Retired? Bored?

We spend our entire working lives looking forward to and saving for that time when we can sit back with a pina colada and relax with our friends – retirement.

But retirement can often come with some issues. 

All of a sudden, we have a lot of time on our hands and we have no idea how to spend it. Our vision of retirement being this amazing, relaxing time where we fill our day with activities we always wanted to do becomes…well…..boring!

We realize that we spent so much time on our careers and bringing up our family that we never actually spent time on ourselves and our hobbies, or learning what we love to do.

Finding what you love

Retirement is a great time to meet new people, gain new friends and take up activities we have never done before, or re-start activities of old.


Golf is one of those activities that most people immediately associate with retirement; it’s easy on the body, incredibly healthy and is one of the most sociable sports out there. What other sport allows you to calmly chat about life with others while mid-game? 

But where to start?

Group Coaching

At Twin Lakes golf course in Santa Barbara, we have launched an amazing new program.

For just $129 per month, you can come to unlimited sessions where you learn how to play or improve your existing game.

Coaching can be expensive, and there is so much to learn with the game that it can seem daunting. However, our coaches are some of the most internationally recognized teachers and have experience taking beginners from A to B, and better players from Y to Z. 

Many of our group coaching pupils come to a class or more each day – if you have the time, why not!

All of our pupils are playing better golf than ever, which is the main goal. However, we also love the social aspect of our classes where we play competitive games and meet new people in the exact same situation as you.

If you are interested, book a FREE session by CLICKING HERE!

The Active Lifestyle:

We all want to live healthier, more active lifestyles. But spending hours on the treadmill each week just isn’t appealing. Activities which are not fun for us will cause us to quit very quickly, leading us back to our old, unhealthy lifestyles again.

Fortunately, there are ways around this.

Try A New Sport

Taking up a sport is one of the best ways to improve your health and lifestyle. Not only do you get to meet new people and create a new group of friends, but you can dramatically improve your body and health in a fun way.

People who play sports have more fun. More fun leads to you doing that activity more often. This is a positive cycle which leads to creating a healthier, more active and happier you.

What sport?

While there are many different activities you could take up, many of them can be tough on our bodies when we first start. However, one sport which can be taken up at any point in your life is golf. 

Golf is not only one of the most sociable sports out there, but it is great fun to learn and you don’t have to be super-athletic to begin. It also boasts an impressive calorie burn – up to 1400 calories per round of golf (compared to 500 calories burned slogging away on a treadmill for an hour).

Which would you rather be doing?

Which would you rather be doing?

Try it!

At Don Parsons Golf Instruction, we realize the barriers to starting in golf. Lessons can be expensive, there is a lot to learn, and meeting new people to play with can be difficult. 

This is why we launched our Group Golf Coaching Program. 

For just $129 a month, you can come to as many coaching sessions as you want (we run 18 a week). This allows you to learn the game as quickly as you desire, while meeting like-minded individuals in the same situation as you.

Our instructors are also World renowned, so you know you are in safe hands. We have an amazing ability to get you better quickly, while having fun at the same time.

Book your free session!

We are also offering a free session for you to try us out. You don’t need clubs (we will supply everything you need), and you don’t even need to know what a golf course looks like.

Don’t be nervous – we have great experience in helping complete beginners. Even our professional teachers were beginners once.

CLICK HERE to book your free session and see what the fuss is about. 

Tired of Bad Golf?

If you are like most golfers, you are sick and tired of playing poor golf.

You are putting the hard work in on the range and doing the ‘reps’, but you are just not seeing the improvement you want to see. Your efforts to fix your slice or increase your consistency are in vain, and listening to the advice of your 15 handicap friends is just making you worse.

If you get your advice from a golfer who can’t control their own ball, it’s likely you will end up the same.

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Instruction would be the obvious answer here. The only issues with this are

  • It’s too expensive
  • Who do you trust?
  • You don’t want to completely overhaul your swing


We at Don Parsons Golf Instruction have figured out a way to get around these issues.

