Joe Bernat, 76, from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, passed away this past March due to complications from cancer. Bernat was a popular figure among USGTF members, having competed numerous times in both the United States and World Golf Teachers Cups. Bernat was active until the very end, even completing a stint helping out on the maintenance crew at his home course, Whispering Pines Golf Club, before teaching a golf class that afternoon. He owned and operated the Joe Bernat Golf Academy and was a USGTF examiner. According to, “’He was a great guy that everybody loved and was great at what he did,’ said longtime friend and employer Chip Smith, whose company operates Whispering Pines. ‘He had so many students who had seen him for 10 or 20 years, people who would come back down even from Canada and get that tune-up from Joe.’” Read more here: Bernat was also an accomplished player, having competed in the 1994 U.S. Senior Open and several PGA Tour Champions events. He won several age division titles in various USGTF and WGTF events. He is survived by his wife Linda and two children, Joe and Heidi.    
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