Four Players Selected for Met Golfer Makeover

ELMSFORD, N.Y. (December 15, 2011) – Following a three-month-long application and evaluation process, four contestants were selected for the first-ever Met Golfer Makeover, a innovative partnership between the MGA and Drive 495, the Met Area’s leading golf and fitness club. More than 400 Met Area golfers applied for the makeover through a detailed questionnaire posted on the MGA’s website,, and an initial cut was made to identify 30 applicants who would receive further consideration. Following the final evaluations and in-person interviews, four participants were selected: Marty Connor, 50, of Huntington, N.Y.; Sheila Pyers, 39, of New York, N.Y.; Steven Pedersen, 51, of Scotch Plains, N.J.; and Khemara Samms, 28, of New York, N.Y.

The contestants were selected based on their golf and fitness goals, level of enthusiasm, and willingness to dedicate themselves to regularly scheduled lessons and training sessions. The four participants met at Drive 495, located at 495 Broadway in Manhattan, in late November for an initial fitness and golf assessment with Drive 495’s expert staff. Leading the fitness evaluations is noted strength coach Don Saladino, who co-founded Drive 495 with his brother, two-time MGA Player of the Year Joe Saladino. The golf instruction is led by Kevin Walker, a longtime Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, and overseeing the nutrition component is Robin Barrie Kaiden, who operates a private practice in New York and serves as Drive 495’s in-house nutrition consultant.  

“Everyone at Drive 495 is really excited to participate in the MGA Makeover experience,” said Joe Saladino. “We love what we do here, and to have people coming through the door who are really excited and committed makes it that much more enjoyable. It’s a great feeling to assist people in a healthier lifestyle and to open up their eyes to things they can do differently. We hope we are able to accomplish all of the goals that each contestant has set out to achieve.”

The Met Golfer Makeover provides the contestants with a personalized four-month program that is designed to improve their golf games and fitness levels. Starting the first week of January, the four participants will come to Drive 495 for weekly sessions on golf instruction, fitness, and nutrition, and will be sent personalized routines that they can work on independently. After this intensive off-season program, the four players will convene at an MGA member club for a round of golf in the spring to see how the program has improved their golf games, fitness, and energy levels. The MGA will continue to track the progress of the four participants throughout the 2012 golf season and report the findings in The Met Golfer and on

Contestant Bios

Marty Connor 
Resides: Huntington, N.Y.
Home Course: Colonial Springs Golf Club, East Farmingdale, N.Y.
Age: 50
Height: 6’4”
Weight: 230 lbs
Current Handicap Index: 14.2
Occupation: Insurance Agent
Goal: “I want to get down to a single-digit handicap and play in a couple tournaments. My friends are all single-digits. There’s not much difference between them and me, except for the short game and being more consistent with the driver. My driver is horrible: If I can get my drives in the fairway the game is fun, but if not it’s a long day.”


Sheila Pyers
Resides: New York, N.Y.
Home Course: Metropolis Country Club, White Plains, N.Y.
Age: 39
Height: 5’1”
Weight: 102 lbs
Current Handicap Index: 17.8
Occupation: Full-time golfer (was in finance)
Goal: I’d like to have a stronger core, hit more consistent shots, and hit a longer ball. That’s not going to happen when you turn only so much. I’m also not a very big person, so I can’t create a lot of leverage behind the ball. I have some physical limitations that make it hard for me to be a 5-handicap. I have to work with what I can.”


Steven Pedersen
Resides: Scotch Plains, N.J.
Home Course: Silver Lake Golf Course, Staten Island, N.Y.
Age: 51
Height: 5’9”
Weight: 275 lbs
Current Handicap Index: 9.9
Occupation: Retired, NYPD
Goal: “My goal is to definitely lose weight. I used to play golf in college, and I always used to hit the ball far because I could turn my left shoulder under my chin. Now, it’s not even close. A lot of it is personal pride. My son, Steven, hits his drives about 285 yards. And I’m hitting it like 230.”


Khemara Samms
Resides: New York, N.Y.
Home Course: Bethpage State Park, Farmingdale, N.Y.
Age: 28
Height: 5’9”
Weight: 177 lbs
Current Handicap Index: 18.0
Occupation: Financial Advisor
Goal: “My goals are to increase my accuracy, hit more greens in regulation, and reduce my number of putts per round. I also want to increase my flexibility. I’ve noticed my flexibility has deteriorated since my back injury [herniated disk 3 years ago], plus being in a desk job. I’ve never worked with a personal trainer so I’m excited.”

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