The Art of the Long Game? hmm, that doesn’t seem right

From time to time things pop up that you realized but sometimes don’t put a ton of thought into until it is presented right in front of you.  I was at a PGA meeting the otherRory McIlroy bunker day and it was presented that there is a ton of research and percentage breakdowns of shots including putting, wedges, irons, hybrids/woods, and driver.  Now, we all know that putting accounts for 43% of the shots you take during a normal round.  Did you know that wedge shots account for 26% of the shots per round?  So a quarter of the shots you hit in any given round are within roughly 100 yards of the green.  I knew it was high but didn’t recall it was that staggering of a number.   Then, when you put wedges and putting together that paints quite a short game picture.   It’s also funny that when I look over to our nice 120-yard short game area at Hillandale Golf Club in Durham, NC (also equipped with a bunker), it’s normally a ghost town.  Range is packed, but rarely anyone utilizes this area.   It amazes me that players still can’t figure out if they put 3/4ths of their practice time into putting and wedges they would probably lower their score dramatically within a short period of time and maintain those low scores.

How do you practice short game?  It can be tough if you practice at a driving range that doesn’t have the resources like a putting green or chipping area.  Here are a couple tips to get you on your way.  Remember, my door is always open for questions if you just ask.

“Outside the Box” steps to improve short gameJack Putting at Augusta

  1. Putt indoors using materials like tape to outline you target lines and alignment
  2. Chip in your back yard using a bucket placed and various distances and trying to hole shots
  3. Purchase a small bucket and only hit shots less than 60 yards picking out specific areas on the range like a discoloration in the grass or a pole.  (Using a range finder for yardages helps)
  4. Utilize your local public course’s putting green (Most people won’t think this is “Outside the Box” but a lot of players think the practice areas are off-limits.  They are not.  Use them!
  5. Find an empty Baseball/Softball Field and get a Shag Bag with balls. (until someone politely asks you to leave)
  6. Make abbreviated pitch shot swings in the garage with no ball and use an old piece of carpet to act like grass.

I can’t probably sit here for hours coming up with different ideas and these might not be the best for you but just a way to get started.

Now, if you are a member at a nice course or have a great short game practice area then you better familiarize yourself with it.  If you’re reading this thinking “I practice my short game all the time” then great, double your efforts!

Everyone has the opportunity to become better at golf and improving your short game will help tremendously.   Work hard and try to develop feel with these 100-yard and in shots and you will improve quicker than you ever imagined.

Brian Ondrako is a PGA Certified Professional and teaches golf at Wildwood Green Golf Club in Raleigh, North Carolina. For more information on golf lessons or to contact Brian please click here

The Art of the Long Game? hmm, that doesn’t seem right2011-06-30T22:17:05-04:00

Leesville Road HS captures State Title!

Congrats to Raleigh, North Carolina’s own Leesville Road High School for capturing the Men’s Golf State Championship for 2011.  Held at Pinehurst #6, Leesville Road was one of the favorite’s coming in after a dominating season where they won basically every match they participated in.   I know how hard they worked throughout the season to achieve this goal.  Continued success down the road guys!

Leesville Road HS captures State Title!2021-03-19T10:41:14-04:00

Flyin high with confidence?

As I sit here flying over the Midwest on my way to Hawaii, it makes me look back at the last couple rounds of golf I played and what I learned.

When I speak to many of my students i notice that most have confidence issues. They can stripe the ball on the range but can’t “take it” to the course. I realize that the hazards in your mind play a tremendous role in this but one other factor gets lost in the mix.

Most (like 97%) do not prepare themselves properly for their round
of golf. They might hit 50 7-irons in a row and then a bunch of drivers and say “I’m hitting it great”. Then, it unravels from there.

The reason it is the case is how many times do you hit your 7 iron
and driver in the round? Maybe 16-17 times if your lucky. How many times do you hit a half wedge or a low 6 iron or a cut 3-

The fact is that you need to practice the majority of shots when practicing to get ready for the round. If not, your touch will be extremely off and you will lose touch around the greens and your vision for the course will be thrown off.

My advice: if your working on a swing adjustment then work on it. But, in the days leading up to a round you must turn off the thinking mind and turn on the playing mind. You must hit a variety of shots while working on visualization and alignment. If you continue to think swing then will lose your focus on the rest of the game and therefore your scores will rocket too high.

Have a game plan leading up to your round and during your round and you will be amazed how your overall quality of play improves.

Flyin high with confidence?2011-05-09T17:11:46-04:00

Heritage Classic turned out to be a classic!

What a great round of golf by Brandt Snedeker in the final round of the Heritage Classic.  He survived a tough competitor in Luke Donald who was trying to find the top spot in the world if he had captured the plaid jacket.

