Rick Flagler

Flagler Golf Academy

Rick Flagler

PGA Certified Professional
Five Ponds Golf Club | Flagler Golf Academy
Warminster, PA

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Posted on: 12 Sep 2023

Mine is not so much a drill, but a training aid. One of the most common problems I see is transition from backswing to forward swing. Most people tend to hang back on their trail leg, or try and initiate forward swing with the arms instead of the lower body. I have had great success […]

Shorter Backswing

Posted on: 29 Mar 2023

This is probably a popular question right now because of the success Jon Rahm is having right now. The biggest advantage I see with a shorter backswing is you can usually gain more control. I know Rahm is a big hitter, but he is more of an outlier, not the norm. Most of your big […]


Posted on: 14 Feb 2023

There were two ways that I was taught to control trajectory. First is with ball position, you are basically dealing with 3different ball positions. Front of stance, middle of stance and back of stance. Higher trajectory is front of stance, mid-trajectory is middle of stance and lower trajectory is back of stance. Secondly, I was […]


Posted on: 19 Jan 2023

It does vary depending on the student. With beginners you are just trying to get them to understand the movements. I generally refer to it as shaping clay. It’s not a finished product, your just trying to create a general shape of their swing. The one I get from high handicap experienced golfers is “I […]

Eyes over ball

Posted on: 03 Jan 2023

A good simple drill for this is to get into you putting stance with a ball in its playing position. Get another ball and drop it from the bridge of your nose. When the ball drops it should fall just to the inside of your target line. If you are going to error it should […]

Ball Type

Posted on: 21 Apr 2022

I think beginners and higher handicap players should use the “soft feel” distance type balls. They are usually made of a 2 piece construction, are higher launching and lower spinning than most Tour balls. Additionally they are much more affordable than Tour balls. My biggest suggestion is to zero in on one or two types […]

Bump and run

Posted on: 11 Apr 2022

Generally when playing a bump and run you need to make sure you have a clean opening to the green and usually it’s best when coming from a clean fairway lie or very light rough. I suggest playing it off of your back foot with a 7,8 or 9 iron and lean more weight on […]

Get players to understand where the low point of the swing has to be

Posted on: 24 Mar 2022

I definitely believe there is an easier way to try and do this without having to think so much. I have always believed in trying to get players to understand where the low point of the swing has to be. If the ball is on the ground the turf interaction has to be on the […]

I believe Tempo is important in the golf swing, but it can be a hard thing to quantify.

Posted on: 17 Mar 2022

Tour Professionals tend to have a 3 to 1 ratio of backswing to forward swing. The biggest problem I see from higher handicap players is there ratio is almost 1 to 1, meaning they are trying to swing the club back as fast as the do going forward. Without spending money on a swing speed […]

It really starts as you are approaching the green.

Posted on: 01 Mar 2022

Reading greens can be tough. It really starts as you are approaching the green. Try and get a feel for what the terrain is doing. Get a feel for the general slope of the green. The old school way I was taught was to imagine you are dumping out a bucket of water. If you […]

The one that bothers me the most is when I hear someone say they need to get under the ball

Posted on: 25 Feb 2022

The obvious one you hear is “You picked your head up”. There is probably one person in every foursome that says that for every bad shot. Yes you can definitely have improper head movement, but it is not root problem for every bad shot. The one that bothers me the most is when I hear […]

Uphill Green side shot

Posted on: 14 Feb 2022

Yes, this shot can be tricky. It seems like it should be easy but it does create some problems. The biggest mistake I see is that people tend to lean into the hill and then chunk the club into the ground. What you want to try and do is level your shoulders to the slope […]

Blocked Drives

Posted on: 13 Feb 2022

Generally when you block a drive it is a result of a swing path that is going in to out and the clubface is square to that path. If you want to keep the same in to out path you need to release the toe of the club a little bit so the clubface is […]

Shot Shaping

Posted on: 07 Feb 2022

I’m sure there will be multiple ways this will be described, but I will tell you how I was taught. To keep this simple we will describe a right handed golfer. To intentionally play a fade, a left to right shot, set up with your stance aiming slightly to the left of your target and […]

Grooves on your irons are very important, especially on your scoring irons (8 iron to Wedges)

Posted on: 29 Jan 2022

I am always amazed when people show up for a lesson and their clubs are filthy. Unless you just came from a practice session on a grass range, your clubs, especially your clubfaces should be clean. Grooves on your irons are very important, especially on your scoring irons (8 iron to Wedges). They are what […]

I really believe I learned the most by just watching and observing how they applied their craft and knowledge to their students

Posted on: 18 Jan 2022

Once I decided to become a PGA Professional I new that I wanted to be on the Teaching side of the business. My Instructor, who was a PGA Section Teacher of the Year, Was very gracious in helping me learn how to Teach and break down video. Through the years I have been blessed to […]

Blading the ball

Posted on: 16 Dec 2021

The most common way that I see golfers hit the middle of the ball(blading) is because they try and swing up on it to much, or try and lift the ball off of the ground. Their tendency is to hang back on their trail leg and lift. Ironically this can also lead to hitting behind […]

I believe everyone should have some kind of a Range Finder.

