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About Coach Tom

A Lifetime of Playing Golf

My coaching story begins long before I became a golf instructor. I began playing golf at the eight years old. I carried on to play in high school and then a couple of years at Penn State University. I took a few years away from the game to finish my degree and get established in the banking business. But after graduating from Penn State and moving out to Denver, I caught the bug to play golf again.

I set my sights on the Senior Tour, thinking that in 20 years, I ought to be good enough to compete. As it turned out, I had a fruitful and enjoyable amateur career.

I played in 2 Colorado Opens, won several amateur tournaments and took the cup at 3 club championships (1 at Meadow Hills Golf Club and 2 at the old Englewood Golf Club).

I am proud to say I went from a handicap of 8.3 on 4/18/86 to scratch on 10/13/90. I also have had 7 hole-in-ones.


I worked hard on my game, and with the help of 3-4 days a week playing a near-by par 3 course, I began winning tournaments. The par 3 play helped my short game immensely. That was the beginning of playing some great golf.

I went to a golf school in Phoenix in 1988, presented by Chuck Hogan. Chuck had worked with PGA and LPGA pros, including Peter Jacobson and Mike Reid. He was a great asset in teaching me how the brain works, and how, by keeping the brain on the right track, one can improve their game. I worked on mental imagery, affirmations, mental rehearsal, and meditation. My game improved and I became a scratch golfer by the end of the 1990 golf season.

But what strikes me when looking back – and what became the reason I wanted to begin teaching golf – is that I probably took too many lessons. For years, I played swing mechanics rather than playing golf. I had natural ability and a good swing from when I was young but, I had taken too many lessons in effort to find the perfect swing. I became obsessed with perfection and lost my natural swing. I was trying to play golf, and consequently, I stopped enjoying the game. I saw this happen for other players, too. I decided to become a golf instructor to help people advance their game without sacrificing their love for the sport.


Over the years, I worked with and learned from many of the top golf instructors, including Brad Neher, Steve Beach, Mike McGetrick, Paul Lobato, Bill Farquhar, Sean Mackin, Ann Wolta and Hod Chronister (my boyhood teacher and coach).

To further my teaching skills, I graduated from the Professional Golf Teachers Association of America (PGTAA) course, earning the certification of Class A Master Teaching Professional.

I began teaching professionally at D’Lance Golf in 2008, a custom club fitter in Englewood. In addition to working with individuals, I’ve also coached with several fantastic organizations that have a great mission.

I’ve been a golf instructor with the First Tee for many years and I’ve instructed several Master Classes for advanced junior players through the Gold Crown Foundation. I’ve also enjoyed working with Rounds Fore Kids whose mission it is to bring golf to all juniors who want to play regardless of their financial resources.

I was fortunate to meet up with an old friend and playing partner, Brad Neher, who mentored me for several years. Brad studied under golf instructor Bob Toski. Toski won multiple times on Tour, including the 1954 World Championship of Golf, and was inducted into the Golf Hall of Fame in 2013. I was fortunate to accompany Neher to Florida to observe Bob Toski teach for a day.

Since then, I’ve worked with and coached some fine young amateur players in Colorado. Spencer Painton, of Regis High School, won the 2013 5A State Championship and went on to play at the University of Kansas before transferring to the University of Colorado’s team. Spencer turned professional in January of 2019.

Certified Golf Coach with the Professional Golf Teachers Association of America
Professional Golf Teachers
Association of America
First Tee of Denver Junior Golf Program  logo
The First Tee Denver
Volunteer Golf Coach for Gold Crown Foundation Colorado
Gold Crown Foundation Colorado
PGA Junior League Golf Coach
PGA Junior League Golf
Rounds Fore Kids Denver

I also coached Payton DeVencenty and Hayden Nicholaides at Lutheran High School. Both boys went on to play college golf at Concordia University and The Masters University in California

Another student, Heather Kroll, from the Horizon High School team, made it to State all four years, and went on to play all four years at Mesa University, in Grand Junction, Colorado.


Looking Forward

It’s been an honor to coach these players and help them grow into the game. I am excited to help more players, of all ages, advance their skills and have some fun along the way.

I look forward to working with you! Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Peace, love & birdies-