Did anyone notice the pace that Snedeker plays at?  It might be something to look into for the average player.  I am not saying you need to race through your pre-shot routine and hit the ball quickly, but I find a large amount of players take way too long over the golf ball.  The demons start to creep into the mind and that only leads to bad shots.

My suggestion is to work on a pre-shot routine where you take one or two looks at your final target and then look back at the ball for a second and no more.  Then, you just gotta pull the trigger and hit it.  No thoughts are better than a bad thought.  I can guarantee that!

What happens with most players is they are trying to process their whole swing over the golf ball just before they hit it.  It’s like your cramming for a final exam you have the next day.  Your brain cannot process that information nor can the physical body.  It does more harm than good.

So, next time your out playing I want you to give it some thought.  It might take several swings to get used to it but I promise that you will clear your mind and hit more quality golf shots.

– Brian Ondrako, PGA

Heritage Classic turned out to be a classic!2011-04-25T03:11:02-04:00

What a finish!!!

Congrats to Charl Schwartzel for a dominant final round at Augusta National. After a pursuit by some of the top players in the world and an unfortunate stumble by the young Irishman, Charl showed brilliance coming down the stretch.

Did anyone learn anything from that final round???

The reality is that your never really out of it….There were a host of players in the mix throughout the day and they all had their chance to claim the title. Your going to get some great bounces and rolls, as Charl got on the 1st and 3rd holes, as well as some bad breaks along the way as well. With any round of golf even a final round at Augusta you must stay patient and focus on every swing. It is vital that you never get out of the present moment or your mind can cost you the title or breaking 100….depending on what situation your in.

I really hope everyone had a chance to sit in front of the tv and watch that epic final round….it really was one for the ages and had you biting your nails until the bitter end….

Up next is the US Open at Congressional in 2 months time….who knows what story will unfold there…we’ll have to just wait and see.

What a finish!!!2011-04-11T02:09:19-04:00

The Masters is around the corner…you know what that means…

The golf season is already starting the kick into high gear and normally the Masters week is when it officially begins.  Some thoughts and tips for those players who are easing into the season but have high hopes for better rounds this year.

1.  Just because you haven’t gotten outside to practice doesn’t mean you cannot work on proper fundamentals in the house.  With some work on the grip, set-up, and alignment you can get your season started off a lot better than in past years.

2.  Don’t ignore fitness but add more to your work-outs.  Golf is not a lazy man’s game as was once thought.  You need to be in good shape to not only get through one round of golf but months of continual wear on your body.  Work on your conditioning especially your endurance and flexibility and it will help you tremendously this year.

3.  What normally goes first after a long layoff?…putting.  Although many players think they are good putters because they might not 3-putt from 30-feet, it is the ones who can capitalize on a great iron shot and make the birdie putt that will shoot the lower scores.  If you don’t have a bunch on time right now, head over to your nearest putting green or work inside on your carpet and get your stroke feeling good again.  You start making a few of those 8 to 12-footers and your confidence will improve.

4. Don’t let the first couple rounds of golf get to you too much.  Your bound to have some bad holes and poor swings coming off a few month lay-off.  Make plans to play a couple 9-hole rounds to ease into the season.  This way when your leagues start at work or your big tournament is approaching you will be better prepared mentally which is important for maintaining control when your on the course.

These are just a few thoughts to get your season started off correctly.  If you need some help with your game then don’t hesitate to ask.  Another pair of eyes on your game will always help you improve quicker.   Have a great day.

Augusta Flags

The Masters is around the corner…you know what that means…2011-03-27T15:44:00-04:00

Certified Professional Test Passed!!!

Today, I passed my PGA Certified Professional test.  I have been studying hard for the last 6-8 months to prepare and educate myself on all the information that I would need to know for the test.  I’m happy all the hard work has paid off.  The education I received will further help me coach my student’s on all aspects of their golf game.

For those that are wondering, being a PGA Certified Professional is a step-up in the Professional Golfer’s Association of America.  The easiest way to explain it is to compare it to receiving a Master’s Degree in a given field.  Now, my next step is to prepare over the next several years to go for my Master Professional status with the PGA.

In the meantime, I hope to get the opportunity to work with old and new students this season and help you all achieve phenomenal results!

It’s gonna be a great season.

See you all out there!

Certified Professional Test Passed!!!2021-03-19T10:41:14-04:00

My New Home @ a Historic Gem…

If everyone hasn’t been informed yet, I have recently moved my instruction over to Hillandale Golf Club in Durham, NC.  I will also be overseeing Hillandale Logothe Club Repair operation as well as doing some Clubfitting.  The Hillandale Staff has been extremely accommodating with this transition and I am excited for the season to fully begin.  If you haven’t been over to play Hillandale in a while you need to stop back!  The course is fair in length and is fun for all skill levels.  They have one of the best Pro Shops in the country and can get you set up with the newest equipment at the most competitive price.

