“Desire trumps talent” at Kendall Academy Elite Junior Program

(Ypsilanti, Mich.) “Desire trumps talent” as a predictor of golf success for junior players, according to PGA teaching pro Jack Seltzer. Coordinator of Kendall Academy’s Elite Junior Development Program (EJDP), Seltzer heads a team of five instructors, including Academy founder Dave Kendall, offering a program targeted at experienced junior golfers of middle school and high school age with competitive and college golf aspirations. “Talent is important but not as much as a lot of desire,” said Seltzer, a Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member who’s worked with dozens of All-State players over the years. “In fact, forget the talent; all we need is the desire to be a better player.”


Introduced in 2011, the EJDP aims to sharpen a balance of competencies and skills for aspiring young golfers on an on-going, monthly basis in three primary settings: individual/small group conversations; on the practice range; and out on the course. “A series of lessons can be helpful for junior players but this affordable program allows young players with high expectations and goals to accelerate their game,” said Dave Kendall, a two-time Michigan PGA Teacher of the Year. 


Kendall says the on-course component is particularly valuable. “On-course evaluation really takes instruction to a different level. We get to see our students in a competitive arena and watch the choices they take and how they make a score,” said Kendall who founded the Academy in 1997 at Miles of Golf in Ypsilanti. “The 18-hole on-course sessions are available twice a month on Saturdays at nearby Polo Fields G & CC on Packard Road. 


A recent ‘after school’ practice session from 5 pm-7 pm featured three high school senior varsity golfers working with Seltzer and Kendall in order to be better players when the 2013 high school golf season begins. One 17-year-old senior from Brighton has been enrolled in the EJDP for over a year. “The Kendall teachers are easy-going and friendly and what they teach is easy to understand,” said the student who played as the top player for his team as a junior. “Before I came here, I used to hook it and that was sometimes a big problem. Mr. Seltzer taught me how to prevent that shot.”


The high school golfers also enjoyed a short game session called “practice difficult; play easy” by Kendall. Kendall and Seltzer had the students make lofted chips with a nine iron, not the ideal club for the shot. “We want them to create loft with really the wrong club first so that when they choose the right club with the right technique it will be easier,” said Kendall. 


The EJDP is offered on either a Full Member or Visitor basis. Offered in-season from September to November, Full Members receive: six 2-hour group practice sessions; one 18-hole on-course session; and one 1-hour private lesson; or four 2-hour practice sessions; two 18-hole sessions; and one 1-hour private lesson. Off-season months of December to March include four 2-hour group practice sessions and one 1-hour private lesson. 


Visitors may participate on a space available and a la carte basis, allowing them to try out the program prior to a monthly commitment.


Offering year round instruction and with nine instructors overall, Kendall Academy is located at Miles of Golf, a full-service golf operation offering a retail store, practice & teaching facility, and club-fitting center in Ypsilanti. Located on 3113 Carpenter Road, additional information on MOG is available at  For more details on the EJDP, contact Jack Seltzer at 850-596-8588 or [email protected]