If Tommy “Tiger” Jordan has his way, the game of golf will soon be played at a whole new level in Lake Wylie.
In the fall of 2015, Jordan opened the River Hills Golf Academy in a new indoor/outdoor facility adjacent to the River Hills Country Club driving range. Jordan offers computer-aided golf instruction for juniors and adults at all skill levels.
“The teaching method that I have is unique to the area,” explained Jordan. “We use state-of-the-art high tech equipment to help teach fundamentals and improve the golf swing.”
Jordan describes the equipment as “Doppler radar for golf.” Students practice a few swings, and the FlightScope equipment measures everything from angle of attack, swing speed, the trajectory of the ball, ball speed, distance traveled in the air, spin rate, roll distance and more. “Cameras record the swing face on, side view, and down the line, and the student can watch the performance at regular speed, slow motion, and super slow motion in order to understand what works and what doesn’t.”
Watching their practice shots on the computer monitor, students can even compare their swings side-by-side to those of golf professionals, giving them the ability to tweak their own methods to improve their game. “Being able to see what they’re doing, students can clearly see why they need to make changes,” said Jordan. After each lesson, students take the videos home so they can watch and review what they’ve learned.
Jordan instructs students one-on-one using the technology to interpret results, diagnose swing flaws and coach towards improvements. “Anyone, regardless of age or physical restrictions, can improve their game by understanding the proper grip, alignment and posture,” said Jordan.
Jordan is joined at the Golf Academy by Ken Husvar, who owns Victory Custom Golf in Lake Wylie, located about a mile from River Hills Country Club. Husvar’s operation is a full retail golf store carrying name brand clubs and equipment. Husvar offers club fittings and repair for new or current golf clubs.
Kusvar joins Jordan at the River Hills facility several times a week to work with clients. He uses the flight scope and swing view technologies, along with his knowledge of club fittings, to aid all levels of players. As a long-time resident of River Hills, Husvar is excited about the new location of the teaching facility.
Basing their business at the River Hills Country Club works well for all. The building opens right up to the driving range, and students hit from the driving carpet just inside the facility.
Being at the River Hills Country Club is like coming full circle for Jordan. “My first job out of college was the Assistant Pro at River Hills. That was over 40 years ago. Now, I’m back where I started!” Jordan began playing golf at a young age, competing through high school and college, then playing professionally.
Though Jordan might be Lake Wylie’s version of professional golfer Tiger Woods, that’s not how he got his nickname. “It has nothing to do with golf,” he laughed. “I’ve been called ‘Tiger’ since I was a little kid. I grew up in Myrtle Beach, and I used to go to a summer program run by the recreation department there. They gave all the kids nicknames. My grandfather and father attended Clemson, and I had a bunch of Clemson T-shirts that I’d wear. So the folks at the rec program just started calling me ‘Tiger.’”
Jordan graduated from Brevard Junior College, where he had a full scholarship to play golf. While at Brevard, Jordan earned a spot on the National Junior College All American golf team, and was later inducted into the Brevard College Hall of Fame. He continued his college career at East Tennessee University, helping his golf team win the Ohio Valley Conference Championship.
Jordan has decades of teaching experience and enjoys helping others improve their performance and have more fun playing the game.
Jordan’s office is full of framed pictures of students and teams and tournaments. He and his wife, Susan, started the York County Chapter of the South Carolina Junior Golf Association in 1990, and have continued the program to date. Jordan looks forward to bringing junior golf activities to the River Hills Country Club.
Jordan’s approach to junior golf is different from many of the introductory programs in the area. “I teach junior golf in a method similar to that used in martial arts. Students strive to reach different levels. In the first level, they learn the basics: course etiquette, rules of the game, fundamentals. Once they pass the criteria, they move up to the next level. At about level three, they’ll be eligible for the Junior PGA leagues and inter-club leagues. Level five is college prep. These kids will likely get scholarships to play at that level.”
Jordan is working with the membership directors at River Hills Country Club, hoping to have a program for junior golfers. At the River Hills Golf Academy, juniors receive discounted lessons. “The basics, like the rules and etiquette, are taught in a classroom setting,” said Jordan, “but the swings are taught one-on-one.”
Jordan has long relationships with his clients, both adults and juniors. “With adults, either beginners or advanced golfers, we may start off with a few private lessons, and then they go on what I call a maintenance program. They may come in once a quarter or so for formal instruction. They can also come in for practice sessions, using the equipment and checking their swings.”
Jordan’s goal is to help golfers make permanent improvements in their game, but also to have fun doing it. “It’s very rewarding for me to see people get better at the game, and it’s very rewarding for them as well, to be able to see what makes the difference and then go out and do it.”
For more information about lessons, junior golf, and practice sessions with River Hills Golf Academy, contact Tommy Jordan at 803-487-7260.