If you want to find more information on Hillandale and the services we offer please check out the website at or call at (919) 286-4211.

My New Home @ a Historic Gem…2021-03-19T10:41:14-04:00

Michael breaks through for first title!

Michael de Montbrun trophy

Congratulations to Michael de Montbrun of Leesville Road High School for capturing the 2011 Tar Heel Junior – 12 Oaks Event.  Michael has worked hard on his game over the past year and this title just goes to show that if you put hard work in you will reap the benefits of it.  Good job Michael, 2011 is starting off on a great note for you.

Michael breaks through for first title!2021-03-19T10:41:15-04:00

LPGA legend Nancy Lopez


She was extremely nice and said she is working hard on the game…so who knows, maybe a comeback.

LPGA legend Nancy Lopez2021-03-19T10:41:15-04:00

Ms. 59!


Annika helping out little linksters golf at the pga show

Ms. 59!2021-03-19T10:41:15-04:00

Pga demo day



At the pga demo day in orlando doing a little browsing of all the new toys…

Pga demo day2021-03-19T10:41:16-04:00

Prepare for take-off…

What are you doing to better your golf game today?  At this very moment.  Now for some that may be unrealistic if your working a full time job but could you still be helping your hand in the office?

The answer, of course, is yes.

I stress fitness, nutrition, and practice regularly and it applies here as well. 

Did you drink a coffee this morning or did you opt for the nutritious alternative of a veggie egg white omelet?

Are you going to go out for a big lunch and half a brewski to take the stress of the day away or will you do a 30 minute jog and eat a turkey sandwich you brought to lunch?

How will you spend the evening?  Will you sit in front of the tv to see what reality star blows up next or do you read a book?

These questions may seem simple but what happens is we let days and weeks pass by without thinking about it and before we know it we have wasted valueable time and know we are less flexible and maybe added a couple pounds.

The idea that needs to be stressed is to have a plan of attack each day or week and stick to it no matter how difficult.  You will be shocked how much better your quality of life and your golf game become.

Prepare for take-off…2021-03-19T10:41:16-04:00

New Year’s Resolution: Improve your life and golf game together!

The fall/winter of each year is a great chance to improve areas of your golf game that you might normally neglect during the busy months of the spring and summer

I know most of you have set some new year’s resolutions and I hope you have stuck with them thus far.

Here are 2 more you should add:


Flexibility training, whether it be simple exercise or some form of yoga, is essential to your golf conditioning and overall performance.  It improves strength as well.  Being sedentary is a killer for your game.  Google some exercises or sign up for a few classes at your local gym to start gaining a better range of motion with your body.  This will not only lead to more yards but less back spasms and pulled muscles during your round.


Our nation as a whole is terrible at eating correct food and portions.  Why not make the conscious effort now to do something about it.  Your heart will thank you just as much as your golf game.  Consult your doctor or a nutritionist on some simple meals that can give you more energy and stop those headaches and food “hangovers” we all have had.  Give your body fruits and veggies as well as a few glasses of water per day.  Put down the Diet Pop and burger and realize that your eating habits have a direct effect on your energy on and off the golf course.

Make a difference people!  I make the same mistakes by eating wrong at times and not exercising regularly on occasion.  Make an effort to acknowledge that there is a problem and come up with the best solution for you to fix it.  It will improve your quality of life and your drives!

New Year’s Resolution: Improve your life and golf game together!2011-01-04T20:49:30-04:00

Play Great Fall Golf!

Growing up in Endicott, NY, I learned quickly how to play in the fall. Our season was short and fall golf was a great time to play before the snow started to accumulate. Also, that is when our high school golf season would be played. Here are a couple tips to help you as the fall starts to roll in.

1. Take an extra club -When the weather starts to cool down it is important to adjust with it.  You might have been killing the ball in July when it was 100 degrees but the balls just won’t fly as far in cooler temps.  Drop down a club and make a smooth swing.   You’ll be happy you did!

2. Work on your lag putting – Normally in the south the fall is when the greens are at their best…but that also means they are quick too.  Lag putts that you could hit hard in the spring and summer and it would stop at the hole are non-existent in the fall.  The ball will roll out a little more this time of year so stroke your putts accordingly and you can tap it in for par!

3. Keep an eye on it – One of the things that pains me is when someone hits an okay shot but doesn’t watch where it lands.  It could have taken a bad bounce and moved into the rough.  With all the leaves falling in autumn it is extremely vital to watch the ball until it lands and pick a spot to go find it.  You’ll speed up play and also keep penalty shots off your scorecard!

4.  Ryder Cup-it! – Normally when you play with your weekend group you probably just play some stroke play or a variation of that.  Fall is Ryder Cup time and with that try a new game with your buddies.  Learn Match Play and how fun and exciting it can be.  Use your handicaps to level out the participants and play either individual or teams.  Better yet, get a group from your club and make your own Ryder Cup event.  It is a great change from dreery old stroke play.

