Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

PGA Player Now a Teacher, Too; Mark McCumber Has a Lot of "Experience" to Pass on to His Students

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

PGA Player Now a Teacher, Too; Mark McCumber Has a Lot of "Experience" to Pass on to His Students

Article excerpt

Byline: Garry Smits

Mark McCumber the PGA Tour player won 10 times, including the 1988 Players Championship and the 1994 Tour Championship.

Mark McCumber the golf course architect designed some of the top courses on the First Coast, including South Hampton, Queen's Harbour, the Golf Club of Amelia Island and Magnolia Point.

The Jacksonville native is now adding teaching to his list of golf ventures, a rarity for a player of his stature, with the launching of "The McCumber Experience."

Only Dave Stockton springs to mind as a former player who achieved notable success on the PGA Tour and is currently teaching on an active basis.

"The only reason I can think of is that the great players of recent years are not that hungry to teach after a successful playing career, beyond perhaps family members or friends on an informal basis," McCumber said. "It used to be a lot of the great ones taught - Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead for example - because they all had club pro jobs in the winter. It was part of their job. Bob Toski and Bert Yancey were other examples."

But McCumber is now joining Stockton, who has become a putting guru to players such as Phil Mickelson, in the teaching ranks. McCumber's instructional package, available to players of all ability levels, is heavy on the fundamentals of the set-up and preshot routine as opposed to swing mechanics.

Details on the program can be found at www.markmccumber.com.

McCumber said part of the reason he's going into teaching is simply that the golf-course architecture business in the U.S. is in a decline, due to slowdowns in development.

"This is a natural for me," he said. "My calendar has freed up, and I'm the type of person who needs to stay busy."

McCumber will be assisted by his nephew, Josh, a past University of Florida All-American.

Lessons will be conducted for the most part at the TPC Sawgrass.

McCumber said his professional career didn't come to complete fruition until he learned from Yancey about how important a preshot routine was. Unhappy with inconsistent results in the early 1980s, McCumber went to Yancey, who was teaching in Hilton Head, S. …

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