Huang, Richards Take Titles In Sedona

Shouting “Hunter” Huang of Atlanta, Georgia, won his first United States Golf Teachers Cup championship this past October 7-8 at Oakcreek Country Club in beautiful Sedona, Arizona, with scores of 75-68 – 143 to win by two shots over Jose Esteves of Puerto Rico. Huang came from behind with four consecutive birdies during the final round on holes 14 through 17 to seal the deal. Alejandro Duque of Costa Rica finished third at 75-72 – 147, while first-round leader and defending champion Mark Harman of Ridgeland, South Carolina, was at 74-74 – 148. Christopher Richards of Trinidad & Tobago earned his first United States Senior Golf Teachers Cup title, knocking off two-time defending champion Grant Gulych from St. Thomas, Ontario, with scores of 70-70 – 140. Gulych was in at…

Southeast Region Championship to Kick Off USGTF Competition Calendar

USGTF Southeast Region director Mike Stevens has announced that the 2020 region championship will be played Thursday and Friday, January 23-24, at Rio Pinar Golf Club in Orlando, Florida. The tournament coincides with the week of the PGA Merchandise Show, where numerous USGTF members congregate every year, so this is an opportune time to get in some winter golf in central Florida. Rio Pinar hosted the tour event for many years that eventually became the Arnold Palmer Invitational. The entry fee is $195 and includes two tournament rounds, range balls and prize money. Tee assignments will be based on age and gender. The entry deadline is January 1. To enter, please call the USGTF National Office at (888) 346-3290 or send a check for $195 to: USGTF, 200 S. Indian…

RUDY Project Releases New Golf Line for 2020

USGTF MEMBERS GET 35% OFF OF RUDY PROJECT EYEWEAR (including Rx orders): -go to: www.rudyprojectna.com/vip Members should contact USGTF Membership Services for the “discount code” at 888-346-3290 or info@usgtf.com.

“PRO” File – Touring Professional Lanto Griffin

It’s not exactly a rags-to-riches story, but Lanto Griffin, winner of the Houston Open in October, epitomizes the down-and-out golfer who eventually made it big. With almost nothing in his bank account in 2014 after failing play well on some developmental tours, Griffin was about finished trying to realize his dream. But some friends and acquaintances who believed in him provided some much-needed financial backing to keep him going. Three years later, he was ready to quit again, but a sports psychologist was able to turn him around mentally, and this past year he won a tournament on the Korn Ferry Tour, helping him to earn his tour card for 2019-20. Griffin was introduced to the game by his father Michael, who sadly passed away when Griffin was 12. Steve…

USGTF Pro-Shop Closeout

Men’s USGTF Logoed Microfiber Pullover 1/4 Zip Windshirt – Available in Navy with Royal/Gray Trim and Red with Black/White Trim. – $30.00 (limited stock) To order, please call (888) 346-3290 between 8am-5pm ETD.

Editorial – Paying College Golfers: Good or Bad?

California’s new law will allow college athletes to be paid for their participation in sports. So, it will be interesting to see how the USGA applies this to their amateur status rules. Under Rule 6-2, “The amateur golfer must not obtain any payment, compensation or financial gain, directly or indirectly, for allowing his name or likeness to be used in these ways. However, he may receive reasonable expenses, not exceeding actual expenses incurred, in connection with the promotional activity.” Looks like a lot of lawyers will be getting a nice payday when it comes down to it. Let’s be honest. A lot of golfers at high-profile schools are there to groom themselves for one of the professional tours. Maybe they should have a choice of declaring themselves professionals while still in school.…

Teaching Golf In Today’s Power Era

Jack Nicklaus has been concerned about it for a longtime. Gary Player has weighed in, as has virtually every golf pundit. We’re talking about the power game today and how modern professionals hit the ball over 300 yards with regularity. It’s not just the professionals and pundits who are interested in power, but also the average amateur. Those who work as club fitters and use launch monitor technology like TrackMan, FlightScope and GC Quad can all tell you tales of customers coming in to their stores and ranges who boast of distances that the monitors say they are not capable of. It’s almost comical, but also sad in a way, because golfers who are unrealistic about the distance they hit the ball are almost sure to come up short time…

Why You Should Play In The U.S. CUP

By Mark Harman, USGTF Course Director Ridgeland, South Carolina It’s hard for me to write this article without some of it sounding a little like I’m blowing my own horn, but I assure you that is not my intention. I am writing this to hopefully convince a few more people to enter this year’s (and future years’) United States Golf Teachers Cup. I have the privilege of being the only person to have competed in every single one of the previous 23 versions of this event. From St. Augustine, Florida (where it all started), to California, Nevada, Texas, Pennsylvania, Louisiana and other states, I have seen every U.S. Cup played. What I can tell you is that it is not just the highlight of my competitive calendar every year, but…

Learning Golf Should Mirror Skiing

By Mike Stevens A sane person would never tackle a black slope on their first venture on a snow-packed mountain when skiing, although I have seen several broken appendages proving me otherwise. Remember, I said a sane person. Generally, one starts on the bunny hill to get a feel for the stance and posture and how to turn and stop without crashing. Then, maybe something a little more exciting, but it might be months before attempting a black. Ski slopes are set up to allow a progression, and the industry promotes learning in that manner. Instructors would never take an inexperienced person to an advanced run right off the bat. I wish golf took the same approach. It would be so easy to have a short course within a course and designate a…

Teaching Hacks That Work

We all know that there is no substitute for teaching proper fundamentals. They are the bases of forming a good swing and overall game. There is no doubt that the finest players in the game have mastered the fundamentals, and the closer our students can do the same, the more they will improve. But there are times when gaining proficiency in the fundamentals is rather difficult for some of our students. There are some teaching shortcuts that can be used in conjunction with the fundamentals that can expedite the learning process. Keep in mind that these won’t work for every student, but they’re worth trying when a student’s progress is stalled. Here are a few that cover the basic errant ball flights: SLICING Many students have a hard time squaring…

Playing The Game: What Were You Thinking?

By David Vaught USGTF Teaching Professional, Bradenton, Florida So often, average golfers struggle on the golf course after taking instruction. This can be frustrating for the student and the instructor alike. Therefore, how do we address this issue, understand it and eliminate some of the golf course struggles that arise when it comes time to hit the links? Let’s set up a common scenario for the golf instructor and their student. An obvious change needs to be made for the golf swing or stroke to produce higher quality shots. The instructor uses his or her knowledge to identify an issue and attempts to implement the change to the student’s motion. So far, an easy situation. The challenge comes when the student plays the first few rounds after taking a couple…

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US Cup This Month!

The 24th annual United States Golf Teachers Cup and the 3rd annual United States Senior Golf Teachers Cup will be played Monday and Tuesday, October 7-8, at Oakcreek Country Club in Sedona, Arizona. You can follow all the action at www.USGolfTeachersCup.com. Participants can also get their tee times by visiting the site. Tee times will be up and running by 5:00 p.m. EDT (2:00 p.m. Sedona time), October 5th. This year’s events, combined with a concurrent pro-am and one of the most beautiful locations in the entire USA, are sure to be among the best ever held. We look forward to seeing all competitors soon!

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USGTFMembers.com Is Your Communication Portal

USGTF members can have their say and communicate with their fellow members at www.USGTFMembers.com. Registration is free and is open to all members in good standing. Topics include instruction, equipment, USGTF events and general discussions. Employees of the National Office will also offer their input on a regular basis so you can see what is happening with your organization in real time. If you haven’t registered, please do so today and get in on the conversation!

Did You Know?

The phrases “Certified Golf Teaching Professional” and “Master Golf Teaching Professional” are United States Federal Registered Trademarks owned by the United States Golf Teachers Federation. Anyone not a current USGTF member using these marks in the United States is infringing on our trademark.

“PRO” File – Touring Professional Jin Young Ko

The pipeline from Korea to the LPGA Tour keeps growing all the more impressive with the addition of Jin Young Ko. Ko is currently the #1-ranked player in the world with a sizeable points lead over the second-ranked player, Sung Hyun Park, herself a formidable player. Ko first made waves by finishing second at the Women’s British Open in 2015, and wound up being a 10-time winner on the LPGA of Korea Tour. Her rookie year on the LPGA Tour came in 2018, already a seasoned veteran. She actually won an LPGA event in 2017 prior to becoming a member. In 2018, she scored 13 top-10 finishes and was named Rookie of the Year. Ko picked up right where she left off in 2019, earning four victories (as of this…

Editorial – Memories of US Cups Past

I write this a few days before the 24th edition of the United States Golf Teachers Cup will be played in Sedona, Arizona, at Oakcreek Country Club. Oakcreek is one of the most beautiful courses I’ve ever played, and I’m sure everyone there will have a fantastic time. This year we are combining the event with a pro-am, and we’ve had good participation on that level, as well. But in reminiscing about the U.S. Cup, I go back to 1996, where it all started at Ponce de Leon Resort in St. Augustine, Florida. The course no longer exists, sold to a developer, but we had somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 players for that one-round event. Edward Lee of New Orleans, Louisiana, playing out of the Senior division shot a…

The Rhythm of Golf

Rhythm is an often overlooked aspect to the golf swing. Since the invention of the camcorder, teachers have been enamored with positions in the swing. They want their students to be in certain positions at certain times, all in an effort to get the ball to finish somewhere near its intended target. But today, savvy teachers know that there is more to the swing than just positions. They realize that the overall movement is important, and that good rhythm is very much a part of that. It’s not just the golf swing where rhythm is important. There is a certain rhythm playing the game that is completely different than practice. There are also certain rhythms playing the game present one day that are different than other days. Indeed, an individual…

The Demise of a Great Tournament

By Mike Stevens USGTF Teaching Professional, Tampa, Florida Of the four majors, the U.S. Open was my second favorite, right behind the Open Championship. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case. For most of its history, it was a tough but fair test, especially when played on an historically classic old course. However, the USGA’s obsession that under par is bad has led to ridiculous setups that don’t challenge the best players in the world; they just tend to make them look foolish. Instead of leaving the course as it was designed, the blue jackets swoop in and change the character of the course as it is played daily and as it has played for most of its history. All to preserve sacred par. A lot of it has to…

Why I Believed Tiger Would Be Tiger Again

By Mark Harman USGTF Course Director Ridgeland, South Carolina Brandel Chamblee said he couldn’t compete with today’s young guns. Greg Norman said he’d never return to his previous form. Woody Paige said he’d never win another tournament ever again. Jemele Hill said he should retire. Hank Haney said he had the chipping yips. Pundits everywhere had a field day doubting Tiger Woods the past few years. And yet here we are again as Tiger has returned to the winner’s circle in a major championship, capturing his fifth green jacket this past April at Augusta National. If nothing else, Tiger’s return to glory should remind all of us that prognosticating is often a worthless exercise, especially when it comes to what other people can and cannot do. How many times have…

Windows

You hear golf commentators and swing gurus mention it all the time: “He’s got the dreaded two-way miss going.” The two-way miss is a player’s tendency to miss shots both left and right with equal unpredictability. Eliminating the two-way miss for a tour player means almost everything. Some will say, “I’ve taken the left side out of play so I didn’t have to worry about the water over there.” You might consider that eliminating the two-way miss is something that only a good or even a tour player can do, but in fact, it is also something that an average player is capable of. A lot of amateurs are under the impression that if they didn’t hit a ball close to where they were aiming, the shot was automatically a…

The New Major Championship Schedule

By Mike Stevens Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy recently complained that there was not enough time between the major championships to adequately prepare. They were also critical that the season that used to carry into August was now over in July. I guess they forgot about the $15 million that players were chasing in the playoffs that concluded on August 25th. Rory could not understand how football could cause such a dramatic change in scheduling. Quite understandable, since Europeans have no idea how passionate we colonists are about the most popular sport in America. The NFL and NCAA take no back seat once the training camps and practice sessions begin. Is the time between major championships really an issue? I think that depends on whether you consider the Players a…

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Huang Wins Central Region Title

A “southern invasion” intruded upon the recent USGTF Central Region Championship at Pheasant Run Golf Course in Canton, Michigan. Hunter Huang of Atlanta, Georgia, held off Mark Harman of Ridgeland, South Carolina, by two strokes to claim the title. Defending champion Matt Smith of Columbus, Ohio, finished third. Huang opened the first round with a 72, good for a one-shot lead over Smith and Ron Cox from Nashville, Tennessee. Smith was at 73, and Harman was another stroke back at 74, along with new USGTF member Mike Chism of Farmington Hills, Michigan. Huang continued his fine play with an opening nine of 35 to start the final round, with Smith hanging in there at 36. Cox was still a factor after a 37, and Harman carded a 34 to close…

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Important U.S. Cup Practice Round Info

Due to an oversight by Oakcreek Country Club when booking the 2019 United States Golf Teachers Cup, practice rounds will not be available on Saturday, October 5, at Oakcreek. However, we have arranged with Sedona Golf Resort for U.S. Cup participants to be able to play there that day for $69 plus tax. Please call Sedona Golf Resort at (928) 284-9355 and mention you are with the U.S. Cup. Practice rounds are available at Oakcreek on Sunday, October 6, at 1:30 p.m., as part of an afternoon shotgun start. To book, call the Oakcreek pro shop at (928) 295-6400 to put your name on the list. We will have your hole and cart assignment when you check in. Oakcreek agreed to drop the practice round rate to $50 for Sunday…

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Northeast Region to Hold Pro-Am

The USGTF NE Regional inaugural Pro Am tournament has been arranged by region director Bob Corbo, and will be played Friday, September 20, at Mercer Oaks East Course in West Windsor, New Jersey. Tee times are set to begin at 12:00 noon. This will be an 18-hole four ball (best ball) event. The cost is $300 per team (two-person teams) and includes green fees, carts, range balls and awards. The entry deadline is Friday, September 13. USGA Rules apply. – Amateurs must have a valid USGA handicap. 70% of the handicap will be used for tournament. (Pro will be responsible for handicap verification). – Each player will play from the appropriate age group tee, same as our USGTF tournaments. – Cash prizes will be given to the pros by age…

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USGTF Member Benefits

USGTF membership comes with many benefits beyond the ability to identify oneself as a USGTF member in good standing. Among them are: – Discounted golf equipment from major manufacturers – Group liability insurance at greatly reduced rates – Continuing education opportunities – Regional, national and international competitions – Subscription to Golf Teaching Pro magazine – USGTF logoed merchandise, books and videos – Industry recognition To remain a USGTF member in good standing for the coming calendar year, dues must be paid on an annual basis. USGTF dues allow your organization to continue to operate at a high level and provide the member benefits listed above. Compared to other professional organizations, USGTF dues cost less and more than pay for themselves when purchasing discounted golf equipment and liability insurance. Those of…

“PRO” File – Touring Professional Collin Morikawa

A lot has been made of the youth movement in professional golf with the likes of Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka, etc. But an even younger youth movement is taking place in 2019, and Collin Morikawa is part of it. Morikawa is a member of the collegiate “Big Three” consisting of himself, Matthew Wolff and Viktor Hovland, all of whom turned professional this year after outstanding NCAA careers. Morikawa attended the University of California in Berkeley for four years, and almost immediately made his mark on tour. He finished runner-up to Wolff at the 3M Open in Minnesota, and then found himself in the winner’s circle at the Barracuda Championship in July, defeating runner-up and established PGA Tour winner Troy Merritt. Former tour player and radio personality Carl Paulson…

Editorial: Don’t Forget the Ball

USGTF professionals are expected to be knowledgeable not only in teaching the game, but in being able to analyze a student’s equipment to determine if it is the right fit. An overlooked aspect of equipment fitting is the golf ball itself. Generally, balls come in two broad categories: tour-caliber balls and recreation-caliber balls. Tour-caliber balls have high spin rates off the short irons and low spin rates with the longer clubs, while recreation-caliber balls tend to have lower spin rates with all clubs. When fitting a ball to a student’s game, the first thing they should be asked is if they want more control into the greens and more spin on chips and pitches, or more accuracy. Since recreation-caliber balls spin less, they will also have less sidespin on hooks…

I Tested It: Equipment Beliefs

By Mark Harman USGTF Course Director Ridgeland, South Carolina We’ve all heard teaching pros and regular golfers alike expound on and repeat beliefs regarding golf equipment: “Regular shafts go longer than stiff shafts, but stiff shafts are straighter”…“Tour balls are shorter than ‘distance’ balls,” etc. There are a number of equipment beliefs and sayings that are taken as gospel. Some are grounded in sound science, while others may be more anecdotal. Being naturally curious about this, I decided to test some of them out. Keeping in mind that I am not a robot, I tried to introduce some sort of consistency in each of the tests I did so that they, while not being perfectly scientifically precise, will allow some real-world insight into how equipment differences affect a real person.…

Juniors on the golf driving range, taking golf clinic.

Daily Junior Golf Clinics: Discover These New All-The-Rage Tactics To Teach Golf To Kids

By Jordan Fuller, USGTF Contributing Writer It’s important to the growth and continued success of golf to introduce children to the game in a way that allows them to enjoy it and succeed quickly. Golf can be a very difficult game to learn at any age, but kids are actually uniquely suited to understand and develop good swing habits. So, it’s incredibly important to make sure they’re having fun while learning the building blocks that will translate into a lifetime of fun and success on the golf course. Here are a few tactics to make sure your junior clinics keep everyone entertained while teaching them important golf lessons! Putting contests The classic putting contest is still one of the best ways to foster friendly competition and teach kids the importance…

The Vision Telescope

By Norm Crerar, USGTF Contributing Writer Vernon, British Columbia I have been in the recreation business for over 50 years, both actively and lately as a consultant. Most of my time was spent in the ski industry as an active player and the golf industry a participant and consultant. I ski recreationally – and still do some teaching – and golf recreationally. As a result of my unique background, I have trouble just going out there with a clear mind just skiing or golfing. I am constantly looking around at what is out of place, asking myself why doesn’t someone fix this or adjust that, make a subtle change here or there that would give the visitors a better experience, or save the company some money. I love it! I…

When Adversity Strikes

Why then ’tis none to you; for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” – Hamlet, by William Shakespeare Sometimes we are forced to play in adverse conditions, but this article isn’t talking about the weather. No, we are talking about something that is rarely spoken about except for perhaps at the 19th hole after the round – people who are difficult to play with. Difficult playing partners run the gamut with all sorts of behavior. We can let it affect our own games or we can ignore it. Granted, ignoring certain behaviors can be quite hard to do, but if you or your students want to play your best, you’ve got to figure out a way to work your way through it. Let’s keep…

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Something I Rarely Hear From Golf Instructors

By Mike Stevens, USGTF Contributing Writer Watch any YouTube or golf magazine instructor and you’ll hear or see things about shaft lean, spine angle, hip rotation, etc., etc. What I rarely hear is any talk about tension and the ability to relax while swinging the club. Golf is a game that requires you to relax to play well. You don’t play golf to relax. Some of the golfers I learned from were very cognizant of tension. Bill Mehlhorn, Ernest Jones and even Walter Hagen discussed the importance of grip pressure and the ability to have a relaxed golf swing. It seems like today’s instructors are all about power. That’s fine for tour pros or professional athletes, but I find it disastrous for average golfers, especially seniors. I can’t tell you…

Hogan’s Five Lessons In Our Modern Game

Sixty-two years after its release, it still remains the game’s most groundbreaking book. Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf resulted from a series of articles in Sports Illustrated and is still the holy bible of instruction for many who read it. Today, we have super-slow-motion video, force plates to measure weight distribution throughout the swing, biomechanical studies of the “ideal” swing and the use of technology to measure the kinesthetics of the swing. This begs the question: How valid is Hogan’s instruction in our modern game with our modern understanding? Here, we examine a few of Hogan’s ideas and what we believe today. Swing plane The most enduring contribution Hogan made to the modern school of thought is the concept of the swing plane. Hogan described it as a line extending from the ball through the top of the shoulders, and the idea…

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Harvey Penick Trophy Nominations Due In September

Nominations for the 7th annual Harvey Penick Trophy for Excellence in Golf Teaching are now being accepted. Harvey Penick was one of America’s earliest great teachers, and his influence lives today. The award is based on teaching accomplishments, service to the golf community and to the game in general. All USGTF Certified Golf Teaching Professionals and Master Golf Teaching Professionals, except past winners, are eligible. Nominations (including self-nominations) may be made through email at info@usgtf.com or through regular mail to the USGTF National Office at 200 S. Indian River Drive, #206, Fort Pierce, FL 34950. The deadline for nominations is Friday, September 6, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. EDT.

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U.S. CUP Entries Are Coming In

Entries for the 24th annual United States Golf Teachers Cup and the 3rd annual United States Senior Golf Teachers Cup to be held October 7-8 at Oakcreek Country Club in Sedona, Arizona, are coming in at a faster pace than in past years. With this year’s events including a concurrent Pro-Am for the first time, interest is extremely high. As the field is limited to the first 100 paid participants, including amateurs, interested members are encouraged to get their entries in as soon as possible. In addition, Sedona is a very popular tourist destination, and accommodations – while abundant at present – are sure to become more scarce as October draws near. Please visit www.UnitedStatesGolfTeachersCup.com for more information and to register. You can also call the USGTF National Office at…

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Central Region Championship Coming Up

The final region championship of 2019, the USGTF Central Region Championship, a 36-hole stroke play event, will be held Sunday and Monday, August 4-5, at Pheasant Run Golf Course in Canton, Michigan. For more information and to register, please visit http://www.mogtt.com/central-championship/. Questions can be referred to region director Brent Davies at btkadavies@comcast.net or (248) 701-6843. The Michigan/Ontario Golf Teachers Tour also boasts a complete summer schedule. Please visit http://www.mogtt.com for more information.

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“PRO” File – Touring Professional Shane Lowry

He first made waves winning the Irish Open on the European Tour as an amateur, and he won a World Golf Championship event a few years ago, but Ireland’s Shane Lowry didn’t receive full recognition for his abilities until he won The Open this past July at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland. The victory marked Lowry’s fifth worldwide win in his career. He was an accomplished amateur, having won the Irish Amateur Close Championship, before winning the 2009 Irish Open. The win at the latter event spurred him to turn professional, which meant he was going to miss that year’s Walker Cup, the amateur team competition between the United States and Great Britain & Ireland. He forged a solid career, with a win at the 2015 Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone…

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USGTF Briefcase – $25.00

USGTF logoed briefcase is on sale through the month of August for $25.00. This black canvas bag with leather corners and straps is 16x13x4 and features a fully opening zipper on the main compartment. It is a deluxe organizer for your phone, business accessories and files and comes with a detachable shoulder strap. To order, please contact the USGTF office at 1-888-346-3290.

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Editorial: Courses, Let Kids Play For Free

In 1974, my dad moved our family to a house adjacent to a golf course. As I recall, the cost of the family membership was $300 for the entire year. The course was easily walkable, and my dad, two brothers and I would play many rounds every year. It probably came out to less than a dollar per round. Today in 2019, there are too many areas in the United States where golf is too expensive, although I can understand the course owners’ dilemma: It costs a certain amount of money to maintain, so they have to charge a certain amount or else the course will close. I get that. And the good news is that the number of rounds played continues to increase annually, which is good for our…

The Truth About Teaching Golf

The  USGTF  was  founded  in  1989  by  Geoff Bryant,  who  to  this  day  remains  CEO  and president  of  the  organization.  Geoff knew that a lack of qualified and personable golf teachers abounded and he set out to do something about it. He recruited the best teachers in his golf school operation and created a   curriculum that would ensure  a   good  education  to  those  who  came  to get  certified.  With tweaks over the years to keep up with modern teaching trends, the USGTF offers a comprehensive golf teachers training course that allows new members to impart their knowledge. There are currently three categories of USGTF membership being offered:  Associate Member, Certified Golf Teaching Professional®   and Master Golf Teaching Professional®. Exactly what do each of these certifications mean? An Associate Member has…

Four Techniques To Keep Kids Interested When Teaching Golf Basics

By Jordan Fuller, USGTF Contributing Writer Introducing a child to golf through coaching is a tremendous responsibility. In those formative years, a child could either embrace or walk away from golf, potentially, for the rest of their lives. Understanding the power that a coach has for a young golfer is the first step in creating a program that will allow junior golfers to continue their growth in this great game. Here are four fantastic ways to introduce golf to a child that will have them eager to come back to the course again and again. Clean Instruction When we talk about “clean instruction” with a child, it is wise to keep your direction to kids achievable and straightforward. You can’t expect them to understand correct grip, balance, and weight shifting…

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Summer Issue of Golf Teaching Pro Almost Here

The Summer 2019 of Golf Teaching Pro, the official member publication of the USGTF, will hit USGTF members’ mailboxes in a couple of weeks as final print production wraps up. But if you can’t wait to see what’s in it, you can access the digital copy here (Summer 2019 Issue). As always, stories of great importance to golf teaching professionals everywhere are included, such as tournament information, educational material and features.