5. Be prepared – Bring a light jacket or umbrella to the course.  Check the weather forecast beforehand and know what to expect.  Don’t get caught mid-round freezing your tail off because you forgot your windbreaker.  Put it in your golf bag and forget about it.  Also, especially in late fall, always have a knit cap in your bag to cover your ears on those cold mornings.  Making triple bogey isn’t fun…..try making triple bogey with frost bite….it’s brutal!

Use some or all of these helpful hints as the fall season rolls into play and just have fun and enjoy the cooler temps.  It’s a great time of year to play golf and one you need to relish!

Play Great Fall Golf!2010-08-24T19:24:28-04:00

Goal Setting 101

It is easy to play this game and get frustrated when things done go well.  It’s tough, however; to be mad when there is no achievable goal in mind.  Let me explain further what I am speaking of.

It is difficult to know where you want to go in the game of golf without having a REACHABLE goal……Hitting the ball consistent, or putting better, or being more accurate are not reachable goals.

How can you track what hitting the ball consistent means?  How do you know if your putting better?  How is your accuracy better?  Go the extra step and write down exactly what you mean.  And then own it!  Then we you succeed you know you’ve truly succeeded.

So, let’s get more defined.  Let’s taking accuracy for example.  How can we make it more defined?

How about: I want to hit MORE fairways, or I would like to hit MORE greens in regulation, or I would like to limit my hazard penalties.  See these are all achievable.  If you normally hit only 3 out of 14 fairway a round and with practice and lessons you can now hit 7 then that is a goal reached.

This should also be down with your score too.  It doesn’t matter how you get there.  If your goal is to break a 100 then go and break 100 whichever way possible.  If that means hitting iron off the 18th tee to avoid water then do it.   There are only numbers on the scorecard.  Who cares how it is done.

Set your goals and work hard to achieve them.  If they are achieved, then you can look in the mirror and be proud.  If they weren’t achieved then you still have to look in that same mirror and question why?  Was the goal too extreme to begin with or did you not work hard enough?

Set your goals and get it done!  You’ll be happier on the course and be able to track improvements.

Goal Setting 1012021-03-19T10:42:30-04:00

Lighten your Grip for more POWER!!!

I notice a lot of my students tend to grip the club incorrectly in terms of pressure. Gripping the club too tight causes your body to tense up not only in your hands but throughout your arms and into your shoulders and chest. Gripping too tightly can be caused by nerves, poor placement of hands on the club, and worn or incorrect grip size. Check all of these factors when assessing your pressure. Here is a simple test to get it right:

1. Take your Grip

2. On a Scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the hardest you can grip the club try gripping it at a 10.

3. Now, try gripping it at a 1

4. So after you have the feel of those 2 extremes, I want your pressure to be somewhere between 3-5 on the scale.

This will let your hands move more properly in the swing and increase your clubhead speed and body naturally.

Swing changes and equipment are important and must be worked on continually but for some instant clubhead speed you have to try this drill.

Lighten your Grip for more POWER!!!2021-03-19T10:41:16-04:00

Spring into the season!

I come to you on another breezy day here in Raleigh, NC but starting to warm into the normal spring weather. Good news is that April is just around the corner and the warmer weather shouldn’t be far behind. Anytime the Masters is close it makes us all giddy for our golf. I wanted to briefly inform you about some new things that are going on with my golf instruction that will surely be a benefit to your game this year and beyond.

New and Improved Website: As most of you know I have been changing my web page around yearly to make it more user friendly and informative. This year I will be adding a variety of different video lessons and tips that you can view from the website but also on your smart phones if you choose to. I will still be “blogging” periodically and adding written notes and tips but the video will be a lot quicker to thumb through and help you improve your game faster! The NEW website template will be up shortly and all updates should be done by April 1st. Continue to check back!

New State-of-the-Art 1200 fps (frame per second) video camera: This camera is one of a kind and can capture your swing perfectly so that we can see the club at any position without sacrificing the quality. This camera will help us look more closely at problem areas and will give you a better visual during our instruction sessions.

Addition of V1 Branded Academy/Personal Locker Room: I have upgraded my video analysis software to V1 Pro and have added a new feature that they just developed called the “Branded Academy”. This enables me to record a lesson review of your golf swing using helpful lines/circles, audio instructions, pro swings, and even add drills to the video. After I record that video for you, you will receive an email from me and be able to log into your Locker Room from my website. This gives you the opportunity to see all past lesson reviews I have sent and you can view them right on your smart phone as your out on the practice range. Having this capability will give you instant access to a lesson review whenever you would like.

Check out the section called “Online Academy” to view a sample video.

Please feel free to contact me for more information on these topics and your feedback is always appreciated.

