The Golf Club at Terra Lago

Evan Schiller

The Golf Club at Terra Lago

UCSB Golfer-Turned-Visionary

Fred Shoemaker’s New Instructional Video and Golf School

Former UCSB golfer Fred Shoemaker has risen to the top of the golf teaching world. He created his company Extraordinary Golf to offer a visionary approach to help golfers enjoy the game more and learn faster. To this end, he has authored two best-selling golf books and now has a DVD available to offer a peek at his revolutionary techniques.

The Start

Shoemaker enjoyed great success as a college player, eventually butting heads with the likes of Craig Stadler and Scott Simpson. But his real passion was for teaching golf. Early on he grew to challenge the culture of golfers. The prevailing thinking was that shooting lower scores will make you happy. And in order to do that, you will need lots of lessons and hit thousands of balls. What Shoemaker saw was a lot of frustration and very little improvement.

Over the first decade of teaching, Shoemaker came to the realization that putting results first was actually getting in the way of his students’ progression. A more pleasurable experience would lead to greater awareness of their swing and faster learning. This formed the basis for Extraordinary Golf, where the goal is to get more out of golf than just a lower score. Extraordinary Golf is consistently ranked in the top 25 golf schools in the U.S. despite no advertising. Its success is due to word of mouth and repeat business.


The new DVD is titled The Secret of Transforming Your Game. Shoemaker takes you through Extraordinary Golf much the way they do at their schools. If the student looks familiar, he should: It’s Michael Tucker of L.A. Law fame. As Shoemaker takes Tucker through the Extraordinary Golf program, you can see the change in his game. By the end, he seems more relaxed and closer to the freedom he used to have as a junior golfer.

They start together by looking at Tucker’s swing and then having him toss clubs down the target line. This is a drill that Shoemaker pioneered, and the results are stunning. Tucker’s club throw looks like the swing he has always desired. Can they get him closer to this move? In another segment they discuss awareness of the clubface. Tucker struggles at first but does get better. As his awareness of the clubface grows, we see a pretty dramatic change in his swing and results.

The next step is to take this new approach out to the course, where Extraordinary Golf puts an emphasis on self-coaching. The drills and thoughts they discuss are designed to be used at home by students without the need of an instructor.

Fred Shoemaker coaching students
Click to enlarge photo

Courtesy Photo

Fred Shoemaker coaching students

Shoemaker’s first book, Extraordinary Golf, shows the path he took toward this way of thinking. It includes some of his best drills at the end. The second book, Extraordinary Putting, goes further with the drills for putting which also apply to full swings. The DVD gives a window into this new approach and a good look at what an Extraordinary Golf School would be like. The video was shot at Carmel Valley Ranch and is very high quality. It is also available in a streaming format.

The Schools

Extraordinary Schools run two- to three-day programs all year long. In the winter they are held at The Golf Club at Terra Lago in Indio. This is the former site of the Skins Game and features two championship golf courses with spacious practice facilities. Summer programs are generally held at Carmel Valley Ranch, which was the host course for the DVD. This location enjoys a summer climate very similar to Santa Barbara.

Do not expect the norm if you choose to attend. Yes, you will hit a lot of golf balls, but before you do, your thoughts about golf will be challenged. Players coming to the school range from beginners to pros. Many PGA teaching pros attend Extraordinary Golf programs to help them become better coaches. Shoemaker also hopes that you will leave his school with a greater enjoyment of the game that might transcend into other parts of your life.

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