USGTF 2019 NE Region Champion - Doug Pierce

Pierce Wins NE Title; Central Up Next

Northeast – W. Doug Pierce from Middletown, NY, survived a three-way sudden-death playoff to capture the USGTF Northeast Region Championship on June 21 at Mercer Oaks West Course in West Windsor Township, New Jersey. On a wet and very windy day, Pierce, Pete Palmisano of East Windsor, NJ, and Gerard Ecker of Athens, NY, all fired an 18-hole score of 81. Pierce, playing out of the 70+ division, won the title on the fourth hole of overtime. Lisa Monaco of Stormville, NY, won the Ladies’ division; Matt Maronski of Philadelphia, PA, won the 20-49 division; Tom McCallister captured the 50-59 division, and Ecker captured the 60-69 division. Bob Corbo, Northeast Region director, remarked on the playoff, “This was a very exciting finish to a great tournament.” For more information on…

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U.S. Cup Registration Now Open

You can now register for the United States Golf Teachers Cup and the United States Senior Golf Teachers Cup. This year’s events will be held at Oakcreek Country Club in beautiful Sedona, Arizona, on Monday and Tuesday, October 7-8. Please visit www.USGolfTeachersCup.com for more information and to enter. And this year, for the first time, the U.S. Cup will feature a concurrent pro-am, where USGTF professionals partner with an amateur to vie for team honors. This event is sure to be one that participants will look forward to. Please be advised that there is a strict limit of 100 total participants (pros and amateurs), and Sedona is a very popular tourist destination, so please make your reservations early to assure your spot.

Nate Lashley

“PRO” File – Nate Lashley

Professional golf is sports’ ultimate meritocracy. There is no coach or general manager to tell you that you are either no longer with the team or are not going to be given a roster spot, regardless of how well you may have played. Politics do not enter into the equation. If you’re good enough, you get to play, simple as that. Nate Lashley, who won the Rocket Mortgage Classic on the final day of June, embodies what professional golf’s opportunities are all about. He was a promising collegiate golfer at the University of Arizona, competing in the 2004 NCAA regional with his parents and girlfriend in the gallery. On the way home by plane, his parents and girlfriend died when the plane crashed. The tragedy affects him to this day.…

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Editorial: Sun Protection – It’s Not Too Late to Start

When I was a young teaching pro in 1991, a lady who was a dermatologist was in my golf class. She observed I wore a visor one day and no visor the next. She inquired about this, and I said on the days I didn’t wear a visor I wore sunscreen, but on days I wore a visor, I didn’t think sunscreen was necessary. She informed me that what I was doing was inadequate and that I needed to be wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen, and to do this every day that I was outside. She made such an impression on me that I went out the very next day and bought a straw hat. Twenty-eight years later, here in 2019, I still wear a wide-brimmed hat and lather…

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USGTF Member Services

The USGTF National Office is readily available to assist with all of your member needs, whether providing continuing educational materials such as Teaching Junior Golfers…32 Great Tips, additional copies of the USGTF training manual, How To Teach Golf or simply issuing replacement membership cards and/or certificates. Please feel free to contact our office at (888) 346-3290 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. EDT Monday through Friday, or email at info@usgtf.com for your member needs.

Mark Harman Sun protection

Sun Protection – It’s Not Too Late To Start

By Mark Harman When I was a young teaching pro in 1991, a lady who was a dermatologist was in my golf class.  She observed I wore a visor one day, and no visor the next.  She inquired about this, and I said on the days I didn’t wear a visor I wore sunscreen, but on days I wore a visor, I didn’t think sunscreen was necessary.  She informed me that what I was doing was inadequate and that I needed to be wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen, and to do this every day that I was outside. She made such an impression on me that I went out the very next day and bought a straw hat.  Twenty-eight years later, here in 2019, I still wear a wide-brimmed hat…

Golden, Harman Win Regional Events

Southwest – Cole Golden shot an opening round 69 against a strong field that featured several current and past USGTF champions at a windy Ridgeview Ranch Golf Course, which hosted the USGTF Southwest Region Championship May 4-5 in Plano, Texas. Tough, tricky greens and somewhat wet conditions after several days of wet weather had hit Texas earlier in the week greeted the competitors. Southwest Region director Bruce Sims and Master Lee carded 76, while Brent Davies and Chris Tyner shot 77. Grant Gulych, Jeff Kennedy, and D.B. Merrill came in with 78. Golden continued his fine play on day two and was never threatened, as only Davies was able to get within three shots on the back nine before Golden responded with a birdie on the next hole. Golden finished…

U.S. CUP FORMAT, INFO ANNOUNCED

The 24th annual United States Golf Teachers Cup will feature a concurrent Pro-Am during the event to be played Monday and Tuesday, October 7-8, at Oak Creek Country Club in Sedona, Arizona. USGTF professionals will be paired with one amateur partner who will receive 80 percent of his or her USGA course handicap. Amateurs must have a current USGA GHIN handicap to receive strokes, or else they will be assigned a course handicap of zero. It is not required to have an amateur partner to compete. Discounted hotel arrangements have also been made with the Comfort Inn in Camp Verde, approximately a 25-minute drive from the course. Rooms are available from October 5-10 for $74.99 per night, plus tax, and can be booked by calling the hotel at (520) 433-4613…

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Two More Region Titles Remaining In 2019

Northeast Region – The 2019 USGTF Northeast Region Championship will be conducted Friday, June 21, at Mercer Oaks West Course in West Windsor Township, New Jersey. Region director Bob Corbo serves as the tournament host. The entry fee is $165. For more information and to enter, please contact Corbo at simductivegolf@gmail.com. Central Region – The 2019 USGTF Central Region Championship, a 36-hole stroke play event, will be held Sunday and Monday, August 4-5, at Pheasant Run Golf Course in Canton, Michigan. For more information and to register, please visit http://www.mogtt.com/central-championship/. Questions can be referred to region director Brent Davies at btkadavies@comcast.net or (248) 701-6843. The Michigan/Ontario Golf Teachers Tour also boasts a complete summer schedule. Please visit http://www.mogtt.com for more information.

USGTF Member Beard Pens Book

USGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional Barney Beard has written a new book geared towards beginners. Beard said, “I’ve spent many years enjoying, playing and teaching golf. This little book is the result of all those years and all the people who have taken the time to make me a better golfer. “I like the quote by my friend: ‘If you put the hay down where the calves can get it, the cows can get it, too.’ I have done my best to make the book clear and simple. My book is available on Amazon. There also is a left-hand version available. The book, Golf For Beginners, has won a medal with the Florida Authors and Publishers Association. The award is to be presented August 3 of this year. Who would…

“‘PRO” File – Touring Professional Bob Toski

He’s known today for his great teaching career, but USGTF member Bob Toski also forged a fine playing career before taking his talents to the lesson tee. Toski played the first of his 247 tournaments on the PGA Tour in 1947, but it wasn’t until 1950 when he hit his stride. He played in 24 events with five top-10 finishes, and he made the cut in almost every tournament he played in for years. In 1953 he won his first event, and in 1954 the floodgates opened. Toski won four events, including the richest tournament, the World Championship of Golf at Tam O’Shanter Country Club in Illinois, and was the leading money winner in 1954. Toski joined the fledgling Senior Tour in 1980, eventually competing in 76 events on that…

Editorial – Does the Pro Game Really Influence Amateurs?

It’s an accepted bit of wisdom – since the pros play slowly, amateurs take their cues from them that it’s also okay for them to do so. This has been repeated on social media and in articles often enough that it must be true, right? I’m not so sure. As I write this, I played in our morning game with two other players. I walked and carried my bag the entire 18, and another in our group used a push cart, with the third using an electric golf car. We teed off at 8:08 and finished at 11:37, which means we finished in a minute under 3 1/2 hours. Even on the weekends when it’s crowded, it’s common to get around in 4 to 4 1/2 hours maximum. Now, our…

Do I Need A Website As A Certified Golf Teaching Professional®?

By Kenneth Weaver, USGTF Contributing Writer Do you need a website? For most golf teaching professionals that operate independently, the answer is typically a resounding yes, although there are a few exceptions that I will address shortly. On the other side of the coin are the golf teaching professionals who are employees of a golf club or golf school who may or may not have the responsibility of bringing students into the business. As we move forward, I will address the variables of these scenarios. If you are responsible for sourcing your students/customers, you must keep in mind that in this day and age, if a person is looking for goods and/or services, the first place they turn to is the internet. The most common place for them to start…

There Is No One Exact Method For Teaching Golf

By Mike Stevens, USGTF Contributing Writer I don’t use Facebook nearly as much as some people do. I especially don’t get on to see political opinions. If and when I post, it is light stuff about things I find interesting, places I visit, or to see what friends or family are up to. Despite that, general topics seem to find their way into my stream whenever I do pull up the site. Mostly I ignore them, but one popped up the other day that caught my attention. It was titled the “Reverse Slice Sequence.” Apparently, one can cure their slice in 15 shots, according to the author. They claim a 99% success rate. It may be entirely true and is probably one of many ways to help fix a slice.…

U.S. Cup And Pro-Am Update

Oak Creek Country Club in beautiful Sedona, Arizona, will host the 24th annual United States Golf Teachers Cup Monday and Tuesday, October 7-8. New to the tournament this year is a concurrent pro-am, and USGTF members are encouraged to bring an amateur partner to team up with. Amateurs are required to have a verified USGA GHIN handicap and will receive 80 percent of their course handicap. The team format will consist of a four-ball format, using the best score between the pro’s gross score and the amateur’s net score. The entry fee will be $475 for both professionals and amateurs, and participants will receive: Two tournament rounds of golf with range balls before and after play; prize money, gift certificates and chance to win daily prizes; a clinic featuring USGTF…

Abraham’s Team Wins League Title, Tournament

USGTF member Walt Abraham, head golf coach of Athenian High School in Danville, California, led his squad to the BCL-East league round-robin regular season title and also the league post-season tournament title. The team finished 9-1 in match play and next heads to the Division 2 championship tournament. The league title marks the seventh time in Abraham’s 11 seasons as head coach that Athenian has taken that honor. Athenian fields a young squad of three freshmen, one sophomore and two juniors, with three players earning all-league honors.

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USGTF Regional Action Begins This Month

USGTF regional championships are a great way to compete and enjoy some camaraderie among your fellow members. Regional championships offer a way to get together without traveling extremely long distances, in most cases. Southwest Region – The USGTF Southwest Region Championship will be held Saturday and Sunday, May 4-5, at Ridgeview Ranch Golf Course in Plano, Texas. Region director Bruce Sims is the host. A practice round is available Friday, May 3, for a cart fee, and a dinner will be held that evening. The entry fee is $225, and an optional $20 skins game is available. For more information and to enter, please contact Sims at (214) 475-5168, bsimspro@hotmail.com. Southeast Region – May 18-19, 2019, at GlenLakes Country Club in Weeki Wachee, Florida. This private course is challenging, beautiful…

“PRO” File – Touring Professional Marilyn Smith

She made her last public appearance in March, greeting LPGA participants as they left the 18th hole green during the Bank of Hope Founders Classic in Phoenix, Arizona. A couple of short weeks later, Marilynn Smith passed away at the age of 89. Smith was one of the founding members of the LPGA Tour in 1950. She would go on to win 21 tournaments and two major championships. As an additional claim to fame, Smith became the first woman to work as an announcer on the broadcast of a men’s tournament. Today, the familiar voices of Judy Rankin and Dottie Pepper can be heard on the airwaves, but Smith was the pioneer. According to GolfChannel.com, “As one of the 13 women who founded the LPGA in 1950, Smith filled so…

From The USGTF Pro Shop

Mental Rules for Teaching Golf by Dr. Gregg Steinberg is on sale for $12.95, which includes shipping through the end of May. This invaluable guide to the mental side of golf and teaching is a must-read for all USGTF members. Please contact the USGTF National Office at (888) 346-3290 to obtain your copy today.

Editorial – Is Slow Play Really A Problem?

Slow play seems to be a big topic these days on both Golf Channel and PGA Tour Radio on Sirius/XM. Groups routinely take around five hours to play on Friday and Saturday, when play is in threesomes, but the pace does pick up considerably on the weekend when twosomes are the rule. It is said that the average golfer models their playing habits after the professionals and adopt their habits, but in all the places I’ve played nationwide, on courses both public and private, I really have yet to see this. Slow play, in my opinion, mainly stems from too many players on the course at one time. This is not to say that there aren’t slow players, but I seriously doubt that they are mirroring what they see on TV…

Reach Over 25,000 Golf Teaching Professionals!

How would you like to get the word out about your products to people who can actually help sell your products? Golf Teaching Pro® magazine goes out to every USGTF member and interested parties twice a year. This publication has articles and advertisements specifically geared towards teaching professionals, who are influential in their students’ purchasing decisions on equipment, training aids, apparel, etc. Ad space is still available for the upcoming Summer issue, click here for more details or contact our national headquarters at 1-888-346-3290.

Keeping Connected to the USGTF

We are happy to announce that the United States Golf Teachers Federation is implementing a new social media marketing program. Through this program, it is our goal to provide an increased level of engagement and support of our members via our primary social media platforms. In order to facilitate this new engagement program, we would like for all members that are active on social media to take the following actions: • Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/USGolfTeachersFed • Follow us on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/us-golf-teachers-federation • Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/USGOLFTEACHERS • Follow us on Instagram: www.instagram.com/usgolfteachers • Follow us on Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/usgtf/boards It isn’t necessary to have us or follow us on all social media platforms. If you have one in particular that you use as your primary source, then that would…

Heavy Matters: Swingweight

When it comes to clubfitting and club building, swingweight is one of the most enduring aspects of having a consistent set. If you go to any club manufacturer’s website and click on the specs link for their clubs, you will see the swingweight of that particular club listed. Exactly what is swingweight, and what role does it play? Swingweight is the ratio of the weight of the lower end of the golf club compared to the upper end. A swingweight scale features a fulcrum point 14 inches (35.6 cm) from the end of the grip. The club is placed in the scale, and a sliding weight with a mark on it is used to balance the club on the scale. The mark on the sliding weight will correspond with a…

Patching Up A Slice

It’s the bane of many golfers worldwide, and one that frustrates them to no end the dreaded slice.  On courses far and wide, slicing reigns supreme, especially preying upon those with double-digit handicaps. Every golf teacher knows that the slice is the result of a clubface angle that is open to the clubhead path to a much greater degree than is desired. A clubface angle that is only slightly open to the clubhead path results in a fade, a much-sought-after ball flight among many skilled golfers. Dustin  Johnson, for example, became dominant when he was able to consistently  fade  the  ball  into the  fairway  with  his  driver.  The difference between a fade and a slice is sometimes difficult to discern, but in general, a fade features a ball flight where…

Awareness: The Key To Improvement

There is a saying in golf that “feel isn’t real.” What people mean by this is that often, what a golfer thinks he or she is doing is not actually what is happening. As an example, take the golfer who is aligned too far to the left, but in fact thinks he is aligned straight. If we align this golfer straight, what do you think his perception will be? Of course, he now believes he is aligned too far to the right. This brings up the principle that in order to make a change, a golfer has to feel as if he is doing the exact opposite of what he is actually doing. We emphasize the word feel because it is exactly that, a feel, and not reality. We don’t want…

Major U.S. Cup Announcement

For the first time since its inception in 1996, the United States Golf Teachers Cup will change formats. The 2019 edition, to be held Monday and Tuesday, October 7-8 at Oak Creek Country Club in Sedona, Arizona, will feature a concurrent pro-am, similar to what is played every year at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on tour. Each USGTF participant is encouraged to bring an amateur partner with a verified USGA handicap through the GHIN system. The format will be 36 holes of four-ball, using the best score between the pro’s gross score and his or her amateur partner’s net score, with amateurs allotted 80% of their course handicap. USGTF professionals will still be competing for their own individual titles, as in years past. Look for final information and entry…

Richards Wins National Open

Christopher Richards from Trinidad & Tobago, a USGTF member and 2007 World Golf Teachers Cup champion, won the 112th Trinidad & Tobago Open this past March with a four-round total of 280, besting runner-up and PGA Tour player Ben Martin by nine strokes. The tournament was played at St. Andrews Golf Club in Moka, where fellow USGTF member Anthony Benny is the head teaching professional. Richards also won the 2010 United States Golf Teachers Cup. The win gives Richards an exemption into the Jamaica Classic on PGA Tour Latin America.

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USGTF Regional Action Starts Soon

USGTF regional championships are a great way to compete and enjoy some camaraderie among your fellow members. Regional championships offer a way to get together without traveling extremely long distances, in most cases. Southwest Region – The USGTF Southwest Region Championship will be held Saturday and Sunday, May 4-5, at Ridgeview Ranch Golf Course in Plano, Texas. Region director Bruce Sims is the host. A practice round is available Friday, May 3, for a cart fee, and a dinner will be held that evening. The entry fee is $225, and an optional $20 skins game is available. For more information and to enter, please contact Sims at (214) 475-5168, bsimspro@hotmail.com. Northwest Region – USGTF Northwest Region director Nathan Guerrero has scored a real coup with his securing historic TPC Harding…

Letter From Recent USGTF Course Attendee

I would like to officially thank you and the USGTF for the wonderful week of learning and laughs in Las Vegas. The facilities were amazing and the instruction was very insightful. Bill Rice is a top-notch instructor and moreover, a great human being. He clearly knows what he is doing and makes it easy to translate into repeatable action. My lesson calendar is bursting at the seams and I am approaching each student with a new sense of confidence that I didn’t have prior to the class. My intention is to progress through to the Master level and then become a certification instructor. Further, I would love to entertain the idea of using my facility in the future as a host location for certification classes. All in good time, of…

“PRO” File – Touring Professional Jose De Jesus Rodriguez

One of the more remarkable stories in recent times in professional golf belongs to Jose De Jesus Rodriguez. At the age of 15, he illegally crossed the border from Mexico to the United States and wound up in Arkansas, where for the next 10 years he worked at a golf course. Returning home to Mexico after those 10 years, he began caddying and continued to play golf, where a wealthy member bought him a membership, and as Rodriguez’s talent became apparent, sponsored him into the professional ranks. Rodriguez started his career on the Mexican Tour and Canadian Tour, eventually graduating to PGA Tour Latino America and the Web.com Tour. He qualified to play the PGA Tour for the 2018-19 season through his performance on the Web.com Tour. Rodriguez’s story is…

Editorial – Ten Dollars An Inch!

Ten dollars an inch. That’s how much it costs for a three-foot putter these days. The rack of putters in our pro shop carries a price tag of $360 each. What a country, you can buy accuracy. Yet, even the pros who all have these wands miss three-foot putts when it really counts. Hard to figure how anyone could fork over that kind of scratch for something that sends a ball generally no more than 60 feet. But they do it gladly, as if there is some magic hidden in a head shape or soda-can grip. It’s amazing how many styles of putters have been created over the centuries. You know the saying, “It’s not the arrow, it’s the Indian.” Just replace arrow with putter and Indian with human. There…

What’s Your GPA?…And The Myth Of Modern Technology

By Thomas T Wartelle, WGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional and Examiner  Some of today’s golf instructors have gone over the top with the use of technology, terminology, and their claim to science.  To be clear, I am a science guy.  I have a degree in science.  I have always loved mechanics, engineering and science.  However, when you hear or read some of the propaganda that is being promoted by some of the “Top Teachers,” it is almost laughable. The invented terminology about the golf swing would make almost any true scientist or engineer cringe.  This phenomenon continues to perpetuate.  Many of these instructors seem to enjoy listening to themselves expound on their knowledge and their level of scientific expertise. I have witnessed instructors rattling off launch monitor numbers to golfers…

Making Sense of Modern Wedge Design

Years ago, picking a wedge was simple. In addition to your normal iron set, usually 3-PW, you would buy a sand wedge to complement the set. Companies usually had only one choice of sand wedge, usually 56° in loft, and one bounce and grind option that wasn’t even stamped onto the clubhead. Professional golfers who desired a different grind would manually grind down the sole themselves, or have a clubmaker do it for them. That has all gone out the window today. Walk into any golf store that has a decent selection of products, and you will find wedges anywhere from 46° to 64°, with all sorts of bounce angles and sole grinds. S-grind, M-grind, W-grind…it’s enough to make anyone’s head spin. Let’s dig in and try to make some…

The New Fundamentals of Teaching The Driver

Okay, so in full disclosure, these fundamentals may not exactly be new, but hey, this catchy headline grabbed your attention, didn’t it?  And we  are  going  to  introduce  a  thought  that  may  be somewhat  controversial.  In  any  event,  there  are distinct  differences  between  what  was  taught  a number of years ago with what is necessary today to get maximum effectiveness out of the driver. Back in the persimmon wood and balata ball era, the desired ball flight started low and then all of a sudden climbed up into the sky. This was due to the dimple pattern on the golf ball, the construction of the ball itself, and the downward strike that most good players employed, which resulted in much higher backspin rates than we see today. We know now that…

Harman, Team USA Win World Cup

It took 21 years, but Mark Harman is finally back in the winner’s circle at the World Golf Teachers Cup. Since capturing his second individual championship in 1998 at San Roque, Spain, Harman watched other outstanding golfers like Dave Belling, Christopher Richards, James Douris and Ken Butler hoist the trophy. But this past February at La Iguana Golf Club in Herradura, Costa Rica, Harman emerged victorious by shooting 71-75 – 146 to edge Costa Rica’s Alejandro Duque by two shots. Overcoming an opening-hole double bogey, a four-putt on the third hole and three-putting two of the final three holes during the final round, Harman played the other 14 holes in three-under-par. Belling, the 2003 individual champion, finished third for the overall title and earned the World Golf Senior Teachers Cup individual title…

Florida Pro Wins 2019 US Pro Hickory

February 25, 2019: The Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club, opened in 1922 and laid out by noted architect Tom Bendelow, was described by the Tampa Tribune as a brute of a course, stretching out over 6,400 yards. Probably not worthy by today’s standard, but a stout test for the century-old clubs used back then. The links held up well against some excellent modern-day hickory golfers with Boca Raton, Florida, professional Jeremy Moe carding a 77 to have his name affixed to the John Shippen Cup. Using a 1908-replica ball, Moe shot the same score that Willie Smith did the first round at Myopia Hunt Club in the 1908 U.S. Open. The winning average for four rounds in that Open was 80.5. The USPHGC is sponsored by the United States…

USGTF Regional Tournament Schedule

Southwest Region – The USGTF Southwest Region Championship will be held Saturday and Sunday, May 4-5, at Ridgeview Ranch Golf Course in Plano, Texas. Region director Bruce Sims is the host. A practice round is available Friday, May 3, for a cart fee, and a dinner will be held that evening. The entry fee is $225, and an optional $20 skins game is available. For more information and to enter, please contact Sims at (214) 475-5168, bsimspro@hotmail.com. Northwest Region – USGTF Northwest Region director Nathan Guerrero has scored a real coup with his securing historic TPC Harding Park in San Francisco for the 2019 USGTF Northwest Region Championship, to be held Wednesday and Thursday, May 15-16, 2019. The entry fee of $295 includes two days of golf and prize money,…

Pro Shop Closeout Sale

USGTF logoed solid short sleeve shirts by Nike with Teaching Professional on the sleeve. Available in red, white or navy – $40.00. Can be purchased by contacting the USGTF National Office by phone or email only at (888) 346-3290, suzy@usgtf.com.

New – USGTF Member Benefit

Request your free “Golf Business” website speed test and evaluation! As a member benefit, we have made arrangements with Weaver Enterprises Business Services to provide one free “Golf Business” related website speedtest and evaluation for any USGTF or WGTF member who desires this free service. We realize that there are elements to your golf business that go beyond being a golf teaching or coaching professional. In order to stay ahead of your competition in your business, you need to place yourself on the cutting edge of technology in how you present your business services to potential clients/customers. A vital element of this is to be certain that your website is professional not only in appearance but in function, as well. In light of a recent algorithm change by Google, website…

“PRO” File – Touring Professional Dan Pohl

He led the PGA Tour in driving distance in 1980 with an average of 274.3 yards, a distance that would have ranked dead last on the Tour last year. Yes, the game has changed that much. But Dan Pohl’s claim to fame as the first to lead the official driving distance stat is secure. Pohl’s career wasn’t great by professional standards, but he almost won the Masters, losing in a playoff to Craig Stadler in 1982. Pohl did win twice on the Tour, both times in 1986, and won the Vardon Trophy for low stroke average in 1987. Pohl suffered a series of injuries beginning shortly thereafter, and his playing career never again reached such heights. He played on the Champions Tour beginning in 2005, but today is retired from…

USGTF Looking For Golf Teaching Photos

Nothing is more powerful than visual images, and the field of teaching golf is no exception. The USGTF is looking for teaching photographs that embody what the profession is all about. If you believe you can capture the right image, we’d love to see your photos. All photos submitted should be original and specifically be actual golf teaching-related photographs, with well-dressed candidates, a well-dressed teaching professional, and a clean background. Example: No cars, roads, buildings, golf carts, etc. By submitting your picture, you consent to allow the USGTF the rights to use your image for promotional purposes. Please e-mail your photos to info@usgtf.com or send them to the National Office via regular mail.

Editorial – The Gap Hasn’t Just Widened: It Has Blown Open

By Mike Stevens, USGTF Member and Contributing Writer For the average person, baseball, football, basketball and hockey are clearly spectator sports. No guy off the street is going to face a 100 mph fastball, tackle an NFL running back, guard Lebron James, or stop a Sydney Crosby slap shot. In golf, however, there was a time when a decent amateur or teaching pro could hit similar shots to those of a PGA Tour professional. The gap was not insurmountable. Oftentimes, a club pro or amateur would qualify for the U.S. Open, and some club pros could be found on the PGA Championship leaderboard. In the 1980s, the leading driving distance on tour was around 278 yards. Into the ’90s, it went up about 10 yards. Tour players were better primarily…

USGTF Looking for Teaching Photos Copy

Nothing is more powerful than visual images, and the field of teaching golf is no exception. The USGTF is looking for teaching photographs that embody what the profession is all about. If you believe you can capture the right image, we’d love to see your photos. Please send them to info@usgtf.com and the member who submits the winning photo will receive a $500 cash award from the USGTF. Please submit them by September 30.

