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Sand Trap Staff

The staff of The Sand Trap .com come from all over the globe and have the games to match. Let's have a look, shall we?

Erik J. Barzeski Editor-in-Chief, Owner

Email: erik [at] thesandtrap.com
Location: Erie, PA (USA)
Handicap: Professional
Personal Story: Erik began playing golf after his freshman year in high school. He joined a high school team that won three straight Erie County League championships (and two after he left), winning EDGA stroke-play honors the summer before his senior year. After taking most of six years off for college, Erik created The Sand Trap in late 2004 and has reaffirmed his love for the game ever since. He turned professional (for instruction) in 2010.

Mike McLoughlin Community Director

Email: mike [at] thesandtrap.com
Location: San Diego, CA (USA)
Handicap: Professional
Personal Story: Mike competed at the Division I collegiate level for the University of San Francisco. His passion to become a better player lead him to Golf Evolution where he met Erik J. Barzeski and Dave Wedzik. He has had a blast furthering his golfing education and becoming an instructor for the 5 Simple Keys®. Mike enjoys his role at The Sand Trap, providing equipment reviews, sharing valuable insights into golf theory and connecting with Sand Trap members from around the world.

Danny Ottmann Hittin' the Links

Email: danny [at] thesandtrap.com
Location: Albuquerque, NM (USA)
Handicap: 0
Personal Story: Danny had to find something to pass the time after finishing his college baseball career. His father suggested golf and he's been hooked ever since. In fact he's so hooked he had to get a part-time job at a golf course to support his habit. After winning the club championship and finally attaining the goal of scratch late in 2007 he looked for even more golf and ended up at The Sand Trap. His wife loves him and hopes to pencil in a little together time sometime in late 2008.

Tristan Hilton Bag Drop

Email: tristan [at] thesandtrap.com
Location: La Quinta, CA (USA)
Handicap: 14
Personal Story: Tristan started playing golf when he was a junior in high school, and despite zero talent or skill made the team because they needed players. He played for those two years in high school and then after that played six or seven times a year until about half way though 2010 when he got serious about the game again. From that time he has lowered his handicap from around a 20 to the 14 it is now. In that short time, he has also become an equipment nut and if he isn't on the course or at work he is in a golf shop looking at and playing with the latest and greatest equipment.

Michael C. Hepp Thrash Talk

Email: mchepp [at] thesandtrap.com
Location: San Jose, CA (USA)
Handicap: 5-8
Personal Story: Michael started playing golf at about 10 years old at a pitch and putt course in Southern California. He has been in search of the perfect swing ever since. While in high school he was pretty darn good player and could break par regularly. He then went to college got a job and lost his game. Now he scours the internet in hopes of one day finding it again.

Jamieson Weiss Trap Five/ProFiles

Email: jamieson [at] thesandtrap.com
Location: Hopkinton, MA (USA)
Handicap: 1.5
Personal Story: A life long golfer, Jamieson really got into the game after failing to make various high school sports teams. To fill the deficit, he turned to golf and has since been caught up in the endless pursuit of the low score. While in high school, Jamieson played with an all-american teammate, on a team that has won several recent state championships. A self-professed swing tinkerer, he hopes the USGA will soon do away with putting, finally allowing him to become a scratch golfer.

Steve Wharton Marketing and Advertising Ninja

Email: steve [at] thesandtrap.com
Location: San Francisco, CA (USA)
Handicap: 16
Personal Story: Steve loves golf and plays golf. He knows he's not the best player in the world, but he's been on the tour for the past 45 years, yet he's only 30. He taught Tiger Woods' coach how to coach. The film "Tin Cup" was loosely based on Steve's life. Steve's grandfather is Bobby Jones, and Steve founded Scotland… the home of golf.

Alan Olson Contributor

Email: alan [at] thesandtrap.com
Location: Zimmerman, MN (USA)
Handicap: 17
Personal Story: Alan's entry into the golf world was following his dad around the course when he was just a youngster. His first set of clubs was a junior set of Northwesterns and the obsession to golf was started. Twenty-plus years later that love for this great game continues. With a child on the way this fall, he is making plans to play as much golf as possible as well as trying to get Jack, Arnold or Bobby on the official "names list."

George Promenschenkel Contributor

Email: george [at] thesandtrap.com
Location: Columbus, OH (USA)
Handicap: 8
Personal Story: As an eight-year-old, George started playing "golf" in a side yard of his parents' house. Having no golf equipment, he used a baseball bat to knock tennis balls into coffee cans he had buried in the yard. George's first set of clubs consisted of only the odd numbered irons and a set of persimmons with frayed windings that his Uncle gave him. Over the next 20 years, he played off and on, but never very seriously. In 1998, George joined a group of friends on a golf trip to Myrtle Beach and that helped spark a new love for the game (his wife would call it an obsession).

Dave Koster Contributor

Email: dave [at] thesandtrap.com
Location: Clemmons, NC (USA)
Handicap: Scratch
Personal Story: Dave started playing the game early on, learning from his father. He played competitively through high school and into college where he was named the scholar athlete of the year in 1997. After finally getting his handicap to a scratch in 2005, he won the club championship at Tanglewood - the site of the 1974 PGA Championship. His first child has taken some edge off his game, but "male bonding" will soon become Dave's latest excuse to hit the links.

Donald MacKenzie Contributor

Email: don [at] thesandtrap.com
Location: The Practice Range
Handicap: 12
Personal Story: After being exposed to the game as a youngster, Donald took up the game seriously during his college years. He has been part of the golf industry for more than 15 years, mainly as a golf writer for newspapers, magazines and websites, and he has also worked for various golf companies in a creative capacity. He has firsthand knowledge of what goes into creating golf equipment, and has a keen eye for critiquing the latest and greatest gear on the market. And, sometimes, he even plays golf for fun.