During his 39 years in professional golf, Jim Hardy has sought out experiences and opportunities that span the golf profession. His career in professional golf followed graduation from Oklahoma State University where he earned All-American honors in 1966. After an assistant professional position in Chicago and a head professional position on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Jim passed the PGA Tour Q-School in 1968 and played the Tour full time until March 1974. From then through 1976 he served as head professional at Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park, Illinois.
In 1975, while instructing in Golf Digest Schools, Jim taught with England’s John Jacobs and established an association with Jacobs that lead to Golf Magazine. Jim became a feature instructor with the Golf Magazine Schools and an instructional contributor for the magazine. Subsequently he cofounded, along with Shelby Futch, the John Jacobs Golf Schools and the Carol Mann Golf Schools and was the director of both enterprises.
In 1979 he left the golf schools and established his own instructional programs in Palm Springs, California and Houston, Texas. Although he taught golfers of every level, he developed a strong clientele of professional golfers, top collegiate players and teachers. In 1982 Jim limited his teaching to seminars, teaching professionals and tour players while he expanded his career to include golf course design, golf course and club development, marketing and operations. To date he has either designed, developed or operated over 60 facilities.
Beyond his Golf Magazine credits, Jim has been a color analyst for golf network telecasts for NBC, ESPN and MISLOU. He additionally provided the golf tips for NBC telecasts in 1982. In 1986 and 1987 he wrote a monthly golf industry column titled “Committee Business”, for The Golf Club, a national magazine publication. He was the featured instructor at the 1990 Teaching and Coaching Summit. His taped presentation from that Summit is still one of the PGA’s best selling instructional tapes. In addition, he was a featured instructor at the 1994 & 2004 PGA International Teaching and Coaching Summit and in 2000 was the featured head instructor at the European Teaching and Coaching Summit. He has also taught at numerous local and sectional PGA seminars throughout the United States. In 1996 & 2004 he was named to Golf Magazine’s Top 100 teachers. In 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2006 he was ranked (currently # 7) in the top 50 by Golf Digest. Jim received a nomination in 2001 to the World Golf Hall of Fame Teacher’s Division. In 2002 and in 2005 he was named the Harvey Penick Teacher of the Year by his PGA section. Jim also won the 2007 PGA National Teacher of the Year award
Among his students have been Frank Beard, Dave Stockton, Carol Mann, Donna Caponi, Hollis Stacy, Brad Faxon and Mark O’Meara. He currently teaches PGA Tour professionals Peter Jacobsen, Scott McCarron, Tom Pernice, Bob Tway, Olin Browne, Duffy Waldorf, Jay Delsing, Stan Utley, Don Pooley and Graham Marsh. Among the nationally recognized golf instructors who have studied under Jim are Hank Haney, Mike and Sandy LaBauve, Jim Murphy, Laird Small, Martin Hall, Roger Gunn, Paul Gorman, Chris O'Connell, Krista Dunton, Marty Fleckman, EJ Pfister, Carol Mann and Rick Sellers.
Jim's national and world-wide best selling instructional book, "The Plane Truth for Golfers", published by McGraw-Hill, spring 05, was his first book. Its mission was to present the science that there are two sets of fundamentals that govern all golf swings rather than just one set. Jim is currently writing a second book with John Andrisani that continues with his discoveries. The second book, The Plane Truth for Golfers Master Class" will focus more on the art, or the "how to", of the key swing elements of the two swing types. The Master Class is currently in production at McGraw-Hill and is expected to be released Christmas "06 or in spring "07. A DVD series of The Plane Truth for Golfers has been produced and was released in July 06.