Who Is In Your Shadow?

By Norm Crerar, USGTF Contributing Writer, Vernon, British Columbia I am going to receive a medal. Word came via a phone call from the Governor General’s office about mid-July. For readers not familiar with Canadian history and culture, Queen Elizabeth is Queen of Canada, and as she does not reside in Canada, a Governor General is appointed to fill in for her. The post is somewhat symbolic, but it is a functioning part of our government. The kind lady from the Governor General’s office informed me that my name had been put forward for the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Governor General had agreed. I was to keep the news to myself until I received formal notice in writing via mail within a few weeks. To say that I was…

As a Certified Golf Teaching Professional® Which Social Platform should I use?

By: Kenneth Weaver When you consider the vast array of Social Media Platforms it can be a daunting task trying to decide exactly where your Social Media presence would be best suited. First you need to take a close look at your reasons for having a social media presence. Here are a few of the primary reasons why you need a social presence. Establish credibility with new clients/prospects Networking with consumers & Industry leaders Increase business leads/sales Boost SEO for your business website Competitive advantage SMM Drives targeted traffic to your website Helps you build relationships with your audience Which Social Platform/s should I use? That can vary depending on the focus of your business as well as the time and energy you have available to maintain your social presence.…

To Be Truly Successful, You Need Grit

By Dr. Michelle Cleere USGTF Contributing Writer Oakland, California The definition of grit is as follows: “courage and resolve; strength of character.” I am reading Angela Duckworth’s book, Grit – The Power of Passion and Perseverance.  While I always understood this basic concept, Angela’s research in this area explains grit in much more depth. Her research gives grit life by explaining the secret to success. There’s so much important information in Angela’s book, far too much for this conversation. However, let’s discuss it in relation to mental training. State of sports today Over the past ten years, youth sports have changed. We continue to see a rise of youth sports programs in the U.S.  We have pay-to-play sports outside of the public-school system, and now in the schools. And the…

Looking Back

By Mike Levine, USGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional Port St. Lucie, Florida Editor’s note: This is another in our series of articles from the archives of Golf Teaching Pro from the Winter 2014 edition. It was written by now-retired USGTF examiner Mike Levine, and is considered one of the finest articles ever to appear in this magazine. For those of you old enough to remember, it should be a fond reminder of times gone by. If you’re from the younger generation, take a walk back in time when the game was simpler and a certain innocence still existed. Having struck my first golf shot more than 55years ago, I enjoy reminiscing about golf’spast and my own golf memories. I miss the sight of a beautifully-grained wooden-headed driver, remembering when the…

Is Golf Too Hard?

By Mike Stevens, USGTF contributing writer In the movie A league of Their Own, Gina Davis, the star player, tells Tom Hanks, the manager, she is quitting because the game is too hard. He replies, “It’s supposed to be hard; if it was easy, everyone would do it. It’s the hard that makes it great.” The difficulty is often cited as a reason golf’s population has declined in recent years or why people don’t take up the game as readily as some might like. I think it’s nonsense. Like anything that is a challenge, few will embrace the challenge, but most won’t. But in a country of 350 million, a few is still a lot. They say 24 million people play golf. Plenty for a thriving industry. Is it too…

The Spring Practice Plan    

By David Vaught, USGTF Master Teacher and Hall of Fame Member With spring comes the excitement of a new golf season. Helping your students prepare for a fun and great ball striking season is a tremendous opportunity to build loyalty and get referrals. One of my core beliefs about the game and the struggle to improve is how poorly and unstructured the average golfer’s practice is. As an instructor, you can make a difference in how your students prepare for success. Let’s lay out some simple solutions and a sample plan to get the wheels turning in your mind about how this can be a success for you and your student. Most all of us know the difference between block practice and varied practice, but we should do a quick review.…

Golf’s Quiet Victories

Dustin Johnson makes a winning putt, and all the world knows about it. The same goes for Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods. Their exploits are shown on television on a weekly basis, and with our 24/7 coverage of golf on Golf Channel and other media outlets, their victories are known far and wide. But what about the “quiet victories” that are known only to their participants? These victories may involve nothing more than playing for pride, all the way to thousands of dollars being wagered on the outcome. No matter how large or small, though, these quiet victories remain outside the realm of public knowledge, even though they occur thousands of times each day. There are approximately 15,000 golf courses in the United States, and during peak season…

Impact! Understand These Simple Principles

By Thomas T Wartelle, WGTF Master Professional There are five human performance factors that affect distance and direction: Direction 1) Position of clubface at impact to the Intended Target Line: The initial path, the curve of the ball during its flight, and where the ball will finish are all greatly influenced by the clubhead position at impact. 2) Path of the clubhead at impact to the Intended Target Line: The initial direction of the ball is slightly influenced by the clubhead path at impact. Path and clubface position at impact influence the amount of tilt of the spin axis imparted on the golf ball. Direction/Distance 3) Angle of approach: The angle of approach of the clubface at impact influences ball flight, the initial launch angle, spin rate, and true loft…

A Puzzle for the Teacher

By Mark Harman USGTF Course Director Ridgeland, South Carolina Let me give you a little background about myself. I’ve been teaching golf since 1989 and have been the USGTF national course director since 1993. That’s a long time! In my journey as a teacher, I’ve read many books, had many discussions with other teachers and am involved in a Facebook group where golf teachers from around the world congregate and throw ideas around. I’ve taught everyone from beginners to professionals. The easy part of teaching is seeing what is wrong and what needs to be corrected. With the vast majority of players, even good ones, there is a clear path to improvement the player must take in order to achieve their goals. But there are still times when a student…

U.S. Pro Hickory Coming This Month

The annual USGTF-sponsored Unites States Professional Hickory Championship at historic Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club in Tampa, Florida, will take place on Monday, February 25, 2019. The championship is open to male and female golf professionals and hosted by Mike Stevens, USGTF Southeast Region director. This tournament is a testament to the history and heritage of our game as it was first played with hickory-shafted golf clubs. It honors the memory of John Shippen, America’s first golf professional, and the 1925 Florida Open, in which all the prominent pros of the day played. Information and entry forms can be obtained at www.usprohickory.com, or contact Stevens at ams1127@msn.com. Clubs are provided for participants by the tournament committee, if needed.

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USGTF Regional Action Announced

Southeast -This year’s tournament is returning to a USGTF favorite, GlenLakes Country Club in Weeki Wachee, Florida, with a new date of Saturday and Sunday, May 18-19. This private course is challenging, beautiful and impeccably maintained. Mature stands of oak and pine, water features, undulating hills and sand traps provide endless variations of play. A prize fund of $1,000 and the Southeast Trophy is assured with a field of 12 players. It is also a good opportunity to catch up with fellow members and plan future events for the section. Entry deadline is May 10. Questions, contact region director Mike Stevens at ams1127@msn.com. Entries should be sent to the USGTF office at: USGTF 200 S. Indian River Drive, Suite #206 Fort Pierce, FL 34950 If paying with credit card, call…

2019 United States Disabled Open Golf Championship

The 2019 United States Disabled Open Golf Championship is set for May 14th-16th 2019 at the Independence Golf Club in Richmond Virginia. For more information please visit http://www.usdga.net/tournaments/ or call (910) 214-5983.

“PRO” File – Touring Professional Cameron Champ

He’s known for being the longest hitter in professional golf, but if that’s all you have, you can’t become a champ. And that is exactly what Cameron Champ is. The Tour rookie won the Sanderson Farms Championship in late 2018 and appears poised for more success. Champ first burst upon the national scene as an amateur in 2017 at the U.S. Open at Erin Hills, where he was in the top 10 after two rounds before falling back. He then qualified for the Web.com Tour, winning the Utah Championship in 2018, and finished sixth on the money list to earn his Tour card for 2018-19. His win at the Sanderson Farms Championship means Champ will be playing on the Tour for at least two more seasons, but given his talent…

Editorial – Another Unnecessary Black Eye for Golf’s Ruling Bodies

If you haven’t seen or heard it by now, Haotong Li was penalized two strokes on the last hole of the Dubai Desert Classic for having his caddie standing on an extension of his line of play as he was preparing to take his stance for a putt.  A look at the video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psvtcEDvmVA) shows Li’s caddie moving out of the way as Li was walking into his stance to hit a putt on the final hole. The wording of Rule 10.2b(4) states, “When a player begins taking a stance for the stroke and until the stroke is made, the player’s caddie must not deliberately stand in a location on or close to an extension of the line of play behind the ball for any reason.” The R&A’s Martin Slumbers supported the European Tour’s ruling by…

Target Marketing: Enhancing Your Sales and Marketing Effectiveness

By Jill J. Johnson, USGTF Contributing Writer Minneapolis, Minnesota Your customers can be grouped according to a variety of different identifiable characteristics that reflect their specific needs and interests. These needs and interests impact their attitudes toward purchasing decisions. Each of these groups is called a target market. Target marketing is the response to identified market needs. These needs will differ for groups within the total population and they can change over time. Target marketing can turn challenges created by changes in our economic environment into opportunities to better achieve your organizational goals. While it may seem very limiting to narrow your market, the truth is you cannot be all things to all people. It is difficult and costly to develop effective promotional messages or reach your most likely purchasers…

Tools To Grow The Game

By Dane Wiren and John Leighton, GOLF AROUND THE WORLD www.GolfTrainingAids.com – You can follow them on Instagram @GolfTrainingAids The golf industry has been working hard on ways to grow the game. As the founder of the first international values-based junior golf camps in the 1970s, Dr. Gary Wiren gives this advice: “The biggest problem we face is reaching prospective players in non-traditional settings. Plenty of people want to learn to play golf. The key is keeping the instruction simple while ensuring success. Make it fun and they will come – that philosophy works at any age.” – Dr. Gary Wiren The points made by Dr. Wiren are, first, don’t go to a golf course or driving range to recruit new golfers; they are already there. Move away from the…

As a Certified Golf Teaching Professional® – Is a Social Media Presence Important?

By: Kenneth Weaver I’ll cut straight to the point by stating one simple fact: Your business needs a “healthy” social media presence. Having a social media presence has reached the level where it is “expected”. If people search for you or your business and you don’t have a “healthy” presence on social media they often move on to the next business that does. A healthy and viable social media presence should be an essential element of your marketing strategy. There is never a “wrong time” to start building a social media presence. With that being said it is vital that your presence reflects yourself and your business in a professional manner. This is especially important in the golf industry (I’ll address this specific topic in an upcoming article). A consistent…

Thirty Years of Constant Change

There’s an old saying, “The more things change, the more things stay the same.” That applies to the golf industry somewhat, but no one can doubt the seismic changes the golf landscape has seen in the past 30 years. This year, 2019, marks the 30th anniversary of the founding of the United States Golf Teachers Federation. But when we think back to the beginning of 1989, things were markedly different, not only in the golf industry as a whole but also specifically in the golf teaching industry. Golf schools thrived. Nationally recognized schools such as Golf Digest, Roland Stafford, Craft-Zavichas, Ben Sutton, Mt. Snow, United States Golf Academy, and of course, The Florida Golf School and the Illinois Golf School were attended annually by thousands of students from everywhere. The…

The Three Swings of Wright Balance: Which One Are You?

By Dr. David Wright USGTF Contributing Writer, Oakland, California Our 25 years of research has yielded the following: In summary, we are able to do simple body measurements, provide a student with stance widths that recruit different “core regions, “and match stance widths, posture and grip to their playing core region for maximum power and consistency. There are three ways to swing a golf club. These swings come out of one of our three core regions. The following is an illustration of nine core regions that are identified by a printout from the results of the measurements of stance widths that recruit precise core regions. Each core region has different stance widths, posture, grip and swing characteristics. The nine core regions within three main core regions These nine core regions relate to one of three golf swings as follows: Lower Core…

We Have A New Set Of Rules…Big Deal

By Mike Stevens What’s the big whoop about new and simplified rules? I guess it’s human nature to resist change, but anything to speed up play is good, in my opinion. I just wonder why it took so long to get these implemented. The process began back in 2012. Remember the Nike ad – “Just Do It.” Heck, if you’re the so-called ruling body, you should be able to make whatever changes are in the best interest of the game. There were originally 13 basic rules, and except for the one saying you must tee off within one clublength from the hole, they served the game well for hundreds of years. Now, there will be 24, down from 34. They’re going in the right direction. But here is the real rub: 90…

Little Things Lead to Big Scores

If you ask golfers what you need to do to shoot low scores, they probably would say things like hit the ball far and straight and make putts, and they would be correct. Shooting low scores requires a certain skill set that is honed through years of dedicated practice. To achieve these skills, golfers everywhere spend countless hours on the range and practice putting green, working tirelessly to improve. They may also receive professional instruction, which focuses largely on mechanical technique. A certain few may further seek out help for the mental game in the form of books or visiting a sports psychologist. All of these skills are necessary in order to play the game and to shoot the lowest scores possible. But often overlooked are the little things that can…

GOLF TEACHING PRO Magazine in the Mail

The latest edition of Golf Teaching Pro magazine is in the mail. The magazine is the official member publication of the United States Golf Teachers Federation, and features news and information pertinent to golf teaching pros. Articles include a look at a “forgotten” aspect of the ball flight laws, launch monitor technology, and an article by Dr. David Wright featuring his Wright Balance system, one of the most important articles to ever appear in the magazine. Look for your copy soon!

Deadline This Month to Enter World Cup in Costa Rica

Wednesday, January 23 is the deadline to enter the 14th edition of the World Golf Teachers Cup to be held February 13-15 at La Iguana Golf Club in Herradura, Costa Rica, approximately a 90-minute drive from San Jose International Airport. La Iguana is a Marriott property, but there are a number of hotel options in the nearby resort town of Jaco, as well. U.S., Canadian and European visitors do not need a visa, but a passport is necessary. To enter, please go to www.WorldGolfTeachersCup.com and register today.

U.S. Pro Hickory in February

The annual USGTF-sponsored Unites States Professional Hickory Championship at historic Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club in Tampa, Florida, will take place on Monday, February 25, 2019. The championship is open to male and female golf professionals and hosted by Mike Stevens, USGTF Southeast Region director. This tournament is a testament to the history and heritage of our game as it was first played with hickory-shafted golf clubs. It honors the memory of John Shippen, America’s first golf professional, and the 1925 Florida Open, in which all the prominent pros of the day played. Information and entry forms can be obtained at www.usprohickory.com, or contact Stevens at ams1127@msn.com. Clubs are provided for participants by the tournament committee, if needed.

“PRO” File – Touring Professional Charles Howell, III

There’s an interesting name atop the FedEx Cup standings as the season is set to resume, and that name is Charles Howell III. Also known as CH3 and “Chucky Three-Sticks,” Howell has been a longtime grinder on the professional golf scene – a fate many did not predict for the one-time prodigy. Growing up in one of golf’s meccas, Augusta, Georgia, Howell attended Oklahoma State and won the 2000 NCAA individual championship. His arrival on tour received much fanfare, but the going has been tough in terms of victories. Howell won early in his career at the Michelob Championship in 2002, but it would be five more years before he won again in 2007. Although a steady money earner throughout the years, victories continued to elude Howell until he broke…

Editorial – New Rules Will Take Time to Absorb

At the golf course where I work and teach in Savannah, Georgia, our men’s league in December adopted the use of the new Rules of Golf earlier than the official start date of January 1, 2019. On one of my rare days off, I signed up to play in the Tuesday individual game and was looking forward to playing under the new rules with official competition on the line. Let me say, it was a weird experience! Now, we’ve all bent the rules somewhat when playing casual golf, but this was a whole different animal when putting pencil to scorecard. In particular, it was somewhat strange to be tapping in a putt with the flagstick in the hole and not receiving a penalty. The first time I did it, it…

The Station

Tucked away in our subconscious is an idyllic vision. We see ourselves on a long trip that spans the continent. We are traveling by train. Out the windows we drink in the passing scene of cars on nearby highways, of smoke pouring from a power plant, of row upon row of corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of mountains and rolling hillsides, of city skylines and village hills. But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. On a certain day at a certain hour we will pull into the station. Bands will be playing and flags waving. Once we get there so many wonderful dreams will come true and the pieces of our lives will fit together like a completed jigsaw puzzle. How relentlessly we pace the aisles, damming the minutes for loitering waiting, waiting, waiting for the station. “When we reach the station, that will be it!” we cry.…

Virtual Reality Still Searching for a Place in the Golf Industry

By Ben Bryant In early 2016, I wrote about the advent of virtual reality and its potential impact on the future of the golf industry.  Two and a half years later, virtual reality equipment is becoming more and more ubiquitous.  Some of the top holiday season sales are for VR gear from companies like Oculus and HTC.  One of the top movies last Spring was Ready Player One, a film about how VR will soon consume our society.  With VR becoming more and more popular, it’s time to revisit this trend and see how it’s affecting the entertainment industry generally and golf industry. Getting a top-of-the-line VR setup isn’t cheap. First, you’ll need a pretty powerful computer to operate the software.  Next, you’ll need to buy the VR equipment.  The…

Paddles and Oars

By Norm Crerar, USGTF Contributing Writer Vernon, British Columbia I have just finished reading one of the most motivational and touching books I have read in some time. The title of the book is The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown. It is the story of nine Americans and their epic quest for gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Set in the Seattle and Olympic Peninsula area, the lives and tough times of the members of a Men’s 8 rowing team during the Depression are brought to light. The hardships people at that time and in that place had to endure are hard to imagine in this day and age. A nine-member team is made up of eight rowers and a cox. The boat is 62 feet in length; the sweep oars are in the nine-foot range. The team members have to…

2019 World Cup Registration Open; U.S. Cup Announced

Registration is now open for the 2019 World Golf Teachers Cup to be held February 12-15, 2019, at La Iguana Golf Club in Herradura, Costa Rica, about a 90-minute drive from Costa Rica’s international airport. This is the 14th biennial edition of the only global competition for golf teaching professionals, and features both team and individual play. U.S., Canadian and British nationals do not need a visa for entry but must have a valid passport. For more information and to register, please visit www.WorldGolfTeachersCup.com. Scenic Sedona, Arizona, has been selected as the host city for the 24th annual United States Golf Teachers Cup, to be held Tuesday and Wednesday, October 8-9, 2019, at Oak Creek Country Club. This Robert Trent Jones Jr. and Sr. co-design is an old-style course that…

GOLF TEACHING PRO Coming in December

The Winter 2019 edition of Golf Teaching Pro magazine will be mailed in December. The year 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the founding of the United States Golf Teachers Federation, and an article highlights the changes the industry has seen since 1989. There are also other articles pertinent to golf teaching professionals worldwide. Look for it in your mailbox soon.

Entries Now Accepted for 2019 U.S. Pro Hickory

The annual USGTF-sponsored United States Professional Hickory Championship at historic Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club in Tampa, Florida, will take place on Monday, February 25, 2019. The championship is open to male and female golf professionals and hosted by Mike Stevens, USGTF Southeast Region director. This tournament is a testament to the history and heritage of our game as it was first played with hickory-shafted golf clubs. It honors the memory of John Shippen, America’s first golf professional, and the 1925 Florida Open, in which all the prominent pros of the day played. Information and entry forms can be obtained at www.usprohickory.com, or contact Stevens at ams1127@msn.com. Clubs are provided for participants by the tournament committee, if needed.

“PRO” File – Touring Professional Ruixin Liu

The first thing you might ask is, “Who is Ruixin Liu?” That would be understandable. Liu finished #1 on the LPGA’s Symetra Tour in 2018 and earned her card to the big tour for 2019. Grinding away in a developmental tour in women’s golf is not the best way to achieve immediate fame and fortune, but it’s a necessary step for those wishing to play at the top of the sport. Liu is from China but moved with her family to the United States in 2012 when she was 14 years old. She started playing in China when she was six and immediately became infatuated with the game. The move to Orlando in the U.S. furthered her career, and she is coached by Lake Nona Country Club director of golf…

Editorial – They Called it “The Match”

Tiger vs Phil. The hype was all there. As if it was the run-up to a heavyweight fight. Now, I’m not opposed to such events; challenge matches in golf go all the way back to Allan Robertson and Old Tom Morris. Remember Sergio against Tiger several years back? This one seemed a bit contrived, however. There were several putts conceded that might just have been done to keep the match going as long as possible. I have no doubt that both tried their best, but the play was less than stellar, and it did not seem to have much of a grudge factor; more like two good buddies out for a stroll at someone else’s expense. If anything, it did put golf on the front pages at a time when…

USGTF Embracing Golf’s History

By Mike Stevens USGTF Member, Tampa, Florida Teachers in any given field are the protectors and disseminators of history. History is something that has happened and is factual. Is it important? Some would say, “Who cares what happened in the past?” That is especially true in these modern times. History, however, is important to a society. It provides a sense of respect and pride in a given discipline. In sports, baseball comes to mind as a game that truly honors its past. On just about any broadcast, an announcer can immediately cite a statistic from the origins of the game. Stories about the legends of the sport are passed down from father to son to grandson…daughters and granddaughters, too. Why? Because as humans, we are heading somewhere, and the past…

Confidence is a Choice

By Dr. Gregg Steinberg USGTF Sports Psychologist, Nashville, Tennessee This past April, Patrick Reed won the Masters. What impressed me most was his second shot on #15 on Saturday. It was rainy and a bit risky to go for it, but he nailed his shot and his ball just cleared the water. From there, he made a birdie which helped him win the tournament. Patrick Reed has complete confidence in his abilities. Remember, early in his career he said he was a top-five player in the world, although he was not even close to that ranking at the time. The media admonished him for that, but that showed me that this guy is a winner and will be a winner! Patrick Reed gets it. Confidence is a choice. This is one of the most powerful mental-game ingredients that I can share…

The Dreaded Yips

By Bert Jones, USGTF Member, Loomis, California Don’t even say the word, as you might get infected. If you do say the word, say it in a hushedtoned in a quiet place. The yips are deadly and candestroy even the best game of golf. Don’t feel bad. Even professional golfers have theyips. Professional golfers seriously afflicted by the yipshave included Padraig Harrington, Bernhard Langer(thus the long putter), Ben Hogan (maybe it was thecar accident), Harry Vardon, Sam Snead (rememberthe croquet-styled stance outlawed by the USGA?),Ian Baker-Finch and Keegan Bradley, who missed asix-inch putt in the final round of the 2013 HP ByronNelson Championship due to the condition (althoughhe may also have been suffering from strabismus, amisalignment of the eyes). The Mayo Clinic found that 33 to 48 percentof all serious golfers have experienced…

The Snow Board

By Larry Van House, USGTF Member, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania “Hit the small ball before the big ball.” This is the most important skill to achieve to develop a golf swing…period. When a client can learn to do this successfully 90 percent of the time, his or her golf experience will improve drastically. The small ball is, of course, a golf ball. The big ball is the earth. Hit the earth first, followed by the ball, and you will have hit a “fat” shot. Much of the energy of the swing and the speed of the clubhead will just sink into the earth. The ball may advance down the fairway, but it will not achieve the distance or backspin it could have. The fat shot will not stop and hold on a green. I am sure that a very large percentage of our…

2019 Set For February in Costa Rica; Entry Info

La Iguana Golf Club in Herradura, Costa Rica – approximately 90 minutes by car from Costa Rica’s main airport in San Jose – is hosting the 14th biennial World Golf Teachers Cup February 13-15, 2019. This is the first World Cup to be played outside the United States since 2013. The 2nd biennial World Senior Golf Teachers Cup will also be contested. The entry fee is $475 and includes four days of golf (practice round included) and range balls, prize money, and a closing banquet and awards ceremony. The Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort (www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/sjols-los-suenos-marriott-ocean-and-golf-resort) is the host hotel, but there are other quality options in the nearby town of Jaco that are also available at a lesser rate: Oceano Boutique Hotel & Gallery: www.OceanoJaco.com Hotel Mar de…

Ontario Repeats as Kelly Cup Champions

Team Ontario handily won the 15th annual Thomas Kelly Cup 19-11 after taking a one-point lead the first day. The matches were played on extremely wet Canadian soil in early September at The Ambassador Golf Club in Windsor, Ontario. Ontario was captained by Cesare Cisti and George Harris. Other team members were Paul Kelly, Paul Duncan, George Harris, Vito Cisternino, Ben Butler, David Delville, Grant Gulych, Wayne McGrath and Michael Hunter. Michigan was captained by Jack Deming. Other team members were Jack Black, Joel Michaels, Jim Peters, Chris Boka, Brent Davies, Jim Helmke, Charles Henry and Mike Terrill. The Kelly Cup matches have been played in honor of former tour member Thomas Kelly, who died suddenly on the golf course “with the fellas” in 2003. Thomas was very active in…

USGTF & WGTF/Great Britain Members at World Golf Hickory Open

Members of the U.S and Great Britain Golf Teachers Federations were participants in the 2018 World Hickory Open Championship in East Lothian, Scotland, this past October. USGTF Southeast Region director Mike Stevens, and England’s Jason Dolman and John Tinsley teed it up at Longniddry, Gullane #3 and Luffness New golf courses. Dolman won the amateur handicap division while Stevens finished third in the Honors division. Tinsley, a relatively new hickory enthusiast, scored two fine rounds of 82, not bad for his first effort. Stevens also led Team Florida to a third place finish in the Archie Baird International Championship at Kilspindie Golf Club to cap off a successful week.