Thank you for your continued patronage and trust in me with your golf game!

Look forward to seeing you in 2010!

Spring into the season!2021-03-19T10:41:16-04:00

2010 Website Changes….

I hope everyone had a great 2009!  I’m looking forward to working with you all on your golf game in the coming year.

I wanted to thank everyone who has visited the site and provided feedback for further improvement.  Over the next month or 2 the website will be going through a lot of changes for the coming year.  Please be patient as some parts of the “new” site will launch before others.  I think you all will enjoy some of the new features that myself and my web designers (Golf Web Design) will be adding.

Please do not hesitate to reference further comments to me regarding ideas for the site and I will take them into consideration.

I hope everyone has a great holiday season and I’ll see you next year!

Happy Holidays!

2010 Website Changes….2021-03-19T10:41:17-04:00

Raising the Bar for Next Season

This is about the time of year in Raleigh that the clubs start to be hung up in the garage for the skis.  That’s fine.  Some players still come out throughout the winter to practice and improve their golf game.  That’s fine too.  Either way I see tendencies come Spring time when the weather starts to warm up.  Most players are not prepared for the new season and the main reason comes down to only a few small things.

1. Fitness – Whether you want to believe it or not during the winter is when we have a couple big holidays involving many delicious desserts and are accompanied by exciting football games.  This is all well and good but if you don’t do specific things daily to keep your fitness up you will not have the stamina, strength, or flexibility you had the previous season.  This might take weeks or months to get back.

Recommendation – Research a program that takes about 20-25 minutes to complete daily.  This could be involving core strength, flexibility, balance, etc.  I promise you will not only feel better but be ready to tee it up when March comes around.

2. Swing Mechanics – Nothing says just because it is cold you can’t practice.  However that also means you don’t necessarily have to be outdoors to do it.  The percentage of players that continue to play and practice throughout the winter won’t need to do this as much but it still might be beneficial.  Standing out in 40 degree weather with a cold wind trying to practice golf isn’t the best thing for your game.  It is probably more harmful than helpful.

Recommendation – Choose a part of the swing you have had issues with and focus on that for the off season.  Come in for 1 golf lesson and we can discuss practice you can do in your house or office.  Then, all winter you will have the correct knowledge on how to effectively improve your game and be able to focus more intently on one area.

3. Increase your Knowledge – Take the cold weather coming in as a positive instead of a negative.  Most likely you will spend more time indoors during the winter months which will leave time to do activities you normally don’t do during the summer; like reading.  The opportunity to read a good book or two will do wonders to improve your mental game and start you out next season with a better frame of mind.

Recommendation – Choose a book like Dr. Bob Rotella’s “Golf is Not a Game of Perfect”, or Tim Gallowey’s “The Inner Game of Golf”.  There are tons of books out there that will set your mind in a positive direction and have a direct impact on lowering your scores next season.

There are a variety of off-season activities you can do to improve your golf game going forward.  Use the ones listed as a starting point and go from there.  As always, let me know if you have any questions on your golf game.  Have a great day!

Raising the Bar for Next Season2021-03-19T10:41:17-04:00

Knowledge without Practice is useless, Practice without knowledge is dangerous

Inside the quote: “Knowledge without Practice is useless, Practice without knowledge is dangerous”.

Let’s break this one down a bit.  The first part is so true.  I often hear from players that they have taken golf instruction or read a book or whatever but they can’t seem to shoot lower scores.  Then, after a few more moments of discussion, I find out that they have not practiced at all since that lesson.  That is not going to help the game.  In fact, it probably is worse because now your on the tee ready to play golf but your mind is racing about a swing thought you have that you havn’t practiced.  Your better off trusting your “old” swing for the round.  It’s like your car mechanic telling you that you must change your oil every 3,000 miles or your car performance will decline.  So, of course, you change it every 6,000 miles.

Second part is very true as well.  You have to know what your doing in order to improve.  If you didn’t know how to drive a car the first time you stepped into it, would it be safe to be on the roads?  If nobody taught you how to swim properly, would you be confident to be in the ocean?  If your trying to improve your golf game by “tweaking”  your swing plane having no idea where the club is actually positioned for your body type and build, do you think you will see improvements?

All these analogies work one in the same.  Don’t make your golf swing complex and hitchy because you try to use some quick tip you saw.  Make sure you understand exactly the steps necessary to improve your golf swing, or putting stroke, mental game, or….etc.   The goal of the game, remember, is not who can hit it the farthest, or the straightest, or chip the best.  It is the person who can put the ball in the hole in the least number of shots possible.

Find your strengths, build on them.  Know your weaknesses, and improve them to strengths.  Have a thirst for the correct knowledge and you will become a better player.  There’s no question about that.