With GROUP GOLF COACHING, you get unlimited instruction at an incredibly affordable price. While our instructors are World class and internationally renowned, our group coaching model means we can see more people at once, bringing the price down significantly.

Over the course of a month, you will see improvements in

  • Understanding – allowing you to diagnose and fix your own issues (self coaching)
  • Improvements in ball striking
  • Distance increases
  • Greater accuracy
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Paul is having a great time learning and striking the ball better than ever!



The big question I know you are asking is “how much does it cost”?

For as little as $129 a month, you can get full access to the program. When you consider that our instructors are normally this much for a one hour session, it really is a steal of a deal.

Nowhere will you find cheaper and more qualified instruction. The more sessions you come to, the cheaper it is – even less than the cost of a jumbo bucket of range balls.

Adam Young is one of the most highly sought-after instructors. He is author of the internationally best-selling book (The Practice Manual – The Ultimate Guide for Golfers) and has experience coaching all levels of player.



You get a lot more out of group coaching the more sessions you come to. However, everyone in the program has become better, and rapidly. Most of our group coaching members have shot their best lifetime scores within the first month of joining. 

So, do you continue struggling with your game and aimlessly beating balls on the range? Or do you join our group coaching program with World class instructors for a low monthly fee?


Do You Need to Add a Hybrid to Your Bag?

Two years ago, I faced the facts that I was making too many bogeys with my long irons. I had already gotten rid of my 2 and 3 irons because I just didn't hit them well enough to score. The same was now beginning to happen to my 4 iron.

It became clear one day playing in a skins game. I had 205 to the flag and 190 to carry a bunker. The shot was a hard 4 iron, but i wasn't sure I could pull it off. My 19 degree hybrid was a 215 shot. I chose to go with the hybrid, I mishit it and ended up with a 6 foot birdie putt. 

When I start avoiding hitting certain clubs, I know it is time to look at changing things up. I went back to the golf course and began the fitting process and soon replaced my 4 iron with a 23 degree hybrid. 

As an Titleist Advanced Fitting Center I have access to many different lofts in the two hybrid head styles as well as 25 shafts of different type and length. This allows me huge variety of choices in dialing in the precise distance and shot characteristics for just about every player.

If you are having trouble hitting some of your longer irons give me a call and we'll see what we can come up with to find a club that fills that troublesome distance for you and will give you more confidence. You can reach me at 805.403.6060 or





Goldilocks Drill for Better Directional Control

You can improve more by employing this Variable Practice technique than simply hitting shots at your target. By defining the feels it takes to hit the ball to the right and to the left, you have automatically developed the ability to hit the ball straight...STRAIGHT is simply in between left and right!!!

Next time you head to the practice range, give variable practice a try and see how it can improve your game.

Learn Partial Wedges and Lower Your Scores

This is a spot I did at the Golf Channel Studios on how to practice hitting partial wedges. The shot I showed was my sand wedge with my Rib-to-Rib swing that I usually hit 60 yards in the air. I use  Rib-to-Rib to create reference yardages with each of my 4 wedges. I also have reference distances with my 4 wedges from Shoulder-to-Shoulder. This gives me 8 Dependable Reference Yardages between 50 and 120 yards... Do you think that would help your scores and make you more confident?

The other great thing about developing the reference yardages is that you will be developing great impact habits that will bleed into all parts of your game. It's a win win way to practice improving full swings and partial shots at the same time.

Golf Channel Morning Drive Appearance

I had a great experience being the Guest Coach on Morning Drive. In this segment with Damon Hack we discuss how a high handicap, mid handicap, and elite player might handle the famed approach shot on the 8th hole at Pebble Beach. The simulator they had was really fun to play around with and infinitely programmable for yardage, wind, and hole position.

