Certified Professional Don Trahan

Don "Swing Surgeon" Trahan
Don Trahan The Surge!
Swings Surgeon Golf Management
Inman, SC, US

Don Trahan is one of the most respected teachers in the game of golf in the United States. Golf industry experts, Tour players and fellow professionals consider him one of the most knowledgeable students of the golf swing. They gave him his nickname, "The Swing Surgeon," "Surge" for short because they said, "Don can take apart a golf swing and put it back together without leaving any scars." 

Don, is a PGA Master Professional, one of the few PGA professionals to achieve the association's highest ranking. Don was selected to Golf Magazine's first "Best 50 Golf Instructors" in America list in 1991. He was also selected to Golf Magazine's "Best 100 Golf Instructors" in America list in 1996. He was the 2002 Carolinas PGA Senior Champion and 2002 and 2007 Carolinas PGA Senior Player of the Year. He also played in the 2001 US Senior Open.

While Director of Golf Instruction for Sea Pines Resort at the famed Harbour Town Golf Links, Don created one of the most organized and successful teaching centers in the United States, including a teaching certification program for all of the resort's golf instructors. His list of regular students includes son and PGA Tour professional DJ Trahan, winner of the 2006 Southern Farm Bureau Classic and the 2008 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. Students also include a growing number of members of the PGA, LPGA, Nationwide and other mini tours, college and junior players. Don is also a popular teacher and player at corporate outings, and as speaker at meetings, conventions and golf shows. 

Don's exceptional reputation as a teacher comes from both his remarkable training methods and equally remarkable swing methodology, acquired through years of study with engineers, physicists, a kinesiologist and an orthopedic surgeon to learn the physics and physiology of swinging a golf club. From this study evolved "the low stress, low maintenance body friendly golf swing," through which Don shows students how to hit the ball straight and long without stress and strain. 

Don was a teaching editor for Golf Magazine for eight years and continues to have articles published there and in numerous national magazines. The February 1998 issue of Senior Golfer magazine featured a six-page article outlining the results of a study based on Don's theory of the short, 3/4 length, limited turn backswing. The biomechanical study in which Don participated, and scientifically proved correct that a short swing does not lose clubhead speed versus a full parallel swing. Don was featured in the July 1993 issue of Choice Magazine, the award-winning publication of Golf-Digest Japan. Don was featured in a 32 page insert.

Prior to his work at the Harbour Town Golf Links, Don ran golf schools in Florida and was head golf professional at Pinetree Country Club in Kennesaw, Georgia. He has been a golf professional since 1973. Don operates the Don Trahan Golf Academies and has created two new programs. One is called "GIFT"(Golf Institute for Fitting and Teaching), the other CEO Golf (Corporate Executive Outings). 

Don presently owns and operates golf instruction websites through his company Swing Surgeon Golf Management, LLC (SSGM). which are worldwide having students registered on the sites from 122 countries. Through these sites, SSGM operates golf schools throughout the United States and Canada, Europe and Australia. SSGM has a Certified Instructor and Certified Club Fitter programs that train professionals in the Swing Surgeon / Peak Performance Golf Swing and Club Fitting principles of SSGM and Peak Performance Golf Swing. The Golf Instructor Certification Program is recognized by The PGA of America by the granting of 16 MSR Credit Hours to all PGA Professional that successfully complete the program. 


Employment History:

  • 2010 - Present:  Owner: Swing Surgeon Golf Management, Inman, SC
  • 8 years……….Head Golf Professional: 1979 - 1987, Pinetree C.C., Kennesaw, Ga
  • Owned golf shop, managed entire golf operation, shop, carts, range, teaching, tournaments, ladies, seniors and junior programs.
  • 9 years……….Director of Instruction: 1987 - 1995, Sea Pines Resort/Harbour Town
  • Designed and directed entire teaching program for lessons, clinics and golf schools. Created and implemented the “Teacher 
  • Certification program, mandatory for all Sea Pines Instructors to pass.
  • 20 years..........Owner/Director: Swing Surgeon Golf Schools 1993 to Present and Don Trahan Academy of Golf 2003 to present
  • 1.5 years…….Director of Golf: 1997 - 1998, Links O’ Tryon G.C. Campobello, SC Leased facility, managed entire operation.
  • 8 years……….Director of Instruction: 1998 - 2006, Embassy Suites Resort at Verdae Greens G.C., Greenville, SC. 
  • 3 years……….Nike Elite Professional Golf Staff: 2003 – 2006
  • 2 years……….Wilson Golf Company Professional Staff: 2007 – 2008

University of Massachusetts, North Dartmouth 1971; BA in Political Science/History

Career Highlights:

  • PGA master Professional 1992. Quarter Century Club 2002
  • Golf Magazine “Teaching Editor” 1987 - 1992 
  • Selected to Golf Magazine’s “Best 50 Teacher’s in America List” 1991
  • Selected to Golf Magazine’s “Best 100 Teacher’s in America List” 1996
  • Author of instruction books, “Golf, Plain and Simple”…“How to Make a Peak Performance Golf Swing”…“Golf Tips: Plain and Simple”…and instruction articles in most major golf magazines.
  • Author of instruction video, “Golf, Plain and Simple, Straight Golf.”
  • Creator of ’Golf lesson4You,” a golf instruction computer software program.
  • Inventor: swing training aids, Plane Trainer and Alignment Arrows and their videos.
  • Appeared 4 times on The Golf Channel’s “Golf Academy Live.”
  • Member of the PGA of America Education Faculty 1989 - 1992
  • Member of the Georgia PGA Tournament Committee 1980 - 1986
  • Member of the Georgia PGA Apprentice Committee 1984 - 1987 
  • Member of the Georgia PGA Membership Interview Committee 1986 and 1987
  • Member of the Georgia PGA Long Range Planning Committee 1986 and 1987
  • Tournament Founder/Director of the “Tip Top Poultry, Calvary Children’s Home Pro-Am, 1981 - 1987, the official back-up Pro-am to the PGA Tour Atlanta Classic.
  • Continued education related to the golf swing, studying with experts in physiology, Dr. Ned Armstrong, orthopedic surgeon, Alpharetta, GA; Dr. Ken Yeager, optometrist, Greenville, SC; Henry Ryffel, engineer/mathematician, Hilton Head, Biomechanics and Kinesiology and Chiropractic. I am presently discussing physiological swing study of the torso and club with two major medical research university orthopedic / biomechanical labs and biomechanical swing analysis equipment manufacturer.