“PRO” File – Touring Professional Dylan Meyer

He hardly looks the modern profile of a professional golfer, but Dylan Meyer has serious game. The recent University of Illinois graduate, coached by USGTF Master Teaching Professional Michael Wolf, has a promising future. Although he is one of the shortest hitters in professional golf, Meyer finds ways to score besides hitting 300-yard drives. He recently scored his first top-10 finish on the PGA Tour at the Sanderson Farms Championship. Meyer is not the biggest guy out there, and his glasses remind some of Tom Kite. But he knows how to work his way around a golf course and to put up low scores. Meyer also battles ulcerative colitis, a disease that has also afflicted fellow touring professional Heath Slocum. At first, Meyer was down about the diagnosis, but he…

USGTF Announces Prescription Discount Card

The USGTF is excited to offer all members the new USGTF Prescription Discount Card – FREE! Simply print your card and start putting money back in your pocket where it belongs. Your USGTF Prescription Discount card will be accepted at ALL MAJOR CHAINS! Simply present the card along with your prescription and SAVE! While it is not insurance, our program provides up to 75% off the retail prices on everyday drugs and is accepted at all major chains and independent pharmacies nationwide. Visit the USGTF Industry Partners page to learn more about the USGTF Prescription Discount Card program and print your card today!

Editorial – The FedEx Cup Still Has No Identity

Tiger Woods’ victory at the Tour Championship earlier this year was the biggest story to come out of that tournament, while, ho-hum, Justin Rose actually captured the FedEx Cup. Winning the FedEx Cup is supposed to be a reward for season-long excellence, or so the Tour says. But what, exactly, is the FedEx Cup supposed to designate? The Player of the Year? No, that would be Brooks Koepka, who won two majors. Best player in the playoffs? Again no, as that would be Bryson DeChambeau, winner of two playoff events. Winner of the Tour Championship, akin to winning the Super Bowl? Of course, that was Woods. The FedEx Cup still makes no sense as to what it’s supposed to be all about. And next year’s “fix,” where the Tour Championship…

Teaching Green Reading

By Bert Jones USGTF Member, Loomis, California There are four major elements to putting: equipment, the putting stroke, the setup and green reading. Since putting is approximately 42 percent of the game, it deserves more attention. Over the years, I have distilled green reading into three styles: instinctual, AimPoint (invented in the 1990s), and Vector Green Reading (invented in the 1970s). Instinctual green reading lends itself to motor programming over time where the brain learns how the ball will behave under certain conditions. But is it that easy? Let’s take a closer look at how course architects fool your instinctual learning through optical illusions, pin placements and green types. Course architects use four different types of greens: planar, tiered, saddle and crowned. Planar, the most common and which comprise 95…

Coping With Diminishing Skills?

By Mike Stevens, USGTF contributing writer I’m going to bare my soul here. I mean push the door wide open. It might be one of the toughest decisions to make, especially if you are competitive in nature. That is recognizing when your skills are no longer adequate to compete at a high level. I find myself in such a situation. I guess I can blame it on age; after all, I am 68. Or that I play with 100-year-old clubs. Even with them, I was still playing at a high level. Started noticing little things over the past couple of years. My driving distance declined by 10% and I might be fudging that. Reaching par-four holes required more low irons and often a fairway wood. Par-fives, two good woods and I…

Putter Fitting

By Bert Jones, USGTF Member, Loomis, California Putter fitting is a no-brainer. Putting with an off-the-rack putter is like competing in the high jump from a ditch. Getting fitted for a putter allows you not to be disadvantaged by your equipment. There are two options: Have a custom putter built for you. Find a putter that fits your eye and putting stroke, and then have a club fitter tweak it for you. Off-the-shelf putters are not designed for optimal putting, as they are built on the mass-production principle of one-size-fits-all. It is possible to putt the ball straight with an ill-suited putter, but the odds are stacked against you when it comes to consistency. Your equipment should fit your putting stroke. It is important to get custom fitted. Below is some key information to consider: Putter length should fit the player. A more upright stance will yield a longer shaft and…

Remembering Important Golf Events Forgotten With Time

By Mike Stevens USGTF Member, Tampa, Florida 2018 Champion, Dylan Malafronte A distant sound of the High-lands gently wafted in through the grand oaks and morning mist. There must be golf about to commence. Indeed, the thud of a well-struck brassie was in the offing as the 2018 United States Professional and Amateur Hickory Golf Championships were about to get underway. Once again, the game as it was originally played here in 1922 at the opening of Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club in Tampa, Florida, was on display, with gentlemen and gentlewomen in proper golf attire vying for the title of champion golfer. The day is a celebration and remembrance of three historical events that have long since been forgotten with time. From 1895 to 1897, the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Open were played concurrently on the same golf course in the same week. Both amateurs and professionals play on this day…

So You Wanna Play Pro Golf?

Pebble Beach, Augusta National, TPC Sawgrass and Harbour Town. These are just some of the famous courses that the top tour professionals play year in and year out. Ah, the good life, right? Well, yes. But the journey to get to the top of the mountain of professional golf is far from easy. The fact of the matter is it takes a lot of time, effort and money to even attempt this journey. And that’s assuming the player has the talent and ability in the first place. More than a few times per year, USGTF examiners hear a candidate in his 40s say that he plans to “chase the senior tour” when he gets near 50. Then, some of these same candidates fail to break 80 during the playing ability test. This is not to discourage those who want to chase their…

Today’s Golfer

By Cole Golden, WGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional More than 20 years ago when I became a certified golf teaching professional, golf was a different game. Multi-layer golf balls weren’t around, launch monitors didn’t exist and high-tech video systems weren’t available. Many players weren’t focused on being a well-rounded player who focused on fitness for one reason or another. The college or mini-tour level golfers I knew could be described as the “partiers.” Tiger Woods altered the trajectory of the game by making an impact on advertising, the purse of golf tournaments, clothing and the cool-factor – especially with attracting athletes form other sports. But the most noticeable change was emphasizing the importance of a golfer being a well-rounded athlete through nutrition, strength and conditioning. If you look at the…

Harman Wins 7TH U.S., First Canadian Title

Mark Harman of Ridgeland, South Carolina, won his seventh United States Golf Teachers Cup championship and first CGTF Cup title when he defeated runner-up and reigning World Golf Teachers Cup champion Shafiq Masih of Canada by two strokes at the combined event at Ussher’s Creek Golf Course in Niagara Falls, Ontario, October 2-3. Harman’s 75-73 – 148, the highest winning score since 2001, highlighted the difficult conditions on the 6,500-yard layout. Heavy rains soaked the course prior to the tournament, and combined with the cool Canadian weather, distance was hard to come by as the course played extremely long. Grant Gulych of St. Thomas, Ontario, repeated at the United States Senior Golf Teachers Cup champion, shooting scores of 71-73 – 144 to best runner-up Bill Hardwick by five shots. Dave…

World Cup in Costa Rica Set for Feb. 12-15

The 14th biennial World Golf Teachers Cup has been confirmed for February 12-15, 2019, at La Iguana Golf Club in Herradura, Costa Rica, approximately a 90-minute drive from the main airport in San Jose, Costa Rica. The entry fee will be $495 and will cover four days of golf, range balls before and after play, prize money, tournament amenities and a closing banquet and awards ceremony. Travel and lodging costs to and within Costa Rica is on a par with travel within the United States. Practice rounds will be available February 11 and before. Exact details will be set by November 1, so make your plans now to attend. Entries will be handled through the USGTF National Office at (888) 346-3290, and also at 1295 SE Port St. Lucie Blvd.,…

Peters Named Penick Award Winner for 2018

Longtime USGTF member James Peters of Newport, Kentucky, was named the sixth winner of the Harvey Penick Trophy for Excellence in Golf Teaching at the closing banquet and awards ceremony at the CGTF/United States Golf Teachers Cup in Niagara Falls, Ontario, October 3. Peters teaches at Etter’s Golf Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, and gives approximately 1,000 lessons per year. According to Peters, looking and listening are the most important aspects of teaching. “I always liked the saying, ‘You have two eyes, two ears and one mouth; use them in that proportion.'” Peters is also an accomplished player, having in the past won USGTF Southeast and Central Region titles. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Peters has been a longtime member and supporter of the USGTF. The Penick award…

Mental Rules for Teaching Golf

Published by Dr. Gregg M. Steinberg, Ph.D., Mental Rules for Teaching Golf, this book has 61 innovative strategies for unleashing your teaching potential. It has been described as “an entertaining and illustrative interpretation of golf teaching advice.” This is the consummate golf psychology book for teaching professionals. The cost of the book is $12.95. To order, please call the USGTF National Office at 1-888-346-3290.

Gulych Wins Central Region Championship

Grant Gulych from St. Thomas, Ontario, shot 71-76 – 147 at Pine Knob Golf Club in Clarkston, Michigan, to win the 2018 Central Region Championship August 4-5. Gulych took a three-shot lead into the final round over Central Region director Brent Davies and last year’s champion Matt Smith, and was five shots clear of two-time champion Jim Peters. Gulych made several key putts during his final round, none tougher than a very fast downhill slider for birdie on the short but very difficult eighth hole on the Eagle course at Pine Knob, maintaining a one-shot lead over Davies and four shots clear of Smith. Gulych played the first five holes of the back nine on the very tight and tricky Hawk course at 1-under and cruised to a four-shot victory…

“PRO” File – European Ryder Cup Team

Much was made of the touted United States Ryder Cup “task force,” formed in 2014 after Phil Mickelson publicly called for the U.S. squad to “return to the winning formula” of 2008. Much was also made of the “success” of the task force in 2016 after Team USA won the Cup at Hazeltine in Minnesota. Overlooked in 2016 was the relative weakness of the European squad, and the fact that the U.S. and Europe had alternated victories on U.S. soil since 1983, so the winning effort by the U.S. meant nothing changed. The real test would be on European soil. And the United States failed that test miserably, which is the big story in the U.S. But the truth is Team Europe played wonderful golf at such a high level…

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Editorial – Thinking Differently

Golf is a game that doesn’t have to follow a certain blueprint for a player to be successful. Your swing doesn’t have to look a certain way, or your strategy conform to a certain philosophy.  You can be a short hitter, long hitter, straight hitter or a wild hitter and still compete at a high level. In today’s era, players’ swings look very similar versus 20-40 years ago. The use of technology and emphasis on employing golf teaching professionals has definitely aided in this. Now comes along Bryson DeChambeau, a man who does not fit the mold of today’s players. Some call him more of a scientist than a golfer. Several think he’s odd due to his grips and one-length irons. Others might name him a tinkerer for using odd…

Truths Your Students Need To Hear

Golf breeds a certain amount of optimism in just about everyone who plays it, from the junior player who aspires to be a world-famous professional to the everyday golfer dreaming of shooting in the 70s. Some of this optimism is deserved; for others, it’s nothing more than a fantasy when you consider other realities. If you’ve taught golf for a certain length of time, you will run across students who have certain goals and expectations for themselves that may or may not be realistic. They also might have certain expectations of their teacher or coach that also may or may not be realistic. Here are some things that students need to hear and understand, not only about the teaching and learning process but about themselves and how the game actually…

Can’t Give Up

By Cole Golden, WGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional In September, after losing in a playoff at the BMW Championship, Justin Rose gained enough points to take over as the #1 player in the world. Many might remember a young 17-year-old man playing in the 1998 Open Championship as an amateur. Rose holed his last shot from the rough to finish tied for 4th place. It would have been easy for fans to assume that he would be the #1 golfer in the world soon. But it wasn’t. Rose turned pro shortly after the Open Championship, and missed the cut in his first 21 straight professional tournaments. He finally got his European Tour card in 1999 after making it through qualifying school, but lost it a year later and had to…

Nerves Exist But…Anxiety Doesn’t Have To

Can butterflies really turn into full-blown anxiety and create worry, doubt and fear? Years ago, I’d get ready to give a presentation and my nerves would pop up. For me, the nerves start with the physical manifestation and then move to my brain. It would start with butterflies in my stomach and an increase in heart rate. Then it would lead to me thinking all kinds of negative, irrational stuff. What was the outcome? Inevitably I’d get on stage and feel nervous. I’d stumble through the first five minutes stuttering. Yes, stuttering. Recognize Anxiety When I realized what was going on (after much insight gained through my M.A. in sport psychology), I knew I needed to change what was happening prior to my presentations. It was time to develop a…

2019 World Cup Set for February in Costa Rica

Taking the World Golf Teachers Cup outside the United States for the first time since 2013, the WGTF has announced that the 14th biennial competition will be held the week of February 11-15, 2019, at La Iguana Golf Club in Herradura, Costa Rica, a coastal resort town (www.GolfLaIguana.com). La Iguana is a Marriott property, and in addition, there are many other hotels nearby at all sorts of price points to meet any budget. Herradura is approximately a 90-minute drive from Costa Rica’s main airport in San Jose. Travel costs to and within Costa Rica are comparable to traveling within the United States. USGTF member Alejandro Duque was instrumental in securing La Iguana for the tournament, and the WGTF would like to offer its heartfelt thanks. Entry and other event information…

Webinar Education Offered this Fall

The USGTF takes its position as the “leader in the field of golf instruction” seriously, and continues to offer cutting-edge education for its members. Join us for the USGTF Webinar series this fall. Twelve weeks, 12 webinars. Topics covered include: – Teaching Mental Toughness for Coaches – Understanding Today’s Equipment and Proper Club Fitting – The New Rules of Golf and Effective Course Strategy The cost for all 12 webinars is only $299, and this is an educational opportunity you won’t want to miss. For details and signup info, please visit http://www.USGTF.com/usgtf-university-webinar.

USGTF Looking for Teaching Photos

Nothing is more powerful than visual images, and the field of teaching golf is no exception. The USGTF is looking for teaching photographs that embody what the profession is all about. If you believe you can capture the right image, we’d love to see your photos. Please send them to info@usgtf.com and the member who submits the winning photo will receive a $500 cash award from the USGTF. Please submit them by September 30.

USGTF Active in Social Media

Social media has become a huge presence in our society, providing more people with information than ever before. The USGTF is active on these fronts in several venues. Included are Facebook; Twitter and Instagram. In addition, there is a LinkedIn Company Page and a LinkedIn Group. Finally, the USGTF members board can be found at www.USGTFMembers.com. In whatever avenue you wish to connect with your organization, you have the ability to do so. Please visit the site of interest to you and we look forward to your participation.

One Hundred Tips Book on Sale

This indispensable teachers guide is a manifesto of no-nonsense golf teaching advice. One Hundred Tips for Golf Teaching Professionals goes beyond teaching basics. The information herein reflects experience that can only be gained from years on the lesson tee. Sale price – $15.95. To order, please call the USGTF National Office at 1-888-346-3290.

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September Deadline for Penick Nominations

Nominations for the 6th annual Harvey Penick Trophy for Excellence in Golf Teaching are now being accepted. Harvey Penick was one of America’s earliest great teachers, and his influence lives today. The award is based on teaching accomplishments, service to the golf community and to the game in general. All USGTF Certified Golf Teaching Professionals and Master Golf Teaching Professionals, except past winners, are eligible. Nominations (including self-nominations) may be made through email at info@usgtf.com or through regular mail to the USGTF National Office at 1295 SE Port St. Lucie Blvd., Port St. Lucie, FL 34952. The deadline for nominations is Friday, September 7, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. EDT.

Littler Wins USGTF Junior National Title

The first annual USGTF Junior National Tournament this past August was a success. In the finals, three boys and three girls squared off at Beekman Golf Course in Hopewell, New York. Devin Littler won the boys division with a score of 78, while Kaylie Klemme shot an identical 78 to win the girls division. Afterwards, the two champions squared off in sudden-death for the overall championship. Playing in front of a large gallery of family and friends, plus a number of Beekman members, the two champions matched pars and birdies, with each golfer -2 through the first four holes. On the fifth hole, Klemme’s birdie putt came up just short while Littler managed to sink his 15-footer for the win. USGTF member Bob Myers organized the event and served as…

Tour Players Reed and Stone Discover a New Golf Passion

While in the quaint town of Gullane, Scotland, Patrick Reed and Brandon Stone wandered into the Jack White Golf Shop. Proprietor Boris Lietzow, a good friend of USGTF Southeast Region director Mike Stevens, sells golf memorabilia, including hickory golf clubs. It began when players participating in the Scottish Open were presented with a hickory challenge on one of the par-3s during a practice round. Reed and Stone enjoyed it so much that it sent them scurrying to Boris’s shop to find out more. Reed was so impressed with Lietzow’s knowledge of the clubs and their history that he bought two sets, one for himself and another for his brother-in-law. Stone enjoyed it so much that after the first round of the Open Championship at Carnoustie, he drove down to St.…

Is Distance Really A Problem?

By Mike Stevens So, the USGA and the R&A have decided to study all aspects concerning the effect of golf ball distance in golf. It includes amateur and professional golfers worldwide, golf course owners and operators, golf equipment manufacturers, golf course architects and golf course superintendents. It wasn’t that long ago that they concluded that distance was not an issue. I wonder what changed. I have no idea how much they are going to spend on this research, but in the end, I’ll bet it comes down to something simple. In fact, I can save them a lot of time and effort. The only issues concerning distance is the added cost of maintenance due to lengthening and toughening up golf courses, plus the hour or so longer it takes to…

Frequency Of Lessons

By Cole Golden, USGTF Member, Wichita, Kansas I was recently asked by a student how often he should take a lesson. I usually let the student take the lead on this type of conversation to get a feel for where their head is at, and how serious they are about improving their game. I carefully considered the student’s question to provide him with the best possible answer. While I would love for a student to take a lesson every week so that I could carefully watch and help them, is that what is right for the student? I told this particular student that I would like him to practice at least twice between lessons. There is a “method to my madness.” It gives a student time to work on the recommended adjustments and comprehend any positives or negatives from the previous lesson. Maybe we are working on…

Everyone’s Obsessed About Distance, Distance, Distance

Turn on Golf Channel or access virtually any golf media source, and one of the main topics of 2018 is “how far the ball is going,” or in other words, how far tour pros are hitting the ball these days. After years of saying there was no problem, the USGA and R&A are now claiming that something has to be done. Jack Nicklaus has long advocated for rolling the ball back, and he was saying this 25 years ago when balata balls were still in use and the median driving distance for tour pros was 260.5 yards. For the most recent completed golf season, 2016-2017, that number is now 292.5. Based on 14 tee shots per round, that means tour venues today effectively play 448 yards shorter as compared to 1993. To keep up, that 6,900-yard course in 1993 must be stretched out to 7,348…

How to Get More Distance In the Golf Swing

By Arlen Bento Jr. USGTF Member, Jensen Beach, Florida If you play golf and love the game, at some point you will notice a loss in distance. Usually, this is due to age, just getting older, losing flexibility and strength. Over years, many golfers just don’t realize how much distance they have been losing, because over time, they have been making adjustments to their equipment, changing shafts, finding better club technologies and switching golf ball designs. Ultimately, the loss of distance reaches a point where the golfer gets discouraged and starts to seek answers. For over 20 years I have been helping people with their golf games, and the number one reason people come to see me is that they want more distance. Here is a plan that can help…

A Look At Old Vs. New Technology

By Mark Harman, USGTF Course Director, Ridgeland, South Carolina “Distance is ruining the game!” cry the purists.“All it is on tour is driver/wedge, driver/wedge every hole! Why, back in the day, pros were actually hitting long irons into par-4s!” It’s helpful if we compare “back in the day” with the modern game in terms of driving distance. The PGA Tour began compiling various statistics in 1980, one of them being driving distance. Comparing the first three years of 1980-82 – when almost everyone used a persimmon driver and a balata ball – to the most recent three years (2015-17), we see that the median driving distance increased from 258 yards to 291, a gain of 33 yards. Some of that is due to the golf ball, some due to the…

Spine Angle at Impact – The Forgotten Fundamental to Good Shots

By Thomas T Wartelle, WGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional One issue I often see in golfers is the loss of spine angle at impact. This problem is often experienced by high handicappers and tour players alike. The flaw can effect several factors of impact dynamics. One such factor could be the the quality of strike (centeredness of contact) resulting in inconsistent contact. We hear people say that they “picked up their head,” but in reality they changed their spine angle from address to the impact position. When loss of spine angle at impact occurs with better players, often there is a compensation to save the shot. This could be saving the impact with excess hand action or another compensation such as curving the spine. The good player can get away…

Ground Forces and Bobby Jones

Robert Tyre “Bobby” Jones Jr., circa 1921, Heritage Auctions By Thomas T Wartelle, USGTF Member, Washington, Louisiana Robert Tyre Jones, Jr., or “Bobby Jones,” was one of the greatest competitive golfers of all times. He won 13 majors (4 U.S. Opens, 3 Opens, 5 U.S. Amateurs and 1 Amateur). He was also a very learned man with a degree in mechanical engineering and a practicing lawyer. Bobby Jones was fond of saying that those who are golf instructors are continuously searching for a new way to say the same thing. I could not agree more! In today’s day and age, we have modern technology to analyze and dissect every movement of the golf swing. I certainly am fond of technology and biomechanical study of athletic movement. However, it amuses me to hear of all…

Taking It From the RangeTo the Course

“I can’t hit the ball on the course as well as I can on the range…I’ve won several U.S. Opens on the range…I’m a scratch golfer on the range but a 15 on the course…” These comments have been made by innumerable golfers over the years. It’s one of the great mysteries of the game: How can someone hit the ball so well on the practice tee and yet so poorly on the course? Why do people lack the consistency on the course that they have on the range? Fortunately, there are solutions to help our students with this most perplexing of problems. We must consider that the game as played on the course is completely different than what is happening on the range. On the course, we hit one…

Developing A Confident Mindset

By Dr. Gerald A. Walford, USGTF Certified Golf Teaching Professional®, The Villages, Florida “Tiger is so comfortable in it because he has done it so much. It doesn’t mean he’s not nervous. It just means he’s able to handle it better.” – Hank Haney, Tiger Woods’ former coach, 2008 Tiger Woods has no distractions, worries, or doubts about his next shot because he has done it successfully so often, he just simply does it. He is extremely confident. His past successes have taught him that that he should be successful again. Continually missing five-foot putts reinforces in your mind that you cannot make a five-foot putt. Do this often enough and it becomes a belief, a strong belief, and a fear for future five-foot putts. You can continually talk to…

Principles, Fundamentals and Preferences

The golf teaching profession has come a long way since 1989 when the USGTF was founded. Hi-tech tools that weren’t even a thought back then are now commonplace in many teaching circles, such as launch monitors and slow-motion replays complete with computer graphics, and the ability to instantly communicate with students electronically. We also have training aids and training programs that are state-of-the-art. What  hasn’t  changed  are  three  aspects  of  instruction  that  are  important  to  differentiate,  and  they are principles, fundamentals and preferences. Before we continue, let’s turn to Merriam-Webster for some definitions: Principle: “The   laws   or   facts   of   nature underlying the working of an artificial device.” In the  case  of  golf,  the  artificial  devices  are  the  golf  ball and golf club, and the laws are what we more commonly  know as…

Does the Traditional Lesson Still Have Its Place?

Golf lessons have traditionally gone like this: A struggling golfer comes to the teaching professional for help, hoping to find a cure for whatever ails his game. The teacher observes the student hitting some shots, eventually diagnosing the problem and prescribing a cure. The student is then expected to practice what was taught and to improve. USGTF Hall of Fame member David Vaught wrote an excellent article in the last edition of Golf Teaching Pro titled “Teaching Outside the Box,” where he detailed four ways to update your lesson repertoire in terms of offering new ways to provide instruction. It is imperative that teachers innovate and evolve with the times, and Vaught’s article reminds us of the value of doing so. Vaught’s description of “Pile of balls, a set amount…

August Last Month to Enter US / CGTF Cup

Entries for the 23rd annual United States Golf Teachers Cup, played in conjunction with the CGTF Cup, are due by September 1. The event will be played October 2-3, 2018, at Ussher’s Creek Golf Course in Niagara Falls, Ontario. On October 1, a fourball tournament will be held prior to the main event, with the objective of getting participants together for a fun day of golf. The entry fee is $395 Canadian (currently approximately $305 U.S.). To enter, you may either call the CGTF at (905) 849-7254, or online at http://www.cgtf.com/2018-cgtf-usgtf-teachers-cup/. We look forward to seeing you at this event, co-sponsored by the USGTF and CGTF!

Hammer Nails Down Southeast Title

Eric Hammer of Melbourne, Florida, fired an opening round 68 which solidified his hold on the top spot at the USGTF Southeast Region Championship at Shingle Creek Golf Club in Orlando. His solid 76 in round two proved too much for the rest of the field to overcome. Going into the day, he held a three-shot lead over former champion Mark Harman, but Harman was unable to make up any ground on a hot and steamy day. Heavy rain overnight made the course that much more of a challenge. Hammer pockets $550 and the Southeast Trophy donated by region director Mike Stevens. It was a great weekend, and special thanks to Dennis Daugherty, who arranged for play and a fabulous dinner at Taverna Opa after the first round.

