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UPDATES ON MAJOR TOURNAMENTS AND COMMUNITY SUPPORT

USGTF-Korea proudly cohosts two major tournaments with our sponsors, Giga and Yamaha. These tournaments are very popular and well attended among our members.

The 5th Giga tournament was held on August 25, 2008, at Sky 72 Golf Club in Incheon, South Korea, with a total of 136 USGTF-Korea members partaking in this eventful tournament. The total prize money purse was 100,000,000 Korean Won. The first place winner, Eun Shin Park, edged out a top finish with an impressive round of 66. Suk Hyun Go came in as a close second-place finisher with a round of 67, via tiebreaking rules, over third-place Kyung Min Min, who also fired a round of 67. Chairperson Jong Hun Lee, USGTF-Korea general manager Young Ho Kim, and Sky 72 Golf Club vice-president Won Jae Kim attended and distributed prizes at the award ceremony.

First Place – Eun Shin Park (10,000,000 Korean Won)
Second Place – Suk Hyun Go (5,000,000 Korean Won)
Third Place – Kyung Min Min (3,000,000 Korean Won)

The 2nd Yamaha tournament was held on October 20, 2008, at Sky 72 Golf Club with a total of 144 USGTF-Korea members partaking in this event. The total prize money purse was 100,000,000 Korean Won. The first place winner, Joon Ho Hong, led the pack with an equally impressive round of 68. Ji Chul Chung came in second via tiebreaking rules, also with a round of 68, and Jong Soo Kim placed third with a round of 70. USGTF-Korea general manager Kim, Sky 72 Golf Club general manager Gu Sik Kim, and USGTF-Korea education minister Bang Yul Oh attended and distributed prizes at the award ceremony.

First Place – Joon Ho Hong (10,000,000 Korean Won)
Second Place – Ji Chul Chung (5,000,000 Korean Won)
Third Place – Jong Soo Kim (3,000,000 Korean Won)

 

In our continual efforts to reach out and support our communities, on May 8, 2008, USGTF-Korea formally established a relationship with staff at Han-Kook elementary golf school with the mission and goal to provide best efforts to act as a resource and teach our youth golfers the proper fundamentals of golf. We have also formally established a relationship with the faculty and staff at Hoseo University (pictured below) in order to provide the same support and resources to our promising young adult golfers.

 

CANADIAN GOLF TEACHERS CUP

The 2008 Canadian Golf Teachers Cup was a great success. For the first time ever, the event was played over two days at Crosswinds Golf & Country Club in Burlington, Ontario. Participants came from as far as British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec, The United States, Eastern and Northern Ontario and Atlantic Canada to compete for the title of Canadian Golf Teachers champion.

Day one of the event was much like the season in Ontario this summer, cold and wet. As a result, the group experienced a significant rain delay as the course became unplayable. The rain delay allowed for networking and camaraderie among the approximately 75 golf teaching professionals who attended the event. Callaway and Jazz Golf were also on hand to demo their products to all the participants.

The groundskeeping crew at Crosswinds Golf & Country Club exceeded all expectations and did a fantastic job of drying things up quickly once the rain subsided, which allowed play to continue with most groups able to complete the round before sunset. Despite the poor weather and challenging conditions, the day ended with some impressive scores.

Leading at the end of day one in the open division was David Belling of Ontario with a score of 72, and following not too far behind with a score of 74 was Simon Camirand of Victoriaville, Quebec. The 2006 2nd place finisher, Jeremy Dueck, was following very quietly behind with a 75. In the senior division, Doug Young led the way with an impressive score of 74.

After an evening of rain, the group was pleased to see the sun come out on day two, allowing the greens to dry out further for the second round. With rounds being completed in approximately 5 hours, Belling was unable to hold on to his lead, ending round two with a 76 for a total score of 148. Dueck pulled ahead to complete round two with a remarkable 71 for a total of 146.

 
  CGTF EXPANDS TO CHINESE DIVISION  

November 16th, 2008 marked the launch of the newly formed Canadian Golf Teachers Federation – Chinese Division in Markham, Ontario. A ceremony was held in Markham on this day to celebrate the launch of this new venture.

