By Michael Bower
Eight years into his life and Chris Mayson, a native of England, had already achieved what every golfer dreams to do at least once — hit a hole in one.
And so started his passion for the game of golf. He would represent England on the junior circuit, get offered 10 college scholarships and become the first ever Big 10 Freshman of the Year at Purdue University.
He moved to San Diego to chase his dream of becoming a professional golfer, but a back injury in 2006 cut his career short.
It was a blow to Mayson, but it put him on the path to becoming one of the most coveted golf instructors around.
And now young golfers in San Diego are getting the opportunity to work with him right here in Poway at Maderas Golf Club.
“I was head hunted to be the regional director for the USA Junior National Team,” said Mayson, now 32. “I have been intrusted to start off coaching cells around the West Coast. The first one is at Maderas, which is mine.”
Mayson’s program at Maderas is designed for 13-18-year-old boys and girls, who “want to get a college scholarship and into professional golf.”
Players are broken up into four different categories based on ability (elite, pre-elite, all-stars, developmental). Right now at Maderas, Mayson is only running the program for elite and pre-elite players.
“These kids are all tournament players,” he said. “They are very experienced. The program has done well so far. I would like to add developmental or all-stars and have other coaches run it. But it all depends on the space and keeping the facility available for people that want to play.”
Mayson’s program may sound like it is all work and no fun, but he stresses the exact opposite. And with his summer program booked full, it seems young golfers cannot get enough of it.
“The main point I stress to the players is I want to have a competitive and fun environment for them,” he said. “I want them to simulate a tournament environment as much as I can.”
Mayson, who has a degree in sports psychology, does more than just line up the aspiring young golfers at the driving range and analyze their swings.
He works with them on pre-shot routine, trouble shots, short game process, course management and the mental game. He even has a personal trainer come to work with the players.
“It is very different than a normal lesson,” he said. “I usually have a theme for the month. Last month, it was pre-shot routine. So I had one of my assistants make sure they were working on the right thing mentally in terms of routine ... It is a very extensive program. I want to help these kids succeed at any level they want to get to.”
The summer program is 12 hours per month of instruction. Players get to play twice per month at the Maderas Golf Course, which was named a top 100 course in USA by Golf Digest. Mayson said there will be an after-school program starting August, which will be 16 hours per month of instruction.