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About Smart Golf Academy

At Smart Golf Academy, we will assist you in every step of your golf journey. From the get-go, we will personally help you identify your current skill level and what your goals are in relation to your golf game. It is our goal to improve your enjoyment of the game, ability to play the game and your mental acuity of the game. Everybody's plan is unique and is comprised of individual lessons, edited videos, electronic devices (e.g. Flightscope) and on-course lessons. Based on your goals and skill level, we will administer the proper techniques to promote continuous improvement in your golf game.

On top of having a personalized plan to improve, we offer more resources than ever before so you continue grinding and learning, even after your lesson. In 2023, we will launch an online learning center. The online learning center will be comprised of content on different aspects of the golf game. Whether you're interested in becoming better prepared for your upcoming lesson or interested in learning how to best execute a specific shot, this page will be the most convenient pocket tool to help you improve your game.

Overall, we intend on taking you through our proven process to simplify your thought process and improve your golf game. We offer quality golf instruction to a broad spectrum of golfers at all skill levels. No matter where you're at, we're prepared to help you get to the next level.

The Process

The process is based on the shape of the triangle. No matter which way you point it, it gives a direction. In our eyes, that is the shape that can solve any problem, especially in reference to golf. 

If you can identify the problem, you can pursue a direction and overcome the problem to improve your game. The process is a 3-step process to forming a solution to gain success:

Step 1: DEFINE

WHAT do you need to address?

Step 2: DESIGN

HOW do you need to address it?

Step 3: REFINE

HOW do you apply it to gain the desired result?

About Tony McMullin

My golf career started in 2000. I was in the transportation industry with a background in baseball. Having played for several years at more competitive levels, I had an injury that limited what I could do in baseball. Still being competitive, I was looking for something to continue playing at competitive levels. Golf became that thing.

My first job in the golf business was at a local course where I currently reside, Western Row GC in Mason, Ohio. Working in the Pro Shop as a part time employee, I would go to work at a trucking company from 3am until 12ish, then, 3 to 4 days a week, work in the Pro Shop from 2pm until 7pm. I began to practice and play every day as I continued to improve. I entered my first local tournament in 2001, the GreenCrest Golf Club Championship and won the 2nd Flight Championship. Largely because of that, I ended up getting my first full time job in the golf industry as the Assistant Golf Professional at GreenCrest Golf Club. I declared professional status in 2005 upon passing the PAT (playing ability test). The PAT is required to enter the program to become a PGA Professional. Since that time, I’ve worked as an instructor, the head golf professional at Harmon Golf Club (located in Lebanon, Ohio), became certified through the United States Golf Teachers Federation as a Master Teaching Professional, became certified as a fitter for most major golf brands, and now own and teach at my golf academy, Smart Golf Academy, located at The Southwest Golf Ranch, also in Lebanon, Ohio. To this day, I continue to compete at a high level to be the best instructor I can be. In 2023, I won the 2023 USGTF Central Region Championship using the same principles I teach to all ability levels here at Smart Golf Academy.

Understanding that each individual client is different in their ability and goals, my teaching philosophy is based on the following:

  • A solid and workable understanding of the short game. This is a MUST for all my competitive players.

  • I place ultimate importance on the fundamentals of making a proper swing. I teach this with the word “GAPS”. G – Grip, A – Alignment, P – Posture, S – Set Up.

  • To make a proper swing we must have the “3 Connections”: 

  1. Solid connection to the ground through a proper weight distribution in our Set Up.

  2. Correct connection to the club, through a proper grip that allows the student to maintain a swing path and club face control.

  3. Correct connection of the arms to the torso, creating proper length and angles of the arms in the swing from start to finish.

  • The kinematic sequencing of the golf swing:

  1. Hips

  2. Torso

  3. Arms

  4. Club

  • Proper equipment fitting. Learning to play the game, whether you are new to the game, or looking to play at the collegiate level, the proper equipment is a must to learn the game correctly.

  • For competitive players, the mental game. I do not have a degree in Psychology, but what I do have is the benefit of years of experience by playing against players who have excelled at high levels, and studying under instructors who have had great success in this area. In addition to this I have spent considerable time studying this subject and have had great success with the players I work with.

  • The major influences that have formed my teaching philosophy are:

  1. Ben Hogan. His story inspires me, and his book “Ben Hogan’s 5 Lessons” is still relevant and a great basis of instruction.

  2. Study of kinematic sequencing.

  3. Dr. Bob Rotella

  4. Titleist Performance Institute. The study of movement in golf.

The Facility We Utilize


The Southwest
Golf Ranch

The Southwest Golf Ranch is a family-owned practice facility for golf, equipped with a driving range, practice green, chipping green and miniature golf course. It is a great place to practice any aspect of your game or even visit with the family.

Most of our lessons are instructed at the Southwest Golf Ranch. Over the warmer months, we usually utilize the grass tees, chipping green and putting green. As the temperatures drop and the grass becomes dormant, the lessons are brought into the heated mat area, creating a comfortable environment to practice the basics and get ahead before the next season begins.

2880 S US 42, Lebanon, OH 45036

(513) 932 - 4653 ext 1

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