1st Annual United States Golf Teachers Cup®

1st Annual United States Golf Teachers Cup®

1st Annual United States Golf Teachers Cup®

EDWARD LEE WINS FIRST PLAYING OF UNITED STATES GOLF TEACHERS CUP

ST. AUGUSTINE, FL • 1996

1996 – Edward Lee wins the inaugural event with 74, playing out of the Senior division.

2nd Annual United States Golf Teachers Cup®

2nd Annual United States Golf Teachers Cup®

2nd Annual United States Golf Teachers Cup®

SHAWN CLEMENT WINS SECOND PLAYING OF UNITED STATES GOLF TEACHERS CUP

SAN DIEGO, CA • 1997

1997 – Playing both left- and right-handed, Canadian Shawn Clement takes first place at San Luis Rey Downs Golf Course.
4th Annual United States Golf Teachers Cup®

4th Annual United States Golf Teachers Cup®

4th Annual United States Golf Teachers Cup®

BRIAN LAMBERTI WINS FOURTH PLAYING OF UNITED STATES GOLF TEACHERS CUP

PORT SAINT LUCIE, FL •1999

1999 -Brian Lamberti wins the only US Cup contested over three rounds, played during World Golf Teachers Cup week.
6th Annual United States Golf Teachers Cup®

6th Annual United States Golf Teachers Cup®

6th Annual United States Golf Teachers Cup®

MARK HARMAN WINS SIXTH PLAYING OF UNITED STATES GOLF TEACHERS CUP

JENSEN BEACH, FL • 2001

2001 – High winds and firm greens make the scores high, as Mark Harman wins his second title with a two day combined score of 152. The championship adopts a permanent format of two rounds.
7th Annual United States Golf Teachers Cup®

7th Annual United States Golf Teachers Cup®

7th Annual United States Golf Teachers Cup®

MARK HARMAN WINS SEVENTH PLAYING OF UNITED STATES GOLF TEACHERS CUP

MOORS GOLF & LODGING PENSACOLA, FL • 2002

Take two days of beautiful weather, a course where the Senior Tour plays, one of the South’s premier vacation destinations, great golf and friendships, and what do you have?

Why, the 7th annual edition of the United States Golf Teachers Cup, of course.

The Moors Golf & Lodging, just outside Pensacola, Florida, is home to the annual Emerald Coast Classic on the Senior PGA Tour, which showcases some of the greatest names in professional golf. This past November, it featured some of the greatest teaching names in the USGTF in competition.Two days of 75-degree weather and cloudless skies only made the tournament that much more enjoyable for the participants.

USGTF Course Director Mark Harman, from Pensacola, captured his third United States Golf Teachers Cup, shooting a two-round total of 141 to take home a two-stroke victory over Jim Perez of Fresno, California. Perez’s runner-up finish was his best showing to date in the championship.

There were plenty of fireworks during the second day, including:

  • Harman’s back nine score of 31 to propel him from fourth place, at the turn, to victory;
  • Perez’s hole-in-one at the par-3 eighth hole, giving him the lead at that point and fueling his fine showing
  • John Linton rolling in a 12-foot birdie putt on the second hole of sudden-death in the Super Senior Division to defeat past champion, and very solid player, Bert Boyce;
  • Robert Kleabir, playing in his first professional stroke-play tournament, coming back from an opening 88 to a second- round 73, a 15-stroke improvement
  • A new feature experimented with this year was second day money. This allowed those who did not do well the first day to still have something to play for. In the Open Division, Joey Justice took the money with a 72; Tom Buckley’s 75 copped the honors in the Senior Division; and Mike Perez came back from an opening round 91 with a 78 to grab the Super Senior Division dollars.

    The low four scorers consisting of Harman, Perez, Ron Longoria of Santa Barbara, California, and Mike Stevens of Tampa, Florida, will re p resent the United States in the team portion of the next World Golf Teachers Cup, to be held in 2003 in Spain.

    “I know all of us involved with the tournament had a great time in the Pensacola area,” stated USGTF President Geoff Bryant. “The Moors is a fine course, and we enjoyed it immensely. Currently, we’re finalizing plans for the next US Golf Teachers Cup, and we hope to once again have outstanding participation.”

