Meet Our Pros

Tom Tarsia

Tom Tarsia

INSTRUCTOR
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Tom Tarsia, born and raised in New Jersey, teaches during the summer months in Atlantic City. Tom turned professional at age 23 after attending Jacksonville University. He has played in numerous professional events and has been with VIP Golf Academy eleven years. Tom has studied under some of the most renowned teachers in the country, all of which are currently ranked in the Top 100 Instructors in the USA. Besides his excellent teaching of the physical side of the golf swing, Tom has an in-depth knowledge of the psychological aspects of the game. This unique insight, coupled with strong swing fundamentals has helped Tom do wonders for all levels of golfers! An Atlantic City golf school with Tom is a true learning experience and for many a breakthrough experience in their golfing lives.

Jeff Bonicky

Jeff Bonicky

INSTRUCTOR
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Jeff Bonicky is the Director of Golf at Sea Oaks Golf Club. Jeff is an experienced PGA golf professional that is accomplished in all aspects of the golf industry. An excellent teacher, his lessons with VIP Golf Academy Atlantic City Golf School have been highly praised for there insightfulness and expertise. An excellent player also, his playing skills give his students insights into good player course management and strategy. A golf school with Jeff is an exciting learning experience.

Pete Popovich

Pete Popovich

INSTRUCTOR
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Pete Popovich began teaching junior and beginner clinics in 1989 (at 17 years of age) and has not stopped teaching since. Attending the prestigious Professional Golf Management program at Ferris State University allowed Pete access to some of the top teaching institutions in the country where he apprenticed under some of the top teachers of that time. However, this was only the beginning. Never satisfied with the status quo, his desire to help his students improve and thirst for knowledge lead him to continued research and the study of; physiology, neurology, biomechanics, learning styles and comprehension, club fitting, fitness and health and the effects of each on one another.

The result of this research concluded with the development of the instructional philosophy known as; ‘The Golf Paradigm: A Hole In One Approach to Improvement’. Utilization of this philosophy not only allows a student’s problem to be pinpointed, it also allows for the proper solution to be implemented as well as an overall plan for continued improvement. This way the golfer’s entire game is addressed and improvement is continual. Through these methods he is able to offer a guarantee of improvement both in lower scores and more fun. Such extensive research allowed Pete to author over 40 published articles, lecture at different venues and develop the GPA Putter Fitting System. All have received wide spread acclaim from his peers and golfers of all abilities. If you are tired of going through the same routine and not improving year after year, maybe it’s time for a new and easier way to improve your game and have fun in the process?

craig

Craig Lydic

INSTRUCTOR
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Born in Erie, Pennsylvania, Craig found his love of golf at a young age and decided to pursue golf as a professional career. He has over 38 years of experience teaching golfers to reach their maximum potential. Craig has owned and operated three courses in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Alabama. He believes in matching the player’s ability and commitment to improving the student’s love of the game. He is currently residing in Port Saint  Lucie Florida with his wife Connie and is the proud father of four children and six grandchildren.

Eric Fitzsimmons

Eric Fitzsimmons

INSTRUCTOR
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Eric Fitzsimmons  was born and raised in central Connecticut to a couple parents enthusiastic about academics and sports.  From a young age he was exposed to any sport that was readily available.  He excelled at soccer, basketball, and baseball, but baseball won out early on as his true passion, and he continued this passion through college.  This didn’t leave much time for golf, as the seasons are the same in Connecticut.  On the rare occasion a few times year that he did get to golf, the same bad advice everyone gets was shared, so nothing amounted from his casual play.  He always had fun with golf though, keeping a passion for it, and one summer he even made a little chip and putt course in his yard using coffee cans for cups.

He ended up heading to a small school in Lynchburg Virginia where he played baseball, and received 2 degrees, one in Computer Science, and one in Sports Management.  Shortly after finishing school, his job brought him to Las Vegas, but the same injuries that had limited his baseball opportunities prevented him from even playing casually, so he needed something to fuel his competitive nature, and golf was there to fill that void.  His passion for the game came quickly, especially with the quantity and quality of new courses available to him in the area.

He started playing and practicing more and more, but wasn’t getting much better.  He tried out a couple teachers and made changes, but nothing was really clicking, and his body was telling him that something was off.  A chance encounter with a respected employee at the course he practiced at led him to Bob Byman, and his golf world was never the same.  They clicked immediately and lessons were highly anticipated, and why wouldn’t they be going from a 20 handicap to a 6 in 3 months, then to a 3 in another 3 months, and within 1 year of his first lesson with Bob he was a scratch golfer, and had started playing some competitive events.  His body was feeling good, he kept working hard at his game, and he kept getting better with a newly learned understanding of the direction he was headed.  Within the next few years he won a number of events, and had been player of the year for the Southern Nevada Golf Association.

