This year, the PlayGolfMyrtleBeach.com World Amateur is following three golfers as they pair up with top golf instructors from across the country to improve their game leading up to the event. Gene Chiarella, from Myrtle Beach, S.C., is an 11-year veteran of the World Am and is training with Allen Terrell, swing coach for Dustin Johnson and the director of coaching at the Dustin Johnson Golf School, to improve his golf game. Watch as we follow Gene through his process of preparing for the Myrtle Beach World Am!
Gene Chiarella: Hi, I’m Gene Chiarella from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Kyle Oland: Gene, how long have you been playing in the World Am?
Gene Chiarella: 11 years.
Kyle Oland: What got you started in playing in it?
Gene Chiarella: A bunch of my friends belonged to a club in New Jersey, I joined the club. They come down with about 30, 40 guys a year. So that’s how I got started.
Kyle Oland: What about it has kept you coming back for 11 years?
Gene Chiarella: The friends you make along the way, the competition. It’s just so much fun, just so much fun. I think it’s a great run tournament. My short game is horrible. If it’s on, it’s on; if it’s not, it’s not consistent. I have a tendency to keep pushing everything right. I think, from him, if I can be … My lowest I’ve been was 16. Right now I’m sitting at 19. If I can get back to the 16 and fare well in the World Am, I’d be happy. Sixteen or lower would be my goal. I would love to see 12 or 13. I think, hopefully it makes me more aware of what I’m doing, to stop from pushing the ball right. I guess you would call it a slice, some people call it a fade. I think it’s more in between a fade and a slice. Consistency in the game, today I can shoot an 82, tomorrow I’m going to do 102. So my consistency is what I’m really looking to temper, and you only get that so that I can be consistent every week.
Allen Terrell: So we won’t do a short game evaluation today. But, we’re going to do the long game, get a game plan together, and I’m going to … We’re going to use some TrackMan technology and see what our best club is. You tell me, what’s your favorite club in your bag?
Gene Chiarella: My driver.
Allen Terrell: Your driver? Okay.
Gene Chiarella: I love my driver.
Allen Terrell: All right.
Allen Terrell: Okay, so we don’t really turn our hips. What does that mean to you? Now, let’s look at this on the screen here. What I mean by that is when you swing back you can see our shoulders haven’t really been able to rotate because our lower body has. So our shoulders, probably about 70, 60 degrees of shoulder turn, and our goal is to get it to about right here. Now, why is that important? One obviously is, it helps us hit it farther. But, two is, you’re going to have to drive your head forward from here to try to generate speed. So you’re going to have to kind of lunge forward to try to generate speed, and to try to get back to where we started.
So this is where you started right here. So to hit a good shot, we probably were to turn our head to that position. When it moves off the ball too much, then we have to try to organize that and get right back perfect before we hit the ball on that line. So sometimes you’re probably going to get forward of it, sometimes, like this one, you’ve done a pretty good job. Pretty close to it. Then, you can see how coming through, you kind of have to use your left arm to save us a little bit. We’re not going to mess with that until there’s a reason to fix it, because you do that for a reason.
Gene Chiarella: Oh, it’s great. He’s laid-back, he explains everything the way that I could understand. I just loved him. I mean, I’ve had one lesson in my life before, but one lesson with him has just been amazing. Just in a short time knew what to do, and it was like … Today, I got part of my iron game almost solved. Not that it’s solved, but I need to work on it. But, really changed it. Really changed a lot of my perspective. I thought it was very enlightening for me to see my swing in three different ways, and what’s happening with my body with the sway and the head not turning, and the grip, more than anything else, my grip. It was an easy fix, it doesn’t feel … He made it not feel like it was uncomfortable. So you saw the balls after I hit about three or four of them, they started going much better.
So happy with it today!