Swing Journey – Ryan Ploetz

Ryan Ploetz

From Shooting in the 120s to Single Digit Handicap

Student Profile

Age: 43

Handicap: 2.7

Student Since: 2021

Location: GOLFTEC Grand Rapids, MI

Coach: Ian Hughes

Bio: Ryan came to GOLFTEC averaging well over 120. He told Ian his goal was to become scratch, and he is just about there. Over the last three years Ryan and Ian have become good friends, as transforming Ryan’s swing has taken time and dedication. Ryan had a very athletic background, as he played high level AAU basketball and D2 college football. However, he didn’t understand how to translate that athleticism to golf until he visited GOLFTEC.

“His work ethic and drive to improve have made the journey very fun. He is down to a 2.7 handicap – so we haven’t gotten to the scratch goal yet, but we will!” – Ian Hughes

The Way to Way Better

  • Worked on fixing slice by creating a better in-to-out path
  • Learned to use athleticism to help the golf swing
  • Steadily dropped shots each year going from 120s to 90s then 80s and even 70s
  • Fine-tuning setup and course strategy with playing lessons
  • Recently shot first round of even-par 72

“I have never left a lesson where my swing wasn’t better. I feel my Coach, Ian, taking personal ownership in my development and progress. Ian shares course management and other insights that aren’t commonly known or shared amongst casual amateurs. GOLFTEC took an ordinary game and made it into a passion and borderline addiction.” 

RYAN PLOETZ, Student, GOLFTEC Grand Rapids

Before Swing - 2021

After Swing - 2023

Inside The Lesson

GOLFTEC Coach Ian Hughes has been working with Ryan on his setup and trail knee flex. On the left Ryan’s trail knee flex is at 14 degrees, while on the right he’s at 19 degrees so his knees are more over the balls of his feet. This also leads to his arms being more forward toward the ball. This adjustment helps Ryan swing with a more in-to-out path.

Ryan's Favorite Drill

One drill that has been key to Ryan’s success is the path change slice drill. This drill helps guide a golfers club by placing an object outside of the ball. Swinging with an out-to-in path would obviously lead to the golfer making contact with that object. This drill trains the golfer to control their clubhead and swing in-to-out to avoid the object and make better more consistent contact.


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