Knowledge without Practice is useless, Practice without knowledge is dangerous2021-10-04T13:42:50-04:00

My Trip to Wisconsin

I’d have to say that my recent trip to Wisconsin was definitely one of the best times I have had in recent memory. Besides the fact that my brother Nick got married which was pretty cool to see, we had the opportunity to play 2 of the top golf courses in the country. The group of four included myself, my brother Nick, our friend Erick Arbe, and our friend Jordon Arnold.

Firstly, we played Erin Hills just west of Milwaukee. They will host the 2011 U.S. Amateur and the 2017 U.S. Open. We played from the “Back Black” tees that measured out at a shade under 8,400 yards. The wind also was gusting at 30 mph on average. It was an unbelievable course and I have never hit that many 3 woods into Par-4’s in my life. One of the longest holes, the par-5 first hole, played at 672 yards into a gusting wind. Not how you want to start your round!

On Friday, we played Whistling Straits and specifically the Straits course. This was my 3rd time playing the masterpiece but I have not played it since 2003. The Straits course will host next years PGA Championship and a future Ryder Cup. There is no mistake why that course is ranked top 5 in the country. Every view is breathtaking and every shot challenges your nerves and feel. Truly a magnificent design by Pete Dye.

I added a few pictures in case anyone has never been up there. If you get the opportunity to play there do not pass it up or your will regret it. Both courses, although owned by different individuals, have remarkable character to them and a challenge that you don’t see most places.  I hope ya’ll enjoy!

My Trip to Wisconsin2021-03-19T10:41:17-04:00

“Success is not a random accident”

Inside the Quote: “Success is not a random accident”

One of my favorite quotes of the last several years has been “Success is not a random accident.”  The reason is that it relates to golf perfectly.  Often times golfers get on the tee box after a long lay-off with the notion that they are going to better par on this day.  However, they haven’t ever broken 90 in a round but for some reason think that today will be different.

This exemplifies the quote.  The player that practices frequently, plays regularly, and thinks positively normally improves.  The player who takes off 2 months normally doesn’t improve.  It doesn’t get any more simplified than that.

The reason I stress this so much is that you have to lower your expectiations if you take time away from the game.  Don’t expect to knock down the pin or hole long putts right away.

The more you work on improvements in the swing, the better your swing will be.

The more putts you hit, the better your feel will be

The more 32-yard low spinning wedges to a back pin you practice. Guess what happens?  Bingo!  That improves as well.

Don’t get upset if you hitting poor shots if you haven’t been practicing alot or efficiently.  Calling a 30-minute session where you are hitting ball after ball without working on fundamentals is not practice.

I am honest because I care.  Put together a practice session.  I know work, family, and other activities get in the way.  That’s fine.  Find time to practice and you will succeed.  Don’t make excuses for playing bad.  Look in the mirror and realize the reason is lack of practice.  No worries!

Work on the game and you shall see better results sooner.  There is no miracle juice to drink here or no genie popping out of some bottle.  Practice does make perfect.  Well, in golf, perfection doesn’t exist so maybe Practice makes a better golfer.

Start there!

“Success is not a random accident”2009-08-08T16:39:44-04:00

Ondrako Quick Clues: Teeing Strategy

Here’s some advice when your on the golf course that I learned a long time ago from my Uncle Bill, a PGA Member and former Tour Player.

Analyze the hole that you are playing and the shot you would like to play before you plug a tee in the ground.

If you are playing a dogleg left and are trying to hit a draw around the corner then tee up your ball on the left side of the tee box.  Conversly, if you trying to hit a fade for a dogleg right then tee the ball up on the right side of the tee box.

This leaves a lot of area and room to work the ball in case a mishit happens.  Most players will double-cross themselves in these situations so if you leave yourself room for the mishit it can still work out.  Plus, you can visualize the hole for a draw a lot easier from the left side of the box.

Remember: Analyze the hole set-up and the shot you want to hit before you tee the ball up.  Then, use your judgement as to which side of the tee box to use.  Don’t just toss the ball in the center of the box.  Strategy will open you up to use your mishits more often and if you hit it how you want then the ball is in perfect position!

Great Golfing everyone.  Keep up the practice!

Ondrako Quick Clues: Teeing Strategy2021-03-19T10:41:17-04:00

Ondrako Quick Clues – Pre-shot Routine

Pre-shot routine is never taken seriously…..especially on the range.  If you can practice your pre-shot routine effectively on the range then it will take pressure off of your game when you’re on the course and in the heat of the battle.  Here are some tips for an effective routine.

Brian’s 10 Commandments for Pre-shot Routine:

  1. Pick your target
  2. Pick a shot shape to hit
  3. Choose a club
  4. Visualize your target
  5. Pick a point a foot or 2 in front of the ball on the target line (easier to align to a closer target)
  6. Take your grip
  7. Step into the address position and place the clubface behind the ball square to the target
  8. Set your feet and body
  9. Take one last look at the target in the distance
  10. Fire at will!