Central Region Championship Last Region Championship for 2018

The USGTF Central Region Championship will be held at Pine Knob Golf Club in Clarkston, Michigan, on Saturday and Sunday, August 4-5, with region director Brent Davies serving as the host. The first tee time Saturday will be at 12:00 noon and 10:00 a.m. on Sunday. The entry fee of $199 is for two days of golf, cart, range, prize money, and lunch after the Sunday round, with monies paid out on the gross and net two-day totals. Practice rounds will be available after 1:00 p.m. on Friday, August 3, for $40. To enter, please send your $199 entry fee to: Brent Davies, 5223 Parview Dr., Clarkston, MI 48346.

USGTF Logoed Cart Bag From Bridgestone Golf

The USGTF is pleased to have several company affiliations that offer discounts and services to our members. One of which is Bridgestone Golf. Bridgestone offers 25% below wholesale on all of their products to USGTF members for personal use. Members may order items like this USGTF Logoed and Personalized cart bag for only $162.00. Full of easily accessible features, these bags are perfect for use in either a golf cart or a push cart. They include: 14-way divider top 9 easily accessible zippered pockets, including valuables pocket and cooler pocket Magnetic electronics pocket Outer ball & tee holder Weighs less than 6 lbs. Rain hood included For more information, please contact the USGTF National Office at (888) 346-3290.

2019 World Cup Tentatively Scheduled for Costa Rica

The 14th biennial World Golf Teachers Cup has tentatively been scheduled for the week of February 11-15, 2019, at La Iguana Golf Course near the beach town of Jaco in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is a vacation paradise with many activities and amenities, and the cost of traveling to the Central American country is on par with traveling to other cities in the United States. More information will become available as negotiations are being completed.

“PRO” File – Touring Professional Francesco Molinari

Recent Open champion Francesco Molinari joins a long and distinguished list of Italian golfers over the years that include his brother Edoardo and Constantino Rocca and…well, that’s about it. Molinari became the first from Italy to hoist the Claret Jug when he turned back the world’s best at Carnoustie in July, including a resurgent Tiger Woods. Molinari played the weekend bogey-free and continued his recent streak of stellar play. Prior to 2018, he had been a steady if not spectacular player on the world stage. His brother came to prominence first by winning the U.S. Amateur in 2005, but most observers thought that Francesco would have the better professional career, and so far that prediction has panned out. Molinari won his first European Tour event in 2006 and has six…

Editorial – Spine Angle at Impact – The Forgotten Fundamental to Good Shots

One issue I often see in golfers is the loss of spine angle at impact. This problem is often experienced by high handicappers and tour players alike. The flaw can effect several factors of impact dynamics. One such factor could be the the quality of strike (centeredness of contact) resulting in inconsistent contact. We hear people say that they “picked up their head,” but in reality they changed their spine angle from address to the impact position. When loss of spine angle at impact occurs with better players, often there is a compensation to save the shot. This could be saving the impact with excess hand action or another compensation such as curving the spine. The good player can get away with this fault for some shots, but the fault…

Positive Body Language: Five Tips To Attract And Retain New Clients

By Ben Bryant WGCA contributing writerThe first week of school is an important week for all high school coaches.  For me, it’s not only the first opportunity to meet the students I’ll teach all year, but it’s also the beginning of the golf season, with new players and parents showing up at the golf course.  How first meetings go are vital to laying a foundation for a positive relationship between you (the teacher) and your players.  Using positive body language can be a vital component in that foundation. Columbia University did a recent study where participants were placed in a variety of situations where positive body language techniques were used, but the participants discussed negative and depressing topics.  They also created scenarios where participants used negative body language techniques but discussed…

How To Get More Distance In The Golf Swing

By Arlen Bento Jr. If you play golf and love the game, at some point you will notice a loss in distance. Usually, this is due to age, just getting older, losing flexibility and strength. Over years, many golfers just don’t realize how much distance they have been losing, because over time, they have been making adjustments to their equipment, changing shafts, finding better club technologies and switching golf balls designs. Ultimately, the loss of distance reaches a point where the golfer gets discouraged and starts to seek answers. For over 20 years I have been helping people with their golf games, and the number one reason people come to see me is that they want more distance. Here is a plan that can help any player that is looking…

Preparing For Your Tee Time

Thomas T Wartelle USGTF contributing writer We all have been in the situation of preparing for an important round of golf. Many times, I have seen good golfers poorly prepare for the opening tee shot of the day. Getting off to a good start can set the tone for the whole day. Below are some tips to help a golfer get the day started off on a positive note and a successful round of golf: Before You Tee Off How to Prepare Before the Round: Try to make the time before your tee-off stress free. Feel as if you do everything in slow motion without rushing or stress before an important round of golf. The great player Cary Middlecoff was known for a long, slow swing. His play was deliberate…

A Parent’s Perspective On Golf Summer Camp

Ben Bryant USGTF contributing writer It’s that time of the year again when the school year has finished up and parents need to find something for their kids to do during the long summer days. As a golf coach, my first instinct is to brainstorm all the things necessary to organize a successful summer camp; all the nuts and bolts and logistics that go into keeping 30 grade school-age children entertained. Instead, I’d like to put on a different hat for a minute: that of the parent of an energetic six-year-old boy. From this perspective, what would be the important things to look for in a successful golf camp? Building Friendships One of the groomsmen in my wedding was a friend I made at a summer camp when I was…

Summer Edition of Golf Teaching Pro is in the Mail

The Summer 2018 edition of Golf Teaching Pro magazine, the official member publication of the United States Golf Teachers Federation, is now in the mail. The hot topic of distance is a focal point, with viewpoints that study the ramifications and possibilities of USGA and R&A action. Featured writers include Dr. Michelle Cleere, Dr. Gregg Steinberg and USGTF member Bert Jones, among others. Look for your copy soon!

WGTF Releases Top 100 List

The latest iteration of the World Golf Teachers Federation Top 100 Teachers list has been released. Each WGTF president was polled for their input, and nominations from WGTF members were also considered. The updated list can be found in the Summer 2018 edition of Golf Teaching Pro magazine, which will be out shortly.

Petry Captures Northeast Region Title

Frank Petry of Somerset, New Jersey, won the USGTF Northeast Region Championship played this past June 15 at Mountain View Golf Course in West Windsor, New Jersey, shooting an 18-hole score of 76 while playing in the 49-and-under division. Chris Upham and Taiki Miyavaki tied for division runner-up honors at 80. Ingrid Narken took home a two-stroke victory in the Ladies division with an 82, while Richard Perine won the 50-59 division with a 79. In the 60-69 division, Bruce Barnett eked out a one-stroke victory with an 85, while James Peters, who has won multiple USGTF region championships in the past, captured the 70+ division with a 78.

Northwest, Southeast Region Championships Up Next; Central Championship In August

The USGTF Northwest Region Championship is the next USGTF region championship to be contested, and it will be held Thursday and Friday, July 26-27, at Haggin Oaks golf complex’s MacKenzie Course in Sacramento, California, with region director Bert Jones serving as the host. The entry deadline was July 1, so be sure to follow the results in the next USGTF monthly e-newsletter. The USGTF Southeast Region Championship will be played Saturday and Sunday, July 28-29 at Shingle Creek Golf Club in Orlando, Florida, one of the city’s premier courses. Shingle Creek, and Arnold Palmer design, is always in excellent shape and will provide an enjoyable test for all participants. All WGTF members in good standing, regardless of residence, are eligible to play. A prize fund of $1,000 and the Southeast…

Marketing Yourself In The Summer

By Ben Bryant USGTF contributing writer For those of us in the golf business, the summer season can be a challenge. In Florida, the summer months are so unbearably hot that many people can’t imagine being outside at all, much less playing a round of golf for four hours. As a golf teacher, how do I make the most of one of the slower times of the year? Even if you live up north where the summer might be the only time to play and practice, these tips could still make a difference in growing your clientele: Capitalize on the major tournaments If you check out Google search trends for “golf” on a yearly basis, you can see how interest in the sport spikes right around the beginning of April,…

USGTF-Logoed Polos On Sale

The USGTF has USGTF-logoed polo shirts now on sale. They are 100% Polyester, featuring Tri-Mountain UltraCool® Moisture-wicking technology, available in Black, Blue or Cranberry. To order, please call the USGTF National Office at 888-346-3290.

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Special Offers – By Members For Members

Jack McCullars, a longtime USGTF teaching professional, is the founder and owner of International Golf Adventures, a provider of custom golf vacations in the USA and around the world. “I was with Jack on an amazing trip to Morocco more than 15 years ago. The following offers for our members include free places with their groups for Winter 2018-19.” – Geoff Bryant, USGTF president. USA – St. Augustine and World Golf Village * 8 days / 7 nights / 5 rounds of golf * USGTF pro travels FREE with 11 paying golfers * Two lodging options – The Residences villa/condos at World Golf Village or a good 4-star hotel in downtown St. Augustine * Golf including carts and preferential guaranteed tee times at Slammer & Squire GC, St John´s Golf…

“Pro” File – Touring Professional Nasa Hataoka

Her rookie year in 2017 on the LPGA Tour featured more missed cuts than made cuts, and her start in the current 2018 season was relatively slow, but Japan’s Nasa Hataoka has been coming on like gangbusters lately, taking the tour by storm. She won the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship and a week later shot a final round 64 to get into a playoff for the KMPGA Women’s PGA Championship, where she was eliminated on the first hole. Hataoka has now finished in the top 10 in five out of her last six tournaments. At just 19 years old, Hataoka is poised for stardom. In 2016, she won the Japan Women’s Open Championship, becoming the youngest person and first amateur to win a major championship on the Japan LPGA Tour.…

Editorial – Mickelson Ruling Exposes Rules Confusion

By now, most of you have certainly seen Phil Mickelson putting a moving ball back up the hill on Shinnecock Golf Club’s 13th green during the third round of the U.S. Open. For making a stroke at a moving ball, the USGA penalized Mickelson two strokes under Rule 14-5, which prohibits such an act. Most people who thought Mickelson should have been disqualified believed he was guilty of a serious breach of Rule 1-2 (which says, in part, “A player must not take an action with the intent to influence the movement of a ball in play” by stopping or deflecting a moving ball). Certainly, Mickelson did stop the ball from rolling. The penalty for the breach of this rule is two strokes, although a serious breach, deemed when a…

Does Golf Need A Shot Clock?

By Mike Stevens, USGTF contributing writer I love watching the European Tour. They are not afraid to try different things. A few weeks ago, I turned on the Austrian Open on Golf Channel one morning and as I watched a player get ready to hit a shot, a clock was ticking down on the television screen. Oh yeah, I remembered this was the tournament where a shot clock was introduced. Each player had 40 seconds to play a shot or incur a penalty of one shot. Players were also allowed to call a timeout twice per round, giving them twice the allotted time to put the ball in play. It was fantastic, and the action was nonstop. No incessant watching a player spend several minutes preparing to hit a shot…

Music…Good Or Bad For Golf?

By Cole Golden, WGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional At this year’s Zurich Championship, the two-man teams started their match by walking out to the first tee accompanied by the music of their choice.  Some players went for old-school rock music, while others selected today’s Top 40 hits.  Most reactions were extremely positive.  Players liked it; fans liked it.  Is this a trend that will continue? About four years ago, I remember hearing music for the first time on the golf course.   A member added speakers to his personal golf cart.  At first I was not a fan at all.  It bothered me for some reason; maybe it was his choice of music!  Now on a Saturday at our club, almost every group has music playing, either through small speakers or…

Be Prepared, No Matter The Forecast!

By, Cole Golden, WGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional Last weekend, I attended the USGTF Southwest Region Championship hosted at Ridgeview Ranch Golf Club in Plano, Texas. The two-day event was held over the weekend. I left Kansas on Thursday afternoon, and prior to packing I looked at the forecast, which called for temperatures in the low 90s and ZERO chance of rain! Saturday’s forecast was spot-on, hot and windy. While at dinner that evening, afternoon showers were added to the weather report; no big deal for our event, since we were teeing off in the morning. Sunday morning, I woke up to the sound of rain outside my hotel window. A few afternoon showers had turned into rain all day. As you can guess, I didn’t come prepared. When I…

National Golf Teachers Appreciation Day This Month

Monday, June 18, is National Golf Teachers Appreciation Day. This is the day that those who impart their knowledge and wisdom and give back to the game are recognized. Teaching golf is a noble profession, and professional instructors know well that to be successful, caring and concern for students is paramount for success. We at the USGTF are proud to recognize all of the hardworking women and men who make this a better game for all of us. For example, USGTF national course director Bob Wyatt has traveled the globe in training and certifying golf teaching professionals, and has sacrificed a lot of home time in order to make the game better. It is for teachers like Bob that National Golf Teachers Appreciation Day is meant for, and for the…

USGTF Regional News: Golden Takes SW Title, Northeast Championship Up Next

USGTF regional action kicked off this past May, with the Southwest Region Championship up for grabs. Cole Golden from Wichita, Kansas, fired rounds of 74-75 – 149 to take the title at Ridgeview Ranch Golf Course in Plano, Texas. Master Lee and SW Region director and host Bruce Sims finished second at 151, with Vito Cisternino another three shots back. Other regional championships are fast approaching: Northeast – The USGTF Northeast Region Championship will be held Friday, June 15, at Mountain View Golf Course in West Windsor Township, New Jersey. The Northeast championship regularly draws the largest number of participants of any USGTF regional event with over 40 players. All WGTF members, regardless of residence or level of membership, are eligible to play. For more information, please contact Northeast Region…

USGTF National Junior Championship Slated

USGTF member Bob Myers is hosting the USGTF National Junior Championships Tuesday, August 21, at Beekman Golf Course in Hopewell Junction, New Jersey. The tournament will be 27 holes with a 9:00 a.m. shotgun start for boys and girls ages 16-18, while 18 holes will be contested starting at 11:00 a.m. for boys and girls ages 13-15. Participants must be recommended by a USGTF professional. The entry fee is $90 for the 16-18 age group and $75 for the 13-15 age group, and includes the tournament, tournament merchandise, range balls, snacks at the turns, awards and dinner at the ceremony. USGTF members are encouraged to hold regional qualifying events at their facilities and have the qualifiers play in the national championship event. For more information, please contact Myers at (845)…

usgtf harvey penick golf teacher certified golf instructor pga

Nominations Now Accepted For Harvey Penick Trophy

Nominations for the 6th annual Harvey Penick Trophy for Excellence in Golf Teaching are now being accepted. Harvey Penick was one of America’s earliest great teachers, and his influence lives today. The award is based on teaching accomplishments, service to the golf community and to the game in general. All USGTF Certified Golf Teaching Professionals and Master Golf Teaching Professionals, except past winners, are eligible. Nominations (including self-nominations) may be made through email at info@usgtf.com or through regular mail to the USGTF National Office at 1295 SE Port St. Lucie Blvd., Port St. Lucie, FL 34952. The deadline for nominations is Friday, September 7, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. EDT.

“PRO” File – Touring Professional Cary Middlecoff

Quick – name the top 10 all-time winners on the PGA Tour. Names like Snead, Nicklaus, Woods, Hogan and Nelson quickly come to mind, with Casper and Hagen not far behind. But sitting there in 10th place is a name that seems to be forgotten among modern golf fans, and that name is Dr. Cary Middlecoff. Middlecoff was, in fact, one of the most dominating players of his era. Three times he won six tournaments in a year (1949, 1951, 1956) and won more tournaments than anyone during the 1950s. He was a multiple major winner, capturing the U.S. Open in 1949 and 1956 and the Masters in 1955. Although he is seemingly lost to history today with hardly any mention by golf pundits and writers, he was, according to…

Editorial – Hooray for Recognizing that Women Might Like Golf

The Royal & Ancient Golf Club just unveiled a new Women in Golf Charter as a drive to encourage more women and girls to play the game and work in the industry. Only a couple of centuries too late, but at least they have acknowledged that their behavior toward the fair sex has been woeful over the years. The new executive director of the R&A, Martin Slumbers, has thrown his full support behind the effort, which is nice to see from an organization that didn’t even allow women into their clubhouse. Men have a right to have their own club as do women, I get it. But there have been too many times when men have purposely discouraged females from taking up the game. If growth is an objective -…

Hooray For Recognizing That Women Might Like Golf

By Mike Stevens, USGTF contributing writer The Royal & Ancient Golf Club just unveiled a new Women in Golf Charter as a drive to encourage more women and girls to play the game and work in the industry. Only a couple of centuries too late, but at least they have acknowledged that their behavior toward the fair sex has been woeful over the years. The new executive director of the R&A, Martin Slumbers, has thrown his full support behind the effort, which is nice to see from an organization that didn’t even allow women into their clubhouse. Men have a right to have their own club as do women, I get it. But there have been too many times when men have purposely discouraged females from taking up the game.…

The Proof Is In – You Can’t Buy A Game

By Mike Stevens, USGTF contributing writer Just ran across a study by a group named ARCCOS, a golf-tracking statistics organization that found over the last three years the average golfer has actually lost distance. Can it be? With all the technology involved in golf these days, from launch monitors to TrackMan to speed slots, the average golfer has lost about three yards. Maybe it is time to refer to that Shakespeare line, “A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Or, as Barnum may or may not have said, there’s one born every minute. Now, I don’t know how many drivers have been introduced over the past three years, but I’d guess in the hundreds. Every club was touted as the longest ever assembled. Yet,…

usgtf members forum

USGTFMembers.com Is Your Communication Portal

USGTF members can have their say and communicate with their fellow members at www.USGTFMembers.com. Registration is free and is open to all members in good standing. Topics include instruction, equipment, USGTF events and general discussions. Employees of the National Office will also offer their input on a regular basis so you can see what is happening with your organization in real time. If you haven’t registered, please do so today and get in on the conversation!

Hotel, Practice Round Info For U.S., CGTF Cups

Hotel and practice round information has been released for the 2018 CGTF and United States Golf Teachers Cups, to be played October 2-3 at Ussher’s Creek Golf Course in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Marriott on the Falls has rooms for $279 per night and the Marriott Fallsview Hotel & Spa has rates beginning at $219 per night (all rates are Canadian currency). The Clifton Victoria Inn has rates of $159 and $209 for Friday and Saturday, respectively, and $92 per night starting on Sunday night. The Skyline Hotel has a rate of $119 for Friday and Saturday night and $79 starting on Sunday night. Practice rounds are $80 prior to 3:00 p.m. and $59 after, and may be booked online.

Top 100 Nominations Close This Month

Nominations for the latest edition of the WGTF Top 100 Teachers are due by May 4. Members may nominate one another or may nominate themselves. All who are currently on the list will automatically be considered, and members must be either a Certified Golf Teaching Professional® or a Master Golf Teaching Professional®. Criteria for consideration for the Top 100 list include number of years in the teaching industry, accomplishments, student success, and activity in USGTF national or regional events. Support materials, such as media stories of teacher and/or students, and letters of recommendation are encouraged. Support materials may be sent to info@usgtf.com or by mail to the USGTF National Office, 1295 SE Port St. Lucie Blvd., Port St. Lucie, FL 34952.

editorial - brian's brain

Brian’s Brain

Excuse the title dyslexia, but we need to power our motor skills…don’t we? Have you ever asked yourself if you are right- or left-brain dominant, and how that might affect your putting? I know what you are thinking: who cares! Well, consider the following: A left-brain dominant student sees lines in a linear fashion. On the other hand, the right-brain dominant player sees the shape of the putt and focuses on the curve. Good news, bad news – you are born that way and you can’t choose. You must adapt as needed, and the teaching professional must be able to recognize what kind of student they have! Now, lets apply this to green reading. Approx-imately 65% of golfers are left-brain dominant. Every putt is straight and breaks at the inflection…

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USGTF Regional Action Coming This Month

Southwest – The USGTF Southwest Region Championship will be held Friday-Sunday, May 18-20, at Ridgeview Ranch Golf Club in Plano, Texas, with region director Bruce Sims serving as the host. A dinner will be held Friday night with the first round of play Saturday afternoon. There will likely be a guest speaker with a topic relevant to all golf teaching professionals. The entry fee is $225 and includes the dinner, all tournament fees and prize money. An optional $20 skins pot that includes both days of play will be available. To enter, contact Sims prior to Sunday, May 13 at (214) 475-5168 and you can provide credit card information at that time. Play will be in multiple divisions with different tee assignments. Northwest – The USGTF Northwest Region Championship will…

Pro File - Robert Landers

“PRO” File – Touring Professional Robert Landers

He’s long been forgotten by the modern era of golf, but there was a time when Robert Landers was the toast of the golf world. A former department store manager and a farmer, he improbably qualified for what is now known as PGA Tour Champions back in 1994. Using a bag of clubs that were little more than homemade items and wearing muddy Reebok sneakers, Landers surprised virtually everyone when he landed one of the fully-exempt spots for the 1995 season. He came to the game late at the age of 22, but he quickly showed an acumen for it, qualifying for the 1980 U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur. He competed in local events and practiced on his farm among the cows. When it came time to ante up the…

Editorial – Does Golf Really Need A $1,200 Shaft?

Since its inception, golf has always had an air of exclus-iveness. Fortunately, in modern America, municipal courses are in abundance and offer reasonably-priced fees and memberships that are affordable for most people who want to play golf. Equipment – good equipment – can be found at a low cost if one is willing to put in a little research and legwork. Yet, it seems there are always those who want to push the envelope when it comes to price, attempting to convince people that if they aren’t spending a month’s wages on the latest and greatest in new clubs, they are behind the curve and hopelessly at a disadvantage to those who are willing to pony up. PXG founder Bob Parsons (of GoDaddy.com fame) is pushing his line of equipment…

The USGTF and its Global Influence

The year was 1993, and the USGTF was four years into its existence. Certification classes in the United States were sold out, with 50 participants regularly attending each of the then-quarterly sessions. New members were going out and finding or creating employment, a phenomenon that was not going unnoticed. One of those who took notice did not reside in the USA, but in faraway Timmendorfer-Strand, Germany. His name was Achim Picht, a man who owned a chain of golf schools named AMP Golf. Picht’s schools had locations in both Germany and Spain, and while the schools were successful, his instructors had no certification or formal training of any sort. Picht realized that to fend off the growing competition, he needed to bring some added credibility to his operation. So in…

Regional Events

By Cole Golden, WGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional Earlier in April, the Masters golf tournament was contested. For many people in the United States, it symbolizes the official start of the golf season. In the colder parts of the nation – especially those of us in the Midwest or further north – the season is beginning to kick off. With the excitement of a new golf season building, it is time to start planning your calendar for events. First and foremost, you should plan an October trip to the United States Golf Teachers Cup, which will combine with the Canadian Golf Teachers Cup in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Other golfers might also plan on trying to qualify for the U.S. Open, Senior U.S. Open, Monday qualifiers for Web.com events or other…

The Y Solution

By Bert Jones USGTF Certified Golf Teaching Professional® Loomis, California The Y Solution is a new term that I have invented to explain the confluence of three branches as represented by the letter Y: spatial awareness, coherence, and proprioception. Each branch has a unique influence on the game of golf. Before we begin, let’s define each branch so we can better apply teaching our clients. SPATIAL AWARENESS is the ability to be aware of oneself in space. It is an organized knowledge of objects in relation to oneself in that given space. Spatial awareness also involves understanding the relationship of these objects when there is a change of position. PROPRIOCEPTION is the sense of the orientation and relative position of neighboring parts of the body and the strength of effort…

Passing The Torch

By Thomas T Wartelle, WGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional I never saw my Pop play a round of golf. I saw him hit a golf ball only once in my life. He hit a left-handed persimmon wood about 250 yards with a draw. Although he followed me while I played, or caddied for me many times, I never saw him hit another golf ball again. Pop still smiles when I tell him about my golf and loves to hear about my son’s (his grandson’s) golfing achievements. When Pop was with me on the golf course, he was always supportive. He knew the difficulties of the game of golf. I think he saw golf as a parallel to life. When I wanted to turn pro, he immediately said, go do it.…

Common Sense Course Management

Why did you hit it over that waste area on thirteen?” Alan Pate asked me after the round. We were playing a mini-tour event on the Emerald Coast Golf Tour in the early 1990s, and Pate and I had been paired together. He was an All-American golfer at the University of Alabama, had played some on the PGA Tour, and eventually became a winner on what is now known as the Web.com Tour. “I wanted a shorter third shot into the green,” I replied. I had attempted a risky second shot over a waste area on the par-5 13th hole at Shalimar Pointe Golf Club, and was successful in pulling it off, although barely. It gave me an80-yard sand wedge approach to the back pin location, where if I laid…

Nominations Sought for Top 100 List

Nominations for the latest edition of the WGTF Top 100 Teachers list are now welcome. Members may nominate one another or may nominate themselves. All who are currently on the list will automatically be considered, and members must be either a Certified Golf Teaching Professional® or a Master Golf Teaching Professional®. Criteria for consideration for the Top 100 list include number of years in the teaching industry, accomplishments, student success, and activity in USGTF national or regional events. Support materials, such as media stories of teacher and/or students, and letters of recommendation are encouraged. Nominations for the Top 100 list close Friday, May 4. Nominations and support materials may be sent to info@usgtf.com or by mail to the USGTF National Office, 1295 SE Port St. Lucie Blvd., Port St. Lucie,…

National Golf Teachers Appreciation Day

Monday, June 18, is National Golf Teachers Appreciation Day. This is the day that those who impart their knowledge and wisdom and give back to the game are recognized. Teaching golf is a noble profession, and professional instructors know well that to be successful, caring and concern for students is paramount for success. We at the USGTF are proud to recognize all of the hardworking women and men who make this a better game for all of us. For example, USGTF Hall of Fame member Pat Church from Eugene, Oregon, has selflessly devoted herself to the USA Special Olympics golf team the past few years. It is members like Pat for whom this day belongs, and is fitting to recognize all golf teaching professionals who are at the forefront of…

CGTF Cup, U.S. Golf Teachers Cup Update

Excitement is building for the joint CGTF Cup, United States Golf Teachers Cup and the United States Senior Golf Teachers Cup to be held at Ussher’s Creek Golf Course at Legends on the Niagara in Niagara Falls, Ontario, October 2-3, 2018. This joint tournament venture between the Canadian Golf Teachers Federation and the USGTF is the first since 2001. The CGTF Cup will feature play in Open, Senior, Super Senior and Women’s divisions. The U.S. Cup is open to all age groups and also has a Ladies division, while the U.S. Senior Cup is open to players 50 and over. The Senior Cup also has Super Senior and Legends divisions. More information can be found at http://www.cgtf.com/2018-cgtf-usgtf-teachers-cup. Please join us for this unique tournament opportunity!

