Park.

With practice, it is starting to feel more and more natural. My swing plane is getting wider and flatter, MUCH more upper body rotation, good arm extension, and I can actually feel myself pushing the grip away from my chest on the back swing, with my left forearm rising naturally above the right, achieving good separation and better arm position at the top.

When I keep my wrists firm but my arms loose, the club seem to naturally fall into "the slot" and the ball comes off MUCH higher and straighter. Even with my long irons and woods, I hit some great shots, with less than 1/2 the effort. WOW!

Finally, I have the sensation that my hands are falling naturally at the top, and my plane is much more inside-out, instead of outside-in. Isn't this what we want?

Maybe you can at least make a "racing mule" out of me, if not a racehorse. Jack is in trouble, he just doesn't know it yet. . . . Again, I really enjoyed the lesson, and will continue to work my butt off on the things you showed me. I cannot wait for our next session.

Hope you have a great weekend.

R.

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Historical Comments

Neil, just a note to tell you that I hit my first 'Hole in One' on Saturday @ Golfcrest CC in Pearland. Hole # 12, par 3, 164 yards, 7 iron. I played the ball back a little to keep it under the wind as it was breezy. The ball landed exactly where I was aiming ( good swing in other words) hit the right front of the green, kicked left, hit the pin hard ( as I heard it on the tee box) and dropped in the hole. Out of our 5-some only one guy watched the whole thing, the others where engaged in chat. But I let them take the ball out of the hole for me. Thanks for the expert lessons and I will be back to see you in May.                                     Thanks, S.


Neil,

I just checked scores today and saw Ryan won. What a great feeling for you and for Ryan. I just wanted to thank you for all you do for M. His relationship with you is the best.
I don't think I can thank you enough. I am really proud of the way he is playing these days. He showed a lot of guts today and never gave up. You are truly a gift from God.

Thanks for being so special. P.


 Neil,

The other day I was looking at your web site & went thru the 6 lesson sequence you have of the guy who seems to have the same sort of trouble I experience a lot - over the top / across the ball resulting pulls to the left.

Something I picked up on in one of the pictures was where you said that he was doing a much better job of keeping his hands in front of his chest instead of letting them get behind him causing his swing to be too round (or something like this). Two days later I played at a course called Magnolia Links in Friendswood & all I thought about all day was making a good back swing & keeping my hands in front of my chest & not letting them go past my right shoulder. Now I have no idea if this is what you are really talking about in the lesson but I shot 75 on a course I had never seen & as you know this is good for me. I only hit 4 bad shots all day & each one was a pull left where a got a little quick trying to hit it hard. The bad news is that I played about a week later & could not repeat the same swing & shot 87 which is bad for me but I guess I was trying so hard that I just totally messed up.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I check out your web site from time to time looking for good tips & thought that you'd like to know that it helped me a great deal at least one round.

Sincerely,  KA


Stumbled across your site yesterday and went through your online lessons 1-6 with "D". Those first couple of still shots could have been me....I have taken a few videos of myself and recognized all those out of plane positions. But it wasn't until I studied your pupils' swing and his progression that it seemed to make sense. All of a sudden in conjunction with your comments, this "plane" theory seemed to crystallize for me. I have been playing fairly seriously for 4 years now and always thinking if my path was inside my downswing would follow the same path...but now I understand my "inside" was way underneath and wrapping around and then up and over. Just not an intuitive game, is it?
Fast forward to this morning when I played a quick 9 holes before going to work...shot a 44 with not one lost ball. (the course I live on is 6400 yards. from the blues/slope 126). Typically I'm in around 49-55 on each side. Thought you might appreciate a few positive comments from this golfer in development out here in California. Thanks for the instruction in a clear and comprehensible format. I am looking forward to purchasing a copy of the V1 software and giving a go with a future video lesson from you, as I'm not sure of my next visit to Texas.
Best Regards and Thanks again!  Jeff Carlisle


Neil -
I played my first round of golf since the changes we made and was astounded at the improvement around the greens. I think I got it up and down every time - even from the deep Bermuda rough with the ball sitting down. They were all shots much like the ones we hit that day. The thing I like about the shot is that the ball is rolling now, where before, I often hit weak shots that didn't roll, or spun too much and didn't roll. There seems to be more consistency there.
I have not come close to perfecting the other shots that require more swing though. I need more work there.
One thing that has really helped me of late is a dramatic strengthening of the left hand. I am hitting some phenomenal iron shots now. Hope it hangs in there Tuesday and Wednesday. Bill


Dear Neil,
My surprise speech the other night really made me think about who I truly need and want to thank. I owe so much to you. I would never have come as far as I have without your help. You have patiently stayed later and helped me longer than you ever had to. You have made me a better player and helped me to love the game more. Under your guidance I have realized the depth of my potential and learned to believe in myself. Thank you so much for everything you have done for me throughout the past year and a half.  A.


Congratulations on your latest honor. I have no doubt that it is just the beginning.
Thank you for your enthusiasm and love of the game. Your kindness to the junior golfers, particularly L., will have a great impact on their life. C.


Neil, 
I just wanted to thank you once again for everything you have done for me. I know that no matter how many times I say thank you or write a thank you card, it will never amount to how much you have done for me. I think that you and I both know that it is real close. It's just a matter of breaking through a couple of times and doing it, and not trying as hard as I do. Well I just wanted to say thanks and I am looking forward to the rest of this year and many years to come.
Sincerely, D.


Neil,
Thanks again for a great lesson. I think some things really started to click. I watched the entire video Tuesday night just to make sure what you said would sink into to my thick head - I made A. watch too.
We'll do a follow-up in the next few weeks. If you think about it, see if you can scrounge up one of those wrist-hinge gadgets for me.
Thanks, G.


Dear Neil,
I tried to qualify for the US Mid-Am on Monday at River Forest. Shot 74 (bogied last two holes). It took 73 to make one of the 5 spots. I played well overall, just 'choked' the last couple of holes - I am lacking confidence due to the lack of competition.
Best, J.

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