Your Stories: Carl Lohren

4:00 PM, Sep 4, 2013   |    comments
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A local man lives tucked away on a farm in Dandridge, but he has quite a past in the world of golf.

Carl Lohren lives at a picture- perfect postcard spot.  White wrap around porch with a view that is unmatched. Flowers are blooming, the dogs are relaxing, even a butterfly flies by. The ideal setting for golf? Apparently.

This is where Lohren, a former golf professional and golf instructor extraordinnaire, practices his swing.

"I started playing in tournaments when I was 11," said Lohren. "First thing I did that was good is I qualified for the U.S. Junior, the one that Tiger (Woods) won three times."

And that was just the beginning. "I had a match to go to the Masters. I was playing the winner of the Nicklaus-Charles Lewis III.  Whoever won that match, I was playing to go to the Masters. Charles Lewis III beat Nicklaus and then he beat me so I didn't get to go."

Carl was a great golfer, no doubt, but it's the work he's done behind the scenes that is truly impressive.

"The golf swing itself has always excited me, the mechanics of the swing. It's like a jigsaw puzzle, trying to figure it out, put it in a person and make it work," explained Lohren.

And in those days, he had a big idea. "That you start the swing with the turn of the left shoulder," said Lohren.

It was all about the set-up before the swing. He even wrote a book about it for Golf Digest. "My book was ahead of its time, " said Lohren. "I'm teaching from actually having done it, knowing what the pressure is like at a high level of playing."

And he taught some big name players! "I taught a lot of tour pros. Gary Player, I've been to Jack's house, Jack Nicklaus. I helped him," explained Lohren.

And through golf he has learned a lot about what makes people tick. "You can really tell a lot about a person on the golf course. You can tell whether they are patient, whether they have any contentment, whether they are arrogant and their ego is on the line all the time," said Lohren.

And he uses that to teach people today. "If you establish it in a young person it can help develop their character," explained Lohren.

One of Lohren's students, Kelsey Haun is grateful.

"It was terrible so then I came to Carl a few weeks after my sixth grade season and he really turned it around," said Haun. "He's just extraordinary! Every time if somebody asks, 'Who is your golf teacher?' I say, 'Carl Lohren.' They are just like, 'You have the best teacher in the world right there.'"

And Carl wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world, but right here in East Tennessee.

"Can't beat it. It's the greatest place I've ever been. I'll never regret coming here. It's just like going to heaven," said Lohren.

Carl Lohren, the kind of guy who loves to hit the ball right off his front porch in Dandridge, but who also played with the big guys for quite a while.

One of Your Stories.  There's no place like this one.

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