In the morning after we went through the segment with Damon and I had a chance for the makeup ladies to work their magic on my white forehead we went into the studio to go through the whole segment with the show's producer. After all of that was finished I had 10-15 minutes to practice hitting shots into the green. It turned out that at 195 yards, I kept flying the green and hitting it in the back bunker. So we moved the shot back to about 205. I'll give away a secret of the show, the colored balls don't curve. They don't have markings on them that allow the simulator to pick up the axis tilt of the ball so the ball flies straight on its start line. Many of the white balls have markings on them that allow them to curve. In warm ups, I overcooked a lot of my draws. In the live segment on National TV I stuffed it in there about 12' right of the hole. Phew!

The segment producer on the show was very interested in the fact that in 1988 I won the California Amateur Championship which back then was played as three rounds of stroke play at Spyglass Hill, Cypress Point, and Pebble with 32 players heading into match play at Pebble Beach. 1988 was the last year that 200 players qualified for the event and now it is held at rotating sites in Southern California and Northern California. I am really proud to have won this event at those great golf courses.

In the morning portion of the Finals Match, I had about 190 yards to a back left hole location. Anything missing left was dead because of the severe left to right slope on the green. I was -4 through seven and feeling great so when I stood up to hit the shot, I saw my start line at the left edge of the right hand bunker and hit a sweeping draw in there that finished about 5 feet behind the hole. The morning of the Finals, there had been an hour long lightening delay and I had seen Tom Kite's course record scorecard near the locker room. He fired 31-31- 62. Standing over that putt, I thought to myself. "Wow, I have this to go -5 that is course record pace!" It was the only putt inside 10' that I missed all week at Pebble. From that point on, I never let my mind wander from the shot at hand and I cruised to a 5 and 4 victory. It was the best golfing week of my life.

My Road to Senior Golf - The First Step

Lying in the snow in Mammoth I had my Aha moment.

I knew that if I wanted to be successful on my return to competitive golf some things were going to have to change.

I really needed to get in better shape so I could swing well, but also so I could play 4-6 days in a row without my performance declining. 

But first, I had a trip to Memphis for a friend’s 50th birthday celebration.

Those of you who know me won’t be surprised to hear that I love BBQ and live music.

Memphis was like living a dream.

We went to a different BBQ joint each day; Central Barbecue was the consensus winner. We stayed up late enjoying live music, great drinks, and the company of friends. 

On the third day we toured Graceland, as we walked through the King’s home I was struck by how modest the place was.

As the tour progressed, we ended up in his trophy room.

The walls were lined with platinum records, movie posters, and memorabilia. I have never been a huge Elvis fan, but the things he did in his 42 years on this planet are truly astounding.

For a 20 year span, he dominated music and Hollywood like no one before or since.

Near the end of the tour I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror.

Red faced and sweating I was looking far too much like fat Elvis. The world was sending me another message; time to get busy.

When I got back to Santa Barbara, I called a neighbor and asked her if she’d take me to work out. She had asked me at a New Year’s Eve Party to start working out with her; I had told her absolutely not that evening. Now I was ready.

I emailed Bob Wilcher of Killer B Fitness to set up my initial session in February of 2015.

With the help of supportive neighbors who picked me up on their way, I began attending the 6AM class. 

Since 1st grade, when I got moved into a 3rd grade math class I have prided myself on being advanced. On my baseline fitness at Killer B, I found out that at the age of 47 I have the body and conditioning of an 80 year old. 

The first month, I went twice a week and was crippled the rest of the week.

In the second month, I progressed to 3 times a week and walked with a constant limp.

In the third month, I got sick and missed 2 weeks and had to start over.

The fourth and fifth month I started gaining steam, I increased to 4 days a week and was starting to see improvement. 

Even when I was young and active, exercise never gave me that flood of endorphins that made me feel great.

Working out was a means to an end, I did it to improve performance. Unfortunately, that is still the case.

I don’t feel great during or after workouts.

