“My background in golf with those who’ve had the most influence on me… has been kind of crazy when I reflect back on it. ‘Crazy’ may not be the best description, ‘Blessed’ and incredibly fortunate, actually describe it better. 


I grew up with the Nicklaus family. Apparently, my first rounds of golf playing with Mr. Nicklaus were when I was (age) 5. While I don’t remember back that far, I can tell you that I have no idea the actual number of rounds I’ve played with him, from a teenager through my college days (mid 70’s through the late 80’s); but keep in mind, he wasn’t so much ‘Jack Nicklaus’ to me, he was simply my best friend’s dad, so yeah I pretty much took it for granted… However, and fortunately, I never forgot the ‘insights’ he shared with me about the game and how to play, like the adjustments he’d make for various conditions, challenging lies, strategies, mindset, etc…   


A couple of short stories… 

As we all know, when you witness something incredible, you never forget… So as you can imagine, there are a bunch of ‘shots' etched in my memory that I wish everyone could have seen. For example, he had to play a shot left-handed to advance it, so he flipped over a wedge and proceeded to hit it 115 yards (and over a tree that was in his line) to 3 feet. That’s not human! 


And I’m sure you know, or maybe have been told if you never saw him play, that he birdied the 18th hole just about every time he needed it. (And yes, Tiger pretty much did the same..) Well, I wish I could count the number of times he did just that (or the last few if he needed it) to beat Gary and my best ball. It was really ridiculous; Gary and I would have him down with a few to play and he’d somehow need birdie on the 18th to beat us; and the dude did it every time. He might have a 20’ downhill slider to win, and Gary would whisper to me, “you know he’s gonna make this, don’t you” and sure enough, he’d bury it. CRAZY!!!! 


Anyway, the experiences with Mr. Nicklaus alone were truly unbelievable; however, the ‘fringe’ benefits of growing up with them were also crazy cool; like being able to meet, learn from, or hang out with some of his friends and peers who would come over. For example, I was often able to get help with my game from Jack Grout, Mr. Nicklaus’s longtime swing coach, when he was in town. And spending hours practicingours) with Gary Player, around the putting/chipping green in their backyard, when he would stay with them in the early 80’s. (btw, Gary Nicklaus was named after Gary Player) After he finished ‘schooling’ Gary and I in every competition (games) we came up with, he would then show us how to play the various shots... And the following are some other players and coaches who I was able to learn from: Greg Norman, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Norman Von Nida, Phil Rogers, Gardner Dickenson, Tony Pena, Davis Love II, and Bob Toski. 


So yeah, I was incredibly fortunate with whom I was able to learn this game from. And I can admit I was somewhat of an underachiever in regard to competitive success, because obviously, I wasn’t lacking in knowledge, insight or experience... Yeah, I was able to win a few decent tournaments, and had a fairly respectable college resume, but as I reflect back, I always seemed to get as much enjoyment from helping my friends with their games as I did with my own game. So, when my path changed to teaching/coaching, which I believe has always been my calling, I was once again incredibly fortunate. I’ll spare you the details for my teaching/coaching education, but I will tell you, just because you know how to play does not mean you can teach. They are two different animals. 


Anyway, there have been many instructors/coaches that I’ve been fortunate to have learned from; however, the following have had the most influence with how I teach, coach, and communicate: Jim Flick (Hall of Fame), Bob Toski (Hall of Fame), Rick Smith (National Teacher of the Year), Henry Young (3 Time Michigan Teacher of the Year), Martin Hall (National Teacher of the Year), and Mike Malaska (National Teacher of the Year). 