    The Commonality of All Teaching “Systems”

    The Commonality of All Teaching “Systems”

    By Mark Harman USGTF Level IV Member and National Course Director, Ridgeland, South Carolina I’ve been teaching golf for nearly 20 years now, and over the years I think I’ve just about seen it all when it comes to teaching beliefs. Of course, as soon as I say that, something new and out of the blue will pop up. The most recent “hot” teaching trend is the stack-and-tilt method as developed by Andy Plummer and Mike Bennett. These two fellows have a stable of over 20 touring professionals using their system. Basically, stack-and-tilt is a belief that the weight should remain on the forward foot during the swing. Plummer and Bennett believe that it makes no sense to transfer weight to the back foot when, according to them, it is simpler to just keep it on the forward foot during the swing. Of course, this is not new. USGTF member Randy Cayson, a current member of our examining team, was a proponent of this theory over 10 years ago, calling it a “single-pivot” swing. Remember when Moe Norman’s swing and Natural Golf were all the rage? Devotees of Moe were adamant that his swing was far better mechanically than the so-called “conventional” swing. I even personally know of one proponent who got very angry with me over a column I wrote a number of years ago that called into question the belief that Moe’s swing was automatically the best for everyone. The amusing thing about this fellow is that he practiced hours on end each day for a few years, and yet, to the best of my knowledge, never improved his game. Bob Toski and Jim Flick strongly believe that the hands control the golf swing, while David Leadbetter believes the big muscles do. Jimmy Ballard teaches students to load up and fire off the right side. Other teachers advocate left-side control. Yet, despite all the differences of opinion on exactly what the best way to swing a golf club is, there is one common factor that each and every system has: a retention of the angle between the lead arm and clubshaft until impact, when the lead arm and shaft straighten out. In fact, if there is any secret to the golf swing, that is it. This fundamental was highlighted in the book Search for the Perfect Swing, written by Alastair Cochran and John Stobbs back in 1968. In fact, it was the basis for the whole book. A student of mine named Frank is a fairly good player, regularly shooting in the low 80’s. He came to me wanting to shoot in the mid- to high-70’s more often. Frank has a pretty typical swing for a male golfer in that he sways his lower body on the backswing, counterbalancing by reverse-tilting his upper body. He had a fairly strong grip, necessitating a blocking action through impact in order to avoid hitting a hook. The first thing I did was neutralize his grip and have him release the club properly. Predictably, his ball flight got very inconsistent, but I felt this was a necessary adjustment in order to effect permanent improvement. The next order of business was to correct his pivot action. Well, this proved to be a problem. No matter what I did, he kept swaying and tilting. I consulted David Vaught, one of our fine examiners, and he gave me some great ideas. Still, nothing worked (sorry Dave!), as Frank’s muscle memory proved to be stronger than anything I’ve seen in awhile. In fact, as time went by, on videotape Frank’s early release got even earlier. Although he retained his belief in me as his teacher, I began questioning why all my best efforts went for naught. After thinking about the problem for awhile, I came to the conclusion that, no matter what, I needed to get Frank’s release timed properly. We all know that the release is a result of other things done properly in the swing. But, could we bypass all the other stuff and just go to the release? It was worth a try. When I next saw Frank, I showed him how to lag the club during transition, and thereby retain the angle longer. To describe the exact way of how I did this would necessitate some heavy reading and writing, so perhaps I’ll leave that for a future article. In any event, I did not mention any other instruction, nor did I want him to focus on anything else except lagging the clubhead to start the downswing. To make a long story short, it worked. He’s picked up some yardage and doesn’t hit the ball all over the place anymore on his bad shots. Although Frank is obviously still a work in progress, at least we finally started making progress. He still sways and reverse-tilts, but I am resigned to the fact that he simply cannot change this. The moral of this story is that I went to the one fundamental that every teacher agrees on. The closer you can get your students to this fundamental, the better.
    The Basics of Todays Modern Equipment