Kristine Darnbrough was in attendance at this event representing the CGTF. There were many other important figures in the Chinese community including: Mr. Michael Chan, Minister of Citizenship & Immigration, Steven Xiao, Assistant Director of the Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office in Canada as well at the President of The Mandarin Golf & Country Club, Mr. Steven Wong.

As the Chinese population continues to grow in Canada, we are seeing many high quality golfers we want to ensure that we are meeting the needs of the market for qualified golf teaching professionals.

Tommy Tam will be the Director of the CGTF - Chinese Division, and will extend our course offerings to people in the Chinese community, in both Cantonese and Mandarin. Mr. Tam took the CGTF level III course in 2001 and later went on to complete the Level IV, Masters Certification.

We see tremendous growth in this new enterprise as it gives the opportunity for Chinese Canadians to excel in this endeavor in their own language. We are excited about this new venture for Chinese Canadians in the Golf Teaching industry.


Back Row: Lap Fei Liu, Francis Qu, Frank Lu, Steven Wong (Mandarin Golf & Country Club),
Allen Tam, Peter Yeung, Alan Tam. Front Row: Edmond Tse, Steven Xiao, Michael Chan
(Minister of Citizenship & Immigration), Tommy Tam, Kristine Darnbrough.

 

USGTF-SINGAPORE UPDATES ON NEW LEADERSHIP

I had the recent privilege of visiting Singapore in October for a few days. The priority of this recent trip was to restore USGTF-Singapore’s office by appointing a well-qualified director to lead this effort. It was a long journey searching for the right candidate; we thank all those that applied for the position and expressed their interest.

I am pleased to announce Ben Ang in the new USGTF-Singapore director position. Ben brings with him 17 years of diverse business experience in Singapore and its neighboring countries. Ben is closely tied with and well-networked within the Singapore community. Among his close friends and associates are USGTF and WGTF Master Level members who are his confidants and advisers. Ben is well-positioned and prepared for the upcoming exciting challenges. He brings with him a refreshing energy and depth of business sense. I invite you to congratulate Ben and wish him well while supporting him on this endeavor. Ben feels privileged and is very much looking forward to helping USGTF-Singapore realize its great potential. Please read below under “USGTFSingapore’s New Management Team” (by Ben) for more detail.

Additionally, on my Singapore trip, I had the pleasure of meeting with many of my distinguished and gracious members. I was impressed and humbled with the fervor of USGTF-Singapore members and very grateful for their steadfast and loyal support to USGTF-Singapore through the years. I requested they do what they can to provide assistance to the new USGTF-Singapore director, and each, without missing a beat, pledged their support. I humbly thank each of you for taking the time to meet with me and engage in spirited discussions about the future of USGTF-Singapore.

 

SINGAPORE’S NEW MANAGEMENT TEAM

USGTFis an established name that those who aspire to be good golf teachers should associate themselves with. Its good name is known even to a faraway country like Singapore, thriving with only a population of 4.4 million. Although Singapore is small, it boasts 15 golf courses and more than 18 golf driving ranges. As golf becomes a more sought-after passion, there is the increasing need for quality golf teachers.

USGTF-Singapore has finally found a team of dedicated people to carry out the task of certifying quality golf teachers in Singapore. It has taken the president of  USGTF-Singapore, Mr. Sammy Oh, months of stringent interviews and selection before the final candidates were picked for the job.

NEW USGTF-SINGAPORE DIRECTOR
I would like to introduce myself, Ben Ang, as the new director of USGTFSingapore. I graduated with a degree in Economics from the University of Windsor in Canada, and also possess a postgraduate qualification in Personnel Management and Marketing. I served as a naval officer in the Singapore Navy before venturing into the commercial world, where I was instrumental in the publication of a leading golf magazine in Singapore in 1992. Since then, I have ventured into my own business, where I am now the managing director of a company dealing in the auto related business. I am also endowed with a network of business associates in countries like Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

I have been playing golf since 1993, and am a USGTF-Singapore certified Level III member. I am determined to do everything I can to elevate the name of USGTF to a far greater height. Through the process of stringent selection and certification I will recruit new members for USGTF-Singapore. And, through a further process of continuous monitoring and post-certification education and audit system, I hope members certified through USGTF-Singapore will maintain a high standard of ethics, integrity and teaching proficiency.