Posted on: 28 Oct 2021

To help improve your game I believe everyone should have some kind of a Range Finder. Whether it is one you point and shoot or GPS oriented. Knowing your yardages can help your game out a lot. For enjoyment, I really like all the choices that are now offered for golf specific portable speakers. So […]

Putting Alignment

Posted on: 03 Sep 2021

I think for you to achieve proper putting alignment when playing you need to work on your alignment when practice putting. There are some great training aids for putting that can help you with alignment. The Eye Line putting mirror, the Dirty Larry putting aid attachment, string tied to 2 Tees or simply alignment rods. […]

Irons VS/ Drivers

Posted on: 17 Aug 2021

I am an advocate that the iron swing and the driver swing should have some differences. When the ball is on the ground it should have a different angle of attack than when it is sitting 2 or 3 inches off of the ground on a tee. Here is Trackman data that I have; PGA […]

Super Speed

Posted on: 26 Jul 2021

I was able to attend a SuperSpeed Seminar in our Section before COVID hit in 2020. I was familiar with the SuperSpeed program because I had already been using the product prior to attending. I found the seminar to be very informative and a nice educational tool. I do believe amateur golfers can increase swing […]


Posted on: 28 Jun 2021

I get this questions a lot. My answer is generally the same. If you are playing golf frequently and it is a big part of you life you should try and stay up on the latest equipment. If you only play a couple of times a year and do not see that changing in the […]

Topped Shots

Posted on: 10 May 2021

The most common reason that I see for topped shots is most beginners and higher handicap players are trying to lift the ball up in the air with an ascending swing. When the ball sits on the ground it requires a descending swing, when the ball sits 2 or 3 inches up in the air […]

Lower Body

Posted on: 22 Apr 2021

One of the most common issues I see with beginners and also higher handicap players is proper lower body movement. I believe the lower body movement is very similar to the motion of throwing a ball. Hogan described it as skipping a stone, or I would say throwing side arm. To many players either don’t […]

JT putting on green jacket

Posted on: 07 Apr 2021

I’m going to run with Justin Thomas putting on his first Green Jacket at the Masters this week. Justin has the ability to hit his irons at a nice high trajectory which should be an asset because it sounds like Augusta is running pretty firm and fast. I also like that he has great distance […]


Posted on: 01 Apr 2021

I get this one a lot and my common answer is you need to learn how to swing down on the ball. The goal is to have proper ball then turf contact. The problem is with many players they tend to flip the club at the ball or try and lift the ball up in […]

Deep Rough

Posted on: 10 Mar 2021

This can be a very difficult shot for almost everyone. Where most people get in trouble is they try and make their normal swing. Because of this the club comes in at to shallow of an angle and they get to much grass between the clubface and the ball. You have to check the lie […]

Most Iconic Hole

Posted on: 23 Feb 2021

This is a great question as I sit here and watch more snow coming down out of my window. Favorite hole is a tough one to narrow down, so I thought I would give you the most Iconic hole that I have been able to play. I was lucky enough to get to play Merion […]

Putting aids

Posted on: 05 Feb 2021

I have a couple of Putting aids that I like. The Eye Line Putting Alignment mirror does a great job of helping shoulder alignment and eye position at address. It can also make you aware of excessive head movement during your stroke. The Navigator by Dirty Larry Golf. This is great because it really helps […]

Fairway bunkers

Posted on: 27 Jan 2021

Fairway bunkers are tough. Most places don’t have an area to practice them, so it can be difficult to get proficient at it. My best advice is to make sure you take a club with enough loft to get the ball out. Depending on your skill set pulling a club that can get to the […]

Playing the game

Posted on: 06 Jan 2021

The first obvious answer would be playing lessons. However I believe playing lessons are more suited for talking strategy on how to play the hole or a what shot to play. Learning to play different shots can be achieved on the range. I was taught to focus more on controlling trajectory, low, medium and high, […]


