Imagine that the world capitals of golf are Augusta National, Pebble Beach, St. Andrews, Royal Melbourne and Omaha.
Omaha, you say? That’s Nebraska, pardner.
In 2004, insurance executive Mike McCoy jumped in his car, embarking on a personal crusade from his home in West Des Moines, Iowa, to Omaha. In the years that followed, he would become intimately familiar with the two-hour drive on I-80. Oh, by the way, he also would win the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship.
McCoy’s mission was to fine-tune his golf swing with help from instructor Tom Sieckmann, a former PGA Tour winner who successfully made the tricky transition from player to teacher. The soft-spoken Sieckmann is an Omaha product through and through, which means speaking the truth with his students and focusing on their ability to repeat fundamental movements in the golf swing. No embellishments here. No shortcuts allowed.
After nine years and dozens and dozens of trips to Nebraska, McCoy was able to slay many of the dragons that inhabit the path to consistent golf. In 2013, when the 50-year-old McCoy won the U.S. Mid-Am, he could have been called Mr. Birdie. He was relentless in the final and scored an 8-and-6 victory over Bill Williamson of Cincinnati. This made him the second-oldest Mid-Am champion (behind Randal Lewis, 54 at the time of his victory).
Fast forward to 2018, when a man named Sieckmann was named the PGA of America’s Teacher of the Year. No, the recipient was not Tom Sieckmann. It was his br...
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