Home Biz Scoop Swinging for success: Elite Golf Schools dedicated to local player development

Swinging for success: Elite Golf Schools dedicated to local player development

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From left: Elite Founder and Director of Coaching Riley Andrews, Kasey Claussen, Tyler Bishop and Brian Wilbor hold student Kailani Deedon. (Special to MyNewsMesa.com)

Elite Golf Schools of Arizona, a program dedicated to advancing the skills of junior golfers and advanced players seeking to improve their play, have opened two new locations – Trilogy Golf Club at Power Ranch and Dove Valley Ranch Golf Club.

A recent group of players at Mesa-based Elite Golf Schools of Arizona. (Special to MyNewsMesa.com)

For the past three years, Elite Golf’s students at Mesa’s Augusta Ranch Golf Course have found success in Arizona and around the country – including junior honors at the state and national level. Elite coaches work to create individual plans – called “personal improvement plans” – for all students, allowing them to focus on their already attained skills while also improving areas needed to advance their game.

“This is an awesome opportunity to invite new players into the Elite family and further the development of our current junior and high school players,” said Riley Andrews, founder of Elite and director of coaching. “We will maintain our strong program at Augusta Ranch and duplicate it at Dove Valley Ranch Golf Club while creating a college preparatory program at Trilogy for our higher levels players.”

The programs are open to all players: adult and developmental. Past and current Elite golfers now play at the University of Northern Colorado, Western New Mexico, University of Colorado, University of Nebraska, University of San Diego, and many more colleges throughout the country.

Andrews, a Mesa resident of Eastmark, originally moved from the Denver area to Phoenix in 2012 to continue playing professionally.

“I began coaching one junior student and completely fell in love with it,” he said. “However, I wanted to take the approach to training this player as holistic as possible. So, instead of only focusing on swing instruction, I chose to take a much more holistic approach to coaching him. We focused the majority of the coaching on the course, setting up practice plans, tournament preparation, mental preparation and systems to score.”

Essentially, this was the foundation for Elite Golf Schools of Arizona.

“The ideas have come from many individuals who have affected my golfing life in an incredibly powerful way,” Andrews explained. “I grew up going to the leading academy in Denver, Jake’s Academy, ran by my mentor Doug Wherry. Throughout my time there Doug had many individuals who revolved through the door who helped shape my knowledge of the golf swing. Kendal Yonomoto, Richard Olshock and Clayton Cole were just a few individuals who influenced me in an incredibly positive way. Also, from a professional standpoint, Will Robins has truly taught me how to be a better business man and has been instrumental in the success of Elite Golf Schools.

“Finally, the coaches of Elite and myself constantly rely on one another to continually improve our curriculum,” he continued. “We are all past collegiate players and playing professionals so we rely on our experiences to improve our coaching methodology.”

Andrews began playing competitively when he was very young, and played on his high school team in Colorado, which won the state championship for six consecutive years, he was there for the middle four. He won the individual state championship his junior year. Andrews played for the University of Colorado and CU-Colorado Springs where he was Athlete of the Year his senior year. He then turned professional and toured for three years after college. He has a sports psychology degree from CU.

Resident Michelle Reese, who has kids in the Mesa program, said: “Riley Andrews is a great coach and a wonderful person. I’d recommend his program to anyone.”

Andrews said Elite Golf Schools offers various camps, numerous tournaments, mental mastery seminars, college recruitment seminars and that academy programming is going on every day.

“I would love for all individuals to know that our commitment to the community and to young men and women and their families is our highest priority,” Andrews said. “Our academy centers around the development of young men and women. It is vital that we are constantly nurturing and motivating the next generation.

“At our core, we are a college preparatory program which is incredibly rewarding for our academy. Furthering the education of our students through the vehicle of golf is why we do what we do. There are numerous scholarship opportunities for golfing athletes at the university level and it is our job to provide the keys necessary for our students and families to succeed.”

For more information, visit elitegolf@elitegolfofaz.com or reach Andrews at randrews@elitegolfofaz.com.

– Kelly Mixer is managing editor of MyNewsMesa.com. Reach her at kmixer@mynewsmesa.com.

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