Golf Lessons Santa Barbara


Don Parsons Golf Instruction is the premiere choice for golf lessons in Santa Barbara. We offer, private golf lessons, golf coaching programs and group golf coaching programs. 

My Road to Senior Golf - The Aha Moment

In April of 2014, I hatched the idea that I wanted to start playing golf again after a 15 year hiatus.

I saw that the 2016 US Senior Open was going to be held at Scioto CC where Jack Nicklaus had grown up. 

I thought to myself, “How hard can it be to go out and shoot 69 or 70 in a qualifier?”

After all, I used to be a good player and when I go out and play for fun I still shoot around par.

If a student had made that kind of statement to me, I’d have laughed (most likely out loud).

I am sure my good friend and long term student John Pate chuckled inside when I mentioned my plan.

I should have known better.

“The game of golf has a sneaky way of punching you in the nose with the fist of reality. Fortunately, I still had 2 years to get ready.”

In the spring of 2014, I got fitted for new clubs and started playing more… 2 or 3 times a month, rather than my once a month average of the prior 15 years.

Surely tripling the amount of golf I was playing would be enough to sharpen my skills and I’d have a Senior Tour Quality game in no time.

The game of golf has a sneaky way of punching you in the nose with the fist of reality.

Fortunately, I still had 2 years to get ready.

In August of 2014, I entered the Southern California PGA Section Championship which was held at Alisal Ranch and River Courses.

I missed the cut by 7 shots, missing numerous short putts during the first round and making an unceremonious quadruple bogey 7 on the demanding 124 yard 17th at Alisal River Course on my 35th hole.

I did a lot of things well.

Missing the cut by 7 and being 14 shots off the lead didn’t deter my (delusional) optimism.

It wasn’t until January 2015 on a “Boy’s Weekend” snowboarding in Mammoth that I was no longer able to ignore the 220 lb. elephant in the room.

Midday on the second day of the trip, I found that I couldn’t make it to the bottom of the mountain without stopping for a rest.

I wasn’t attempting to run down the mountain, no I was sliding over snow on a waxed board…this shouldn’t have been such a challenge.

As I lay in the snow at the top of Andy’s Double Gold with both of my legs shaking uncontrollably and my lungs feeling as if I was breathing napalm, I knew that if I were to have any chance at success things were going to have to change dramatically.