Posted on: 09 Dec 2020

The use of alignment rods along your foot line and target line can be very beneficial when practicing. Another great way to work on your alignment is to use an alignment rod along your target line while out on the golf course. If you get a chance to practice on the course this can be […]

Windy conditions

Posted on: 24 Nov 2020

When at all possible try and let the wind be your friend. On down wind shots, especially tee shots try and get the ball up in the air a little higher than normal. It should give you more distance. If you know how to curve the ball in both directions, again try to ride the […]


Posted on: 09 Nov 2020

I’m going to go with Rory. I know that he hasn’t been in top form lately but I’m going to roll with him to get his career grand slam. Maybe coming in under the radar will take some pressure off and let him play to his ability. I just have to believe that his high […]

Off season training

Posted on: 04 Nov 2020

Yes it is that time of year again. You can definitely try to keep your game sharp during the off season. Here are a few things you can work on. Short putting-most people can find a carpet with decent speed or you can purchase a putting mat. It’s a great time of year to firm […]


Posted on: 28 Oct 2020

I think it all depends on how long they have been playing and what kind of priority golf is in their life, as well as financial situation. I believe beginners should get a quality box set. I have had a lot of success with beginners getting the Strata Ultimate box set from Callaway. The Strata […]

Arm Lock

Posted on: 16 Oct 2020

I had done a little research on this a month ago or so. It is a very unique technique. I believe they refer to it as an arm lock style of putting. Conceptually it makes sense for the way Bryson’s head works. It is a bio mechanical way of putting. The way he locks his […]

Low Pointing

Posted on: 08 Oct 2020

This is a good question. It is something I focus on a lot during my lessons, especially for quality iron play. There are a few things that have to happen so that the low point of your swing is on the target side of the ball. First we need to understand how the lower body […]

Short game

Posted on: 02 Oct 2020

To try and keep this simple I would have to categorize it into two different groupings. High handicap players/beginners and low to mid handicap players. The high handicap/beginners should look at a bump and run shot. It is a low running shot played with a 7,8 or 9 iron off of your back foot with […]


Posted on: 16 Sep 2020

I have not been able to watch much golf this year but I am going to go with another young player that I think is due. Xander Schauffele has been playing very well for a least a couple of years now. I think he has made almost every cut and has had some high finishes, […]

Draw Shot

Posted on: 10 Sep 2020

This is the Holy Grail for almost everyone. I will try and keep this as short as possible. To understand the draw lets first discuss the slice. The slice occurs when the club head is on an outside to inside path on the the forward swing. The club face is also open relative to the […]

Rum Pointe

Posted on: 31 Aug 2020

Rum Pointe is a great golf course in Berlin Maryland, but it is really affiliated with Ocean City Maryland. I have played there multiple times and the conditions have always been excellent. It is a Links style course with almost all the holes giving you water/Bay views. If you can tie it into an Ocean […]

3 Putting

Posted on: 20 Aug 2020

I went to a seminar a few years ago and one of the topics was Putting. They did a statistical breakdown which I thought was very enlightening. To summarize it they suggested that people should practice two lengths of putts. Long putts, 25 to 30 feet and short putts 3 to 5 feet. Based on […]

Driver Distance

Posted on: 19 Aug 2020

Distance is the one thing that everyone craves. However if you truly want to hit the ball farther, you have to train for it. It will come down to a combination of fitness, flexibility, launch conditions and speed. I believe distance in golf is acquired through fast twitch muscles, meaning it is more like a […]


Posted on: 12 Aug 2020

I will definitely give a plug to the “Impact Snap” training aid. It’s small enough to keep in your Teaching Bag and quick to use. My favorite is using an impact bag. However I fill mine up with about a Third of sand and then add packing foam. If you really want to work on […]

Junior Golf

Posted on: 24 Jul 2020

If we are trying to build/shape a swing I want high volume reps on the range. If we are trying to play the game then getting on the course is better. However this depends on your situation. I am at a very nice Public Facility that has a lot of rounds played. Getting out on […]

Warm up session

Posted on: 16 Jul 2020

If I can block off enough time my ideal warm up would be 60 minutes long. -10 min. Long Putting-25 to 30 feet -20 min. Short Game-chipping, pitching, bunkers -20 min. Full Swing-Working my way through the bag. Short irons to Driver. Making sure that last shots hit will be with the club I am […]


Posted on: 20 May 2020

First Tee nerves tend to hit most people. You want to get off to a good start, you don’t want to do something to embarrass yourself and you feel it is a positive way to get things going. There are a couple of good things you can do. First try and work on your breathing, […]

Stay at home

Posted on: 10 Apr 2020

The Golf Course that I Teach at was one of the first in the Philadelphia Section to close do to COVID 19. The Course is owned by the Township and they got ahead of this outbreak right away. I live in Montgomery County and in the beginning we had the most COVID 19 cases in […]

Flexible Teaching Methods

Posted on: 30 Mar 2020

I have been lucky enough to be affiliated with the PGA HOPE Program since its inception in the Philadelphia Section. Over the years I have dealt with many different challenges. Prosthetic arms, legs and PSD. What I have found is you need to be flexible in your Teaching methods. Everyone is completely different and what […]

I really believe it is a blending of both.

