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Member Profile: Brad Cursio, Teaching Fundamentals at Monterey Bay Golf Academy

Member Profile: Brad Cursio, Teaching Fundamentals at Monterey Bay Golf Academy

     

      For the last thirteen years, Monterey Bay Golf Academy’s Brad Cursio has been perfecting swings and stances for golfers of all ages and skill levels. As one of the PGA Pro’s at the Pacific Grove Golf Links, where he is also director of instruction, Brad ensures everyone he works with on the course comes out of it with a good experience and just a little more knowledge of how to play the game. 

      His approach, regardless of player skill or experience, emphasizes player development, which Brad says is not confined to new players. He pursues player development through a focus on the foundation of playing the game, everything from posture and grip to direction and alignment, Brad first focuses on what a player should do before ever starting their backswing. A good foundation in the fundamentals of any sport is key to success, but this is particularly true in golf where proper swing setup and body alignment make the difference between a consistent swing and one that sometimes gets the job done. 

      Brad favors this approach, explaining that many players get ahead of themselves pursuing more advanced techniques and ideas without employing more refinement to the physical basics of the game.

      “I am not a method based teacher, but one common denominator all my students share is starting from the beginning. How are they holding their club, body and what direction are they pointing” Brad says. “Working on your foundation goes a long way, it seems golfers tend to focus on how far they can make their ball travel, before learning the proper grip, posture or alinement. That would be like trying to decorate or paint the walls of your home before the frame or drywall are up! That’s unfair and unrealistic and it sets you up to maintain bad habits and bad reactions that can decrease your enjoyment of the game.”

      Apart from simply educating the players he works with, Brad sees his emphasis on player development as a crucial effort to nurture young and advancing players to continue moving the game forward. 

      “Player development is the future of golf as a sport and the foundation of its sustainability, I develop players and make them better because they grow the sport and it’s up to us teachers to grow the game and sustain it through the players.”

      Brad grew up across the bay in Soquel and his father, Gary, managed various golf courses in the area, providing Brad with his introduction to and eventual love the sport and business of golf. He spent much of his youth hanging out in Pro Shops talking with the club pros and out on the course playing the sport and fell in love with pursuing the game as some part of his career. He played on his team in high school and worked at a course while in college at Fresno State. After graduation he worked his way through the Professional Golfer’s Association credential program and achieved his Class A status in 2009 while working around the peninsula for various golf academies and courses. Later that same year, he opened Monterey Bay Golf Academy, guided by a curriculum he designed himself with a focus on the fundamentals, reading what the flight of the golf ball is telling you of your swing and course management.

      In the golf school, a one to three day package for learners of all ages and abilities, Brad puts his students through an intensive system of study to form player fundamentals and follows this with more individualized sessions.

      “We do three hours in the morning of essentials, three hours in the afternoon on the course, putting the morning stuff into practice, and then individual player study to give them things to come back and work on the next day,” Brad says of the golf school package. “The idea is to identify player strong suits and areas that need improvement that we can work on the next day.”

Other packages include private and semi-private lessons for people of all ages and abilities and group packages for beginners and intermediate players. Brad also caters to golfers with physical challenges with a determination to ensure that players with disabilities are not kept from playing and enjoying the game. 

      At the end of the day, Brad says his business is about creating a love for the game of golf. “We want people to enjoy themselves and have fun.”