Keys to remember:

–          Be confident with your target choice

–          Trust your set-up and swing

–          When in doubt, back off of the shot and start over

Remember, this is a routine….if you practice it on the range it will free you up more on the golf course.  Try it yourself and be creative.    Let me know if you need further assistance.  Take care.

Ondrako Quick Clues – Pre-shot Routine2020-05-08T08:50:44-04:00

The Shortest Road to a Bad Round of Golf…

Trust me.  This isn’t a riddle of any sort.  In fact, it is discussed regularly in the golf world.  The distance between your ears has a heck of a lot to do with the score you post in a given round.  I’ve seen this dozens of times with my students.  Once they step on that first tee, or see water for the first time, or miss one shot……it’s a slippery slope downhill.  Check the comparison between the descriptive words below:

Section A: Relaxed, Calm, Confident, Smooth, Positive,  Self-reliant, Fearless, Determined, Motivated            

Section B: Tight, Flustered, Scared, Rushed, Negative, Unsure, Cautious, Unwilling, Drained

Now, tell me what section B describes?………………..

um…ah………..I’ll take Players who are on the golf course for $800, Alex.


The Shortest Road to a Bad Round of Golf…2020-05-08T08:50:44-04:00

Golf Lingo


Address – The position a player assumes when preparing to hit the ball, either a full shot or a putt.

Albertross – Also called a “double eagle”.  This is 3 under par on a hole.


Golf Lingo2009-04-23T09:17:32-04:00

When in doubt…..Chip out!

So let me know if this sounds familiar…..You’re playing a great round.  You got a couple stroke lead on your playing partners and you step on the tee after you drained a big putt on the previous hole.  The momentum is flowing in your favor….and then….you flat out bomb a drive but slowly it drifts and drifts and drifts into the woods.  Now what do you do?  You technically have 2 options…but realistically there is only one solution you should consider….GET THE BALL BACK IN PLAY!!!


When in doubt…..Chip out!2020-05-08T08:50:44-04:00

Brian’s Basics: Pitching

Pitching is a shot used frequently from within 5o yards of the green.  It is a shot that travels more in the air than it does on the ground.  In terms of difficulty, the chip shot (see chipping section) is easier and should be your first course of action if you cannot putt.  However, the pitch shot has many great uses.  If you need to hit over water or a bunker it will come in quite handy.  Also, you can produce some spin with this shot and get it to react once it hits the green.  This shot will also be a miniature version of your full swing so some of the set-up techniques will look familiar.


Brian’s Basics: Pitching2020-05-08T08:50:45-04:00

A Game Where We Don’t Think! Who would have thought?

Let’s Play a Game:  Pick which one doesn’t belong

1. A Michael Jordan Jumper to win the game

2. A Pete Sampras drop shot

3. A Joe Montana Touchdown Throw

4. A Golfer with a conscience

The answer of course is number 4.  But why?


A Game Where We Don’t Think! Who would have thought?2020-05-08T08:50:45-04:00

Full Swing: Body Rotation Drill

I was asked a question yesterday by my good friend Aaron who resides in Buffalo.  He asked, “Brian, how much is my lower body supposed to turn in the backswing.”  That is an interesting question because all players bodies rotate slightly different based on flexibility and body make-up.  However, here is a simple drill that will help you train your body to turn properly.  This will also increase your flexibility.


Full Swing: Body Rotation Drill2020-05-08T08:50:46-04:00


Well….it’s official…whether I like it or not….I’m 26.  It’s a reality I have to live with.  Being on the downward slide toward the big three – o has come alot sooner than I thought it would.  My how the time flies.  It has been a great 26-years I might add.



March Madness

Well Spring has officially started and what a gorgeous beginning.  Rainy skies parted earlier in the week for sunshine and above 60 temps.  I’d say this week went by quicker than any in ’09 thus far.  March Madness has begun around the country and it looks like its gonna be a competitive race to the end.  Alot of the top teams still have a chance to cut down the nets in 2 weeks.  I think us North Carolineans would love a Duke v. UNC showdown in the Final Four.  That would elevate that rivalry another big notch on the scale.


March Madness2009-03-22T16:52:49-04:00

Introduction to the Ondrako Philosophy

My name is Brian Ondrako and I am a member of the PGA of America.  I have been teaching the game of golf for several years and enjoying every minute of it.  My philosophy  on the game is very simple.


Introduction to the Ondrako Philosophy2009-03-22T16:36:35-04:00

Short Game Tune-Up Practice

Spring is almost here and before you go tanking it full throttle on the course, make sure you get out a couple times to practice and freshen up those muscles.

Here are a few tips to challenge you as your trying to get back from the winter hibernation….


