Area Golf: Taking golf to the next level | | Brainerd, Minnesota

Area Golf: Taking golf to the next level

Posted: July 17, 2012 - 11:32pm

Kristine Reese and Tiffany Yager were athletes first.

Then they got sucked into golf and their worlds changed.

It’s because of their involvement in other sports that both women are working with Vision 54, a golf instructional program created by coaches Lynn Marriott and Pia Nilsson. Vision 54 has worked with Grace Park, Annika Sorenstam and other top tour professionals.

Yager and Reese will bring their insights to Deacon’s Lodge for a four-day golf school that will take what golf students have learned on the driving range to the golf course.

“Our students are going to learn how to play better golf on the golf course and manage themselves,” said Reese. “Being over the ball can be a very sensory experience. We help players become performers over the golf ball, not thinkers. Not everyone likes the word athlete so we use performer. We help people get into their performance state and use it to play better. It’s called the peak performance state. This is nothing we made up at Vision54. It’s the science behind peak performance. We teach students how to do this on the golf course.”

Reese said there are five components to the golf game with physical and technical being the two that draw the most focus. What she and Yager will work on are the mental, emotional and social golf skills needed to enhance the physical and technical.

“It’s funny when we play golf, of the four hours we’re on the golf course, we probably only play golf for 20 minutes,” said Reese. “You take 20 seconds for your pre-shot and then two-nine seconds for your shot and you do this however many times during your four or four and a half hour round. We help players manage that time in between shots and help them conserve their energy. We help them enjoy the scenery and the nature and the competition.”

There will be two four-hour sessions each day at Deacon’s. During most of that time, students will be on the course rather than on the driving range.

“What’s so great about what we do is players see themselves get better immediately,” said Reese. “It’s happening on the golf course. Players walk away knowing they can implement what they learned. We’re not working on the golf swing explicitly so you don’t have to improve to get better. We’re taking what you already do and helping you fine tune it on the golf course.”

Reese, whose father is former Minnesota Twins player Rich Reese, said her first round of golf was at Breezy Point Resort. She too played softball, but found success in golf as a member for the LPGA T*&CP, Futures tour and on the Asian Tour. She is also Titleist Performance Institute certified and NG360 certified and fell in love with coaching.

Yager was a college fast pitch softball player and did her undergraduate work in coaching and sports psychiatry. It was at this time she started playing golf. After a year and a half she was on the mini tours. This was when she started working for Vision 54 as a player. After her graduate work, she was asked to return as an employee.

“Our industry has been hyper focused on the technical part of golf,” said Yager. “There hasn’t been enough concentration on helping people with those other aspects of the game. Players put in all this hard work into the technical and physical parts of golf and often times nobody ever looks at the other parts of the game. For instance, how often do you have to make a decision and commit to it? Every shot. It’s things like that, making decisions, course management that once you start to put a lens on it and focus on it, players can get more return on the investments they’ve already made with the club professionals.”

The school costs $125 for juniors and $200 for adults with a reduced price for those interested in attending all four sessions. The school is open to men, women, coaches and juniors.

For more information or to reserve space call Reese at (480) 225-9671 or email her at

“The last piece to this is, players aren’t broken,” said Reese. “Many people use mental coaches and we aren’t here to fix what isn’t broken, but to focus on other essential playing skills when it comes to the game of golf.”

JEREMY MILLSOP, sports writer, may be reached at 855-5856 or Follow on Twitter at