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
I was so intrigued, I offered it up to my followers here and we have now just finished up with the 5 week online program. If you scroll further down, you’ll see my personal review of the course and my experience learning from this LPGA Hall of Fame Teaching Instructor.
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
Personal Review of Kay’s 5-Week Golf 8.5 Online Instruction
I have just finished up my first Golf Fundamentals webinar series, the online 5-week program with Kay McMahon and I wanted to post here my personal experience.
Honestly, I wasn’t sure how much I would actually learn through a weekly 1-hour session online, especially as I am a visual and hands-on learner.
Each session was to focus on learning different aspects of the 8.5 steps of the swing as this was the Golf Fundamentals program. I was interested in these steps as the golf swing can be extremely difficult to teach because everyone is different.
In the first 2 sessions, there was a lot to take in as she was teaching her methodology of the swing. However, because it is such a simple step by step technique, I finally had my aha moment in week 2 when I was practicing at home. One thing that I have had issues with is taking the club back properly in my backswing. With her simple method, I now know how to take my club back fully and easily transition to the downswing.
As a golfer who has been playing for many years, I love that she has broken the swing down into steps that I can practice. I think she mentioned something about breaking it all down, learning each step before being able to get in the proper zone and not have to think about it any longer. All athletes and all golfers, even the professionals need to go back to the basics, to their foundational technique routinely to ensure they are performing correctly.
From her program, I am now working on my grip. As simple as this seems, Kay stressed how important this is in the golf swing. And I hate to admit this, but I had really never thought about it before. As part of her teaching, she had mentioned that the hands are one of the 3 top essentials that affect every golfer’s swing.
So, I have been working on practicing the correct grip for the last couple of weeks and I am feeling as though it is now becoming second nature now. And the great thing – I am feeling much more freedom and feel in my hands.
The way the program worked was we would have a 1 hour live Zoom call where she would teach and demonstrate. It was highly interactive with the group, many times going over the alotted time, which she was totally ok with. She loved our questions and always had a great answer.
After the live session, she sent us the video recording of the call, in addition to helpful video links, .pdf’s, and slides to help enhance what we had learned that week. Very helpful info. As part of the program, Kay offered video analysis of our swings or any problems we seemed to be having, which was such a great resource of feedback to have.
The bonus for me was that Kay hosts an additional weekly live zoom call sometimes with guest speakers and also a chance to ask any questions. Kind of like a weekly check-in for any of her Golf 8.5 students. This has been a wonderful way to ask questions and interact with other golfers, as well as receive Kay’s insight and wealth of experience. I found this to be such a welcoming group and an additional place to learn.
I have sadly finished the 5 week program, but am excited to attend her next session which is on course management and strategy. Something we all can think more about on the golf course.
What I have noticed from taking her course is that I live in a region that has a cold winter, and she has given me the motivation to keep learning and practicing my golf game through the winter.
If you are interested in her program and her offerings, keep reading below.
How to Sign Up and Register
Kay McMahon’s online 5-week program includes Golf Fundamentals, Golf Strategies, Course Management, and Practice Plans.
After receiving such great feedback and success from their participants and students, she has plans to continue with these through the winter and spring.
To join in the next online webinar, or for more information, visit her website here. Don’t forget to use the discount code, LynnLinks for $20 off the 5-week course or other offerings.
Hope to see you in her online class and Friday calls!