Posted on: 26 Feb 2020

I really believe it is a blending of both. When working with someone on wedge shots I want them to be athletic. What I mean by that is if they were going to throw a ball their arm and body movement would be different for a short throw vs/ a long throw. For a short […]

I don't necessarily want to see just one player dominate, nor do I want to see a different player win every week.

Posted on: 11 Jan 2020

I don’t necessarily want to see just one player dominate, nor do I want to see a different player win every week. To me in an ideal situation you will have your top 10 to 20 players going at it and hopefully you can get some great final round head to head match ups. It […]

Brooks Koepka and Rory Mcilroy

Posted on: 10 Dec 2019

There are two players that I really enjoy watching right now; Brooks Koepka and Rory Mcilroy. I like Brooks because he seems to carry himself like an athlete and doesn’t seem easily intimidated by anyone. I also appreciate that he had to work for it. He had to start on the European Challenge Tour and […]

First thing I always do is ask the student if they have any physical limitations that we need to pay attention to.

Posted on: 07 Nov 2019

I do a lot of work with the Philadelphia PGA HOPE program. It is a program for Military Veterans and Wounded Military Veterans, so I understand having to work around possible physical limitation. First thing I always do is ask the student if they have any physical limitations that we need to pay attention to. […]

Outdoors: Hudl Technique | Indoors: GASPLabs

Posted on: 10 Oct 2019

When I am Teaching outdoors I use Hudl Technique on my I-Pad. It is a Free motion capturing app and is used in a lot of other sports as well. I have had great success with it and minimal issues. Your customer just has to sign up for the app and they can receive and […]

What I have found though is using the data really depends on the skill set of the player.

Posted on: 30 Sep 2019

I am fortunate enough to be able to Teach both indoors and outdoors. In season I am outdoors at the course and during the off season, and on inclement weather days, I have a Teaching Studio. In the Teaching Studio I have a GC Quad Launch Monitor, it also is what drives the Simulator. I […]

The one I seem to check out the most is Swing U Clubhouse

Posted on: 26 Aug 2019

I get inundated with emails from different golf websites, like I am sure most other Professionals do. The one I seem to check out the most is Swing U Clubhouse. They seem to have timely stories, golf instruction and equipment reviews. It seems to cover a lot of what I am looking for in a […]

What you want to pay attention to is if you are getting wear marks or if your grips are becoming slick.

Posted on: 14 Aug 2019

In regard to how often you change your grips depends on how often you play and practice. If you are a very active player your grips will wear out faster. What you want to pay attention to is if you are getting wear marks or if your grips are becoming slick. The first thing I […]

Part of this is a lack of understanding that the low point of the swing is on the target side of the ball.

Posted on: 10 Aug 2019

I think this is a great question. Part of this is a lack of understanding that the low point of the swing is on the target side of the ball. From the outside it can appear that golf is a “lifting game” that you are trying to help/lift the ball up in the air. Because […]

Putting is such an individual preference and is as much about confidence as it is technique.

Posted on: 02 Aug 2019

Putting is such an individual preference and is as much about confidence as it is technique. It can also be about how the putter looks to your eye. I personally prefer a blade style putter. I have used mallet styles in the past but always seem to come back to a blade. However when asked […]

Of the 3 basic short game shots, the pitching motion has the most moving parts

Posted on: 30 Jul 2019

This is a good question. Of the 3 basic short game shots, putting, chipping/bump&run and pitching the pitching motion has the most moving parts and for most people is the most difficult to learn. Everyone teaches a little differently, but for me I normally teach a lot of chest rotation on the forward swing, very […]

Merion Golf Club ; Aronomink Golf Club; Philadelphia Cricket Club

Posted on: 18 Jul 2019

I feel lucky being in the Philadelphia Section. We have a lot of great private courses in our area and I have been fortunate enough to play some of them. 1) Merion Golf Club 2) Aronomink Golf Club 3) Philadelphia Cricket Club These are just a few of the great Private Clubs in the Philadelphia […]

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