Meet the Pros

Meet the Pros Tarsia ProfileTom 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 BonicklyJeff 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 photoPete 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?

bob bymanBob Byman was born April, 21, 1955 in Poughkeepsie, New York. As a boy in a sports minded family, I played grade, junior or high school baseball, basketball, football, track and field, wrestling and golf. I played hockey, pool, ping pong and bowling for fun. Growing up in New York and Colorado allowed for seasonal sports participation. Even though sports were greatly important to me and my family, I was expected to excel at school as well. I finished in the top 5 in my class at Fairview High School in Boulder, Colorado with a 3.92 grade point average. I was first introduced to golf, by my father, at the age of 8. I started competing that year in the Mid Hudson Junior Golf Program in upstate New York. I won my first tournament soon thereafter and was hooked. Golf became my favorite sport. I spent my summers playing Wiltwyck CC in Kingston, NY and Flatirons CC in Boulder Colorado. At 16, I won my first of 3 consecutive Colorado State Amateur Championships. At 17, I won the USGA Junior Championship and qualified for the US Open beating Nicklaus’ record for the youngest ever to qualify by 3 months. In 1972 I won 80% of the tournaments I entered. It was an amazing year. At the 1972 US Open at Pebble Beach, I played with Arnold Palmer and Julius Boros in a practice round. After the round, Palmer strongly encouraged me to consider Wake Forest University as the college that I should attend. I accepted. I received the prestigious Buddy Worsham Scholarship in 1973. Under the tutelage and mentoring of the legendary coach Jesse Haddock, we won 2 NCAA team titles. Along with Curtis Strange, Jay Haas and David Thore, we were and still are considered to have had the best college golf team in history. I turned pro in 1976. In 1977, I won three national opens in Sweden, Holland and New Zealand. I qualified for the PGA Tour in 1978 and won in my 13th event the following year at the Bay Hill Classic in a playoff with John Schroeder. I finished 7th in that year’s British Open. From 1977 to 1979 I was ranked in the top 25 in the world. I won two more national opens in 1978 and 1982 and continued competing full time on the PGA Tour through 1985.

byman pga tour logoI competed sporadically on the world Tours until 2003, but beginning in 1987 I started teaching for a living. By the early 1990’s I was a very accomplished instructor and coach and have continued to refine and improve my skills. From the late 1980’s to 2003 I successfully taught over 40,000+ lessons. I made the transition from the selfish competitive golfer to the selfless instructor quite easily and naturally. I have a very rare blend of playing and teaching experiences, expertise and accomplishments. I have played with or seen play ever great player from the 1950’s to the present. I have studied the ones who came before them. My students quickly become aware of my great passion for helping anyone who wishes to learn. I have taught champions at every level of competition.from juniors to PGA Tour golfers, from beginners to the most advanced amateurs and from children to women to men.right and left handed.

From 2003 to 2006, I spent most of my time working on my own game trying to prepare and play Senior professional golf. I played on the European Seniors Tour in 2005. I am a lifetime member of the PGA and Champions Tour. In 2007, I put all my energies into teaching and coaching again. I am aware of only a handful of instructors in the world that have my experience, expertise, and passion for this business as I do. My commitment is to share this passion and expertise to all of my students.

John-HughesJohn Hughes, PGA Master Professional, is an Award-Winning Golf Instructor, Clinician, and Coach to golfers of all skill levels, as well as an accomplished speaker and author.With more than 26 years of teaching experience, John Hughes is a golf coach to beginners, intermediates, elite juniors and amateurs, mini tour and major tour winners. One of only 358 individuals who have earned the designation of PGA Master Professional (Instruction), John Hughes has the skills, knowledge, and experience to provide you an opportunity to experience the absolute best golf lesson you will ever have, as well as assist you in reaching your potential. Nationally, John was awarded the 2013 PGA of America Horton Smith Award for excellence in education to the PGA, it’s members and to the golfing community. John has also been recognized for his contribution by his home section, the Northern Florida PGA, with the Bill Strausbaugh Award (club relations and PGA mentoring), Irv Schloss Award (Teacher of the Year), and chapter Professional of the Year. VIP Golf Academy is proud to have John as our resident teacher for our Orlando Golf School at Falcon’s Fire Golf Club. John will provide the expert instruction and knowledge that will have you playing your best golf in short order. Exceptional facility in a great location, coupled with one of the best teachers in the country, you will be well pleased with your time at the Orlando Golf School and the time spent with John Hughes.

jack-gibsonJack Gibson, Life Member of the PGA of America has been teaching golf for over forty years and has been nominated by GOLF Magazine for their roster of “Top 100 Teachers in America.”  Jack has long believed that too much golf instruction is based on the premise that if the student could achieve certain body positions and body movements and have a “correct” swing plane they would somehow be able to propel the golf ball toward a target. When he moved to Los Cabos, Mexico in 1996 to be Director of Instruction at the renowned Cabo Del Sol Resort, he soon found that those body-position based teachings just didn’t get results for tourists only in town for a few days. He knew something had to change.

Jack began emphasizing rhythm, balance, relaxation, visualizing a target then just swinging the golf club toward that target. Jack believes most golfers have way too many conscious thoughts going through their heads and that this is the number one reason for poor play, slow play and even the reason so many golfers give up the game out of frustration. It is also the reason many people, especially women, never play after their first golf lesson. Jack is among a growing number of leading golf instructors who have discovered that students improve more rapidly, retain their golf swings longer and have more fun when the emphasis is put on just swinging their golf club toward a target while allowing the various body parts to react to that swinging motion. As there is much less conscious thought, less tension, less physical effort involved and hardly anything to remember. Jack calls his method “Thought Reduction” instruction.

Michael Fisher, PGA Golf ProfessionalMichael Fisher is a native of Buffalo, New York with a marketing degree in Professional Golf Management from Ferris State University. An accomplished teacher, Michael is held head professional positions at Trump National Bedminster and the Kiawah Island Club. Michael lives in nearby, Jupiter, Florida and has taught for PGA Village Golf School for the past seven years.

Lee Bonse is VIP Golf AcademyLee Bonse is VIP Golf Academy’s resident professional at the Ocotillo Golf Resort just south of Phoenix in Chandler, Arizona. A thirty year Class A PGA Professional, Lee’s golfing talent took him to the PGA Tour in 1969 through 1974. Lee has competed in the US Open as well as three Canadian Opens and many other tour events. Lee was the head professional at the Casper Country Club for over 25 years, where he ran a first class golf operation and developed a reputation as one of the Rocky Mountain area best teachers. Lee has been our key teacher in Phoenix for over twelve years. Lee’s outstanding teaching ability and in-depth knowledge of the golf swing allow him to help beginning golfers as well as the most polished tour player. Lee’s success stories are numerous and his students return regularly to improve their games even more.

Earl Svenningsen, President VIP Golf AcademyEarl 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.  His enthusiasm for teaching and commitment to his student’s development sets him apart.  Professional golfer or beginner, you will get the same dedicated attention to detail that makes Earl’s lessons unique.