Tony McMullin of Cincinnati, Ohio, is not your typical Master Golf Teaching Professional. His story of how hard he worked to become one would certainly tell you that. His golf career began in 2000. He was 37 years old and had recently been forced away from his first love, baseball, by an injury. But being competitive of nature, he began to look for the next chapter he could compete in. He found it in golf.

He came home one day and informed his wife that he wanted to “get into golf.” Her response was, “Well, that’s an expensive sport. You better find a way to pay for it.” Little did they both know that golf would become more than just the “thing we got into,” as McMullin now says. Realizing that he needed a place to practice and play, McMullin found a part-time gig at a local course working the pro shop desk and washing carts. In return, he made a little cash and got to play and practice for free.

McMullin worked as a truck driver at the time. His schedule was to go into work at the trucking company at 3:00 a.m. and work until 2:00 p.m. Then, he would go to the course where he worked until 9:00 p.m., three days a week. On his off days at the course, he would practice until dark, then go home and do it all again the next day.

It all paid off. Within a year, he won his flight of a local club championship. Later that year he landed a full-time job as the assistant golf professional of that same course, and his golf career was off and running.

McMullin continued to play competitively and began to teach the game of golf in 2001. He had found his passion in golf instruction. As his career continued to rise, he went from assistant golf professional to head golf professional at Harmon Golf Club in Lebanon, Ohio. It was there in 2015 he founded SmartGolf Academy. McMullin’s golf instruction and passion now had started to grow into a business. In 2018 he decided to leave the “golf course business” and go into professional golf instruction full time with his academy.

Since then, McMullin and his SmartGolf Academy have continued to grow. He joined the ranks of the USGTF in 2020, becoming a Master Golf Teaching Professional with the organization in 2021. He became the Central Region director that same year and is now a WGTF Top 50 Instructor. McMullin has taught junior golf beginners and taken them to the levels of Ohio district and state qualifiers, as well as instructing would-be college golfers.

He has taught a number of adult players who now play competitively on local and regional amateur tours, using FlightScope launch monitor technology along with video training. All the while, as McMullin says, “I am continuing to learn about the game, the swing, and how to speak people’s learning language to accelerate their performance.”

These days, you can find McMullin teaching at his golf academy at the Southwest Golf Ranch in Lebanon. He also has a full-service website and online academy, as well as a newly established YouTube channel, SmartGolf Academy’s “Golf Unplugged.” You can find out more about McMullin and the SmartGolf Academy at
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