Who I am and what
I have done in the past is probably not
that important to you.
What I can do to
help you become a more effective golfer
or instructor in the future is more of
to you I am sure.
I became an expert on
designing, installing and sustaining
programs in large
and medium sized organizations that measurably
improved and sustained performance
crucial to improving profits and the success
of that firm. These included large
organizations in the airline, banking,
and financial fields.
I was with Emery Air Freight when I started
looking for a process that would produce targeted
performance change around the world in that
organization. I went to a workshop held at the
U. of Michigan that talked about using Applied
Behavior Analysis to change human behavior in
schools, mental institutions and prisons. The
lights went on for me. I saw that all organizations
should change and maintain human performance
they targeted using a behavioral approach. Some
employees hold that working in their organization
is similar to working in a mental institution
When I returned to my office, I suggested that
Emery Air Freight set up a new department that
would measurably improve performance throughout
the company using these techniques. Every performance
we aimed the programs at measurably improved.
What was so rewarding was that they improved
quickly, often in the first hour. When I left
there in 1973, Emery had become the most profitable
company on the New York Stock Exchange.
Business Week ran several articles on the program,
which drew wide interest. Later, they asked
me to appear in a featured role with Professor
B. F. Skinner in a film called Business, Behaviorism
and the Bottom Line. His peers voted Professor
Skinner the most influential psychologist in
the world. He is the originator of the basic
underpinnings of the behavioral approach.
I left Emery in 1973 to set up Feeney Assoc.,
a management-consulting firm. Twenty minutes
after starting, the Senior Vice President of
a major airline phoned to ask me to improve
performance among a thousand airline reservation
agents. For over twenty years, we measurably
improved performance in all types of companies
and departments using the behavioral approach.
For example, I wrote a sales training and coaching
program that the forerunners of Fed Ex Ground
used for 25 years.
The experts in my field were kind enough to
give me a Lifetime Achievement Award for my
work in applying these programs in organizations.
I always enjoyed playing golf and was able to
win some 20 or so club tournaments of all types.
I began to develop my Behavioral Golf Instruction
process and used it on my game to lower my handicap
to 1.6 at the age of 73, the lowest I had achieved
and at an age when most golfer’s handicaps
have risen substantially.
I finished in the top three in Senior and Super
Senior State Tournaments in the three states
where I eventually resided. In Virginia, I went
to the last hole in a five- day medal and match
play tournament one up. I put my tee shot on
a hole that was 195 yards up hill and against
the wind. I mentally visualized my trophy when
my opponent, a former State Amateur Champion
made a hole in one. Ah well.
Golf has given me so much pleasure. When I saw
so many people struggle to improve, I decided
that my behavioral background might be of some
help to golfers and instructors. That is when
I began to research golf instruction with as
much effort as I did large organizations. I
interviewed over 150 golfers in great depth
on their experience in taking or not taking
golf lessons and over 100 instructors on what
they did or did not do in giving lessons. Observations
of hundreds of lessons helped even more.
I instantly saw many steps in giving and taking
golf instruction that needed to change and that
would lower the average score of all golf students
quickly, regardless of their prior experience.
Using this information, I designed and successfully
tested Behavioral Golf Instruction.
One day I suddenly decided to try to change
how golf instruction is given and taken
around the golfing world. To make a dent in
golf, I decided to write a book, open a
site, give workshops, write articles and make
presentations to large organizations or
Companies amply rewarded me as the President
of my management consulting company. Therefore,
I decided to make this contribution to
and instructors without charging them anything
for what would be millions of dollars of
time and advice to a business client. I respect
the advice of many people that tell me
charge for this help, but I have decided
Because there are so many instructors and far
more golfers around the world and there is only
one of me, I am going to need the help of many
people in spreading Behavioral Golf Instruction.
May I count on you to apply these ideas and
spread the word to everyone you know in golf?