Dan Martin
Rustic Canyon Golf Club  

Dan Martin
Director of Instruction

(818) 901-7829

Favorite Course
Old Course - St. Andrews
Best Score
Simi Hills Golf Course
Favorite Golfer
Tom Watson
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Schooling the youngsters
Teaching juniors is Martin's passion and now he'll supervise the VCJGA Academy

By Bob Buttitta, bbuttitta@VenturaCountyStar.com
November 26, 2003

Over the last few years, Dan Martin has helped hundreds of junior golfers learn the game of golf as the director of instruction for the Nike Golf Learning Center at Simi Hills Golf Course.

Martin patterned the junior program after a martial arts program. Instead of participants moving up in belt rank, each time a golfer learned a new skill, he or she earned a different colored bag tag.

When they demonstrated they had mastered a skill, players moved up.

Now it's Martin who is moving up, having accepted the position as Rustic Canyon Golf Course's director of instruction.

In addition, Martin has agreed to become the Ventura County Junior Golf Association's director of instruction. He will supervise the newly formed Ventura County Junior Golf Association Academy.

The VCJGA Academy intertwines etiquette and character development in a multitiered program designed to fully develop the junior golfers' knowledge, skills and playing ability.

Starting in February 2004, the VCJGA Academy will be a year-round program, offering instruction to new and intermediate golfers at Rustic Canyon, Sterling Hills, Saticoy Regional and River Ridge.

Martin has developed a strong reputation for developing innovative golf programs for kids.

Martin is co-creator of the Nike Golf Learning Center Junior Academy, which is utilized at more than 80 facilities throughout the nation.

"I'm excited about this new opportunity," Martin said. "I got involved with VCJGA in the last year, and since that time Sean (Farnan, VCJGA executive director) and I have talked about the possibility of starting a junior academy to give the VCJGA an instructional component to go along with their competitive play that it offers.

"The program will be very similar to the one we have established here at Simi Hills, but it will feature a few more levels, especially in the beginning areas."

Sally Quinlan, assistant director at VCJGA, said it is excited to add Martin to the organization.

"... We are very excited to have his expertise and energy as we introduce a world class junior golf academy to the youngsters of Ventura County at four strategic sites," Quinlan said.

"Dan brings a wealth of knowledge from his past experiences of creating a curriculum for a successful national junior golf program, as well as the day-to-day operation of running one year round. He is a natural teacher, and the kids are drawn to him."

The academy will be geared toward players ages 6 to 17. Participants will take two 30-minute classes per week and also have another hour of practice time available to them.

Martin has used the 30-minute lesson format at Simi Hills. He said it's been very effective.

"We mix it up so the kids don't get bored," Martin said. "They get a lot of repetition in a short amount of time and I have found that kids learn very fast under this system.

"At the lower levels it will be easier to advance to the next level, but as the player gets more advanced, it will take more skill to move up."

Martin said his goal is to create a feeder system that will allow a child to go from virtual beginner to having the ability to play in competitive VCJGA events if they choose to stay in the program.

Cost will start at $49 a month and go up from there.

Martin is also helping design an academy Web page that will have several components, including instruction video.

"The entire curriculum will be on the Web page, so players will know what they need to master at every level," Martin said.

When Martin agreed to take on the responsibility of developing the academy, he needed to find another course at which to teach, and Rustic Canyon was happy to get him.

As director of instruction, Martin will be introducing instructional programs at Rustic Canyon such as a class on breaking 100 and 90, beginning golfer programs for men and women, and other "transition to play" programs.

"We are very excited to have Dan on board," said Mark Wipf, director of golf at Rustic Canyon.

"He brings with him a high level of expertise and enthusiasm."

Martin said the toughest part was leaving Simi Hills.

"I have enjoyed my time here," Martin said. "I'm proud of the work we have done here and the program we have developed.

"The program is in good hands, and I feel good about that. I'm excited about this opportunity at both Rustic Canyon and the VCJGA.

"I love teaching golf, but I especially love working with and teaching juniors."

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Providing personal coaching for all those who love the game
and have a strong desire to improve, specializing in Junior golf.

"Private Instruction:
$60 per 1/2 hour Adults
$40 per 1/2 hour Juniors
9 hole playing Lesson:
$180 Adults
$120 Juniors"

No package prices for series of lessons.

No Adult Group Lessons.

Junior Classes:

First month special: $49 (includes VCJGA Academy Cap & Up to 8 - 30 minute lessons)
Regular price: $79 per month for up to 8 - 30 minute lessons
Six month package: $349
1 year package: $599

Click on www.vcjga.com/academy or call (805) 901-7829 for more program details.

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PGA Apprentice
Certified in Sports Character Education through the Josephson Institute of Ethics & the CHARACTER COUNTS! organization.
Earned a check in first professional event entered: King Stahlman Tour, Dec 7, 1999, Tied for 7th (with Jason Gore) with a 73 at the Doubletree Carmel Highlands Resort in San Diego County.
Co-created the Nike Golf Learning Centers Jr. Academy program now operating at over 80 locations nationwide.
2002 & 2003 Nike Golf Learning Centers Champions Club Award Recipient for excellence in Junior Golf.
Board of Directors, Ventura County Junior Golf Association, Ventura, CA (2003-present)

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