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Regional Action – Southwest, Southeast, Central, Northwest

USGTF regional events are a great way to stay in touch with your organization, meet other members, and compete. All events are open to all USGTF members regardless of membership level or residence. You can also read about all of the regional events at https://www.usgtf.com/tournaments-for-golf-teaching-professionals. Southwest – The USGTF Southwest Region Championship will be held Friday-Sunday, May 18-20, at Ridgeview Ranch Golf Club in Plano, Texas, with region director Bruce Sims serving as the host. A dinner will be held Friday night with the first round of play Saturday afternoon. There will likely be a guest speaker with a topic relevant to all golf teaching professionals. The entry fee is $225 and includes the dinner, all tournament fees and prize money. An optional $20 skins pot that includes both days…

Stevens Selected to Captain Hickory Team

USGTF Southeast Region director Mike Stevens has been chosen as captain of the North American team that will compete against a European team for the Freedman Cup at Castelconturbia Golf Club, Conturbia, Italy. The Freedman Cup is a Ryder Cup-like competition where players used hickory-shafted golf clubs like players did in the 1920s-era of golf. Sixteen players from each side will compete over the three days of competition from May 3 to 5, 2018. This is the third edition of the event, which has been won both times previously by the North American team, but the Europeans have assembled a strong group for the upcoming matches. The Freedman Cup is named for Lionel Freedman, who founded the World Hickory Open, which is played each October in Scotland.

Teacher’s Corner: Power

Every student I meet wants more power so they can hit the ball longer. Power is great as long as you keep it in the fairway. I would rather be 15 yards shorter and in the fairway than 15 yards longer and be in the rough or the woods. There are several elements of power that we need to examine to ensure that we are optimizing student distance. Clearly, equipment is an easy fix to make sure that the driver matches the player, with special emphasis on shaft flex. In truth, there are 21 items that we can customize on the driver (for more information, read Tom Wishon’s book Finding the Perfect Driver). The player setup consisting of grip, alignment, posture and ball position (GAPP) is essential, and lays the…

“Pro” Files – Touring Professional Jessica Korda

Athletic genes run in the Korda family of Florida. Patriarch Petr is a native of the former country of Czechoslovakia and the 1998 Australian Open winner in tennis, and his wife Regina was also a professional tennis player. They have three American-born children, Jessica, Nelly and Sebastian. Both Jessica and Nelly play on the LPGA Tour, and Sebastian is the #1-ranked junior tennis player in the world. Jessica, the oldest of the three, has won five times on the LPGA Tour, but had been battling facial cramps and headaches due to a severe overbite. She finally had surgery to correct the problem, with doctors having to break her nose and both her upper and lower jaw to complete the procedure. After an extended recovery, she returned to professional golf in…

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Editorial – Now They’re Concerned with Distance…A Bit too Late at this Stage

People say golf is about tradition. Nonsense! Ever since the first sheepherder hit a rock with the crook of his staff, the only constant in golf has been distance, more and more of it. The rock was replaced by wood, wood by stuffed leather. After that, hard rubber, which was overtaken by wound elastic, to finally solid cores with multi-elastomeric covers. The farther the ball went the better, everyone said. That makes the game more fun, according to the experts. So why the fuss lately and by whom? I don’t hear the fans complaining, nor the average golfer. The people who were supposed to be looking out for the game are now concerned after years of stating that distance was not a problem. Seems a bit late. So, let’s think…

The Power Of Three Squared

By Bert Jones USGTF Certified Golf Teaching Professional® Loomis, California Everything that you do in your life will be decided by three words: need, want and desire. If you don’t believe me, take the test and think about its application to your golf game. Before testing, we must define the three words that will be used. NEED –require (something), because it is essential or very important. (These are the essentials that you must have, and should not be confused with want.) WANT – a lack or deficiency of something other than need. DESIRE – a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen. (Your desire should have purpose, which will help avoid anxiety and create alignment between your heart, mind and soul.) Let’s apply the…

Understanding The Motive

By David Vaught, USGTF Master Professional Occasionally we are all confronted with a deep-meaning question from someone that requires quite a bit of reflection. It could be a colleague, peer, student, or family member. As I have progressed through the years in my golf career, I get asked the following question more and more often: “How did you get where you are today in the golf business?” A few years ago, when confronted with this question by a young aspiring golf professional, I was caught completely off guard, but the answer popped into my head unexpectedly. Before I reveal that epiphany, I must say after that day I began to notice a similar motive for almost every successful golf instructor I have come across the last half of my career.…

Rhythm,Timing and Tempo

During the past U.S. Open on the Fox Television broadcast, Curtis Strange remarked that a lot of emphasis was placed on swing positions and movements, but little was placed on rhythm and tempo. Strange had a point. It seems instruction these days has become so technical, so mechanical, that the artistic part of the swing has been lost in the maze of science. Sam Snead once said that he imagined waltz music inside his head in order to get his rhythm right. If we told our students today to imagine this, we would probably get blank stares in this age of hip-hop and rap music. There are ways to get some rhythm, timing and tempo going in our students’ swings, but first we must define what each is in the scheme of the golf swing. Rhythm is the combining of the different parts of…

Positive Body Language: Five Tips to Attract and Retain New Clients

By Ben Bryant, MAUSGTF Certified Golf Teaching Professional®, Tampa, Florida The first week of school is an important week for all high school coaches. For me, it’s not only the first opportunity to meet the students I’ll teach all year, but it’s also the beginning of the golf season, with new players and parents showing up at the golf course. How first meetings go are vital to laying a foundation for a positive relationship between you (the teacher) and your players. Using positive body language can be a vital component in that foundation. Columbia University did a recent study where participants were placed in a variety of situations where positive body language techniques were used, but the participants discussed negative and depressing topics. They also created scenarios where participants used…

Evolution Of Golf Teaching

By Dr. Gerald A. Walford USGTF Certified Golf Teaching Professional® The Villages, Florida Swing The Clubhead by Ernest Jones, 1952 Better Golf in Five Minutes by J. Victor East, 1956 The Golf Swing of the Future by Mindy Blake, 1972 ERNEST JONES Ernest Jones was a British golf pro who came to America, where he became a famous teaching pro. In working with Babe Zaharias, he told her, “I watched you. The day you can stop experimenting is the day you will be a great golfer, maybe the greatest of all.” And it was true. This comment is the basis of his teachings. Jones taught the golf swing as a pendulum, a simple pendulum. Jones lost his right leg during the war and played off his left leg. Four months after his amputation he scored a 38 on the front, and despite fatigue, a 45 on the back nine for an 83…remarkable. His theory was that the swing was everything…

Dylan Malafronte

Florida Pro Wins USGTF-Sponsored US Pro Hickory

Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club in Tampa, Florida, opened in 1922 and laid out by noted architect Tom Bendelow, was described by the Tampa Tribune as a brute of a course stretching out over 6,400 yards. That’s probably not worthy by today’s standard, but a stout test for the century-old clubs used back then. The links held up well against some excellent modern-day hickory golfers at the 2018 United States Professional Hickory Championship held February 26, with Dylan Malafronte from Ocala, Florida, carding an even-par 72 to grab the John Shippen Cup with a margin of two strokes clear of Mark Harman from Ridgeland, South Carolina. This year’s Ladies’ championship goes to Jennifer Cully of Apollo Beach Golf Club in Florida, with an excellent round of 86. The U.S.…

international golf psychology association

IGPA Course Offered

The International Golf Psychology Association (IGPA) is pleased to announce the Masters Level Golf Psychology Webinar series with Dr. Gregg Steinberg. The Masters Level Golf Psychology webinar series is a continuation of the IGPA on-line golf psychology certification course found at www.MasteringGolfPsychology.com. This webinar series will cover many essential golf psychology topics and is conducted by Dr. Steinberg, who is recognized by Golf Digest as one of the world’s greatest sport psychologists. Dr. Steinberg has been the mental game coach for many PGA Tour winners, and is the head psychologist for the IGPA as well as the head sport psychologist for the United States Golf Teachers Federation. The Masters Level Golf Psychology Webinar series will be 7-8 p.m. EST on Wednesday nights in March (March, 7, 14, 21, 28). If…

USGTF Regional and National Tournament Action

The 23rd United States Golf Teachers Cup will take place October 2-3, 2018, in Niagara Falls, Ontario, as a joint venture with the Canadian Golf Teachers Federation. CGTF president Marc Ray has announced that Ussher’s Creek at Legends on the Niagara will be the location. Registration is now open at http://www.cgtf.com/2018-cgtf-usgtf-teachers-cup. Dates for the Southwest Region Championship and the Central Region Championship have been announced. Information for the Southeast, Northeast, and Northwest Region championships is pending. All current information can be found at https://www.usgtf.com/tournaments-for-golf-teaching-professionals.

Player Amateur Tour in Full Swing

USGTF member Wayne Player is thrilled to update us that the launch of the Player Amateur Tour has been met with great success. Marketing through the Player Amateur Site and mobile app is reaching millions, Membership in the Tour is increasing daily, and sponsors like OnCore Golf, TeeOff.com, OGIO, NuCalm, Par Bar, Skimp Belts and Easy Belt have all jumped on board to “Go For The Green.” Looking to earn some extra cash? Now it’s your turn to tee off with the Player Amateur Tour. USGTF members have an opportunity to serve as a Brand Ambassador with the tour and earn money along the way. To become a Brand Ambassador for the Player Amateur Tour and start generating incremental income today, please click here.

ontal corporate golf

Ontal Offers Partner Opportunity for USGTF Members

USGTF members now have the opportunity to purchase discounted golf equipment through their personal Ontal Corporate Golf Wellness account and resell to their students at retail pricing. You are then able to not only set up your students with new clubs and products, but also make a profit on the sale. Setup is easy – simply visit www.Ontalcgw.com and create an account. Once your account has been approved, you will receive a welcome email and may then log on to see your member pricing. You can then set your sale price, order and sell to your students. Please call Dan Webb at 414-614-8488 for more information and/or questions.

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“PRO” File – Touring Professional Luke List

He nearly grabbed his first PGA Tour win at the Honda Classic, but Luke List’s effort in a playoff against reigning Player of the Year Justin Thomas fell just short.  Nevertheless, the long-hitting List seems ready to take the next step in professional golf. List was runner-up to Ryan Moore in the 2004 U.S. Amateur and earned a Master’s invitation the following year, where he finished in a tie for 33rd place. He turned pro in 2007 and made it to what is now known as the Web.com Tour in 2010, and in 2013 he was a rookie on the PGA Tour. However, he failed to keep his card and it was three years later before he finally rejoined the big tour for good. The playoff loss to Thomas was…

Teachers Need To Avoid The Perfection Syndrome

By Mark Harman USGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional In our scientific age where we can measure to the tenth of a degree a golfer’s swing path and clubface angle, it can be addicting to try to reach perfection or near-perfection in results or technique. When you hear gurus on TV break down a top professional’s swing, they often point to most minute details to explain why said golfer is either succeeding or failing. This attention to detail, while on the surface plausible, can actually be detrimental to a golfer, regardless of skill level. One of the truisms of a golf swing is that it is more important to have a repeating swing than a perfect swing. And some of the repeating swings that our students make can often be quite…

Teaching English-Language Learners

By Ben Bryant, MA – USGTF Certified Golf Teaching Professional®, Tampa, Florida It’s been a rough year for Puerto Rico. Two major hurricanes this summer – first Irma in early September, then Maria a few weeks later – devastated the people and infrastructure of the 50-mile wide U.S. commonwealth. Progress to restore the island’s electrical grid has been slow. Six weeks after the storms, as much as 95 percent of Puerto Rico’s 3.5 million residents remained without electricity. With fears that the recovery will stretch into months and even years, many Puerto Ricans have decided to leave the island. Every day, dozens of airplanes leave San Juan filled with Puerto Ricans who may never return. More than 80 percent of those airplanes are headed to Florida, where the governor has declared a state of emergency in order to free up money to help…

Navigating The Golf Ball Product Maze

By Mike Stevens,USGTF contributing Writer One thing the world will never run out of is golf balls. Wandering the aisles of the PGA show, I found no less than a dozen ball manufacturers. I guess it’s nice to make a product that often gets lost with one swing of the crooked stick. I’m all for competition, but what I find most interesting is how each company makes several kinds of orbs in their repertoire. There are soft balls, spin balls, high flight, low flight, weight-balanced or multi-layered. It is enough to make your head explode. Most golfers I know couldn’t care less. What matters most to the average player is price, because they aren’t good enough to feel a difference from one ball to the next. Unless it’s a Christmas…

25 Degree Golf

By Arlen Bento Jr. USGTF Member Jensen Beach, Florida One swing required with 25 Degree Golf! Have you ever asked yourself why golf irons are made the way they are? Why are lofted wedges shorter than the lower-lofted long irons? What if I told you that your traditional sets of irons are wrong and that there is a much better way to play golf? Would it perk your interest? If yes, then you are going to find this article very interesting. Here’s my background, in case readers don’t know me: My name is Arlen Bento Jr., and I am an award-winning golf coach and WGTF Top 100 Teacher. I have been contributing articles to the USGTF for nearly 20 years and I own and operate a golf instruction and internet…

Member Benefits

By Cole Golden, WGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional There are many benefits of belonging to the USGTF and WGTF.  Just a few of the top benefits that come to my mind are the Golf Teaching Pro magazine, regional tournaments, the U.S. and World Golf Teachers Cups, and personal discounts from club manufacturers.  However, my favorite is our member’s forum. USGTFMembers.com is a wonderful forum for our members to post about many different topics.  Whether you are needing an instructor, asking for ideas about a problem with a student, or getting excited about an upcoming USGTF event, the forum has it all. Having met members from all over the world through our different venues, it is also a great way to keep in touch with members who are far away.  This…

Slow Play

By Cole Golden, WGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional By now, everyone has seen or heard what happened at the Farmers Insurance Open in January at Torrey Pines on the 18th hole with J.B. Holmes. For those would like a recap, Holmes was down two shots to the clubhouse leader and needed an eagle to tie. His two playing partners also had a chance to win, one with a birdie and the other with an eagle. J.B. took over four minutes to finally play his lay-up shot (we can discuss this in a later article). J.B. is renowned as a slow player, even though he has worked on speeding up over the course of the past few years. Throughout the day, he would take 5-10 practice swings before each shot. The…

Get Your Students Into The Zone

By Dr. Gregg Steinberg USGTF Sports Psychologist, Nashville, Tennessee Everyone wants to be in the zone. The zone is this magical, mystical place in which you feel so confident, your focus is so sharp and your emotions are completely calm. The zone is being at your best in whatever you are accomplishing. It would be wonderful if we can help our students to get into the zone as much as possible on the golf course. Here are two easy steps to helping students to get into the zone more often: 1) Become aware of their zone experience. Your students need to be aware of which emotions occur during the zone experience. 2) Emotionally prepare for the zone state. Your students will need to develop a personalized routine that will help…

Registration Now Open for 2018 US/CGTF Cup

Registration is now open for the 23rd annual United States Golf Teachers Cup to be played October 1-3, 2018, at Ussher’s Creek Golf Course in Niagara Falls, Canada. This year’s cup will be played as a joint venture with the Canadian Golf Teachers Federation and will be held concurrently with the CGTF Cup. Niagara Falls is one of the world’s greatest vacation destinations and offers many amenities for a complete golf and family vacation. Please visit http://www.cgtf.com/2018-cgtf-usgtf-teachers-cup/ for more information and to register. We look forward to seeing you at this unique and cooperative venture.

US Professional Hickory Championship This Month

The 2018 United States Professional Hickory Championship will be played Monday, February 26 at Temple Terrace Country Club in Tampa, Florida. USGTF Southeast Region director Mike Stevens hosts this USGTF-sponsored event, which honors the game’s heritage, and pays homage to the original Florida Open played at the same site. A purse of $5,000 is offered, and there is also a separate amateur division. Clubs will be provided for those who do not have their own, and may be obtained Sunday, February 25 at Terrace Hill Golf Course and Driving Range near the club. The entry fee is $100. For more information and to enter, please go to www.USProHickory.com or email Stevens at ams1127@msn.com.

USGTF Regional Events

USGTF regional event action is a great way to meet some of your fellow members, compete and help strengthen your region. The USGTF has five regions: Southeast, Northeast, Central, Southwest and Northwest. Southwest Region director Bruce Sims and Central Region director Brent Davies have released the schedule for their 2018 regional championships, and information may be found at https://www.usgtf.com/tournaments-for-golf-teaching-professionals/. All WGTF members, regardless of residence, are welcome at all USGTF regional events.

Jones Named Northwest Region Director

Longtime USGTF member Bert Jones has been named the new USGTF Northwest Region director. Jones, from Loomis, California, has been an active participant with the USGTF and is also a Master Golf Teaching Professional. He is the head professional at DarkHorse Golf Club in Auburn, California and serves as the head coach of the St. Francis High School girls golf team. He may be reached through email at consult1golf@aol.com.

Player Amateur Tour to Tee Off

USGTF member Wayne Player is always on the go, and his latest venture is a boon to amateur golfers everywhere. The Player Amateur Tour is slated to begin play in 2018 with Player serving as commissioner. This revolutionary tour changes the way competition is held, and features a season-ending finale in Las Vegas. USGTF members have an opportunity to serve as a Brand Ambassador with the tour and earn money along the way. To become a Brand Ambassador for The Player Amateur Tour and start generating incremental income today, please click here.

Member Success Stories and Profiles Sought

Golf Teaching Pro magazine, the official member publication of the USGTF, is looking for member success stories and profiles to be featured in the Summer 2018 edition. If you have a story that you believe your fellow members would be interested in, don’t be shy! We welcome any and all submissions, and are glad to highlight our members and bring some attention to their success. Submissions may also be featured in the monthly e-newsletter. To submit your information, please send it to USGTF Membership services at info@usgtf.com, along with a profile picture (no hat or sunglasses, and a smile is always preferred!).

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Editorial – Members Weigh In on Teacher Honestly

By Mark Harman, USGTF Course Director Last month, I wrote about my dilemma on how honest I should be with a student while at the same time not destroying their enjoyment and aspirations for their games. I asked my fellow members to weigh in on how they handled such situations, and a good number of you replied. Here are some of the responses: Joe DeLorenzo wrote, “First, we must clarify expectations; improvements are not likely to happen overnight. Instructors can only provide information for improvements, provided the student is willing to put in the work. Goals must be staircased, so measure gradual improvements over time. If the high-level goal is to improve scores, start with baselines for each course the student will play, and try to break the personal best,…

Same Struggles For PGA Tour Players

By David Vaught, USGTF Master Teaching Professional The common perception, and common sense, frankly, is that the players we marvel at on television each week have this golf thing all figured out. Yes, they hit the ball different than everyone else. If you stood in close proximity to the top players in the world, it looks different, sounds different and appears to be a different game than we play. When attending a tour event in person, I am often reminded of the Bobby Jones quote after observing a young Jack Nicklaus: “He plays a game for which I am not familiar.” But believe it or not, tour players struggle with the same mental issues that average golfers, new golfers and your students do. Recently, I was fortunate to spend a…

A Strong Grip = Slicing… And Other Teaching Paradoxes

By Mark Harman USGTF Course Director, Ridgeland, South Carolina When I’m not executing my duties for the USGTF, I spend my time teaching this great game that we all love. The other day, a student came to me, saying he was hitting his driver all over the lot, but he especially struggled with a slice. It didn’t take but one swing to easily see what his problem was: He was slicing the ball because he had a very strong grip. Wait a minute, you might say. What do you mean he was slicing because he had a strong grip? Everyone knows a strong grip leads to hooking the ball! In most cases that would be true. But there are those golfers who use strong grips and almost never hook or…

Components of Solid Ball Striking

By Thomas T Wartelle, WGTF Master Teaching Professional Great ball strikers all have something in common. They consistently achieve five factors at impact in relation to the intended target line.  I abbreviate “intended target line” as ITL.  The ITL is the benchmark target the golfer is trying reach starting at impact. The five human performance factors at impact are: 1) clubface position to the ITL, 2) club path to the ITL, 3) centeredness of contact, 4) angle of approach, and 5) clubhead speed.  All great ball strikers achieve a high level of each of these components.  However, two really stand out, clubface position and centeredness of contact.   If one does not strike the ball with the center of gravity or sweet spot of the golf club, there can be…

Teaching Outside the Box

By David Vaught USGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional® – Vista, California As often happens in other sports or even walks of life, humans tend to naturally repeat behaviors or actions they see at a young age. Far too often, we accept the “way it’s always been done” as our excuse for continuing to do things the same way we have experienced it or seen it done. As this relates to golf, and more specifically golf instruction, we should ask ourselves why the average lesson looks basically the same today as it did in 1950: Pile of balls, a set amount of time, teacher one-on-one with a golfer hoping to improve, or at least enjoy the game more. For the most part, it is like getting your haircut or getting a…

Balls

By Norm Crerar USGTF Contributing writer – Vernon, British Columbia I am a casual golfer. I was a 10 handicap at one time, but now am a lot older, creakier and crankier; the handicap is now a multiple of what it once was. As I have mentioned before, I have been teaching skiing for 50 years (some of those years with your esteemed USGTF president). I take golf lessons and really enjoy not only fixing my swing, for at least a short period of time, but discussing the nitty-gritty of teaching and how to be most effective in helping people improve. I read too many golf magazine articles and access too many golf tips on the internet. I have to take a break once in a while and “smell the…

Education Of A Golf Teacher

By Mark Harman USGTF Course Director, Ridgeland, South Carolina What does it take to become an excellent golf teaching professional? Certainly, there are a number of aspects that come into play, among them playing skill, a desire to learn and help others, and a motivation to become the best one can be at this craft. USGTF Master Teaching Professional David Vaught from Vista, California, one of the most respected members in our organization, has stated that one of his main motivations for being the best he can be is the desire to never give a bad lesson. In talking with David, you get the sense that he takes what he does for a living very seriously, and it comes through in his interactions with his students. He is undoubtedly one…

The Wisdom of Johnny O

Over the years, as in all walks of life, a wonderful cast of characters has inhabited the USGTF, from both the examining side and the candidate side. These people make indelible impressions on all of us with their uniqueness which makes the fabric of our lives all the more colorful. One such great character was the late USGTF examiner John Nichols, or “Johnny O” to his friends. He always had a positive outlook on life, upbeat even when adversity might defeat a lesser person. His passion for the game of golf was second to none, and he sought to influence each person he met with that same passion. John passed away much too young in October 1994 at the age of 47, but for those of us at the USGTF, he will always be remembered. He was an excellent player, having played the Tour in the early 1980s, and…

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2018! Twenty-nine years ago, the USGTF was founded as an alternative to give those who wanted to teach the game of golf the opportunity to earn certification through a teaching-only curriculum. Throughout our history, the USGTF has been instrumental in giving thousands of people their entrance into the golf teaching profession, and we are proud to have played a part in our members’ success. As we ring in the new year, all of us at the USGTF National Office wish you a Happy New Year and continued success. If there is anything we can do for you, please don’t hesitate to contact our Membership Services division at (888) 346-3290 or (772) 335-3216. You can also reference our website contact page at https://www.usgtf.com/contact.

U.S. Pro Hickory Set for Tampa in February

The 8th annual USGTF-sponsored United States Professional Hickory Championship will take place on Monday, February 26, 2018, at historic Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club in Tampa, Florida. The championship is open to male and female golf professionals and hosted by Mike Stevens, USGTF Southeast Region director. This tournament is a testament to the history and heritage of our game as it was first played with hickory-shafted golf clubs. It honors the memory of John Shippen, America’s first golf professional, and the 1925 Florida Open in which all the prominent pros of the day played. Information and entry forms can be obtained at www.USProHickory.com. Clubs, if needed, are provided for participants by the tournament committee.

U.S. Cup Makes Historic Journey North of the Border

Setting precedents has been a hallmark of the USGTF, and in 2018, a historic first will be realized. Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, will be the host city for the 23rd annual United States Golf Teachers Cup, and will be played Tuesday and Wednesday, October 2-3, at Ussher’s Creek Golf Course at Legends on the Niagara golf facility. The Canadian Golf Teachers Cup will also be played concurrently at the same facility, making this the first joint venture between the USGTF and CGTF in terms of competition. The early-bird entry fee has been set at $350 Canadian (currently $280 American) if entries are received prior to May 15. More information will be made available shortly. We hope to see you at this truly historic happening.

