Ketola Opens School

Ketola opening school

- ablondin@thesunnews.com

 Coastal Carolina alumnus Dale Ketola is opening his first golf instruction school – Potential Golf – at Farmstead Golf Links next Monday.

It will include private lessons, two- and three-day schools with a maximum of four students, and club fitting with TaylorMade and a high-tech FlightScope launch monitor for ball and club head measurements.

He emphasizes scoring in his instruction and golf schools, with a lot of work on the course.

“I want my place to be unique, different and professional,” said Ketola, who has an office in the Farmstead clubhouse. “A lot of the things I do are score-oriented. There’s going to be a blend of technique, scoring and sort of the mental side. I think the mental side is the part that’s sort of left out when people go to a lot of these golf schools.

“… You can feed someone technique till they’re blue in the face, but if they don’t have the confidence to do what you’re telling them, it’s not going to work so well.”

Ketola played at Coastal Carolina and graduated with a marketing degree in 2003, then entered the PGA of America program and earned Class A status in 2008. He worked at Bay Tree Plantation from 1999-2006, taught at Pawleys Plantation from 2006-2010, and has taught for the past 30 months or so at the Greg Norman Champions Academy at Long Bay Club.

“I learned a lot from each place,” Ketola said. “I just decided it’s time for me to do my own thing. I feel there’s a market for it, and I feel like there’s a lot of golf instruction in this area that’s average to below average. We’ll just say there are a bunch of unqualified people giving golf lessons. It sort of puts a bad name on guys who have done it the right way, and have their PGA membership and have learned to teach.”

Shortly after college, Ketola played mini-tour golf and has tried to play in Carolina PGA Section tournaments in recent years. He’ll likely continue playing in the CPGA’s four majors each year.

“I still enjoy playing quite a bit. I like competition,” said Ketola, who is playing in the South Carolina Open at Fort Jackson beginning Tuesday. “If I can get out and play three or four golf tournaments a year, that’s enough for me, that’s enough to where I can keep my game sharp. I really, really enjoy the teaching part. To me it’s not really like work at all.”

Ketola is a big proponent of the inclusion of video in instruction, and also has a high-speed camera. “I think it just adds a lot of value to the lesson,” he said. “There are so many things you can see with the video.”

He is offering online lessons through the V1 swing analysis software. Clients can film their swing on a phone and send it to Ketola, who will give a swing analysis and return the video within three days in an email containing his voice over. “It’s really neat,” Ketola said. “Especially in the down time or the winter when the weather’s not so good, I can stay busy with the online stuff.”

The school’s website is www.potentialgolf.com, and Ketola is utilizing social media for marketing with a blog and presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.