    The Basics of Todays Modern Equipment

    By Jeff Jackson PowerBilt Golf www.powerbiltgolf.com As a golf instructor, you’re likely to see students whose bags contain a myriad of equipment – and oftentimes it’s not a pretty picture! Some players will have the latest in high-tech, high-dollar equipment, while others may have hand-me-downs from their grandparents. When it comes to instruction, you have the skills to make any student play better with whatever equipment they may have, but by educating your students to the benefits of modern-day equipment, you will not only help them immediately play better, you will be able to better teach them as a result of equipment that is matched to their game. Your students look to you as their “golf expert” due to your teaching ability. Even if you are not all that equipment savvy, it is important that you know some basics so that you are able to guide your students toward equipment that will improve their scores and enhance their enjoyment of the game. It’s not all that difficult to learn the basics of today’s equipment and how it will help lower scores. Dividing equipment into four categories – drivers, irons, hybrids and putters – will make it easy for you to instantly become an equipment guru in the eyes of those you teach. Drivers Big and geometric are the key words when it comes to today’s drivers. Nearly all of today’s drivers approach the USGA maximum conforming size of 460 cubic centimeters. Original metal drivers – and you surely still see some of these in your student’s bags – maxed out at about 150cc’s. The larger size of today’s drivers, which are made of titanium (a stronger, lighter material than stainless steel), creates what is known as a higher moment of inertia, or MOI. The higher the MOI of a club, the more stable it is on off-center hits, allowing less than perfect shots to fly longer and straighter. If your student still has a smaller driver in his or her bag, or one made from any material other than titanium, one of the fastest ways to improve driver play is through the acquisition of a properly fitted modern driver. Many of today’s drivers have non-traditional shapes. These shapes may be square, hexagonal or triangular. The purpose of any of these shapes is to position the center of gravity of the club so that it is easier to hit. Square shapes tend to allow players to hit the ball straighter as their weight is pushed as far toward the “corners” of the head as possible. If you have a student who has trouble finding the center of the face very often, a square driver should offer relief on those not so good hits. Triangular shapes and other shapes that seem to move weight rearward tend to make it easier to get the ball airborne, something that definitely helps slower swinging players. Mention that a launch monitor fitting will make sure a new design is properly suited to a player. The launch monitor will show things – swing speed, launch angle, spin rate, total distance and dispersion – that even the best teachers in the world can’t exactly quantify. Modern equipment with modern fitting techniques combine to lower a player’s score in short order. Irons If your students are playing any iron that is more than 10 years old, chances are they are behind the technology curve. If it’s oversize and has a deep center of gravity, it’s probably good for most of your students. In addition to most of today’s irons being larger, heavier, and thus more forgiving, many have wider soles that help a player get the ball in the air. Some have “undercut cavities.” This design moves weight even farther back from the face and helps the club be more stable on virtually any shot. If an iron is an undercut design, there will be a space between the back of the iron and the face toward the sole of the club. A key factor when discussing irons with your students is the distance they hit each one. You want them to have consistent distance gaps between each club, ensuring consistent accuracy on all iron shots. You also want to make sure they have wedges of the proper lofts and designs. Correct distance gaps in the scoring clubs are critical. Now that you have mentioned distance control, be sure to mention accuracy control through having properly fitted lie angles and club lengths. If you consistently see a player hit the ball left or right even when they make a good swing, it could be a lie angle issue. Lies that are too upright yield shots to the left for a right-handed player, while lies that are too flat often lead to pushed shots. New technology, when custom-matched to your students, will make your teaching much easier and will make the student scores go lower more quickly. Hybrids Long irons are a thing of the past. If there is a 3-iron (and even a 4-iron) in your student’s bag, they had better be a very good player. The answer to difficult-to-hit long irons is hybrids. Hybrids are a cross between fairway woods and irons. Typically, they are the length of long irons but with the forgiveness of fairway woods. They have deeper centers of gravity than do irons to get the ball in the air more easily. Plus, hybrids offer higher moments of inertia than do irons, making mis-hits go longer and straighter. They are easier to hit from rough due to their lower profiles and their weight makes them more user-friendly than long irons. Encourage your students to get rid of their 3-iron (and certainly any irons longer than that, as well) in favor of hybrids. For slower swinging players, the lower centers of gravity of hybrids make them even easier to hit. If a player swings slowly, adding #4, #5 and even #6 hybrids are a good idea. A number of companies offer full sets of hybrid clubs for those who struggle with their irons. Perhaps having a demo hybrid available during lessons may help show a student that hybrid clubs can be a true game-saver as compared to longer irons. Putters Geometric is the key word here too. More and more putters feature larger heads that create a higher MOI. The unique designs of some of today’s models may evoke comments from some of your more traditional students like, “I’m supposed to putt with that???” The secret to getting the ball to roll consistently is to create a putter that does not loft the ball too high at impact. The heavier weighted larger heads do this well. For those who have issues putting, one of the new larger designs may be just the ticket to lower scores. And while you’re discussing some of the new putter designs, make sure you mention that custom fitting of length and lie is a key to good putting. Even the most modern design won’t help a player unless it is fitted to his or her stroke. It’s good to know the meaning of some common putter technology terms. Hosel offset is how far the shaft is in front of the club face. Offset helps a player keep his or her hands ahead of the ball, generally resulting in a smoother roll for most players. Many putters now have what are called milled faces. A milled face is one that has been machine cut to precise flatness. Many of today’s high end models include face milling while the very highest end models have heads that are entirely milled for precise weight balance. Face balance is another term used to describe putters. A face balanced putter is one whose face will point skyward when the putter shaft is balanced on your finger. Face balanced putters help to create a straight-back, straight-through stroke which leads to improved putting. Good advice is to read as much as possible in golf magazines related to new equipment so that you stay a step ahead when it comes to product knowledge. Don’t necessarily believe every equipment claim made by every manufacturer, but do examine what technology most manufacturers are touting. By being aware of what’s new and hot in the industry, you’ll undoubtedly help your students play better. If you have the opportunity to attend an equipment demo day or two, be sure to take advantage of those situations. Hands-on experience with equipment will make it easier for you to communicate the benefits of new technology with your students, again making you an expert in their eyes and improving their games at the same time. Good instruction and proper equipment go hand-in-hand. Learning about equipment is a win-win for both you and your students.
    Etiquette necessary on golf course