Towards the end of this time he had decided to pursue golf as a profession, where he could compete in tournaments, and teach the same things he learned that had changed golf for him forever.  He has a great passion for this sport, and truly enjoys helping others get better making the sport more enjoyable for them as well. This is an example of a golf success story which inspires us all.

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Herb Moreland

INSTRUCTOR
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Herb is a four-time winner of the Northeastern New York PGA Teacher of the Year Award. He was a member of the National PGA Teaching Advisory Board from 1993 through 1996 and was elected to the Northeastern New York PGA Hall of Fame in 2005. During his 41 years at Western, he has enjoyed much success in teaching. His students include:

  • 45 Club champions
  • 31 Division I Scholarship athletes
  • Three New York State Junior Girls Championships
  • A runner up in the United States Women’s Public Links Championship
  • Three Northeastern Women’s Golf Association Champions
  • An All American woman and a men’s captain at Florida State University
  • Two LPGA tour members: Moira Dunn and Kris Tamulis. Kris Tamulis is in her fifteenth year on the tour and was 41st on the 2015 year-end money list. Kris recently enjoyed her first victory winning the 2015 Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic. Moira Dunn has been on the LPGA Tour for 23
    She won the Giant Eagle LPGA Classic in 2004. She also has three-second place, two third place, and 23 top-ten finishes. Moira is in 103rd place on the LPGA’s all-time money list.
BILL PRESSE

Bill Presse IV

INSTRUCTOR
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Started playing golf at a very young age in the mid 70’s

Manuel de la Torre – Junior coach / Milwaukee CC ealry-mid 80’s

86’-present Professional Club (Master) Repairman and Fitter.

First lessons given in 87’ – 40,000+ lessons to date.

SanDiego Golf Academy (SDGA) Class of 1996 Double major AA – Business Management & Golf Complex Operations Certificates – Advanced Methods of Club Repair Advanced Methods of Teaching

Medalist – PGA PAT(Players Ability Test) 1996 Camelback CC

2004-2006 Martin Chuck PGA 1st Assistant Arrowcreek CC Reno NV
Medalist – PGA PAT(Players Ability Test) 2005 Eagle Valley GC

2006 – 2013 GolfTEC Reno NV/Director of Instruction

2012 – current
Inventor/Founder/Designer/co-Owner L.A.B. Golf Co (aka Directed Force Putters & Press Putter grips)

2019 – current
Inventor/Founder/Designer/CEO Fācit Golf Co.
DSL(dynamic scoring lines) for wedges and irons

2018- current / putting coach
PGA Tour
Champions Tour
Korn Ferry Tour

2020 – current PLDA Coach
both Male and Female clients in World Finals Credentialed Long Drive Coach/ Professional Long Drive Association PLDA (formerly Remax Long Drive)

2020 – current
Director of Instruction and R&D

Earl Svenningsen

Earl Svenningsen

INSTRUCTOR
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Earl Svenningsen is the rare combination of a great teacher and championship golfer. Earl has studied and played the game of golf for over 50 years, starting at age 7. While playing the game at golf highest levels, Earl has gained valuable insight into the golf swing and what is necessary for his students to improve and enjoy their golf experience more fully. Earl is graduate from the University of Southern California where he played on the nationally ranked golf team. He played one year on the PGA Tour and has won senior state championships in Nevada and New Mexico along with the Colorado PGA Senior section championship both stroke play and match play. While living in Colorado, Earl was presented the Horton Smith Award four times for Education leadership and the Colorado PGA Teacher of the Year honor. Earl also has conducted national PGA teaching seminars, where he shared his teaching philosophy and techniques to other PGA golf professionals. Earl has taught for VIP Golf Academy since its inception over twenty years ago. His enthusiasm for teaching and commitment to his students’ development sets him apart. Professional golfer, beginner, senior or junior, you will get the same dedicated attention to detail that makes Earl’s lessons exceptional.

Frank Bianco

Frank Bianco

INSTRUCTOR
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A PGA Class “A” Professional and Certified Edel Master Fitter, Frankie has been teaching golf since 2002. Frankie mentored under a host of well-known teachers, including Gary Gilchrist and Hank Haney, while working as an instructor at the Golf Academy at The Sea Pines Resort. He has also served as either Head Professional or Director of Instruction at numerous facilities, including a six-year stint at Crossgates Country Club in Millersville, Pa., where he ran his own golf school, junior programs, and corporate outings. Frankie exudes an infectious love and knowledge of golf which helps his students achieve their goals.

