Co-Founder of Golf 8.5 and Golf Teaching Innovator
I love to connect with others, especially women in the golf industry. These women are true innovators and are changing the game of golf. Recently I had the opportunity to meet and speak with Kay McMahon, Owner of EduKaytion Golf and Co-Founder of the Golf 8.5 Program.
And I became very curious about this somewhat new golf program, established several years ago. It has been very well received amongst all ages, genders and levels of golfers. I mean, wow, look at the quote below. That says a lot about what she is doing for the industry and for the game.
“This may sound unlikely, but I’ll go ahead and write it anyway: Kay McMahon may be golf’s most important person.”
— GARY VANSICKLE, PRES. GOLF WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA
The Kay McMahon Way – Teaching a Simpler Way to Golf
Kay has a desire to teach and help golfers simplify the golf swing. As a golfer, I know how science and physics-driven it has become and trying to learn the correct way to swing a golf club can be extremely overwhelming. Especially when you start to think about it too much or watch too many videos like many of us do.
The Golf 8.5 program and teaching methodology makes it easy to remember and execute so you can actually enjoy your round of golf out on the course.
I asked Kay a few questions about her background and story of how she came to where she is today.
Questions & Answers with Kay McMahon
Q: Tell us about your journey to where you are today with golf. When did you start playing?
A: I started playing probably around 5 or 6 years old. We had lots of kids in the neighborhood. My Dad made a little 3 hole golf course in the yard where he cut down the grass around the holes. Each hole contained a flag and was made with a flower pot. We were able to cut down some golf clubs and had them available for kids in the neighborhood.
Kids could play for a dime – a penny a hole and a penny for the clubs. I always said we were entrepreneurs because we also sold lemonade to the kids as they went by the garage. We were entrepreneurs because my Mom made the lemonade, but we kept the money. That was only the start.
Both my parents played golf and I played with them along with my brother and sister. We started playing on a public golf course and eventually joined a Country Club – Wayzata Country Club in Minnesota, which is located in a suburb of Minneapolis.
Q: Did You Compete?
A: My mom and I played in the Mother-Daughter tournament as a young teenager. We usually won. I did not play in college but earned a B.S. teaching degree in Physical Education & Health. Afterward, I entered a few golf tournaments. With lessons, my handicap got down to a 10. Two years, I entered and won the Minnesota State Publinks Championship.
I then headed off to California to continue working on my game in hopes of joining the LPGA Tour. I played in the CA state amateur which was held at Pebble Beach and went all the way through to the semi-finals for a few years. I then joined the American Golf Tour, which consisted of both men and women. I was the only woman.
I played in that Tour for about 6 months, then joined a women’s mini-tour, the Women’s Professional Golf Tour (WPGT). And went on to try to get on the LPGA through 9 Qualifying Schools to miss by a shot 3 times.
Q: When Did You Start Teaching?
A: During that time I ended up working at Ironwood Country Club in Palm Desert, CA, which is an Arnold Palmer managed golf course. I worked there for 10 years as an Assistant and Teaching Professional. I also got to play a lot of golf with Arnold.
Q: Seems like your Golf 8.5 Program is well received and easy to follow. When and how did you come up with the program?
A: Golf 8.5 was trademarked about 10 years ago with the name. It came about from me working on my own game. In the past, I had to come up with ways for me to practice on a limited budget.
And I also know that from my teaching background, we learn faster and better by “chunking” – doing something in small parts – and then doing it slowly.
So I have been teaching versions of Golf 8.5 since the early 1990’s. I look back at my notes when I gave lessons and people had certain positions or parts that they had to do to accomplish changing their swing.
But today’s version is even simpler. Today there is no need to teach posture at all. Alignment happens more automatically, distance from the ball is consistent, and less thinking over the ball. Our method, called GCAP includes 4 pre-swing elements, which make it sooooo simple.
Q: What would be your best advice to a brand new golfer learning the game?
A: Learn it through Golf 8.5. It is simpler, faster, and much more rewarding. You will now know your swing and not have to take advice from all the “Helpful Harrys”.
Q: What do you think is the biggest challenge for golfers today?
A: There is too much information out there that sounds like “TIPS” or what I call “Post-it-Notes”. And then when you go to play – you have no idea of
what post-it-note to take with you.
The golf industry sends out the message that golf is hard, but it is not.
The swing is actually easy if you understand it. And that is what we do with Golf 8.5.
Kay McMahon, An Impressive Teaching Career
Kay’s impressive resume and teaching career is a wonderful testament to her commitment and dedication to the game and to her students. In addition to her being named as a Top 50 Golf Instructor in both Golf Digest and the LPGA, she has been inducted into the LPGA Teaching Hall of Fame.
Her list of awards includes:
- LPGA T&CP Hall of Fame
- LPGA Top 50 Best Teachers – 2018
- International Network of Golf – 2015 Player Development Winner
- NENY PGA Section Teacher of the Year – 2016 (3 times)
- Golf Digest 50 Best Women Teachers in America
- NENY PGA Section Horton Smith Award for Education
- LPGA Ellen Griffin Rolex Award
- Golf Magazine Top Regional Teachers
- NENY PGA Section President’s Award
- LPGA National Teacher of the Year
- Past National LPGA T&CP President
Eloise Trainor, Co-Founder of Golf 8.5
I would be remiss to not mention Kay’s trusted business partner, Eloise Trainor, who also has an impressive background in the golf industry.
From their website, “Eloise is co-founder of eduKaytion Golf and is passionate and dedicated to Golf 8.5 making the game simpler. Her 20 years operating the FUTURES Tour, and 15 years of teaching, brings a wealth of experience and overwhelming enthusiasm to the learning environment.
Here are her achievements:
- Director of Business Development and Innovation
- Founder & CEO – FUTURES Tour (now the LPGA Symetra Tour)
- Golf 8.5 Master Certified Teacher
- LPGA Life Member
- LPGA T&CP Hall of Fame – Nominee (3 times)
Golf 8.5 – “The Best and Simplest Way to Learn – from Anywhere”
A few testimonials on the power of Golf 8.5.
“In 15 minutes, Kay made me 20 years better!”— Mark
“I’ve seen other nationally known teachers. Kay helped me in 30 seconds in very clear terms. I have never been hitting the ball better!”— Dean Knuth (USGA Inventor)
“Amazed at how simple it is” – Student
How to Sign Up and Register
Due to COVID circumstances, Kay and Eloise have been offering an online 5-week Golf Fundamentals Webinar for golfers this year. And now with winter around the corner, they are going to continue in the same capacity after receiving great feedback and success from their program.
While they have run almost 10 so far, they have plans to continue with these into the winter and spring.
She has provided a discount code, LynnLinks for $20 off the 5-week course. To join in the next online webinar, or for more information, visit her website here.
I will be joining in on this great program and will provide an updated review and my overall thoughts afterwards.
Can’t wait for the next session to start and hope to see you in there!