Yes, I’ve been fortunate with what I’ve learned and from whom I learned from. So, at this stage of my career, I feel a responsibility to pass along as much of that insight as possible, and giving credit to whom it came from, so hopefully such insight will have a chance to live on… 

Jim Sowerwine golf instruction

                                                                     


            Brief Bio:



  • Ranked ‘Top 25 Teachers’ in the state of Florida – Golf Digest Magazine (multiple years)


  • Patriot Golf School Master Instructor (2019 - current)


  • PGTAA Master Instructor 


  • Awarded Top Ten PGTAA Teachers (2020)


  • Featured Instructional Editor for ‘Golf Illustrated Magazine’ (2007-2011)


  • Voted ‘Top 10 Golf Professionals of Naples’ (FL) – by ‘Gulfshore Life Magazine’ (2006)


  • Director of Instruction, Rick Smith Golf Academy @ Tiburon, Naples, FL; GOLF Magazine's ‘Top 25 Schools in America for 10 consecutive years (1998 – 2008) 


  • Coached multiple Tour Players, with wins on the PGA, Champions, and Nationwide tours (1989 - 2009)


  • Founder / inventor of the Inside Approach ‘Slice Correction Trainer’ - Awarded the ‘#1 Swing Trainer of the Year’ by ‘Golf Digest Magazine’ (2004 and 2005)


  • Consulted several start-up golf companies (2004 – present)


  • Featured golf instructor for several corporate outings, including: Ford Motor Company, Pepsi, PepsiCo/Yum, and Merrill Lynch (1998 – 2009)


  • Multiple appearances as on the Golf Channel Academy (2000 – 2003)


  • Lead Instructor for the ‘Nicklaus - Flick’ Golf Schools (1997 – 1998)

 

  • Played professional golf (various tours) (1992 – 1993)


  • Design Coordinator for ‘Nicklaus Design’ (golf course design and site coordinator for Jack Nicklaus’ golf course design company) (1990 – 1992) 


  • Member of  the ‘University of North Carolina Men’s golf team (4 year letterman)


  • Andy Hacskaylo Award, ‘Low Stroke Average’ (1998)Most Valuable Player (1998) 


  • All American Honors (1988)
  • Bachelors degree from ‘The University of North Carolina’ (1989)


  • Competed in 5 USGA Championships (1 US Jr, 3 US Amateurs, 1 Mid Am)



          Currently

  • Dir. of Instruction, Pelican's Nest GC, Bonita Springs, FL
  • MEANDMYPRO / Partner (U.S. and Canada)


Testimonials

I have known Jim Sowerwine for about 16 years while he has been at various levels of instruction. After knowing him for a very short while, I decided to have him look at my swing. To me, there is no one more knowledgeable about technique and mechanics than Jim. He was very good at conveying his message in a way I could relate to, which is a special quality in a teacher. Even after I retired from the tour, he helped me keep my game in shape. He is a great coach and I highly recommend him to help you with your golf swing needs.

Good Golfing,

  -Mark Lye

  PGA Tour player for 18 years  Golf Channel analyst for 17 years


  

I worked with Jim on my game for 3 years, while I was a member of both the PGA and Nationwide Tours.  Jim was an accomplished player prior to teaching so he understands the game from a player’s perspective.  He knows that playing golf is different than playing ‘golf swing’.  Having been a player himself, he’s able to effectively demonstrate what he’s teaching. Many times, it was easier to “see” what he wanted me to do by watching him illustrate with his own swing. 

Jim also has the unique ability to keep difficult motions simple and easy to implement.  This was not only apparent to me and other tour players who worked with him, but I watched him work equally effective with high handicappers… an ability not often found with other teachers.

   -Ryan Howison

    14 Year member with the PGA Tour 

    3 Time Nationwide Tour Champion

    Former collegiate baseball player that Jim helped transition to professional golfer



I started taking lessons from Jim after I fully retired in September of 2013. What impressed me about Jim was not only his ability to see the mechanical problems with my swing but his manner of putting the fixes in words, visuals and feelings I could understand and relate too. I’ve taken a number of lessons over the years, some from the best instructors out there. Jim’s simple explanations and demonstrations of the corrections I needed to make to my swing have allowed me, after following his advice, to go from around a 15 handicap to a currently trending 9 in a relatively short amount of time. At age 70 I think that’s simply amazing and I give much of the credit to Jim for making that possible.

   -Jim Beltrame Naples, Florida



Jim is widely known as one of the best teaching professionals in Southwest Florida. I am very impressed with his knowledge, his analysis, and his ability to communicate constructive suggestions for improving the swing and other aspects of the game. Highly recommended! 

  -Robert D.



