As most of you know the typical par for nine holes is 36. However, this is not a realistic goal for the majority of golfers.

The traditional approach to learning and playing golf is to start at the tee with the full swing. This can be very frustrating and no fun for the beginner golfer. This is not the way to learn the game.

Operation 36 (or Op 36) flips the concept and starts at the green and works its way back to the full tee with a progression. The concept is that all golfers should have a goal of shooting par (36). When they accomplish that at a certain distance from the green, they move back 25 yards to 50 yards, then 100, 150, 200 and finally the full tee.

The goal will always be to shoot 36 or better for nine holes.

The Op 36 program provides golfers with the opportunity to work through a clear pathway to playing enjoyable golf at whatever level they would like to attain.

Golf is a sport that teaches “delayed gratification.” It will take several attempts at each tee yardage, but eventually the Op. 36 golfer will graduate to the full tees at their course.

The Op 36 curriculum has three components:

  1. Academy classes. Golfers will learn the game, set goals and develop skills in a group environment. Coaches will have students learn and progress at their own rate. There are six levels and 12 subjects to work through. There are mobile apps that the student can use between lessons. Students can view their goals and objectives as well as their statistics.
  2. Supervised practice. The coach will provide games and skills testing. Students will get feedback to ensure they are practicing correctly.
  3. Matches. This is the unique concept of Op 36. Students will start at the 25-yard distance from the green. When they shoot 36 or better from that distance, they will move back to 50 yards the next time they play. The focus is on beating the course, not the players in your group.

The Op 36 program is the fastest growing long-term program for learning the game of golf. It is being run by more than 300 facilities in the United States.

Cody Carter, formerly at Parris Island, has used the program for 2 1/2 years. “Op 36 changed my teaching career,” he said. “My students love it.”

There are local programs at Parris Island, Moss Creek and Long Cove.

Krista Dunton, PGA/LPGA, Monica Franklin, PGA and I are starting programs this fall for both juniors and adults. Contact me for dates and times.

Dr. Jean Harris is an LPGA Master Professional and teaches at local courses. jean.golfdoctor.harris@gmail.com; golfdoctorjean.com