“PRO” File – Touring Professional Sang Moon Bae

Imagine being a world-class athlete at the top of your game, and then imagine having to spend two of your prime years serving in the military. For Americans and others during World War II, this wasn’t unusual, but in the 21st century, it’s quite an anomaly. However, this was the situation facing Korea’s Sang Moon Bae in 2015, when he entered the Korean military after winning an event on the PGA Tour and securing four other top-10 finishes, and winding up 26th on the FedEx Cup points list. Bae returns as a fully-exempt player for 2017-18, but so far his results haven’t been to his normal standard, having made just one cut in his first four appearances in his return to the game. Obviously, his competitive game has some rust…

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Reminder on USGTF Identification Policy

Here is a brief reminder of how USGTF members may be allowed to identify themselves in conjunction with their USGTF membership status: Associate Member – Must always use the term “Associate Member” when identifying themselves as a USGTF member in a professional capacity. Terms such as “USGTF Member,” “USGTF Professional,” “USGTF Teaching Professional,” etc., are not allowed as they do not use the term “Associate Member.” Certified Golf Teaching Professional® – May identify themselves with a wide array of terms such as “USGTF Professional” and “USGTF Certified Golf Teaching Professional.” May not identify themselves as a “Master Golf Teaching Professional®” or any other term with the word “Master” in it. Master Golf Teaching Professional® – May use virtually any term in identifying themselves as a USGTF member. For more information,…

Editorial – Honesty and the Golf Teacher

By: Mark Harman, USGTF National Course Director It’s a dilemma I’ve faced countless times in my golf teaching career, and it’s one that, 28 years later, I still have no good way of handling. I’m referring to how honest I can or should be with some of my students. One of the things that breaks my heart – although only in a teaching sense as this is far from a tragedy – is when a student of mine wants to accomplish something and comes to me for my help, and I can clearly see that they have no hope of doing so. A good example is a former low-handicap older golfer with physical ailments wanting to increase distance and regain their glory days, when it is obvious to me that…

Does Tiger Need A Coach?

By Cole Golden, USGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional Tiger Woods recently announced that, after three years, he is no longer working with his golf instructor Chris Como.  Of course, with this type of decision, the public is ready to critique both the pros and cons.  Tiger has been playing golf at a high level for a long time.  He has had some of the top teachers in the world like Butch Harmon, Hank Haney, Sean Foley and Como.  His longest lasting coach/student relationship was with Harmon, for almost seven years. Between all of the instruction Tiger has had over the course of his lifetime, one would assume his knowledge and understanding of the golf swing in general – not to mention his golf swing – is very high.  Tiger should be able…

Making The Most Of Taking Golf Lessons An Open Letter To Our Students

By David Vaught USGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional®, Vista, California We hear very often how difficult golf is. There is no doubt that hitting a 1.68-inch ball with a flat surface on the end of a stick seems crazy. Add trees, water, weather, and worst of all, the human brain, and it can seem almost impossible. But there is something about golf that is even more difficult sometimes than the game itself, and that is the experience of taking instruction from another person on how to perform the difficult task of hitting a golf ball. So, how do you get the most out of golf instruction? There are several keys to maximizing the instruction you receive. First of all, let’s assume you are taking the lesson from a qualified, knowledgeable…

Drills That Work

By Ken Butler USGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional® Bradenton, Florida One of the hardest things for a student to accomplish is to take what you have been working on with them to the golf course. That’s why I think it is so important to give them a couple of drills that they can take with them to the course. Deciding which drill or drills that they can use will obviously depend on what you have been working on together on the practice tee. Here are a couple of drills that I have found to be very beneficial. To be clear, the player must understand that he must have some swing thoughts, although it would be great to go out there and just swing. I think we all know that’s a…

What Can You Learn from the New Masters Champion, Sergio Garcia

By Dr. Gregg Steinberg USGTF Member and Sports Psychology Consultant, Nashville, Tennessee ACCEPTANCE – this was the key mental game ingredient that lifted the new Masters champion, Sergio Garcia, to victory. In his younger days, Garcia would get upset when the bounces and breaks did not go his way. But as he matured as a person, Garcia stated that he learned to accept what Augusta National gives you and takes from you. This acceptance gave him peace of mind to handle the pressure and win his first major in 74 attempts. Acceptance is key for any profession. There are always going to be bad weeks with a few bad breaks. But there will also be a turnaround with fortunate twists of fate. Life is full of peaks and valleys. The…

Students Finding Their Way With GPS

Nowadays, it seems almost everyone has a GPS to navigate their way to their destination, and golfers are no exception. Students in and around Phoenix, Arizona (the Valley), have access to their own GPS when it comes to learning golf – Golf Program in Schools. USGTF Certified Golf Teaching Professional Larry Gantverg of Phoenix is involved in the program, and he says, “This excellent non-profit organization is bringing no-cost golf instruction to public schools as part of the school’s physical education pro-gram. The program takes five days, and in 175 minutes I am able to teach the pre-shot routine including grip, full-shot irons, full-shot drivers, as well as pitching and chipping. This instruction is accomplished using mats and rubber balls in the gym of the school.” Instruction is primarily geared…

Three Questions That Capture Your Customer’s Attention

By Stu Schlackman USGTF Contributing Writer Richardson, Texas Editor’s note: As golf teaching professionals, we are also in the sales business. This article, while not specifically written for teaching professionals, is pertinent to our profession and provides valuable guidance for furthering your business. You may be asking yourself, “Why didn’t I get the follow-up meeting with that recent prospect?” You asked all the right questions and got the answers you needed to qualify them. You had their budget, knew their goals and needs, and their time frame to make the decision. You knew who the decision maker was, were keenly aware of your competitors that were in play, and felt that you had the perfect solution to meet their needs. So why didn’t it work out? Unfortunately, this happens to…

Golf’s Five Major Body Problem Areas

By Bert Jones USGTF Certified Golf Teaching Professional® Loomis, California It is critical that golf instructors understand the five major body problem areas to prevent golf injuries, and be able to identify swing characteristics that can cause those injuries. The five areas that we will briefly y discuss in this article are the lower back, wrists, shoulder complex, elbow and hips. Consider this: A golfer exerts a compressive force of eight times their weight on the lower back with each swing. So, if you weigh 200 pounds, you exert a compressive force of 1,600 pounds on your lower back each time you swing. Compare that to running, which is considered a high-impact sport that normally produces a compression force of three to four times the body weight. Lower back injuries…

Seasons Greetings From the USGTF

As we head into the holiday season, the entire staff at the USGTF National Office wish everyone Seasons Greetings! We trust that you had a successful season teaching this great game of ours and hope that 2018 will be even better. As always, the National Office is glad to hear from our members, and if you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us at usgtf.com/contact.

2018 Dues Reminder

All USGTF members who wish to remain in good standing may do so by remitting dues for 2018 to the USGTF National Office by December 31, 2017. Being a member in good standing allows you the right to continue to call yourself a USGTF member, as well as being able to take advantage of generous discounts from our industry partners. In addition, liability insurance from Bollinger is available at a group rate that is far less expensive than is generally available to non-USGTF members. The ability to play in our regional and national events is also a benefit that many enjoy on an annual basis. Remittances may be made at www.usgtf.com/renew, or you may contact the USGTF National Office at (888) 346-3290.

Winter 2018 Magazine to Hit Mailboxes Soon

Golf Teaching Pro magazine, the printed voice of golf teaching professionals worldwide, is due to hit your mailbox soon with the Winter 2018 edition. Called a valuable resource by a number of industry experts, the magazine is printed twice a year. The USGTF considers it important to provide members with a hard copy that contains relevant instructional, informational and entertaining content. If you have moved since the Summer 2018 issue, please contact the USGTF National Office to update your current address.

U.S. Cup Negotiations Underway

A unique venue and format are being considered for the 23rd edition of the United States Golf Teachers Cup for 2018. Negotiations are ongoing with the Canadian Golf Teachers Federation to hold a joint U.S./Canadian Golf Teachers Cup in the Niagara Falls, Ontario, area for September. More information will be made available at a later date, pending the outcome of negotiations.

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Certification Schedule for 2018 Now Online

Do you know someone who wants to become a Certified Golf Teaching Professional®? If so, you may point them to www.USGTF.com/schedule, which contains the dates and locations of USGTF certification courses for 2018. Becoming certified gives teachers and prospective teachers the tools and credibility they need in today’s marketplace. If you know of someone who wants to become certified and they have further questions, please have them call the USGTF National Office at (888) 346-3290.

International PGA Affirms Relationship with WGTF

Glen Sorensen, president of the International PGA, has affirmed in a letter to USGTF president Geoff Bryant that the two organizations have had a mutually beneficial relationship over the years, and looks forward to continuing the relationship in the years ahead. The International PGA is based out of St. Lucia, in the Caribbean, and serves to unite golf teaching professionals from around the world under one umbrella. Recognized organizations include all countries’ PGAs and every WGTF international federation. Members from those organizations are welcome to join the International PGA, which provides members with worldwide recognition and resources to enable them to enhance their professional profiles and their careers. More information can be obtained at www.InternationalPGA.com.

“Pro” Files – Touring Professional Tommy Fleetwood

With long flowing hair and a scruff of a beard, England’s Tommy Fleetwood looks to be more at home on the beach than on the links. But make no mistake – golf is his game and he’s very, very good at it. Fleetwood won the European Tour’s Race to Dubai in 2017 and will likely be a stalwart on the 2018 European Ryder Cup Team. Fleetwood contended strongly at the 2017 U.S. Open before finishing fourth, and had a runner-up finish at the WGC Mexico Golf Championship, playing against the best in the world. His first European Tour win came in 2013 and he added two more in 2017. With a number of high finishes in other tournaments, Fleetwood entered the Race to Dubai as the points leader and he…

Editorial – Let’s Celebrate the Return of Tiger

I never got to see Michaelangelo or Da Vinci paint. I never got to see Shakespeare write, or Abraham Lincoln recite the Gettysburg Address. But I did get to see Tiger Woods play golf. Yes, I put Tiger in the same category as these other historic greats. His genius is every bit the equal of those Renaissance masters, albeit in a competitive arena. And yet, the artistry Tiger displayed at his best was just as exquisite as any artist in history. Some people don’t like Tiger because of some of his on-course antics (swearing and slamming his club into the ground), and they have a valid point. I don’t have a problem with people who don’t like him because of this. But these same people may be depriving themselves of…

Golf Teahcers And Respect For The Game

By Leo Perlmutter USGTF Member Rochester, New York One of the great things about our game is that it’s different from other sports. In fact, the differences are so great that golf might just be in a category all by itself. In golf, the players referee the game among themselves. Imagine NBA or NFL players playing without referees, and instead calling their own fouls and penalties. It doesn’t take much thought to realize that within minutes, the games would devolve into complete chaos. And yet, golf at the highest levels are largely refereed by the players, even to the point of calling penalties on themselves (at least when they are aware of them). Baseball, football, basketball and hockey have great histories and traditions that are revered by their aficionados, but…

Jordan Spieth Angered By Autograph Seekers

By Ben Bryant, MA USGTF Certified Golf Teaching Professional®, Tampa, Florida In early February 2017, Jordan Spieth had a run-in with some rude autograph seekers after a practice round at Pebble Beach. When asked about the incident, Spieth said the “fans” were actually professional autograph seekers. He became irate, he says, when they dropped an “F-bomb” in front of several children after he refused to sign their memorabilia. This isn’t the first time Spieth has taken autograph sellers to task. In June 2016 during practice rounds for the U.S. Open, Spieth said during a press conference that he had refused to sign autographs for “eBayers” because they were “smooshing” kids out of the way. Few people would begrudge Spieth for condemning child smooshing, but it does seem that professional autograph…

Learning Something New

By Cole Golden, WGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional A month ago at the World Golf Teachers Cup at Boulder Creek Golf Club in sunny Las Vegas, a demo day was held before the tournament started.  Different teaching-aid manufacturers were in attendance to share the latest and greatest in technology to make improvements to one’s game.  Like most teaching professionals, we have our go-to training aids.  I spent almost two hours visiting with the reps of these training aids. During my visits with each vendor, I continuously learned new things.  It made me laugh, because I always feel like we need to grow our skill set as teaching professionals, and an opportunity presented itself to help me do just that.  An even bigger benefit was that I noticed I wasn’t the…

Walk The Walk

By David Hill USGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional®, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada Seldom do I discuss or write about any of my accomplishments in golf because firstly, they are few and far between, and secondly, no one really cares. This past winter, however, I took it upon myself to set a goal to qualify for the MSOP putting championship to be held in late October in Las Vegas. Many have perhaps seen the promotional campaign for the MSOP (Major Series Of Putting) on Golf Channel in certain markets throughout the country. This article is not to promote MSOP, but since they are from my home town of Montreal, it offered a great opportunity to get the competitive juices flowing through season-long events, and ultimately their home base “Tour Championship” in which…

The Putting Assessment

By Bert Jones USGTF Certified Golf Teaching Professional® Loomis, California Many have said that putting is nothing more than line and speed. If so, then we would see more players making their putts. Putting deserves more attention from teaching professionals to help their students understand that it is more than just line and speed. Why should you place so much emphasis on putting? Putting is statistically 50 percent of your score, providing that you have hit every green in regulation and two-putt. But let’s say you shoot 72 with 30putts, yielding 41.6 percent of strokes being putts. It is still a large percentage of the game, and that is why we need to be better at teaching and assessing our students. Before you assess a player, ask some questions to better…

A Revolutionary Approach to Putting

By Dr. Gerald A. Walford USGTF Certified Golf Teaching Professional® The Villages, Florida Take a golf ball and pick a target, either on a golf green or your carpet at home. Crouch or bend over as you would in rolling a bowling ball. Roll the ball to the target. Chances are you rolled the ball accurately. You have just executed the way you should putt. You stood facing the target, looked at the target and rolled the ball with your dominant arm. You did not use two hands, because if you used two hands it would be difficult to roll the ball accurately. The roll is a one-arm swing. You did not tell yourself how hard to roll the ball. You looked at the target and your eyes told your…

Something’s Wrong Somewhere

By Bob Mullen USGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional, Wichita, Kansas The year was 1975, and golfing legend Sam Snead had just read a Golf Digest report on the average score of the male golfer; he was dismayed to learn it was 100. He considered all the improvements he had witnessed over the years in equipment, course maintenance and availability of instruction, and concluded there was no reason the average golfer should be scoring that high. He wrote, “Something’s wrong some-where.” With his book Simple Key Approach to Golf, Sam set out to provide simplified instruction to address what was “wrong.” This book was one of eleven books Sam wrote, believing in his books somewhere would be the answer that would help the average golfer. Snead was not alone: almost every…

Making The Most Of What You Have

By Mark Harman USGTF Course Director Ridgeland, South Carolina When Sally J. Sportsman interviewed me for her article in this magazine, “Teaching and Modeling a Winning Mindset” (page 17), she asked me a question that took some thought on my part to answer: “How do you know when you’re as good as you’re ever going to get?” It’s a question that has undoubtedly bedeviled golfers for centuries, and we see its effects on golfers today, including those in the professional ranks. It’s a question that is difficult to answer without some contemplation. One of the allures of golf is the intermittent reinforcement nature of the game, which researchers have found is a lynchpin of addiction. Gambling also offers such reinforcement, so it’s no stretch to say that golf can become…

Coaching High School Golf

By Bert Jones USGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional, Loomis, California St. Francis High School Girls Golf Team with head coach, Bert Jones. Last season I had a chanceto coach my first girls highschool golf team. It was a suc-cessful season, and needlessto say there was a lot I didn’tknow. The purpose of thisarticle is to relate some in-formation so you can decidewhether or not you want tocoach high school golf. First and foremost, you need to decide why youwant to coach. Hopefully you want to mentor youthand give back to the sport. Be sure to build andwrite down a coaching philosophy for all to see! If you want to supplement your income, youneed to know the pros and cons of that decision.High schools pay by stipend, with a range of $2,100to…

World Cup Recap: USA, Masih, Harman Win Titles

Team USA shot a record 9-under-par 711 to win its eighth team title out of 13 attempts at the World Golf Teachers Cup at Boulder Creek Golf Club in Boulder City, Nevada, October 18-19. Mark Harman fired a 6-under-par 66 and Kacey Tyler a 5-under-par 67 in the final round, leading the USA the final day to edge Team International 1 by five strokes. Canada came in third at 724, followed by International 2 at 765 at Great Britain & Ireland at 792. Shafiq Masih from Canada claimed the individual title with scores of 67-70 – 137 to defeat runner-up and defending champion Rebecca Samuelsson by two strokes. Newly-crowned United States Golf Teachers Cup champion Matt Smith finished third at 70-70 – 140. Pam Montgomery won the Ladies title with…

An Alternative to Tee It Forward

Several years ago, the USGA got on board with a movement called “tee it forward,” a concept developed by Barney Adams (of Adams Golf) and supported by none other than Jack Nicklaus. The gist of the idea was for golfers to play from the 18-hole yardage that best corresponded to the distance that they hit their driver so that they would play roughly the same irons into the greens as do the pros. The concept received much fanfare and publicity, but soon vanished from the scene as most golfers either ignored the concept, didn’t know about it, or lost interest. It was a noble idea, but asking a golfer who averages 200 yards off the tee to play from around 5,300 yards (as “tee it forward” recommends) is a tough…

U.S. Cup Recap: Smith, Gulych Emerge Victorious

Having won two Open division championships in the past only to be denied by players in other divisions for the overall title, Matt Smith of Columbus, Ohio, finally realized the pinnacle of USGTF competition as he won the 22nd annual United States Golf Teachers Cup with scores of 75-69 – 144 to take a three-stroke win over Shafiq Masih and Rebecca Samuelsson. Smith, one of the toughest and most mentally-ready competitors in USGTF history, birdied three out of the first four holes to seize the lead over first-round leader Tom Alley, and he held on the rest of the way with steady play as his opponents couldn’t keep up. Grant Gulych of St. Thomas, Ontario, had a goal to be the first to put his name on the new United…

USGTF’s Stevens-Led Team Retains Hickory Cup on World’s Oldest Course

Mike Stevens, USGTF Southeast Region director, captained a team of North American golfers to victory in the annual triangular match that ends the Linked Golfers World Hickory Open Festival, played October 3-7. Competing against a team from Europe and a select World team, the North Americans outpointed the Worlds by 11 Stableford points. The Stableford format lends itself well to a three-team competition, which matched the best eight scores of the twelve players on each squad. This was the third time Stevens has captained a team to victory. Especially rewarding, according to Stevens, was retaining the Hickory Cup on the Musselburgh Old Golf Club, the oldest golf course in the world and host to eight Open Championships. Golf has been played at Musselburgh for over 600 years. The Hickory Cup…

Follow USGTF on Social Media

The USGTF has a presence in several venues on social media, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can like us on Facebook by clicking at Facebook.com/USGolfTeachersFed, become a follower on Twitter Twitter.com/USGOLFTEACHERS, or follow along on Instagram at Instagram.com/officialusgtf. Also by visiting the members web board at USGTFMembers.com. The web board allows USGTF members to interact and share ideas with their fellow members, and is a great resource. Whatever avenue of social media you wish to pursue with the USGTF, please take the time to do so and get involved!

Carnoustie Pro is World Hickory Champion

Battling winds gusting upwards of 50 miles per hour, Fraser Mann of Carnoustie, Scotland, bested a field of 108 golfers in winning the Linked Golfers World Hickory Open at Kilspindie Golf Club in Aberlady. Mann’s rounds of 71-70 – 141 were four strokes clear of Musselburgh’s Rick Valentine, a past champion. This was the 12th playing of the tournament, which attracts players from across the globe. All competitors play with original wood-shafted clubs or authentic replicas of clubs produced between 1900 and 1930. After five highly successful years in Carnoustie Country, the Championship moved to Kilspindie, an East Lothian favorite, to help celebrate its 150th year in operation.

Insurance Offered to all Members

My family’s NEW USGTF Member Accident Benefit “It covers all our doctors, hospitals, plus any ER, 24/7, ANY ACCIDENT QUALIFIES, on the Golf Course or at home, school or athletic field, ANYWHERE… It has paid me CASH for our medical out of pocket costs up to my policy limit of $15,000 per injury/per person. My two boys collected, Tyler for a collision on the soccer field and Jordan for a slip, and fall on our boat. I recovered $11,000 cash. “The Wayne Player family is YOUNG and HEALTHY and ACTIVE.” “We don’t worry about getting sick, but turning over a golf cart is another story. ACCIDENTS HAPPEN, cover your whole family for as little as $35.00 a month. I bought it online, but if you need help call my man…

“PRO” File – Touring Professional Pat Perez

More known for his temper than his golf game in the past, Pat Perez has re-invented himself in both personality and game. The 41-year-old Perez is moving from the ranks of career journeyman to established veteran and player, having won twice within the span of one year. He broke an almost-eight-year victory drought when he captured the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in November 2016, and followed that up with a win at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia this past October. He currently sits at #1 on the FedEx Cup points list. Perez gained a reputation as a hothead earlier in his career after some questionable on-course behavior, such as smashing his club into the ground after poor shots. Many speculated that his temper cost him several victories and limited his…

Special Event and Workshop Available to USGTF Members

“How To Sign Up MORE Golf Students & Increase Your Income By 30-55%… WITHOUT Being A Marketing Expert!” This SPECIAL Event & Workshop will be taught by Author & Business Coach Robert Vitelli. Robert is a #1 international Best Selling Author of 8 books in the areas of Marketing, Motivation & Creating A More Successful Mindset. With 23 years of experience in the field of Success, Robert (and many of his clients) have been featured in True Wealth Magazine, USA Today, CBS Money Watch, FOX, NBC, ABC as well as many other major media outlets. Register for this SPECIAL Web Event at www.RobertVitelli.org. As a SPECIAL BONUS to USGTF members, Robert will be offering a FREE 1-Hour private phone consultation & Strategy Session to any member who attends the full…

United States Disabled Open to be Held in May

Eagle Creek Golf Club in Orlando, Florida, is the site of the United States Disabled Open May 8-10, 2018. The tournament is open to all golfers who have a recognized disability, such as amputees, blind, wounded veterans, stroke, cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis, just to name a few. Jason Faircloth founded the USDGA, and in 2011 became the first American to compete in the Disabled British Open. He returned home and started the organization, saying there was no reason that competition for disabled golfers in the United States could not become a reality. For more information on the USDGA and the U.S. Disabled Open, please visit www.usdga.net.

