Pro Golf’s Jim Bennett has been giving lessons for over 30 years

Updated: May 31, 2024

When you call Jim Bennett, the teaching professional at Pro Golf Discount in Southcenter, his recording when he doesn’t answer the phone says it all: I can’t come to the phone right now, I am helping somebody with their slice.” And that’s just the way Bennett operates – he wants to help every golfer he works with. And through the 30-some years he has been teaching, he has done just that.      

The 64-year-old Bennett never tires of having a golfer with a high handicap and bad swing book a lesson. He knows there is improvement in everyone. And he loves it when his students see their handicaps drop and when their swings start doing what they are supposed to do.

But his favorite lesson story deals a little with his instruction and a little of pure luck. One of his students years ago could not fix their slice. Bennett tried everything, but the slice seemed unfixable.

Then one day, a few months after the student had stopped coming for lessons, Bennett saw him on a driving range. He saw his former student hitting nice draws with a slow, beautiful swing. “I thought for sure he had taken lessons from someone else.” Turns out the player had fallen down and cracked three ribs. When he started playing golf again, he was forced into a slow swing and couldn’t hit the ground or he would have been in pain from the cracked ribs. “The injury forced him to slow down and he started drawing the ball.”

Bennett, a PGA professional, is one of several instructors at the Pro Golf locations. Steve Englund, also a PGA professional, works at the Tacoma location, Joe Brown works in Bellevue, Ryan Woods is in Lynnwood and Jeff McMahon is in the Bellingham location.

Bennett has been working as an instructor for years in the Pacific Northwest. He has always tried to keep his lessons simple. He knows there are so many numbers that people get into from clubhead speed to ball speed to spin rotation, that he tries to keep it simple for his students. He is concerned about three things: The path of the swing, the clubface at the target and the contact point. He knows when he is doing his lessons there are several numbers on the screen, but he has learned that these three points will give the most information.

“There is way too much information out there for golfers to get their hands on,” said Bennett. “I have always dealt with the philosophy that less is more. He also subscribes to the theory of European instructor Pete Cowan (who Bennett calls the Butch Harmon of Europe) that if you practice for 10 minutes a day with the right positions and motions, you will notice improvement.

“You don’t always have to hit balls to work on your game,” Bennett said.