Mark Toscano is the Head Golf Professional here at Emerald Lakes Golf Course. He brings extensive knowledge through working under great coaches such as Jim Flick, Eddie Merrins, and Jamie Mulligan and Mark also brings a player’s mindset when it comes to teaching the game of golf. This background over time has given Mark the tools to become the successful golf coach he is today. He was raised in San Clemente, California where he began his golfing career at the age of 13. He competed at the highest ranks of amateur golf and he later attended and graduated from the University of California Irvine in 2009. Mark’s competitive playing background stems from years of playing golf from amateur, college, several mini tours and competing on the Nationwide Tour (now the Korn Ferry Tour) and now current professional events locally and nationally.
After stepping away from playing competitive golf full time in 2014, Mark wanted to continue to grow the game of golf. He has taught all skill levels from beginners to high school, college and professional players. The golf ball doesn’t lie. Mark believes that ball flight tells you a lot about what is happening in a golfers swing. Mark uses his knowledge and simple explanations to correct issues and/or errors in the golf swing. He looks forward to working with you and sharing his knowledge, passion and love for the game.
Has coached and is still coaching multiple students playing at the high school, college, and professional level.
Some of Mark’s accomplishments include:
U.S. Amateur Championship: ’06, ’07, ‘09
California State Am: ’05-‘07
The Memorial Am: ’06, ‘07
California State Open: ’07, ‘12
Qualified for U.S. Open Sectionals: ’10, ’12-‘13
Golden State Tour Member: 2009-2014
PGA Canadian Tour Participant
Nationwide Tour Participant (now Korn Ferry Tour)
2021 NCPGA Team Club Championship winner
2021 NCPGA Assistant Professional National Championship Participant
Has accumulated over 12 professional wins
Golf is about having fun with friends and family. Katie’s approach to coaching is to build lesson plans to meet the players individual goals. A player’s swing can vary depending on physical ability so it’s important to take all criteria into consideration when designing a lesson plan. Fundamentals are keys to the start of a good golf swing and practicing with a purpose is important when trying to achieve your dream score. Katie’s goal for students is to improve their skills so they can enjoy this wonderful game all their life.
Katie uses her PGA certified in Player Development as a tool to improve all levels of players from the beginner to the mini tour level. She is also PGA HOPE certified. She explains, “Teaching veterans how to play golf in PGA HOPE is one of the most rewarding parts of coaching. It is a great way to give back to those who fought for our country.” This certification allows Katie to teach golf to people with a wide range of abilities. Outside of teaching Katie is experienced with Trackman and a club fitting specialist. She has fitted with many club companies including: Ping, Taylormade, Tour Edge, Cleveland, Titleist, Mizuno, and Callaway. See you on the course!
Since 1982, I have been teaching golf to players of many different abilities, including juniors, men, women, and seniors. In an effort to promote the game of golf, I have always enjoyed teaching beginning golfers and junior players. I believe that a good start helps new golfers appreciate and enjoy golf.
Prior to beginning my professional golf career, I was a member of the varsity golf team at CSU Sacramento and I competed in local amateur golf tournaments. Since turning professional in 1982, I have competed in numerous professional tournaments and, as a PGA of America golf professional, I continue to compete in the Northern California Section tournaments. In addition, I have been a member of the PGA for 30 years working as an instructor as well as managing multiple golf facilities in Northern California.
I am constantly trying to learn and understand the golf swing better so I can not only help my students, but also improve my golf game as well. I have studied a variety of players and instructors, including today’s greats, and teacher and players from past eras.
I always strive to work with a student’s ability and talent level to help each student achieve his or her potential and have more fun playing golf. I am very patient with everyone because I understand that learning golf can be difficult and students will progress at different rates.
My philosophy is that golf is a game, so learning should be fun and practice sessions should be enjoyable. My goal is that each student should notice improvement during their very first session and understand their golf swing better.
I am available for both private and group instruction, and I will cover all facets of the game of golf from driving, woods, irons, full swing, chipping, pitching, sand play, putting, as well as on-the-course game management.
Experience could be the best word to describe Don Thames with regard to understanding how to play and teach the game. As a player with a strong playing career, Don knows how to put process for performance ahead of outcome. In this way, he has a solid grasp of what players need to learn
to play their best. “The player that puts winning on the top of their mind often succumbs to over-trying. Over-trying in golf leads to poor performance”. Golf is best played with a quiet mind-a mind that stays focused on a simple process.
With this process-based approach, Don encourages his students to play for the fun and challenge of the game vs. grinding over major swing changes. Every player has a unique swing that he or she owns. Don works within the framework of the student’s swing and teaches skills that can be applied to all phases of the game.
Fun. Smart. Fit. Golf… Learn what you will need to enjoy the game more. Learn a strong mental game to enhance performance. Learn skills that Don has used as a player that has played in 6 Major National and International Golf Championships. Get fit for golf through TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) training principles that improve stability, mobility, power, speed and balance. You will improve your game and have fun doing so.
Don enjoys dancing and working with his wife Carole as a Licensed Real Estate Agent. Carole Thames is active with Don in all of Don’s Professional pursuits including her role as a Caddie, Business Manager and as an extraordinary chef and friend. Daughters, Makayla (former Sac State Women’s Golf Team Member) and Katie are the lights of Don and Carole’s lives.
I’ve been teaching here at Emerald lakes for 4 years. I started as a volunteer with the 1st Tee and PGA Jr. League. I was hired as an instructor in 2020 and have been teaching the Op36 group classes at Emerald Lakes ever since. I am a 1st Tee Level III coach as well as an Operation 36 top 50 coach. While I am now an avid golfer, I grew up thinking golf was a boring sport. I played baseball and football from childhood, as a university student, and well into adulthood. Sports injuries suffered in my 40s forced me to find a new sport. A trip to the driving range to hit a few tiny balls that didn’t even move should have been pretty easy for me. Wrong! Golf was hard, and having a competitive spirit meant I would not let this sport get the best of me. I appreciate the challenge of learning the game of golf as an adult. I’ve spent the last 14 years studying and learning the rules of the game, the nuances of the swing, the tricks to tackle a challenging course and how to try to conquer the mental side of the sport. I look forward to helping others on their own journey with the game of golf.