I do notice little things like being able to stand up without my back grabbing, being less tired during the day, and being able to pick things up without needing help. 

I have now nearly doubled my performance on the baseline test. Things are moving in the right direction.

Golf Channel Academy


Many of you have seen the Golf Academy Sign planted in front of our building at Twin Lakes and are likely wondering what it is all about.

Here’s a description of what it means to be a Lead Coach for the Golf Channel Academy from their website: 

Golf Channel Academy is a network of world-class coaches and teaching facilities dedicated to improving your game.

It is the hands-on coaching extension of the cable network’s instruction programming, offering personalized one-on-one and group coaching that is among the highest quality instruction available anywhere.

With 65 locations (as of October 2015) canvassing 26 states and one Canadian province, Golf Channel Academy is among the most expansive golf instruction networks in North America today.

Its lead and staff coaches number more than 200, and include 18 current members of Golf Magazine’s “Top 100 Teachers” list and 49 members of Golf Digest’s “Best Teachers in Your State” rankings.

The underlying philosophy of Golf Channel Academy is that good coaching takes place over a period of time, not just one lesson.

Golf Channel Academy’s coaches are experts at walking you through the required steps to mastering a skill, and will go the extra mile to make sure that you achieve and surpass your goals.

Each coach will identify what you need to do beyond the day’s lesson to make sure that you not only play better in the short term, but continue on a path of sustained, lasting improvement.

This past week I went to Orlando and spent 2 days at Golf Channel Headquarters with other Head Coaches going through on-air training to help us with presentation skills that will help us all whether we appear on the Golf Channel, on air locally, or even in presenting to groups of golfers while coaching.

It was a great couple of days.  

Follow this link to get a copy of the Golf Channel Academy Magazine with articles and videos to help your game. 

Golf Channel Academy Magazine

And keep an eye on the video tips as I will be showing up here soon...

Golf Channel Academy Videos

In 2016, I look forward to introducing some great new programs in conjunction with the Golf Channel Academy. 

Thank you for reading!

Don Parsons

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. 

The Road to Senior Golf - Destination Scioto Country Club

2016 Senior U.S. Open

On February 15, 2016, I will be 50 years old which allows me the opportunity to compete in Senior Events.

Not to be confused with the PGA Champions Tour, I will have the opportunity to play in Regional PGA Events for club pros and to qualify for select Senior Events like the US Senior Open.

Some of you may be aware that many years ago, I was a good player. In 1989, I was one of the top 50 ranked amateurs in the country. I won the 1988 California Amateur Championship at Pebble Beach and competed nationally in the top amateur events in the country.

Having taken up the game in 1981 at the age of 15, the success came quickly but not without a lot of work. It was without a doubt one of the most fulfilling times of my life seeing the hard work and effort I had put in result in tournament success.

“To be clear, I am not going to pursue a career on the PGA Champions Tour; Coaching players is too important to me to abandon.”

Tournament Golf is a time consuming process.

When my son was born 16 years ago, it became more important for me to focus on my career as a coach and to provide for my family.

Now, I am lucky enough to have a second chance at competitive golf. To be clear, I am not trying to pursue a career on the PGA Champions Tour; coaching players is too important to me to abandon.

I’d just like to commit myself to playing competitively again to experience some of the satisfaction I felt in my 20’s giving something my all and posting my score against the competition.

I am writing this Blog to share with you the things I am doing to accomplish my goals.

The process began in 2014 when I decided that I wanted to play again. I’ve set some goals and will be posting for those who are interested to keep track of my process and progress. 

My goals for 2016 are:

  • Qualify for and Compete in the 2016 US Senior Open at Scioto Country Club.
  • Qualify for and Compete in the 2016 British Senior Open at Carnoustie.
  • Play in the Senior National PGA Club Pro by Qualifying in the Southern California Section Senior Club Pro.

I’d love to hear your comments about my journey.