About Dana Rader


Dana Rader grew up playing golf at Mimosa Hills Country Club in Morganton, NC, knowing the game would become an important part of her life. She was good enough to make the men’s golf team at Pfeiffer University, she had the skills to make a run at the LPGA tour but Dana found that her real love for the game centered on teaching.

Dana Rader Golf School, named a Golf Channel Academy during live coverage of the Masters Tournament in April, 2015 is located at the Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge in Charlotte. The school is a testimony to 35 years of hard work and a plan that has resulted in the school becoming one of the premier golf training centers in the country.

A Passion for Teaching

Dana’s passion was in teaching rather than touring and it has taken her from the early 1980s, to today as owner of one of the Top 25 golf schools in the U.S., as selected by Golf Magazine. Dana Rader Golf School is currently the sole Golf Channel Academy in the Carolinas. She credits her outstanding staff for the school’s rise to the top.

Individually, Dana Rader is a nationally recognized leader in the golf industry. She is the immediate past National President of the Ladies Professional Golf Association’s (LPGA) Teaching & Club Professionals membership.


  • Founder and Owner of Dana Rader Golf School, a Golf Channel Academy, Charlotte, North Carolina

Professional History

  • Achieved Level I and II certification in Mental Management Systems 2015
  • Named Charter Lead Coach, Golf Channel Academy, launched in April 2015
  • Immediate past National President of the Ladies Professional Golf Association’s (LPGA) Teaching & Club Professionals membership, through 2015
  • Golf Professional status achieved in 1980
  • LPGA Class A 1984
  • Opened Dana Rader Golf School in 1987
  • Achieved LPGA Master Professional status in 2003

Career Highlights

  • LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals National President, recent term 2012-2015
  • Author of “Rock Solid Golf: A Foundation for a Lifetime”
  • Contributing writer for Golf Digest, Sports Illustrated, Golf for Women Magazine, and Golf Magazine
  • Appears regularly on Golf Channel “Morning Drive” and Golf Academy Live

Honors & Awards

  • Named by Golf Digest as a 2015-2016 “Best Teacher in America” for NC, October 2015
  • Ranked #1 Teacher in North Carolina, 2015-2016 by Golf Digest
  • Winner of the Ellen Griffin Rolex Award, September 2015
  • Nominated for the Ellen Griffin Rolex Award, August 2015
  • First woman to play on Pfeiffer University’s men’s golf team
  • Selected as one of The Mecklenburg Times “50 Influential Women” for 2012
  • First female named to Nike Advisory Board
  • Nike Swoosh Elite Award for Outstanding Achievement in Teaching 2014
  • Golf Magazine Top 100 Teachers in America, 1996 to present.
  • Golf Digest Greatest Teachers in America, 2003-2005, 2008 to present rank 50th.
  • Golf Digest Women’s Greatest Teachers in America, ranked 3rd 2008 to present.
  • Operates a Golf Magazine Top 25 Golf School in America

Golf Digest logoDana is widely published and, among others, has been featured in the following publications:

  • Golf Magazine (Top 100 Teachers)
  • Golf Digest (Best Teachers in Your State)
  • Golf for Women (Top 50 Teachers)
  • Golf Digest (Top 50 Teachers in America)
  • Sports Illustrated (Big Play)
  • Charlotte Happenings
  • Upstate Lake Living, South Carolina
  • Rock Solid Golf – A Foundation for a Lifetime, Dana’s first book, published by Walkabout Press

State of the Art Teaching Facility

in 1997, Dana moved her Golf School (founded in 1987) to South Charlotte. In November 2014, Dana was selected by Golf Channel as a Charter Lead Coach. The announcement was made to 80 million 2015 Masters Tournament viewers, and the School is now known as Dana Rader Golf School, a Golf Channel Academy.

The state-of-the-art facility was the first structure on the site that now also features The Golf Club at Ballantyne, one of the best daily-fee golf courses in the Southeast and one of the country’s top Starwood properties, the Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge. The combined complex, which also boasts a Spa, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts and multiple dining options, offers amenities among the best in the world.

The school uses the Hotel’s course for on-course instruction and offers Stay and Play packages at the Ballantyne and Aloft Hotels. The school is not a part of the golf course operation but is a stand-alone teaching facility. The golf school has a driving range, putting and chipping greens and a greenside sand bunker. The teaching areas feature grass as well as synthetic grass, for 30-plus students. Covered hitting bays are available during inclement weather. “Everything here at the facility is about training and coaching,” Dana says. “We are student centered. We can put you on a video analysis screen during your first lesson. Then after a couple of lessons, we will put you on split-screen and show you your progress.”

Rock Solid Golf – A Foundation for a Lifetime

Dana uses a series of case studies in her book, Rock Solid Golf (Walkabout Press), to explain why fundamentals are so important. Nancy Lopez, Dana’s friend and four-time LPGA Player of the Year, says the book “provides an excellent blueprint for success”. Students enrolled in the Three-Day School receive a complimentary copy.

Pro’s Pros – Extraordinary Club Professionals Making Golf Great by Joel Zuckerman

Dana Rader is one of thirty of the most extraordinary LPGA and PGA professionals in the nation featured in “Pro’s Pros” award-winning golf writer Joel Zuckerman’s seventh book that profiles the historic impact of some of the country’s most accomplished and well regarded club pros.