Short Game Tune-Up Practice2020-05-08T08:50:46-04:00

Off-Season Workout Ideas

As the winter nears to a close and the days are slowly getting longer and the weather is in the midst of warming up I am often asked by my student’s this question “How do I get ready for the upcoming golf season.”  The best answer I can give you is to work on your fitness.  The golf swing is important, of course, but during this time when your not playing alot and maybe doing other activities with family and friends, it is an ideal time to work on your strength and flexibility.  I hear too many stories of golfers stepping onto the first tee after a winter lay-off and pulling a muscle because they havn’t been used for sometime.  Don’t make that mistake as the season is beginiing.  Be ready for it by using a few suggestions I have listed below.
Off-Season Workout Ideas2020-05-08T08:50:47-04:00

Indoor Putting Drill

This simple putting drill can be performed in the privacy of your home and is used to get the ball rolling (no pun intended).


Indoor Putting Drill2020-05-08T08:50:48-04:00

Hot weather and HotLANTA!!!

What a difference a few days make….snow 10 days ago and then a blistful mix of sunshine and warmth.  This past week has been absolutely what we have been looking for here at Triangle Golf Center.  All the hard work we have put in over the last several months seemed to pay off when we were infused with golfers of all different ages.  We Thank You all for the support.  I was itching to get out and start giving some more lessons and thats just what happened.  I think most people have realized the truly brutally cold weather is behind us for now.  The clubs have been polished off and its open season on golf courses once again.  I can’t be more stoked for it.  In other news, I finally got a chance to clean the rust off my own clubs and hit a couple balls farther south….

Hot weather and HotLANTA!!!2020-05-08T08:50:02-04:00

I thought I left NY to get away from the snow!!!

Well I’m sure the youngsters are all happy.  5 glorious inches of snow here in Raleigh.  Just when you think March is gonna start the turn into Spring we get pelted with all of this white mess.  Good news for us golfers is it won’t last for long.  Reports are for a steamy weekend dipped into the 70’s.  Just in time for Daylight Savings Time.


I thought I left NY to get away from the snow!!!2020-05-08T08:50:03-04:00

Marchin’ into spring…

What a week.  A little cold here in NC with signs of warmth on the way.  The week started off with a trip to the Carolinas PGA Annual Meeting and Merchandise Show.  It was a great chance to hear all the upcoming news for 2009 and see alot of new products as well.  I had a chance to meet up with some collegues from college and fellow professionals I have met over the last few years.  All in all it was a great trip down to Myrtle Beach (wish I had the chance to tee it up).


Marchin’ into spring…2020-05-08T08:50:03-04:00

Mid-Month Breakdown

Wow…Already the middle of February in ’09…..Years flying by quickly.   For us North Carolinians, we have been blessed with some lovely weather to start off the month.  So we are thankful.  The golf facility I operate, Triangle Golf Center, has seen an abundence of new faces and we hope it is because of all the services we are offering to better peoples golf games and a sign that consistent warm weather is on the way.


Mid-Month Breakdown2020-05-08T08:50:03-04:00

Welcome to my Blog!

Hello Friends. Thank you for taking the time to check out my new blog. This is another step in the right direction for and your support means a lot. Throughout ’09 and into the following years I will be heavily updating this blog with information about upcoming events, instruction, hot topics, and of course my thoughts on the world of sports. I do hope that you continue to check back with me and feel free to email me any topics you would like me to discuss. Let me give some of you who do not know me a brief rundown of how this all started…

It was a cool day on the morning of March 26th, 1983 and I was delivered at 7:21 am in a small town in upstate New York…….actually, let’s skip ahead a little and start from a couple of years ago….I have always had a passion for playing the game of golf, but it wasn’t until several years ago that my passion for teaching the game came into play. I was fortunate to have one of my friends help me to design the first edition of and develop some logos. Through this process, I was able to develop a plan for teaching the game that was unique. I base my teaching on understanding the students’ needs and wants while being realistic in their timetable to practice the game. It’s like this….You can sit in school for hours on end, but if you don’t study or do your homework at night then you won’t do good on the tests…I’m guilty of that….but it helped me to learn the importance of proper practice and analysis one needs to improve their game. Anyways, last year my brother Nick ( took over the reins of my website and has helped make it what it is today. My number of students has been monumental in the last year and ½ and I believe it is because we worked together as a team to improve their golf game. That is essential in my eyes. Every great player has a coach they can count on and I want that to be the same with my students, no matter what skill level. Well, this blog is the next edition in the OndrakoGolf timeline. I understand my students can’t always come to see me so I wanted to have an avenue where they could still receive some tips and read up about what I am doing.

I hope you’ll continue to journey back to this blog and with your support, I will be able to fill it with a lot of neat advice and thoughts that will improve your golf game and take you to the next level. Cheers!

Welcome to my Blog!2022-01-13T22:07:44-04:00
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