Traverse City Record-Eagle

April 15, 2010

Mike Eckert: Trip proves productive

By MIKE ECKERT

You can hear it in Adam Schriber's voice. He's exhausted. And for good reason.

It's been a wild three-week road trip for one of Golf Magazine's Top 100 teachers.

It started with the final week in March. Schriber traveled to California to watch Candie Kung and Morgan Pressel play at the LPGA Tour's Kia Classic.

Then he turned his attention to the PGA Tour and longtime student Anthony Kim. Schriber met up with him in Texas for the Shell Houston Open and followed Kim to Augusta National for last weekend's Masters.

And how's this for results?

Kung finished tied for third at the Kia Classic while Pressel was tied for sixth. It was the first top 10 finish of the year for both players.

Kim beat Vaughn Taylor in a playoff at Houston for his third PGA Tour win. And then he followed it up by finishing third at the Masters -- his best finish at a major.

"That was one of my more productive trips," Schriber said. "It was a good trip, but it would have been better if we put the jacket on (Kim)."

Kim's been playing with a torn ligament in his thumb, but hasn't taken time off because he's on top of his game. It's hard to argue that. Nike -- his equipment sponsor -- is working on making a custom golf glove with more support and he's scheduled to see a doctor soon.

Schriber is back home in Traverse City, but his schedule doesn't get any lighter. He's working with a number of golfers from the area and the state, as well as keeping in touch with the collegiate players he teaches.

And there's also an added bit concerning his base of operation.

After several years as a teacher at its golf school, Schriber and Crystal Mountain Resort have parted ways. That's left Schriber to explore other options, such as buying a course to house his golf school.

"I make my living out of town," Schriber said. "But I'd like to have a program here to help some of the kids. I've just got to find the right people to get behind it. It all looks pretty good if things can follow through."

In 2008, Schriber said that his big-picture goal was to start a "long-term, quality program where kids play in national tournaments and earn college scholarships."

While he won't be doing that at Crystal Mountain, it sounds like that desire hasn't changed.

Neither will his location.

Schriber wants to stay in the area while his three sons work their way through the school system. His youngest is 11.

"My priorities are making sure everyone is playing well and to be a good dad," Schriber said. "But I also want to get the junior program going."

Junior golf has always been the bread and butter for Schriber.

While Kim is an elite golfer now, he was far from it when he first started working with Schriber. That was almost 15 years ago when a 10-year-old Kim came to David Leadbetter's school at PGA West in Southern California, where Schriber was working at the time.

Schriber's continued teaching has helped Kim reach an elite level on tour. With his win at Houston, the 24-year-old joined Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia and Adam Scott as the only players to win three times before the age of 25 in the last 30 years.

While Schriber catches his breath in northern Michigan this week, it won't be long before he's back at it. He's planning on seeing Pressel and Kung next week, as well as looking at meeting up with Kim after he returns from competition in Korea.

Busy schedules have produced big results lately.