As an immediate task, I intend to work with golf courses in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand to provide playing privileges for USGTF-Singapore certified teachers. I also intend to work with at least one leading golf equipment manufacturer to secure P.U.D. privileges. And, by early 2009, I hope to have recruited a new talent pool of USGTF-certified golf coaches for Singapore.

NEW USGTF-SINGAPORE EXAMINER
Ronald Heng, a US GTF certified teacher, will be one of USGTF-Singapore’s two examiners. Ronald has been teaching golf full-time for more than 10 years. Along with his USGTF Master Level certification, Ronald is also certified as a Singapore PGA professional. Ronald started playing golf in 1965, at the tender age of seven. Prior to his advent into golf teaching, Ronald was the general manager of a country club in Indonesia. His golf management experience, coaching skills, and great interpersonal capability will undoubtedly contribute to the success of USGTF-Singapore. His role is to ensure that all new candidates for certification will be put through a high standard of selection that is required of USGTF.

NEW USGTF-SINGAPORE EXAMINER
Mr. Y.C. Law is also a USGTF-Singapore certified Master Level teacher. He has also been teaching golf full-time for the last six years. Mr. Law’s patience and teaching skills are two of his hallmarks. He is well liked by many students who would testify to his integrity and sincerity in coaching his students from the very elementary level to a high-level of playing proficiency.

His passion for teaching stretches back to 1990,when he was certified a tennis coach, as well. USGTF-Singapore
is indeed privileged to have him aboard as one of its examiners.

NEW USGTF-SINGAPORE TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR
Kenny Koh is an Australian Golf Teachers Federation and WGTF-certified member who is currently running a commercial entity engaged in organizing golf tournaments and events. He has been running such a successful business for many years that his experience will ensure all future USGTF-Singapore golf tournaments will be conducted to the highest standards possible.

Kenny has been a sportsman from a very young age. As a youth, he was inducted into our nation’s soccer team. After being introduced to golf, he was so passionate about the game that he enrolled himself for the AGTF certification in Australia. Although Kenny is also a proficient golf coach, he much prefers managing a company specializing in golf events and tournaments. His expertise in this area is invaluable to the success of USGTF-Singapore.

CONCLUSION
USGTF-Singapore, being given a new lease of life, will strive to do its best to uphold the good name of USGTF worldwide. Barely a month into this new venture, USGTF-Singapore is still in the process of selecting a few more key staff for its operation. While we are in great need for more manpower, we are nonetheless committed to ensuring that all our staff will meet with our stringent requirements. We will therefore tread on the side of caution in our selection process. We will make the necessary announcements in the months to come.

 

The depth of talent in our AGTF membership base, both in playing ability and golf teaching, and the skill base of other supporters in the golf industry in Australia are deepening as we progress forward and expand.

In conjunction with the recent AGTF Cup, a teaching seminar this year was presented by Colin Cromack from Target Oriented Golf (www.targetorientedgolf.com). Colin is a true expert in relation to the “psychology of aiming” for golf and presented some great information to the members. The AGTF will work with Colin further to determine how all of our members may be introduced to the information, as his seminar was of the highest order, and even the most hardened of our golf teaching pros were convinced to use his practical methods in relation to setup, aim and pre-shot routine. The target-oriented golf DVD is also available to WGTF members at $25.00 and has a recommended retail price of $49.95.

A couple of issues ago in Golf Teaching Pro magazine, I was fortunate enough to see the Get Fit To Golf program and realised that the founder, Ron Burke, was indeed an Aussie. Since then I have been working more closely with the Get Fit To Golf team, and they are close to releasing a program especially for golf teachers to give you a much deeper understanding of golf biomechanics. The information has actually given me a whole new set of thought processes on the lesson tee (apart from why can't my students do what I am asking them to do), and I am a better teacher as a result.

