This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the Southwest Regional Championship at Ridgeview Ranch in Plano, Texas, hosted by Bruce Sims.  This was my first regional tournament and I hope not my last. Regional tournaments like this have a number of positive effects.  Prior to the tournament, I played a few rounds to prepare, which is never a bad thing.  Getting the competitive juices flowing this early in the season is a great start to the opening of our golf season in the Midwest.  My students are excited to hear that I’m playing in a tournament, which leads to great conversations with them about what they want to do with their game. Once there, I reconnected with some old friends.  Golf is an amazing game, and as teaching professionals, the bond we share is lifelong.  I have known some of the participants for over 15 years.  Listening to their successes in an open forum to talk about the business is a great way to learn new ideas about golf teaching while surrounded by a great, supportive atmosphere. I also met a few new members, which is such an exciting thing for me.  To see someone who has just joined the USGTF and their passion for teaching the wonderful game of golf is inspiring.  Or to meet a member who is just playing in their first tournament.  The people part of this organization is probably the highlight of tournaments for me. Between helping each other’s swing faults, to having dinner, to playing in competition, I would recommend to anyone who has the opportunity to attend our regional events and our US and World Cups to do so.  There is no better way to engage with other teaching professionals and help build your own skills.
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