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America's Top 100 Instructors: Dana Rader Lays Foundation for Success

Shane SharpBy Shane Sharp,

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Dana Rader grew up playing the traditional courses of North Carolina.

No gimmicks, just classic, straightforward golf courses.

Rader, a Golf Magazine Top 100 Instructor, brings this same steadfast adherence to fundamental principles to her teachings at the Dana Rader Golf School at the Ballantyne Resort in Charlotte. The central tenant of her instructional philosophy is "stick to your program," no matter what your goals for your game may be.

"There are some principles and fundamentals that all golfers should adhere to," Rader says. "But you try to make it as basic as you can so that people can follow it and you have to adapt to the person's goals."

In her upcoming book, "A Rock Solid Foundation," Rader begins by shedding some light on the common misconceptions surrounding the golf swing, and then sets forth a foundation for building a golf game for a lifetime. Rader uses a series of case studies to make her points, and refreshingly, does not use the book as a lengthy advertisement for her golf schools.

"I talk about my first golf lesson, and try to relay some of my experiences to the reader, but the theme is about sticking with a program and remaining in the game of golf," she says. "This book is not about why you should take lessons from Dana Rader."

Rader, who was born and raised in Morganton, N.C. now makes her home in Charlotte. And by day, you'll find her teaching at the Ballantyne Resort's state-of-the-art practice facility. Rader's resources include a video room and hitting bays for inclement weather.

"Everything about this facility is about training and coaching," she says. Rader grew up playing the game at the Mimosa Hills Country Club, a classic Donald Ross designed course that ranks as one of the best in the western piedmont. But she realizes that most players haven't had the luxury of taking up the game at a young age, or growing up near a golf course.

"Lack of foundation is the number one problem with my students," Rader says. "They have no fundamentals ingrained, or understanding of the game. My challenge is I have to ingrain this in people, and they think it's going to be simple. I have to start over and they are shocked, but I tell them I am giving you what they didn't get before."

Shane Sharp is vice president of Buffalo Communications, a golf and lifestyle media agency. He was a writer, senior writer and managing editor of TravelGolf.com from 1997 to 2003.

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