Charley Vandenberg, Director of Instruction
Charley Vandenberg, the 69th Professional in the country to receive Master Professional status, has been the Director of Instruction at the Thousand Oaks Golf Academy since April 2007. His passion for teaching the game over the past 35 years has elevated him to the top of his craft. He has been named a top ten best instructor in the state of Michigan ten of the last eleven years by Golf Digest. His quest for knowledge has taken him across the United States to observe the best instructors in the world in order to provide his students the finest instruction possible. His impact on the local and national level has been tremendous, and his accomplishments are many.
Over the years, Vandenberg has held multiple teaching titles including leadership positions on both the Michigan Section Teaching and Education Committees. Vandenberg's teaching methods have been featured in PGA Magazine, USA Today, Michigan Links Magazine, The Grand Rapid Press, and more. Holding annual golf schools, Charley has attracted and taught alongside some of the biggest names in golf instruction including Mike Bender, 2009 PGA Teacher of the Year, Golf Digest's Top 5 Instructor and coach of 2007 Masters' winner Zach Johnson, and putting guru Mike Shannon, one of Golf Digest's top 50 and Golf Magazine's top 100 instructors and putting instructor to 28 PGA tour players.
Players trust Vandenberg, not only because of his proven methods, but because of his
genuine desire to help others both on and off the course. In 1997,
he conceptualized the Golf Marathon of Hope, a 24-hour individual golf endeavor
where he played 400+ holes to raise monies for the Mel Trotter Ministries homeless shelter.
Through much hard work and dedication, his goal of raising $500,000 was accomplished
after ten years of playing the event.
Charley Vandenberg is not only known for being an elite instructor but also an innovator.
He has aspired to integrate the latest in technology and training aids thereby
allowing players to become their best at the fastest rate. A few of the most innovative
technologies in use are the JC Video Software System, the TRACKMAN Launch Monitor, the
TOMI putting analyzer, computerized Heart Rate Variability Training for peak performance,
and the MEGSA Perfect Practice Equipment (used by multiple PGA and LPGA Tour winners including Zach
Johnson, Jonathon Byrd, Seon Hwa Lee and Morgan Pressel).
In 2010, Charley was named one of six instructors in the world accredited to teach the Laser
Optics Putting System developed by putting expert, Mike Shannon (28 tour player students).
Utilized extensively on all of the major tours and amateur competitions worldwide, this truly
cutting edge information and technology has proven to dramatically benefit golfers of all abilities.
Over the past twenty-seven years Charley has held and taught twenty-nine on-site multiple day schools
with the finest instructors in the world, including Dr.Gary Wiren, Gary Smith (Leadbetter Academy),
Paul Geisler (HealthSouth), Mike Shannon (Sea Island) and Mike Bender (Mike Bender Golf Academy).
Schools have ranged from specialized areas such as fitness (Geisler), putting (Shannon), and short
game (Bender), to total game improvement (Wiren, Smith, Bender). Treasured associations with Mike
Shannon (annual putting schools for the past five years) and close friend and 2009 National PGA
Teacher of the Year, Mike Bender (annual schools for eighteen years), have molded and motivated
Charley to provide the finest instruction, based on the best information available, tempered with
a sense of care and compassion witnessed while beside the best instructors of the game.
Vandenberg has taught all facets of the game to players of all skill levels. Competitively, in the
last seven high school campaigns for girls and boys, over fifty-five students received All State
recognition. Nine of these students were named to Michigan's Super Team, annually comprised of
the top eight male and female players in the state, and six individual State Championships were
claimed. Three of these students captained their #1 ranked teams in Michigan to state titles.
In summer play, Junior Champions were crowned on various tours including the top 50 in Meijers competitions as well as Player of the Year and Runners-up named in multiple age divisions on the Adams Tour. Also recorded were top finishes
on the AJGA tour through participants Hannah Lewis, Max Rispler, Nick Carlson, Andrew Yeager, Adam Decker and others.
On the college front, dozens of students have garnished scholarships past and present.
Currently male and female students are represented in every NCAA division with maximum
scholarships as the division will allow. Today, over one dozen
players are today living their dreams registering top finishes in college programs across
Students have captured nearly every major title in Michigan (many events multiple times) as well as titles in other states, including:
- Michigan Open Champion
- Tournament of Champions Champion
- Michigan Men's Amateur Champion
- Michigan Women's Amateur Champion
- GAM Mid-Amateur Champion
- GAM Women's Senior Amateur Champion
- GAM Women's Mid-Amateur Champion
- Michigan Women's Senior Amateur Champion
- Michigan PGA Girls Junior Amateur Champion
- Michigan PGA Boys Junior Amateur Champion
- Michigan Junior Open Champion
- Michigan Senior Amateur Runner-up
- Grand Rapids City Match Play Champion
- Grand Rapids Women's City Champion (17 times)
- Grand Rapids Women's City Senior Champion
- Michigan "Mr. Golf" High School Champion
- Michigan Women's Publinx Champion
- Grand Rapids City Junior Champions (both boys and girls, multiple age divisions)
- Northern Amateur Champion
- Northern Amateur Runner-up
- Missouri State Junior Amateur Champion
- U.S. Men's Amateur participants
- U.S. Women's Amateur participants
- U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur participants
- U.S. Junior Amateur participants
Grand Rapids is the second largest city in Michigan, and my amateur female students placed first through fifth positions in the Grand Rapids Women's City Championship in both 2008 and 2009 with consecutive Women's City Champions over the last eight years spread amongst five different students, including 2010, 2011, and 2012 events where students finished first and second in 2010 and first, third, and fourth in 2010 and 2012. Additionally, my students have been crowned both Champion and Runner-up in the Women's City Senior Championship in both 2010 and 2011, and Champion and third (two tied) in the 2012 event held in late June. Also in 2010, a 24-year student was awarded the Senior Women's Player of the Decade by the Golf Association of Michigan.
Notable Professional Students include:
Andy Matthews (coach since 1995)
Matthews is a Canadian Tour Player that has been
with Vandenberg since 1995.
- 2010 Canadian Tour Top 10 Order of Merit
- 2010 Corona Mazaltan Mexican PGA Champion
- Missed 3 fairways and 10 greens in 72 holes
- 2009 Corona Mazaltan Mexican PGA Champion Runner-Up
- Fully Exempt Canadian Tour status through 2012
- South African Tour Player 2005-2006
- Named All Big Ten, 2002
- Michigan Amateur Champion 2001
Tracy Hanson (coach since 2004)
Hanson is an LPGA Tour Player (now retired). Under Vandenberg, she was able to vastly improve her LPGA statistical averages in three years:
- Improved GIR from 101st ranking to 30th
- Improved Driving Accuracy from 146th to 31st
- Improved Official Money from 124th to 69th
- Improved Cuts Made from 43% to 77%
- Improved Scoring Avg Standing from 119 to 54
- Improved World Ranking from 289 to 144
- Top 28 finishes in US, British, and Canadian Open (2006)
- Improved Scoring 4.4 shots per event