Desert Mountain Club’s O’Connor nationally recognized for golf teaching

Paxton O’Connor, the PGA director of performance and instruction at Desert Mountain Club in Scottsdale, has been named to the “Best Young Teachers in America” list for 2018-19 by Golf Digest magazine in its November issue.

Mr. O’Connor, 27 and a golf instructor at Desert Mountain Club since 2016, has been selected for the first time to the list of teachers who are not yet age 40.

He is one of the two youngest members of the group — Greg Ducharme of New York also is 27 — and one of only six instructors among the 114 listed who are in their 20s, according to a press release.

“It is quite an honor to be recognized as one of the best young teachers in America,” said Mr. O’Connor, who in January became the PGA director of performance and instruction to oversee Desert Mountain’s Jim Flick Golf Performance Center.

Paxton O’Connor

“As coaches and teachers, we stand on the shoulders of giants who came before us in the golf industry, striving to be our very best.”

Desert Mountain CEO Damon DiOrio said the organization is proud of Mr. O’Connor’s accomplishment.

“He has a unique skill to translate sophisticated concepts into simple, tangible coaching practices,” Mr. DiOrio said in a prepared statement. “He exemplifies our commitment to provide innovative, world-class instructional experiences for our membership.”

Prior to joining Desert Mountain Club, Mr. O’Connor was an instructor at the Butch Harmon School of Golf in Henderson, Nevada. While Mr. Harmon mentored him, Mr. O’Connor assisted during sessions with clients that included PGA Tour players Dustin Johnson, Brandt Snedeker, Rickie Fowler and others.

A native of Cherokee, Iowa, Mr. O’Connor was introduced to golf at 6 by his mother and grandfather.

After several years as a competitive junior golfer, as well as a high school standout, he graduated from the PGA Professional Golf Management Program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2015 and also become a member of the PGA of America in 2015.

Mr. O’Connor has completed numerous special training courses, including the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI), PGA of America, Trackman, SamPutt Lab and numerous others.

This is Golf Digest’s sixth biennial list of the top golf instructors younger than age 40, with the inaugural class named in 2008. Nominations are accepted from respected sources, which include tour players, previously recognized teachers, and instructors on the Golf Digest state and national rankings.

Final selections are based on individual accomplishments, training and continued education, as well as how each instructor handles the day-to-day challenges of helping golfers improve.

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