Golf Channel calls, Boyne pro MIke Fay answers
BOYNE FALLS — Golf has taken Michael Fay a lot of places, literally and figuratively.
Latest stop: The Golf Channel.
Fay, the PGA head professional at Boyne Mountain’s Monument course, has joined Golf Channel as an instructor in its SwingFix program.
He is one of 50 instructors worldwide and the only in Michigan in the network’s on-line lesson program.
“I’m excited,” said Fay, 40, who has been with Boyne for five years. “The people I’ve dealt with at the Golf Channel have been aces. It was unbelievable. I was like, ‘You’re kidding me.’
“I’m honored that they want to do this with me. It’s a great way to grow the game.”
The interactive SwingFix program allows players to connect with Golf Channel through its website. Players chose their instructor then download a video of their swing. The instructor, in this case Fay, takes a look at it and responds to the player within 24 hours.
Typically, Fay will respond with a combination of comments and instruction, and will include drills along with suggestions on training aids.
“It’s a huge tool as an instructor to help make people better,” Fay said, adding that part of his philosophy is to provide the “why” a golfer is doing something wrong along with the solution.
“If I can show somebody why they slice, we can fix it,” he said. “If you don’t have any clue why you’re doing something, you just keeping beating yourself up and it’s not fun to play golf.”
Fay, the director of golf instruction at Boyne Mountain, said on-line instruction and interaction is not the wave of the future. It’s already here.
“It’s different because you don’t even talk to the person,” he said. “This is another avenue to serve people who live a long ways away from here.
“It goes along with what has happened with golf professionals over the last few years. We have really turned into coaches rather than lesson-givers.”
Among the many pluses with an on-line instruction program, as opposed to a face-to-face lesson, is that the player can continually go back and review what Fay has provided.
The Golf Channel component is the latest in Fay’s ever-growing internet golf empire.
He started his own website, mikefaygolf.com, a year ago, has a professional Facebook page with some 2,000 friends, and he hosts Ask The Pro 9 p.m. Sundays on Twitter.
“It’s about growing the game of golf,” said Fay, who has more than 1,300 followers on Twitter. “The social networking stuff is just wild. I have so much fun doing this.”
On Ask The Pro, Fay takes questions from followers and passes them along to his extensive network, which includes the likes of fellow professionals, players, teachers, club fitters. Among those in his network are Hall of Famer Nick Faldo, and famed swing coaches Butch Harmon and Hank Haney.
His website features regular contributions from writers Scott Kapla and Frank Guastella. Kapla who played in the Detroit Tigers’ minor league system, focuses on the mental aspect of athletics with a specific focus on golf. Guastella is a PGA master professional and PGA rules official.
Fay is a native of the Detroit area who earned his degree in golf management from New Mexico State University. Before coming to Boyne, he was an assistant professional at Fairmont Golf Club in Chathem, N.J.; and an assistant at Shanty Creek in Bellaire.
At Boyne, he administers the For Ladies Only Program, runs short-game clinics, the Junior Program and the Advanced Junior Program, and, in addition to all he does with his internet endeavors, gives individual lessons.