Shandin Hills Golf Course

Shandin Hills Golf Course

4.9 (16)
40 hires on

About this pro

My approach to teaching golf is showing new students how to learn golf at their pace of understanding.  Each student has his/her's strengths and weaknesses.   I believe good instruction is accommodating to the students level.  Experienced golfers require the same approach as to pace but usually need more refined drills to make changes for their swing.

The most important motive for me as an instructor is to share the importance of learning all aspects of golf:  Putting, chipping, sand, and developing a comfortable repeatable swing the student be able to maintain for many years.

I have been a PGA member instructing golf for over 30 years and gain personal satisfaction watching my students gain the skill required to play golf.  I'd rather not bore you with tournaments of the past and awards because they're not what's really important in golf. Playing the game and being with other people is the real enjoyment.

I enjoy being outdoors teaching a sport that I love playing myself and seeing my students develop the love of playing golf too!

My story: Which drives my feelings about learning  golf.

I originally began playing golf at 18 years old during my first summer after high school graduation. I made sure I would learn the right way with instruction.   I joined a men's club and began keeping track of my score and liked playing little club tournaments.  I began to realize the weaknesses in my game which became my sole focus of more lessons and practice.  After 13 months of playing, practice, tournaments, my handicap of 21 the first two months began to drop dramatically one year later to a 3 handicap and I'm playing in the final group of the club championship.  I didn't win but second place was unbelievable to me and other skeptics too.

I felt it important to begin college and tried out for Jr college golf team.  The coach asked about my experience and was very skeptical about me trying out.  He asked the other players who never heard of me or knew me if I really shot the scores during the tryouts.  I played as the #1 player for the team by the second match. I transferred to UCSB and played NCAA golf for two more years, again the coach doubting my short golf experience.  So, I try to give my students the benefit of the doubt towards improvement.  I try to convince my students that nobody can stand in their way of success except themselves.

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San Bernardino, CA 92405
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16 Reviews


  • Jim Mulvihill

    Tom Kelly has been an excellent instructor; I feel I'm progressing smoothly. Thank you.

  • Geovany Siguenza

    Like the practice facilities. It includes something for every aspect of the game

  • Jeffon Seely

    Tom is a great instructor. Would highly recommend him to anyone looking to improve their game.

  • Gayle Grove

    Tom is a great instructor. I am 61 and am proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks. I never played golf before and Tom was able to draw from his knowledge of people and their life experiences to teach proper technique. The course seems adequate and well maintained and not very crowded.

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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

Talk to the student and ask what their goals are during a golf lesson.

Ask my students their golf experience and other sports they have enjoyed.    

I need to know how much practice time is comfortable during their lessons so I’m able to schedule follow up appointments beneficial to their progress.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

PGA instructor for 35 years.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

$50 per lesson hr. Incl.range balls

or $35 per lesson 1/2 hr incl range balls

$250 for 6 - 1 hr. lessons incl range balls

9 hole playing lesson $75 incl green fee & Cart

How did you get started teaching?

In 1983 began working as assistant pga member at public golf course Whittier Narrows public Golf Course.

I was asked to run group clinics and demonstrate golf shots.   At first I admit it was nerve wracking, afraid of students becoming worse.   After my very first lesson given, the student actually was so happy to improve she wanted more help.  That was my greatest accomplishment!

What types of students have you worked with?

all ages male/female 

some students with disabilities (blind, students with Autism, cerebral palsy)

new students, experienced accomplished players, and frustrated overwhelmed individuals who almost quit.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

competing in PGA teaching competition at Mission Hills with student whom WON with the lowest net score.  (2016. May). Student went on to win another event 2 days later.

Preparing for the Senior PGA Tour, seeing how well prepared you have to be playing under stress and expectations.  

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

I would look for an instructor who values learning at realistic pace and teaches the whole game (putting, chipping, sand, and golf course management, not just swing.) A teacher who concentrates on lowering a students score.  Also, find an instructor who listens to his/her students.   

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

ask what the instructor feels is the most important about learning golf.  If he/she answers that learning must be fun , challenging, and leave with a sense of wanting more.   

Lessons offered