At the AGTF, we wholeheartedly support the team at Get Fit To Golf, and urge all of the WGTF members to download your free information kit at www.getfittogolf.com/usgtf.cfm and get ready for more education in relation to golf biomechanics when the new course is released.

Just recently, AGTF member Matt McDonald from Goolwa in South Australia became the Australian Long Drive Champion 2008 with a mighty blow of 303 metres into a blustery headbreeze. Matt has recorded drives of 385 metres in competition, and breaks up to 20 titanium heads a year with his ball-crushing swing. We are proud of Matt's achievements in the long drive arena and wish him all the best (and that he finds a sponsor with deep pockets or a golf company with unbreakable heads).

The Australian Golf Teachers Federation Cup was held at Gainsborough Greens Golf Course in Queensland (Gold Coast) on the 22nd and 23rd of October. A great time was had by all participants, and the event was again keenly contested by both our professional and amateur members.

Robb Tickner, with impressive ballstriking, recorded great rounds of 76-74 – 150 to win the AGTF CUP open scratch on a very challenging golf course. Robb’s driving of the golf ball is quite phenomenal, and he regularly hits the ball 330 yards With James Douris (2006 and 2007 USGTF Cup winner) and Frank Power (2006 and 2007 AGTF Cup winner) in the field, it was expected for the competition to be very strong, and this was the case with the event winner really being decided at the 36th hole.

A special thanks to some sponsors and contacts who assisted in the success of the event: Srixon Golf, the Purefit Golf Company (www.purefitgolf.com), Gainsborough Greens Golf Course, and Martin Weir (corporate events). Srixon Golf now has a wholesale arrangement in Australia for supply to all AGTF members and we thank them for their support.

We hope the 2009 event brings more AGTF members together than in previous years, and maybe some WGTF members might like to make the trip with the low Australian dollar making our country a very attractive place to take a holiday at the moment.

AGTF CUP – OPEN SCRATCH – PROFESSIONAL
Robb Tickner 76-74 – 150
Frank Power 79-73 – 152
James Douris 75-77 – 152
AGTF CUP – SENIOR WINNER – OPEN SCRATCH – PROFESSIONAL
Keith Plug 84-77 – 161
Zahir Mehir Homji 86-80 – 166
AGTF CUP – LADIES OPEN SCRATCH – PROFESSIONAL
Sue Plug 85-95 – 180
AGTF CUP – OPEN HANDICAP (NET SCORES)
Tim White 74-71 – 145
Robb Tickner 75-73 – 148
Peter Hogben 77-71 – 148
NEAREST THE PIN OCT 22ND
3rd hole – Keith Plug
6th hole – Christian Oh
11th hole – Frank Power
LONG DRIVE – Christian Oh
NEAREST THE PIN OCT 23RD
3rd hole – Tim White
6th hole – Tim White

 

I am extremely delighted to report our first certification course in Shanghai, China, took place October 19-24. The response was overwhelming. Due to our limited experience in Shanghai and the fact that we ourselves had to undergo a learning curve, we intentionally designed the course to restrict the number of seats and students to a manageable and controllable size. As a result, we had to declare a first-come, firstserved basis for enrollment, and we had to reject many candidates, even though they contacted us before the close of registration.

We conducted the training course at Tianma Country Club, a private club for members and guests only, which is located in a very nice area, approximately 50 kilometers to the west of the city. Tianma is 12 years old, with three nine-hole courses. It's well managed, mature, reasonable in length, moderately undulated but relatively flat and challenging, with lots of trees, water and bunkers. It’s an idea venue for the PAT.

Its ranking is within the top five in Shanghai by all measurements. Though the club has not been  selected as a tournament course for any Asian/European Tour event so far, it has held many prestigious tournaments in the past.

The management of Tianma has given us the greatest and fullest support, including providing us a classroom, driving range, golf course, dining venues, and transportation between the facilities. The general manager, Mr. So, assistant general manager Mr. Ian Watkins, and superintendent Ms. Grace Hsu attended and participated in our graduation and celebration dinner on the last day. With our good experience, we have come to the sort of understanding with Tianma that we will use their facilities for all our future training courses near Shanghai. Tianma has kindly offered all our USGTF members the same special pricing that they offer to members of the China PGA.

