For 31 years, one man led the USGTF as its president and CEO. That would be founder Geoff Bryant, who in 1989 started a revolution in the  golf teaching business that continues strong to this day.

Recently, Bryant said 31 years is enough and it’s time to ride off into retirement. Enter Brandon Lee, who assumed the titles of president  and CEO in February. Lee was formerly the director of the USGTF’s foreign language courses and president of USGTF-Korea, among other entities. He also served as vice president of the World Golf Teachers Federation, the umbrella group that is comprised of more than 40  member nations.

Lee was born in South Korea and grew up there. As a kid, he participated in many sports due to the influence of his father. Lee’s dad also got him involved in golf in high school. He later completed his Ph.D in Exercise Biochemistry in Japan. After a career in that field, he came to the United States and completed the USGTF certification program in 2005. He began his golf teaching career in Orange County, California, in the cities of Irvine and Laguna Hills, where he operated a teaching academy.

His academy was extremely successful, the result of his business acumen and previous experiences, and this caught the attention of Bryant, who named Lee vice president of the USGTF in 2011. In that role, Lee established the USGTF’s foreign language courses (FLC), which were based on strong professional ethics and educational programs, while continuing to research and spread the latest golf teaching methods in the United States. This has helped foreigners in the United States earn USGTF certification and continue the organization’s progress as a leader in golf.

Here is a Q&A with the USGTF’s new president, Brandon Lee:

Q: Why did you want to become president/CEO of the USGTF?

A: The USGTF was started with a great mission envisioned by Geoff Bryant. I thought it was time for a new generation to continue the mission and continue the development. I worked through the ranks as a Certified Golf Teaching Professional, a Master Teaching Professional and FLC course director. It made sense to naturally progress into this role.

Q: What do you see as the USGTF’s future and what are your plans for it?

A: To make the USGTF certification more valuable by helping the members make money through teaching and employment, because the USGTF is a career choice. I also plan to work harder to define what a golf teaching professional is and does in the industry. Many in the golfing industry believe the USGTF is a secondary license below the PGA. I experienced the same problem when I started USGTF-Korea in 2016. But through my will and effort, the Korean golf industry moved to accept our status and our mission. As a result, they started to  recognize USGTF is the best license to learn golf teaching methodology and KPGA members also started to join and learn our USGTF educational system.

Q: What do you see as one or more of the strengths of the USGTF?

A: With the slogan of “Learn to teach golf – the profession of a lifetime,” the USGTF provides an opportunity to challenge and inspire not only existing professionals but also ordinary people who have a strong passion for golf. We have many golf enthusiasts, with diverse backgrounds, such as businessmen and retirees who are not golf professionals.

Q: In part, why has USGTF-Korea been so successful?

A: In Korea, the USGTF started as a minor player in golf. It is now composed of a large number of members from various professions who are not KPGA professionals. It is also a representative group for those who seek a second life through giving golf lessons. By promoting a strong professional ethical sense of being a golf leader that combines teaching skills and developing the personalities of our teaching professionals, it was able to grow into an organization that cultivates experts in teaching the game of golf.

Lee is committed to taking the USGTF to new heights as we are now well into the 21st century. His success with USGTF-Korea and the  foreign language courses in the United States should bode well as the USGTF navigates its way in the ever-changing fields of golf instruction and golf business.

Lee has completed a move to Florida from California and oversees the daily operations of the USGTF from the national office, located in  Fort Pierce, Florida. He welcomes member input and can be reached by email at president@usgtf.com.

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