Carl Rabito

Carl Rabito

INSTRUCTOR
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A PGA Certified Master Teaching Professional and one of Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Teachers, Carl Rabito is a nationally certified strength and conditioning specialist. Rabito’s philosophy of “Structure Governs Function” deals with how a person’s anatomical makeup influences one’s golf swing mechanics and one’s golf swing related injuries.  He has been effectively combining his extensive knowledge of the human body with the game of golf for more than 25 years.

In addition to Rabito’s private golf instruction, he also instructs many of the top PGA, LPGA, Nationwide and Champions tour players.  Rabito’s unique approach to golf has won him accolades and attention far outside the golf world.

In June 2008, Rabito was on the cover of Golf Tips Magazine.  His article on Faults and Fixes highlights his revolutionary approach to golf swing mechanics.

Based in Orlando, Rabito also has academies in Chicago, New Orleans, and Aspen.  His first ebook, Golf: The Rabito Way, an in-depth study of biomechanics and how structure governs function in the golf swing is now available.  The interactive ebook features over 40 videos and additional content and will be available as a smartphone and tablet app for golf fans on the go.


PGA Certified Master Teaching Professional

  • Head Teaching Professional Walt Disney World Resorts,1984-1992
  • One of Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Golf Teachers
  • PGA, Class A,One of 43 PGA Certified Master Teaching Professionals in U.S
  • Nationally Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
  • North Florida PGA Section Teacher of the Year
  • 3 Times East Central Chapter PGA Teacher of the Year, 1995, 1997, 2001
  • PGA of America, Educational Faculty Member
  • Board member and author of the teaching manual for the
    Therapeutic Golf Foundation, 1996-2003
  • 2007 Inductee into Louisiana American Italian Sports Hall of Fame
  • Executive Teachings Panel at Orange County National Golf Center, 1997- 1999

Media Appearances

  • Frequent Appearances on Golf Channel’s Academy Live Show
  • Frequent XM Radio appearances on the Peter Kessler “Making the Turn” program
  • Developed and featured in 36 1-minute instructional golf spots in Orlando/Tampa on WKMG, CBS sponsored by Chrysler, 2000
  • Filmed 5 instructional pieces for Sky Golf, English Golf Channel, 2004
  • March – Present: Perfect Connextion Swing Trainer Commercials
    (30 & 60 second spots)

Golf Consulting

  • Co-developed and co-authored the program and manual for Health South’s Sport for Golf Program offered at Health South Corporation locations nationwide. This program deals with a person’s anatomical make-up and how it influences the swing mechanics and one’s golf swing related injuries. 1993-1997.
  • National consultant and lecturer for Body Balance for Performance Program. 1998-99.
  • Consultant/advisor to the Biomechanical Research Lab for Pediatrics and Adolescents in golf and baseball at Children’s Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL 2004-2005.
  • Co-creator of Perfect Connextion, Three-in-one Swing Trainer, currently the most favorably rated swing trainer by PGA Tour Partners.

Past & Present Students

  • Carl Paulson, PGA Tour
  • Andy Svoboda, PGA Tour
  • Chris DiMarco, PGA Tour
  • Brian Davis, PGA Tour
  • Deane Pappas, Nationwide Tour
  • Jim Chancey, Champions Tour
  • Dave Rummels, Champions Tour
  • Jeanne Cho Hunicke, LPGA Tour
  • Greg Towne, European Senior Tour
  • Bryan DeCorso, Nationwide Tour
  • Brent Schwarzrock, PGA Tour
  • David Peoples, PGA Tour
  • Mike Brisky, PGA Tour
  • Garret Willis, PGA Tour
  • Bart Bryant, PGA Tour
  • Larry Rinker, PGA Tour
  • David Morland, PGA Tour
  • Young Kim, LPGA Tour
  • Gloria Park, LPGA Tour
  • Kaori Ohe,  Japan LPGA Tour
  • Jeong Jang, LPGA Tour
  • Meena Lee,  LPGA Tour
  • Yung Yeon Lee, LPGA Tour
  • Hye Jung Choi, LPGA Tour

Published Articles/Books

  • E Book “The Rabito Way”
  • Golf Digest
  • Golf Magazine
  • Golf Tips (Cover)
  • Senior Golfer
  • Women’s Golf
  • PGA Magazine
  • Junior Golf Magazine
  • Ready Golf Magazine
  • Chicago Golf (Cover)
  • Central Florida Golfer Magazine
  • Monthly Columnist at Florida Golf Monthly Magazine
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Scott Bettger

INSTRUCTOR
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Scott’s current position is Lead Golf Instructor at the Missing Link Golf Academy located at Legacy Golf Club in Lakewood Ranch Florida. He spent the last 23 years as a Senior Performance Coach at IMG Academies in Bradenton Florida. While at IMG he coached multiple professional golfers including both men and women that play on tours all over the world including Julieta Granada the winner of the first million-dollar prize on the LPGA Tour. He has been responsible for training hundreds of students to become more recruitable that are placed into Division 1, Division 2 and Division 3 Universities in the United States.

