“Be the right club today!” It’s the iconic quote Hal made on the last hole of the 2000 Players Championship, hitting the clutch six-iron of his career to secure a victory over Tiger Woods at TPC Sawgrass. The two-time Players Champion and victor at the 1983 PGA Championship at Riviera Country Club has a resume that would stand up to most players. Fourteen PGA TOUR wins, four Ryder Cups, and one Ryder Cup captaincy later, Sutton embarks on an exciting new venture in Houston, Texas, Hal Sutton Golf, a state-of-the-art teaching academy that just recently opened its doors.
Back in 2017, Hal opened the Hal Sutton Golf Academy at Big Easy Ranch in Columbus, Texas. However, with the facility’s location being 75 miles from Houston, he felt its remoteness was a hindrance to building the business. “We taught mostly kids. If a mom brought her child out there, she would have to take a half-day for a one hour lesson,” Sutton lamented. Today, The Golf Academy at Big Easy Ranch remains open under the direction of PGA Director of Golf, Casey Russell.
Sutton, on the other hand, is excited to collaborate with Chase Cooper, a former playing professional and astute voice on golf teaching technology. “I brought Chase in–he had a lot of knowledge when it comes to 3-dimensional golf. We bought all the bells and whistles and put them in the new academy,” boasts Sutton. Hal Sutton Golf is an indoor academy, but Hal has arrangements with various local facilities to bring his instruction outdoors and onto the golf course. Hal added, “It’s the best of both worlds.”
Located right in the center of Houston, Sutton has three teaching bays; two equipped with TrackMan and the other with Foresight Sports technology. In the back, there are four more hitting bays that have FlightScope Mevo Plus, where you can play golf or get data, and an indoor putting green in the building. Sutton touted, “The beautiful part about having three different types of devices gathering data is you find out how accurate the data is because all these things are close.” When he hears naysayers doubting the validity of golf teaching technology, Sutton states, “trust me, believe in it.”
Sutton and Cooper offer a variety of player development programs for juniors and adults. The month programs have already become popular with golfers of all levels. “I like to call it player development because it’s for anybody who wants to be a better golfer,” Hal says. “I don’t know a golfer who doesn’t want to be better.” With the 4,500 square foot facility only open since August, Sutton admits they don’t know everything their customers will desire.
“We’re fluid,” says Sutton. “Our hours will be fluid and our programs will be fluid.” This flexibility will depend upon what his clientele is looking for as winter rolls around. “As we see what we need to develop, we will develop it for them,” he added. In addition to Hal and Chase, former mini-tour player Will Paulsell rounds out the teaching staff. “I think we have more wisdom in our academy than almost any place,” Sutton states with confidence and pride. “I’m excited about teaching with the two of them.”
With two artificial hips and an artificial left knee, the 62-year-old Sutton’s competitive playing days are admittedly behind him, but through his vast knowledge of the golf swing and his insight on what it takes to help golfers of all levels improve, the Louisiana native is engaging his students and growing the game–one legendary six-iron at a time. To learn more about the #1 Elite Coaching Team in Texas, please visit HalSuttonGolf.com.