Learning the A.R.T. of Golf

Three-day program emphasizes angles, rhythm and timing
By: Todd Mordhorst, Journal Sports Editor
-A +A
Charlie Serrano is a modern-day Renaissance man. He teaches fifth graders in Lincoln by day. He plays drums in a local band on weekends and between spending time with his family he manages to keep his golf game sharp. So it’s no coincidence he incorporates a little bit of everything into his new golf clinics at The Ridge in Auburn. Serrano is teaming up with Shawn Kelly – the head teaching professional at the course – to put on a series of unique golf clinics that combine classroom education with on-course experience. “I teach California state standards related to math and science,” Serrano said. “They’re with me for an hour and a half, then they go out with Shawn and apply what they’ve learned to golf.” Serrano has been a golf junkie for several years. He worked washing golf carts at The Ridge so he could play the course for free and work on his game. The Placer High graduate then had a revelation one day six years ago while he was attending Sacramento State. “I was watching people practice and play a lot and thinking about it a lot and realized people were using angles, rhythm and timing in their golf games,” Serrano said. “I started talking to Shawn Kelly and he said, ‘That’s what I teach, it makes perfect sense.’ So I went with it.” The A.R.T. of Golf was born. Serrano worked on coming up with a curriculum that would combine the classroom lessons with swing principles and other fundamentals of golf. The program begins with a focus on the angles involved with the game, focusing on the aim and set up of the shot. Serrano also focuses on the angle of the bend in the knees and the spine angle. He incorporates video as students look at the angles involved with a proper stance. The rhythm part of the equation allows Serrano to use his drumming expertise. “We use a metronome to help them get the tempo of their swings and try to get them to do the same thing, over and over again with the proper rhythm,” Serrano said. The timing aspect of the course focuses on the collaboration of all the body parts involved and the balance needed for an effective swing. Serrano initially introduced the program to adults, but re-calibrated it and developed a program for kids this summer. “We tried it for two years with adults, but kids are much better students,” Serrano said. The three-day clinics conclude with the students playing nine holes of golf. Taylor Made is providing loaner clubs for the program and the three sessions of clinics this summer are being well received. “This is the first summer we’re really going big-time with it,” Serrano said. “Shawn and I have been working together for about three and a half years now so we work well together. We’re really excited about it.” For more information on the program, visit