After the training, I am proud to report that the performance of all students is surprisingly good, and results of the examinations are phenomenal, for all of them have already been engaged in the golf teaching business, some for a few years and some over ten years, though they had not yet been certified or licensed.

Seeing the encouraging reception and responses, I am planning to hold our second course sometime in late February or early March of 2009, again in Shanghai, China.

 

The Dutch Golf Teachers Cup was recently held at the Kennemer Golf Course where the Dutch Open was played two weeks before. Canadian, Philip Unmandely won the event with an even par 72.

Our legal department recently registered two trademarks at the request of the USGTF. We are pleased to say that the phrase Certified Golf Teaching Professional and Master Golf Teaching Professional are now Dutch registered trade marks.

Our upcoming certification  course will be held at the Penina Golf Course in Portimao, Portugal. Thomas Wartelle, World Golf Teachers Federation Director, from Louisiana will be the main examiner. This facility, by the way, was designed by the late legendary golfer Henry Cotton. He resided at the facility during the winter months.


World Golf Teachers Federation presidents attending
annual meeting at Mont Griffon Golf Resort near Paris, France.

 

The WGTF of Great Britain and Ireland has made tremendous progress in the marketplace this year, and will continue to prosper in 2009 despite the rest of the world’s gloomy predictions. Our new website will fully launch and will double the federation’s profile and brand-image in the industry. The website is also linked to those seeking game improvement and to golf proprietors looking to increase the performance and professionalism offered at their location.

We now have a wide and varied range of golf-related products available at cost and discounted prices through the WGTF discount program, and this continues to grow. Through the discount program we also offer such things as car leasing and golf holiday villas for rent, useful when wanting to take clients abroad. Following in the footsteps of the USGTF website, we will offer a blogging facility for members only.

The ultimate feature, which we believe will be highly successful, is our “Find a WGTF Golf Coach” facility, enabling anyone looking for a coach with specifics in mind to be able to find them. This could be done by postcode or any other characteristic featured on their profile. The find-a-coach facility will drive business right to our members’ door steps.

We will once again be launching our proprietor-based incentive and marketing program, designed to offer our members more and more opportunities to rent bays at driving ranges and golf courses all around the UK.

Furthermore, we have continued to offer our free coaching week, which is an opportunity to practice the skills already learnt on the diploma Level III course. Also, our in-house Neuro Linguistic Programming certification course continues to receive the most incredible feedback. Having these skills allows you one to maximize the effect of all the magic learnt on the diploma Level III.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the WGTF federations worldwide for their hard work – when we all work together we can achieve anything.

 

Hello to all fellow WGTF members and staff from a very sunny and hot South Africa. The SAGTF will be conducting another WGTF Level three certification course from 6-12 December 2008. The course will be conducted by Neville Schmulian at the Akasia Golf Club in the city of Pretoria. We hope for good weather as we currently experience big thunder storms almost on a daily basis as it is our summer rainy season.

We also look forward to the Sun City Nedbank Challenge which will commence on the 4th of December. The Gary Player course at Sun City is about a forty minute drive from our offices. Unfortunately our own South African Ernie Els will not participate this year. However, South African new Augusta Masters champion Trevor Immelman will be in action. We trust and hope that all WGTF members and staff will have a wonderful Christmas and happy holidays.

 
The USGTF-Japan is pleased to confirm our 2009 certification course schedule:

March 21-25, 2009 - Gotemba GC - Shizuoaka Japan
May 23-27, 2009 - Gotemba GC - Shizuoaka Japan
June 13-17, 2009 - Oriental GC - Hyogo Japan
September 12-16, 2009 Forest Misunami CC Gifu Japan
October 10-14, 2009 - Gotemba GC - Shizuoaka Japan
October 31-November 4 - Gotemba GC - Shizuoaka Japan

We will have in-service training sessions in June 17-18 and October 14-15 after the certification course.

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