Scott’s Passion for golf started as a junior in Westerly, Rhode Island where that lead to moving to Orlando Florida and graduating from the Golf Academy of the South in 1994. He spent 4 years in the golf business working at Miacomet Golf Club on Nantucket Island and Hanover Country Club at Dartmouth College. After the birth of his first son Jakob he and his wife Amy moved to Bradenton Florida to pursue a career in teaching golf at the David Leadbetter Junior Golf Academy.

Scott’s mission is to identify every student’s strength and area for improvement. As a coach and mentor, he communicates their personal blueprint that enables them to become the best version of themselves.

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Joe Mentz

INSTRUCTOR
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Joe has served as the Head Golf Professional at Mohegan Sun Golf Club and lead golf instructor of the Mohegan Sun Golf Academy in Baltic, CT since the spring of 2021. Joe is a passionate and educated golf coach that is driven to improve his student’s golf games through a simple approach of diagnosing the cause, prescribing drills, and developing a practice program to see improvement quickly. He does not believe in the old saying, “You must get worse before getting better”. Our goal is to see improvement after the first lesson. He has a great deal of knowledge on the short game and is Eyeline Golf certified as a putting instructor. Joe has been a Class A member of the PGA of America since 2019. Joe is a Southern California native and 12-year U.S. Coast Guard veteran, Joe found a passion for golf in his freshman year of High School. After leaving the military in 2011, his career in the golf industry began by attending the Professionals Golfers Career College in Temecula, California. Joe has served in many roles in golf including Head Golf Professional at Goodwin Park Golf Course, Assistant Golf Professional at the Golf Club of Avon, Connecticut Section PGA as their Operations and Tournament Director, and worked with the Southern California PGA in their Player Development Department before relocating to Connecticut. Joe currently lives in Vernon, CT with his wife Hannah, three daughters, Haley (20), Hannah (17), Allison (13), and their four (4) American Bullies. When not golfing or working he is a huge sports fan. His favorite sports teams include; the Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Jose Sharks, and LSU Tigers.

Butch

R. J. “Butch” Butler

INSTRUCTOR
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Butch is the son of a Naval Aviator and the product of a military family, moving several times and has spent most of his adult life in Maryland. He moved to Port St Lucie in 2020 and is a full time resident of PGA Village. Butch has been a PGA Class A Member since 1983, elected to The President’s Society of the PGA in 1991, nominated for the National PGA Patriot Award in 2011, and received the MAPGA Presidents Award in 2013 for multiple years of distinguished service. Butch served as Assistant Professional at Indian Spring CC, Shannon Green Sheraton Resort, the University of Maryland Golf Course, and the Chevy Chase Club, then General Manager/Head Professional for 26 years at Cedar Point Golf Course in Patuxent River, MD. After retiring from that position Butch served as Teaching Professional at both Cedar Point, Breton Bay Golf & CC, and the Golf Club at South River. Butch is an accomplished instructor, producing state high school champions and many scholarship golfers. Butch also served part time as a certified Taylormade Clubfitter. He is an experienced competitor at the local, national and global levels, winning 317 Professional Tournaments. He believes in teaching solid fundamentals in order for his students to reach their full potential. He brings a friendly, knowledgeable, and positive attitude which he feels is critical to developing a successful relationship between him and his students. His hobbies are surfing and gourmet cooking.

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Julie Brown

INSTRUCTOR
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Julie’s students rate her as a highly talented teacher with a gift to help them enjoy their game in a simplified manner. She creatively customizes her teaching methods to meet the needs of each student.

Julie grew up in South Florida playing the Junior golf events and developing her game. She has been surrounded by great golf all her life. Her mother held a 2 handicap for years, this is how she came to know about the game around the age of 5. She continued and earned a Women’s 4-year Collegiate Golf Scholarship to Miami-Dade Community College & Florida International University. She earned a spot in her 1st LPGA Tour event when she qualified as a low amateur. Through her Coach’s recommendation she completed certifications to become an LPGA Teaching Professional Member. and holds Class A certification. This satisfied her desire to help others enjoy the game as much as she does. “I want to give students good info and help them gain the knowledge to improve.”

She has been influenced by several top instructors in the country through workshops and mentoring. This has developed into her own style to communicate with her students.

She has worked as an instructor with PGA Tour Superstore, Chestatee Golf Club, and Bent Tree in the North Atlanta area. She has recently moved back to call Florida her home. She has helped golfers of all skill levels improve their enjoyment of the game for 30+ years. She played the game for 28 years before capturing her 1st hole-in-one. “Keep at it,” she suggests you never know what good may happen next in golf.