Playing Credentials:

  • Club Professional Invitational Champion 1988 and Senior Champion 2006.
  • 7 time member of the Georgia PGA Challenge Cup Team.
  • 6 time member of the Georgia PGA Magnolia Cup Team.
  • 5 times, finished 3rd Georgia PGA Player of the Year and Tournament Money List.
  • Voted “Best Middle Iron Player” by Georgia PGA Members 1985 and 1986.
  • Carolinas PGA Senior Champion 2002.
  • Carolinas PGA Senior Player of the Year… 2002…2007
  • Played in the 2001 U. S. Senior Open.
  • 12 time Champion of Carolina PGA Senior Tournaments. 
Services Provided

Private Golf Lessons, Group instruction lessons, Playing lessons, Golf Clinics, Golf Schools, Corporate Outings, Golf Instruction Seminars.

Don Trahan
P.O. Box 1025
29349 Inman , SC
United States
35° 2' 49.4232" N, 82° 5' 24.3924" W
South Carolina US

What people have to say about Don Trahan

After eight hours with Peak Performance Golf, nothing has been the same. I am actually shooting my handicap…and lower!

William F.
American essayist, writer and golf contributor to Golf Digest, Sports Illustrated, Esquire and USGA Journal

I have been playing really well this season. I won my first club competion about a week ago. I have not shot above 90 the whole season. I have also come so close to shooting a sub-80 round on several occassions. It's all thanks to the PPGS. Thanks Surge, keep up the good work!

Nolan C.

Update on PPGS: didn't swing a club for two months of bad weather through New Year's. Last week on a 45 degree calm day, went to the range. Hit 6 nine irons. All perfect. 5 seven irons. All perfect. 3 five woods, two really good, one a bit thin but cutting right back to the target. 6 drivers, all solid, right at the target. Can't wait for the season. Anybody who doesn't have 8 hours a day to practice and a young, supple body is nuts not to swing this way!

Howard Crosby

Put simply, the way Don teaches you to hit a golf ball works. His methods are easy to understand and easy to repeat every time you walk up to the first tee.

Bob D.
Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Titleist

I was a 16 handicap but after adopting your swing I have straightened my shots out and dropped to a 10.5. No loss of distance. Maybe a gain on my drive. I think your swing is a lot easier on my back and requires less practice.

Kevin E.

The golf swing you’ve been helping me with is working! I just won the Southern Chapter Assistant’s Championship at Hermitage Country Club in Richmond.

Jon C.
PGA Professional, Hell’s Point GC, Virginia Beach, VA

Frankly, I don’t know anyone who understands the golf swing so completely.

Mike H.
Executive Director, The National Golf Course Owners Association

Don: I hurt my lower right hip and back hitting too many golf balls at the range trying to groove in a set up that my pro wanted me to do which was to drop my right foot back, drop right shoulder below left, and shift weight to left foot at address. Result is seeing my orthopedist asap! Even though I shouldn't have played these past two weekends I did using your system. Even with really bad pain I was able to hit shot after shot almost dead straight with no pain. The only pain I felt was when I came out of the posture incorrectly. I just wanted you to know that your system really works. The only change I made was to use a driving iron instead of my driver as I didn't want to widen and flatten the backswing with the pain I was experiencing. Can't wait to get back healthy so I can play more pain-free rounds. I know I shouldn't have played with the pain but I didn't want to disappoint my Saturday morning golf buddies.
Steve M

Steve M

Thanks for all the wonderful dailies and videos.

I started with the vertical swing about 2 and a half years ago. I bought your beginning videos and watched your daily videos (and continue to watch). I do have to admit, it took some time for me to gain confidence in your method but because the method is so logical, based on science, simplistic and above all very friendly to one's body I persevered. My index is now falling but the best thing is I am enjoying this wonderful game of golf more than I thought possible.

Thanks and thanks again!


David J.

Hey Don, Last weekend I had the opportunity to play golf with two of my friends, both of them big time rotational swingers. I have tried over the last few years to get them to just look at the PPGS, to no avail. They have swings that rotate the backswing perpendicular to the ground and follow-throughs that do the same. They both deal with various injuries related to their swings. They both believe that the "boom boom", hit it a mile technique is the way to go. The thing is, that I out drove them on all but one hole, and played from the fairway on most of my approach shots. On one of the first couple of holes one guy commented how short and simple my swing looked and wondered how I could ever get enough distance to play with that technique. Well, by the end of the day, all doubts were gone. They both shot over 100 and I shot an 82 on a moderately difficult course. All of you daily videos that I have viewed over the years carried me through my round. I started playing at age 50, eight years ago, and almost quit after two years of painful lessons. Thank god I found your swing. This swing REALLY works. No pain, just results. I have all your instructional videos that I reference regularly and hope you continue your message for many more years. Thank you

Don K