    Etiquette necessary on golf course

    As teaching professionals and ambassadors to the game, please be aware of golf etiquette. Each course may have its own special rules, but practicing the following customs should help you set an example. • Please be aware of other golfers outside your group. It’s easy to get so involved in your game or your teaching that you forget others on the course. That loud cheer when your client sinks a long putt may disturb somebody teeing off an adjacent hole. • Please replace all divots. The next time you find your ball in a rough spot on the fairway, remember that you might have had a better lie if someone else had followed that advice. Don’t be afraid to replace divots other than your own, as well. • Please don’t loiter. On the fairway, it speeds things up if everyone walks directly to his or her own ball instead of gathering around to watch someone else shoot. Think ahead about club selection. On the green, avoid congregating to mark your scores. Everyone should move off quickly following the final putt. Do your bookkeeping at the next tee. • When playing a shot from a fairway other than the hole being played, the right of way belongs to the persons on the correct fairway. • Players should not drive a ball from the tee or any position in the fairway until the group ahead is well out of reach – regardless of how many shots they’ve taken. • Golfers who are spending too much time looking for a lost ball (five minutes is considered appropriate) or lagging too far behind the group ahead must let faster groups play through. • Please avoid practicing on the golf course. This includes taking an excessive number of swings on the tee or elsewhere. • Set an example by taking care of the greens. They’re expensive to build and maintain and if everyone helps, it contributes to a smother, truer putting surface for all players. Repair your ball marks, avoid stepping too close to the cup, lay the flag down gently –preferably off the green – don’t leave cleat marks by dragging your feet, and although it should go without saying, keep carts off. • Groups on the course should consist of no more than four golfers. • Play the holes in order. • On the golf course, avoid giving advice unless asked. Even when asked, keep it short. • If your ball goes into the water, avoid wasting time searching and don’t try to compensate for the loss by trying to find another ball. • Be able to identify your ball at all times. • Act as a professional at all times, especially if you are not playing well. • Keep your movements – and noises – to a minimum when another golfer is preparing to swing. • “Fore” is the universal warning on the golf course whenever someone is in danger of being stuck by a ball. Please use it, and use it the moment you think your ball might endanger another person. • Set an example by not littering. • Keep motorized carts at least 40 yards from all greens. • Smooth sand in bunkers with rake.