Our area is blessed with many club professionals skilled at teaching both the fundamentals and intricacies of the golf swing.
Along with these experts, Jonathan Madey of Blair County Golf and Driving Range in Hollidaysburg is building quite a reputation as a teaching professional.
Madey, 28, was introduced to golf at an early age. His grandfather, Frank Kiraly, was one of the first PGA professionals in the country to attain "master" status. An accomplished golfer, Kiraly played the pro tour in the 1940s and '50s and operated Kiraly's Golf Shop, near the Meadows intersection, for years.
Photo for the Mirror by Ken Love
Jonathan Madey (left) gives a golf lesson to Nick Macchia of Cresson.
Madey spent long hours at his grandfather's golf shop learning plenty about the golf retailing business, selling golf equipment, repairing clubs and working with the public.
After a road-widening project forced the closing of this business, Jonathan's father, John Madey, opened the Blair County Golf facility, which also included a new driving range.
While the younger Madey was busy performing all sorts of duties in the new shop, he was fortunate to spend time watching his grandfather give golf lessons.
Madey was able to learn a good deal from this expert teacher, who helped many central Pennsylvania golfers over the years, until Kiraly's untimely death in 2006.
"My grandpap was fantastic," Madey said. "He had a great knowledge of the golf swing and had the ability to fix just about any problem. I learned a lot from him."
After graduating from Hollidaysburg, Madey immersed himself in the family business.
He became an expert at building and repairing all types of golf equipment. He also became familiar with all types of equipment and eventually, like his father, became certified as a professional club fitter for many of the nationally known golf brands - Ping, Taylor Made, Calloway, Titleist, Cobra and Mizuno.
In addition, Madey was working toward becoming a top-notch golf instructor. Hours and hours of watching his grandfather giving lessons were followed by formal instruction allowing Madey to achieve entry into the PGA ranks as a PGA Apprentice professional.
Over the past several years, as Director of Golf Instruction at Blair County Golf, Madey has become one of central Pennsylvania's best teaching professionals with a strong knowledge of the golf swing and a kind, friendly demeanor.
During the summer months, much of his time is spent giving lessons, to both beginners and low-handicappers.
"I enjoy helping someone get better," Madey said. "Golf is about minimizing your mistakes - and making your 'misses' better."
In addition to individualized lessons, Blair County Golf also hosts several women's and junior clinics each year. The week-long sessions include instruction, skills games and a visit to a local course at week's end. They are a way to introduce a newcomer to the game.
Hollidaysburg Area High School boys golf coach Bryan James is familiar with the clinics and has known Madey for several years.
"Jonathan has worked with many of our kids over the years," James said. "He's done a really nice job with them. He's also been very generous allowing our team to use their facilities."
Recent Hollidaysburg graduate Jordan Kirsch is one of the area's better young players and utilizes Madey as his instructor.
"I started working with Jonathan when I was 12 years old," Kirsch said. "When we started, we worked just on accuracy. Later on, we worked on distance. He's a great teacher. He can spot a tiny swing flaw and will work with you until it's corrected."
When asked what type of golfer he most enjoys teaching, Madey's answer was simple: "Anyone who wants to get better."