Recently took my first lesson with Jim. Found all the reviews that I have read posted on thumbtack to be spot on. Excellent instructor, very easy to communicate with and seems to have an abundance of ideas on how to get you swinging the club better. I would highly recommend scheduling a lesson with Jim. Can’t think of any reason not to schedule another lesson in the future.

 -Sydney W.



Jim is an experienced easy to talk to professional instructor who takes the time to have a dialogue with you about your game before rushing in to correct something. He balances the practical with technical aspects of teaching always tuned in to your needs. Jim clearly explains and demonstrates what he suggests will improve your game. He is also very generous with his time, e.g. going slightly beyond your session time to make sure you are comfortable with the takeaways. Jim’s post session notes, sent via email, are a clear and concise summary of the main learning points and drills. Highly recommended for both beginners and advanced golfers.   -Phylip P. 



Like a lot of players with decent athletic ability, I was able to “get by” for years with little more than a basic understanding of a proper golf swing. However, as age creeps up and flexibility diminishes, one finally reaches the point where poor technique exacts a steep cost. As I watched Jim work with Gail (my wife), to dramatically improve her swing and ball striking, I decided that the time had come to develop a fundamentally sound swing that would help to sustain my game over the years.

Working with Jim has been eye opening. He quickly diagnosed flaws that had crept into my game and patiently introduced the mechanics of a repeatable golf swing. As a teacher, he is outstanding at demonstrating the correct techniques. Moreover, he has a gift for finding the right way to convey his message — often taking multiple approaches to be sure that you understand the key elements. He always inserts helpful drills to reinforce proper techniques and provides us with excellent review notes highlighting the significant points of each teaching session. These personalized tips are easily transferred to promote highly productive practice sessions.

Bottom line, Jim is a coach with the ability to relate to players of all levels. If you want to improve your success and enjoyment of the game, we would highly recommend Jim Sowerwine.

   -Walter & Gail McCormick 



I was able to meet with Jim three times recently before returning to our home up north. What I really liked is how Jim was able to shape the instruction to the needs of the student (me in this case).  Jim doesn't hurry, is extremely patient with the student and listens as well as he coaches. I particularly liked the follow-up each time as Jim emailed a set of summary notes complete with what we worked on, points of emphasis, and reminders.  I would hire Jim in a minute if/when we are in the area again as I would like to continue the instruction at some point after putting my learning's into play.  For all of you on the "fence" (to take a lesson or not) - do not hesitate to hire Jim once you decide to improve your game.  -Phyl S.



After playing golf for 25 years my handicap has gone up in the last few years. With that I was losing my envy to play. Already after two lessons, Jim has helped me to correct my swing easily and given me back the fun of the game. I look forward to continuing with him and I highly recommend him.  

 -Fernand S.



Jim is widely known as one of the best teaching professionals in Southwest Florida. I am very impressed with his knowledge, his analysis, and his ability to communicate constructive suggestions for improving the swing and other aspects of the game. Highly recommended! 

 -Robert D.



I have taken lessons from Jim over the past year. He is a very professional instructor who personalized the lesson to not only the skill level but the physical ability of the student. He has taken my game to another level but more than that he has taught me how to relax and enjoy the game. When I start slipping back into old habits, I review his notes and am able to get back on my game. He is a great instructor who will help anyone looking to improve their game and joy it more.

   -Kathy C.



My mind was overloaded with swing thoughts to the point it was not enjoyable to play.  Jim simplified my approach to the game by focusing on results rather than mechanics. My scores have improved and more importantly I am enjoying the game for the first time in many years. Thanks Jim.   -John E.



Best golf instruction I have ever received. Jim starts with the fundamentals and then adds elements to your personal needs that enable continued improvement in one's playing ability. His coaching has allowed me to understand my swing, such that I now have the awareness and understanding for how to make the necessary ‘on course’ adjustments when my old tendencies creep in. This has allowed me to lower my handicap and increase my enjoyment of the game.  -George H.



I have worked on my swing with Jim for the past year and would recommend him highly. Very knowledgeable, and an excellent teacher. He is friendly and understanding. His years of experience have given him the ability to analyze your swing and the techniques to get you to improve it. I am playing so much better and enjoying the game more.   -Lawrence B.