History, Heritage And Preservation Of American Golf

By Mike Stevens USGTF Certified Golf Teaching Professional, Tampa, Florida Bobby Jones once said the finest golf swing he ever saw belonged to Joyce Wethered. There were some exceptional female golfers in the early 1900s, once they were allowed on the courses from which they were previously excluded. Playing with hickory-shafted clubs, they added considerable style and grace to the gentlemen’s game. Some of the early pioneers were Dorothy Campbell, the first woman to win the British, Canadian and American amateur championships; Glenna Collett Vare, who dominated women’s golf in 1920, and the famous Curtis sisters (Margaret and Harriot), Beatrix Hoyt, Lady Margaret Scott and Alexa Stirling, who toured the country with Jones giving golf exhibitions. All these wonderful players had one thing in common: They had beautiful swings and…

Do Not Dummy Down

By James E. “Coach” Robertson, USGTF Contributing Writer – Magnolia, Arkansas Time and time again I hear from coaches and players, “You need to ‘dummy down’ your in-formation for us!” My immediate reaction is, “No, you need to smarten up! One of my mentors use to say “always look for simplicity on the other side of complexity,” meaning that as coaches, we must understand the complexity of the issue or technique and then find the simplicity in training the golfer for competitive play. From my perspective, coaching is not about “dummying down” information or techniques. It is about starting with basics at a level each player can understand, and more importantly implement, and helping those golfers advance the technique or information as their competitive skills progressed. One example of this process is…

Training Aids Are Only Good When They Are Used

By Mike Stevens,USGTF contributing Writer I just got back from the World Golf Teachers Cup gathering in Las Vegas. On the driving range, we were treated to demonstrations of several training aids. Some to increase swing speed, some to improve impact position and some to improve the overall swing motion. Over the years, I have used or recommended certain training aids to students based on their specific needs. I believe there is value in using them if one is committed to getting better. The key word is committed. That takes effort, and effort is not easy because it takes time. No truer words than “Rome was not built in a day” can be applied to learning golf techniques. It takes time and commitment. One of the problems I see when…

Teaching in A Simulator Vs. Teaching Outdoors

By Mark Harman USGTF Course Director, Ridgeland, South Carolina In addition to my duties as national course director for the USGTF, I also teach at two facilities near where I live, one outdoors at a golf course and another in an indoor simulator at a major golf store. The latter is a recent addition to my teaching, and it has been extremely illuminating seeing the contrasts to teaching on an outdoor range. If you’ve been teaching with a simulator or with a launch monitor like TrackMan or FlightScope, some of what I’m about to write won’t come as any great surprise to you. Still, it’s been interesting to see how people learn and perform in the different environments. The launch monitor I use in the simulator is a new state-of-the-art…

Anthony Netto Stands Up And Plays

USGTF member Anthony Netto lives a more active life than most people, even though he cannot walk, much less run. Netto was on his way to play in a professional golf tournament in his native South Africa in 1994 when his car was hit by a drunk driver, leaving Netto paralyzed from the waist down. And all of this happened just several months after attending a USGTF certification course in the United States. Netto was a first lieutenant in the South African army and was a veteran of Desert Storm in the early 1990s. After his discharge, he returned to golf and earned his USGTF certification. But the accident put his plans on hold. It is understand-able if Netto felt the normal reactions after such a horrific accident of despair…

Compliments Complement Our Teaching

According to allpsych.com, “The term rein-force means to strengthen, and is used in psychology to refer to any stimulus which strengthens or in-creases the probability of a specific response.” Psychologists recognize four types of reinforcement: positive, negative, punishment and extinction. In general, positive reinforcement has proven to be the most effective means of behavior modification or to get a certain behavior to be performed. This involves giving a reward upon completion of a goal or speaking in a positive and encouraging manner in an attempt to achieve the desired outcome. Negative reinforcement involves an unpleasantness of some sort if the task is not completed, such as parental nagging of a child. Once the child per-forms the task, for example, the negative reinforcement of nagging is eliminated. Punishment is a term…

The Importance of the First Move Away from the Ball

By Thomas T Wartelle, USGTF contributing Writer A good backswing sets the body into a coiled position ready to return to the clubhead squarely and powerfully at impact. The backswing is a series of motions that set the club in position for a proper downswing. Golfers do not hit the ball with their backswing, but a good backswing is a simple, repeatable movement that starts the sequence of the swing to the moment of truth – impact. Most good players have a starting “trigger move” that signals the start of the backswing. Common backswing starting trigger moves are: • A gentle waggle movement back and forward with the club, hands and wrists, which can ease any tensions in the set-up, and encourage a smooth, rhythmic beginning of the backswing. •…

Moving From A To B

By Bert Jones USGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional Loomis, California Have you ever wondered why some people can move from their current situation to a stated goal and some people can’t? Is it a matter of applied will, or just having enough knowledge? If we reflect on the last 40 years, we have little to no improvement in the average golf score. In fact, professional averages are relatively stagnant, also! How can this be, even with the advent of new equipment, better agronomy, and the state of instruction using space-age technology for analysis? Perhaps we can start by looking at how goals are developed. When developing a goal, it should follow the acronym SMART. The SMART acronym stands for specific, measurable, agreed upon, realistic and time-based. Every goal will be…

Gifts From Golf

By Cole Golden, WGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional Friendship can develop in many different areas of your life: family, church, school, work, hobbies and even competitors. I’d like to focus on the latter. In 2010, I played in the United States Golf Teachers Cup at Primm Valley, just outside of Las Vegas. One of my playing partners in the first round was Matt Smith, who hails from Ohio. To say I had a rough start to my game is an understatement. A cart came flying over a hill to our tee box to see me teeing off, and then proceeded to lock up their brakes, squealing across the cart path. Then my 3-wood went about 40 yards to the left into a pond. That triple bogey, plus another three bogeys…

2018 Membership Renewal Now Available Online

Online membership renewal is available for those who want a quick and convenient way to remain a USGTF member in good standing. USGTF membership offers many benefits, including continuing education opportunities, member communication via our monthly e-newsletter and Golf Teaching Pro magazine, as well as our online community at www.USGTFMembers.com. Equipment and other discounts, liability insurance, networking opportunities at our regional and national events are also features of USGTF membership, as well as the right to continue to call yourself a USGTF member. To renew your membership for 2018, please click here.

US, World Cup Deadline Fast Approaching

Wednesday, October 4, marks the deadline for entries into the 22nd annual United States Golf Teachers Cup and the 13th biennial World Golf Teachers Cup at Boulder Creek Golf Club in Boulder City, Nevada, October 16-19. These premier events bring teaching professionals from around the world together to enjoy a week of competition and camaraderie. Teaching professionals Bruce Sims, Matt Smith, Michael Wolf and David Belling will be on hand to conduct a teaching seminar during the week. In addition, vendors will be onsite on Sunday, October 15, to showcase teaching aids and products. Although the deadline is near, if you haven’t yet made plans to attend, there is still time to enter. For more information and to enter, please visit www.WorldGolfTeachersCup.com. You may also call the USGTF National Office…

Refresher Course Opportunity For All Members

Has it been several years since you achieved your teaching certification Since the art of learning is an ongoing process, a refresher course could be just what you need to “freshen up” those skills. We are pleased to now offer a refresher course on the core training topics covered during your USGTF certification process. The online refresher course includes the following: • Teaching the Full Swing video • Teaching Faults & Cures video • Teaching the Short Game video • Clubfitting for Teaching Professionals video • How to Teach Golf – The American Golf Teaching Method – 2nd edition The course is available to current USGTF members only and membership must be verified before course access is permitted. You may go to click here to enroll in the course.

2017 Canadian Golf Teachers Cup Results

Shafiq Masih took home his first CGTF Cup championship when he bested a stellar field this past September at Bay of Quinte Golf & Country Club in Belleville, Ontario, firing a two-round total of 140 to run away with the title. Conor Hache and Brandon McLean finished a distant second at 149. Bill Hardwick and Peter Jaklic rounded out the top five. In the Ladies division, Lisa Fleming was a three-stroke winner over runner-up Jennifer MacKendrick, with Donna Dunbar placing third. Greg Salazar won the Senior division, also emerging victorious with a three-stroke win. Paul Duncan and Vito Cisternino tied for runner-up honors, with Don Sugden finishing fourth. The event was held September 18-19 at the Bay of Quinte Country Club in Bellevue, Ontario. The CGTF Cup is an annual…

Son of WGTF/USGTF Professional Wins National Title

Gabriel Augustin Wartelle, son of longtime WGTF/USGTF member Thomas T Wartelle, won the USSSA 11 & under National Championship. Gabriel also garnered the Tour’s Leading Points Winner award for this age group. The national championship was held at the TPC Louisiana in Avondale, home of the PGA Tour’s Zurich Classic. Gabriel held the lead from day one of the three-round event. However, he had to hold off two surging competitors during the final round. He sealed the win with a 10-foot putt on the last hole. Gabriel’s solid play during the week provided him the advantage to overcome the other competitors, as he lead the field in driving accuracy and ball striking. In addition to his recent win, Gabriel was named to the Louisiana Golf Association’s River Cup team, which…

“Pro” File – Touring Professional Anirban Lahiri

Golfers from India have yet to make their mark as a superstar in the game, but Anirban Lahiri may be out to change that. He has played on the last two Presidents Cup teams for the International team, and is growing more comfortable on the American tour. Lahiri, nicknamed “Ban” (pronounced bon), learned the game when he tagged along with his father, a doctor. He began his professional career on the Asian Tour in 2008 at the age of 20 and scored his first win in 2011. He continued to do well on that tour with several more victories before moving on to the European Tour. A two-time winner there, Lahiri made his way to the United States after working his way into the Official World Golf Ranking’s top 50.…

Editorial: Do You Have A Good Caddie Or A Bad Caddie?

This past Labor Day weekend, Justin Thomas won the Dell Technologies Championship for his fourth tournament win of the year, which includes the British Open. (He would also later win the Tour Championship for his fifth win.) When asked what had changed this year, Justin emphatically stated it was his caddie, Jimmy Johnson. Justin’s caddie keeps him focused on the present shot at hand, which keeps his emotions under control regardless of situation or score. While most people do not play golf with a caddie, you really do not need one to perform at your best. Ultimately, you must be your own best caddie. When the pressure hits, you must tell yourself to stay in the moment, be positive, forget the past, focus on the present and remain calm. This…

Teaching And Modeling A Winning Mindset

Sally J. Sportsman USGTF Contributing Writer, Orlando, Florida What makes a winner? Competition is as old as humankind. As civilization has evolved, the types of contests and the means by which victory is achieved in any given endeavor have changed, but the will to win is as strong as ever. From the classroom to the board room, from Little League to the World Series, from the lesson tee to the PGA Tour – winning is the objective of people everywhere. The desire to emerge victorious from any challenge seems embedded in our nature. The intensity of this desire varies according to one’s disposition, personality, experience and motivation, yet our instinct is to give it our best shot, allowing ourselves the optimum chance to come out on top. “The biggest thing…

Let’s Get Rid Of The Tour Championship

By Mike Stevens, USGTF Contributing Writer The FedEx Cup is golf’s answer to playoffs, which is supposed to keep up interest after the fourth major is completed. In the past, most people did not care much about golf after the PGA Championship. They even called it the silly season. Enter the FedEx playoffs, a good idea since most people look forward to the playoffs in other sports at the end of their seasonal run. The only problem is that when you get to the finals, there is this Tour Championship which may or may not be won by the playoff champion. It’s all a bit strange. Even the playoff format is a bit weird. You can miss the cut in the first playoff round and still advance. I think you…

Fond Memories Found In-Of All Places –A Range Basket

By Mike Stevens USGTF Contributing Writer I love it when I stumble across something that instantly floods my brain with fond memories of youth. In my basket of range balls, I came across an old golf ball. People are always hitting their old balls on the range trying to get in a few extra shots for free. Just looking at the dimple pattern, I knew it was old, a Wonderball #4 from the Worthington Golf Ball Company of Elyria, Ohio. Now, I doubt that many players today would recognize this brand. However, to a young lad who had to scour the woods and ponds of local muni courses be-cause he was forbidden to raid his father’s golf bag for those precious white orbs, they were a blessing. But that is…

A Closer Look At The Three Main Grips

Before we go any further, let’s acknowledge the obvious: You’re probably wondering why an article on the grip is appearing in Golf Teaching Pro. After all, it’s the first thing taught at USGTF certification schools, and besides, all golf teaching pros should know how to teach the grip. Actually, you may be surprised to learn that a number of golf teaching professionals (mainly non-USGTF members) do not know how to properly teach the grip, nor do they have a firm understanding of the cause and effect associated with the three grips. Our USGTF examining staff has found more than one teaching professional who has been teaching without certification or who belongs to another organization who doesn’t know as much as they should about teaching the grip. So if you’re comfortable…

Friendship VS. Competitors

By Cole Golden WGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional Recently, after Jordan Spieth’s and Justin Thomas’ major wins, much has been said in regards to their friends being part of the celebration. It just so happens that these “friends” are other players on the Tour and can be found on the 18th green cheering on their buddies to victory. This has been a hot topic within the golf community. Is it good or bad for the game? Some might say this behavior is abnormal. We never saw Tiger waiting around to congratulate Phil, or vice versa. I don’t think we ever will. The media wanted to play a “villain vs. hero” during that era. We don’t know if there was bad blood between them or not; it’s purely speculation. With the…

New Times, New Terms

The past two editions of Golf Teaching Pro have featured articles on whether golf instruction is getting too complicated. The consensus by the authors was a “yes,” but that doesn’t mean that we should shut out all new learning and technology in favor of sticking only with what we first learned. As golf teaching professionals, we have an obligation to keep up with the latest trends and methodologies so that we’re not left behind. The trick, of course, is to impart this information in a way that our students understand. Many of them just want to hit the ball better and aren’t interested in the latest theories or arguments on the minutiae of every little bit of the golf swing. With the advent of high-tech gadgets and increased knowledge, different…

New Videos Featured Online as Part of Refresher Course for Current USGTF Members

Continuing in our role as “Leader in the field of golf instruction” and maintaining a cutting-edge teaching philosophy, the USGTF is proud to announce that “Teaching the Short Game” and “Faults and Cures” are two new videos which will be part of a special $99 online Refresher Course available to all USGTF members in good standing. “The Full Swing” and “Clubfitting” are also included in the course, as well as the 2nd edition of How To Teach Golf – The American Golf Teaching Method. The course is available under the Member Services tab or by clicking here. For more information please contact the USGTF National Office at (888) 346-3290.

Smith Wins USGTF Central Region Championship

With solid ballstriking and even better putting, Matt Smith of Columbus, Ohio, won the USGTF Central Region Championship August 6-7 at Lake Forest Golf Club in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Smith birdied the first two holes of the tournament, wound up with a 68 on the day and never looked back. He fired a 71 the final round for a two-day total of 5-under 139. Smith made nine birdies in 36 holes, successfully navigating the fast greens and difficult back nine at Lake Forest. Grant Gulych from St. Thomas, Ontario, finished in second place with a fine showing of 74-72 – 146. Fellow Canadian Dan Estevan from Georgetown, Ontario, finished third with scores of 82-69 – 151. Estevan’s final round featured six birdies as he had the low score of the…

usgtf harvey penick golf teacher certified golf instructor pga

Harvey Penick Award Nominations Being Accepted

Nominations for the 5th annual Harvey Penick Trophy for Excellence in Golf Teaching are now being accepted. Harvey Penick was one of America’s earliest great teachers, and his influence lives today. The award is based on teaching accomplishments, service to the golf community and to the game in general. All USGTF Certified Golf Teaching Professionals and Master Golf Teaching Professionals, except past winners, are eligible. Nominations (including self-nominations) may be made through email at info@usgtf.com or through regular mail to the USGTF National Office at 1295 SE Port St. Lucie Blvd., Port St. Lucie, FL 34952. The deadline for nominations is Friday, September 15, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. EDT.

Hotel Deadline for US, World Cups this Month

Thursday, September 28, marks the cutoff date for guaranteed discounted rates at the Fiesta Henderson Hotel & Casino for this year’s United States and World Golf Teachers Federation Cups. Featuring all newly remodeled rooms, the Fiesta Henderson is a 15-minute drive from both the tournament venue, Boulder Creek Golf Club, and the Las Vegas Strip. The nightly tournament rate for Sunday through Thursday nights is $45 plus tax, while Friday and Saturday nights the rate is $89 plus tax. To book call: 1-888-899-7770 and use group code: RCIGTF7 or click here to book online. Please note that the hotel cutoff date is different than the tournament entry deadline, which is Wednesday, October 4. For more information and to register for both events, please visit www.WorldGolfTeachersCup.com.

USGTF Announces Cobra Golf as a New Member Benefit Partner

Cobra Golf is the newest golf equipment partner of the USGTF. USGTF members in good standing can participate in a 20 percent personal use discount from Cobra. Cobra Golf, based in Carlsbad, California, is known for making high-quality and innovative golf equipment. King Cobra, one of the more iconic names in golf, is alive and well at Cobra. Cobra Golf became one of the biggest golf brands when it was acquired a few years ago by Puma. Featuring state-of-the-art drivers, fairway woods, hybrids and irons, Cobra has products to help any player’s game. Tour staff player Rickie Fowler, Lexi Thompson and Bryson DeChambeau lead a young group of professionals promoting Cobra. Please visit the Cobra website at www.cobragolf.com to check out the latest equipment. If you are interested, please contact…

Stevens Honored by the Society of Hickory Golfers

Longtime USGTF member and Southeast Region Director Mike Stevens is this year’s recipient of the Mike Brown Award, given annually by the Society of Hickory Golfers. Brown was an avid hickory golfer who died suddenly in February 2010 in his hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana. His passing left a void in the hickory golfing community and a sense of personal loss to everyone who encountered him. He worked tirelessly to promote hickory golf and was constantly bringing in new people into the hickory community. He was exceedingly knowledgeable about the history of golf and was a strong voice in maintaining the ancient traditions of the game. The Mike Brown Award honors his memory and many contributions to hickory golf. It is presented annually to a hickory player who shares Brown’s: 1.…

“Pro” File – Touring Professional Sung Hyun Park

The pipeline from Korea keeps producing winner after winner on the LPGA Tour, and the latest to take the tour by storm is Sung Hyun Park, winner of the recently-completed Canadian Pacific Women’s Open. After dominating the Korean Ladies Professional Golf Tour the past two seasons with 10 wins, she came to the LPGA Tour full-time in 2017 and quickly made her mark. Park scored four top-10 finishes the first half of the 2017 season before her breakthrough victory at the U.S. Women’s Open in July. She followed that up with another top-10 finish the very next week at the Marathon Classic, paving the way to another victory in Canada. She is currently number one on the LPGA money list, quickly surpassing such luminaries as Lexi Thompson, Lydia Ko and…

Editorial: Jordan Spieth’s Secret Weapon

By Dr. Gregg Steinberg, USGTF Sports Psychologist Jordan Spieth was in low gear until hole 13th at The Open Championship. He had just made five bogeys and had just lost the lead to Matt Kuchar. But then he turned it on and finished 5-under for the last five holes to win the Claret Jug for the first time. How did he do this? It is called intensity level. Jordan plays by it. He plays his best when his intensity level is high, but for the first 13 holes, it was clearly on a lower level. When he fell one back to Kuchar, he cranked it up, and we all saw greatness in action! However, you may not be like Jordan Spieth. You may play your best when your inner flame…

The Language Of Teaching

By Norm Crerar USGTF Contributing Writer Vernon, British Columbia I have been teaching skiing for 50-some years. I have been playing the bagpipes for 10 years and have just started teaching beginners. I take golf lessons. I speak English, of the Canadian variety, but have to admit that I become stumped and agitated with the language of teaching. It was traditional to teach bagpipes through canntaireachd (pronounced can-ter-act). This is a Gallic word meaning “chanting.” Before music was written as it is today on paper, with lines and notes, the instructor would sing the notes using distinct sounds for the different notes, grace notes and embellishments. Master and pupils would spend hours sitting together singing tunes to each other. Nowadays, people learn with sheet music, and canntaireachd is still used…

What Are Your Teaching Ambitions?

At a USGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional certification course last year, one candidate posed an interesting question to his fellow classmates, along the lines of this: “Don’t you want to teach the best players in the world?”He asked this because he was teaching and coaching some professional players, including those on the LPGA Tour, and found his calling in teaching these high-level players. The question posed is a valid one, because it brings to light the subject of ambition in the golf teaching profession. It’s a subject that is often overlooked, but one that is important to those of us in the teaching and coaching profession. Motivational speakers and sports psychologists often refer to goal-setting as a critical tool to accomplishment. An article in Success magazine in 2015 stated, “The…

USGA, R&A Blow Up The Rules

WOW. Double wow. In a move that can literally be described as a game-changer, the USGA and R&A decided this past March 1 that many of the rules by which we play are to be jettisoned, sent to the scrapbook of history. The proposed new rules are to take effect January 1, 2019. Knowledgeable observers say this is the most drastic rules development since the original 13 rules were drawn up in 1744 by the Gentlemen Golfers of Leith, now the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, at Muirfield in Scotland. To be sure, the gist of the game will be the same: to play the course as you find it and play the ball as it lies, and if you can’t do either, do what’s fair. But what constitutes “fair”…

Pressure

By Cole Golden, USGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional I recently had a student who was going to play in one of the largest amateur golf tournaments in the state. He had been working on his game and playing really well. He was excited and ready to show off his golf game. This was the biggest tournament and best field he had ever played against. The evening after the first round, I received a phone call from him. He told me how nervous he was and he could barely breathe prior to teeing off. His hands were shaking and sweaty. He had a hard time thinking positive thoughts versus thinking only the worst. His first tee ball? You can guess it: he came over it so bad he barely hit the…

Blair Takes Southeast Crown

Melvin Blair of Tampa, Florida, opened with a 73 and cruised home with a final-round 76 as he captured his first USGTF Southeast Region Championship played July 29-30 at GlenLakes Country Club in Weeki Wachee, Florida. Defending champion Carlos de Barros of Lake Worth, Florida, and Mark Harman of Ridgeland, South Carolina, tied for second, four strokes back at 153. Blair began his final round with two solid pars, only to birdie the third hole with a spectacular approach from almost 200 yards after his tee shot hit a tree. He carded a front nine 36 under threatening skies, and shot a back nine 40 as heavy rains plagued the field after the turn. Harman, who opened with a 75, struggled all day and limped home with a 78, while…

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Central Region Championship Coming Soon

The USGTF Central Region Championship will be held Sunday and Monday, August 6-7, 2017, at Lake Forest Golf Club in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The event will also be held as part of a weekend of golf which includes the Michigan/Ontario Golf Teachers Tour event on Saturday. The Central Region Championship will be the final regional championship conducted in 2017. For complete information, please click here.

US Golf Teachers Cup trophy - USGTF

US Cup History Flashback

The year was 2006 and the venue for the United States Golf Teachers Cup was Boulder Creek Golf Club in Boulder City, Nevada, site of this year’s United States and World Golf Teachers Cups. After battling to a 36-hole draw with each golfer shooting a 3-under 141, Australia’s James Douris and Trinidad & Tobago’s Christopher Richards engaged in a two-hole playoff that decided nothing. Moving on to sudden death, Douris’ approach shot on the par-4 third playoff hole found the desert over the green. Faced with needing a difficult up-and-down from 90 feet away to keep the playoff going, Douris chipped the ball from the desert scrub into the slope, ran it up to five feet, and drained the putt to stay alive. He then parred the fourth playoff hole…

USGTF Spring Junior League a Success

The USGTF Spring Junior League was operated by the Mercer County Golf Academy in Princeton, New Jersey, this past year and consisted of 60 kids that participated on four teams at four different golf courses in the county. It was directed by USGTF Associate Member professional Larry Baldasari and coached by four additional Associate Member professionals: Kelly Platt, Dan Virgil IV, Dan Virgil III and Haiyan Wang. Players competed in six matches, playing a two vs. two scramble match-play format. Coach Haiyan’s Purple team won the league title with a record of 4-0-2. The league concluded with a stroke-play invitational on July 16. The winners were Eddy Ye (11-14 age group) and Teddy Plimpton (10 and under age group). For nine holes, Ye shot a 47 and Plimpton a 42…

Member Profile – Jim Kearney

Thanks to a celebrity’s interest in him, Jim Kearney of Carson, California, began a lifetime journey in the game of golf in 1955 that continues to this day. The celebrity was James Garner, for whom Kearney caddied back then. While on the course, Garner would show Kearney the basics of the grip, stance and swing, and allow Kearney to take a few swings when no one was around. Kearney was able to gain a measure of proficiency at the game, which eventually led him to teaching. But prior to that, Kearney served in the military and today is a retired military and aerospace division specialist. During that time, Kearney is credited with inventing a device that saved the armed forces collectively over $1 million per year. Kearney had been a…

“Pro” File – Touring Professional Robert Wrenn

Music has its one-hit wonders, such as Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Kajagoogoo and Vanilla Ice. Golf, too, has its share, but unlike the music of the one-hit wonders – which lives on due to the popularity of the songs – golf’s one-hit wonders tend to get lost to the annals of time, forgotten by all but the most diehard of golf fans. One of the more remarkable one-hits wonders in golf is Robert Wrenn, who captured the 1987 Buick Open with a four-round total of 26 under par, destroying the field and beating runner-up Dan Pohl by seven shots. It’s a mystery how a player is able to conjure up such a dominating victory and yet could never find the winner’s circle ever again, but such is golf. Wrenn played the…

Editorial: Why Chastise the Person Who Didn’t Break the Rule?

Yes, it was an unfortunate incident at the U.S. Junior Girls Golf Championship. Elizabeth Moon missed a short putt that would have won the match and proceeded to rake the ball back before her opponent Erica Shepherd had a chance to concede the tap-in. Not legal. Loss of hole and the match. Tough luck, but you don’t just assume a putt is going to be given. In all the years I have been playing, when in match play I missed a putt, even if by half an inch, I always looked to my opponent to hear him say good before I proceeded on. That is the rule. You never assume anything. A lot of people are criticizing Shepherd. She did nothing wrong. In a situation like that, sometimes you are…

Ireland: Trip Of A Lifetime

By Cole Golden USGTF Level IV Member I recently had the good fortune to take the golf trip of a lifetime to Ireland (thanks to my lovely bride who surprised me for my birthday).  There were eight of us who made the trip across the pond and spent seven days playing some of the most beautiful courses in the world.  While the trip was planned through a travel agent who specializes in these types of adventures, I want to share some of the tips and tricks I learned along the way.  I highly recommend traveling to Ireland, which I know is on many of your bucket lists. Pre-Trip Preparations       While using a travel agency increases the cost, they handled all logistics:  transportation, lodging, restaurant recommendations, course reservations,…

“Free Info VS. Personalized Instruction”

By Bob De Caro, USGTF Certified Golf Teaching Professional, Wyckoff, New Jersey I’m upset! Recently, while listening to some instructional segments on PGA Tour Radio, I heard the pro thoroughly explain the swing sequence. Yet, why are there so many listeners repeatedly asking the same fundamental questions about swinging over the top, slicing the ball and not being able to deliver the club from the inside? I can’t help but visualize the pro tightening his jaw before answering once again. It’s apparent to me that the listeners do not actually realize that the problem lies in understanding how the swing sequence is executed. I’m upset, not because the pro isn’t doing a good job of explaining the correct swing sequence, but because the player doesn’t seek out what is really…

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Pierson Takes NE Tourney Title

Andrew Pierson from Camden, NJ, claimed the USGTF Northeast Region championship played June 9 at Mercer Oaks East Golf Course in West Windsor, New Jersey, firing a 77 to edge runner-up Taiki Miyazaki of Hicksville, NY, by two strokes. In division action, Kelly Platt took home the women’s title with a 90; Doug MacMillan fired an 80 to take the 50-59 title over runner-up Alan Brown; Peter Palmisano shot an 87 to win the 60-69 division over Bruce Barnett, and John Ray edged Preston Browning in a playoff after both shot 87 in the 70+ division. Bob Corbo serves as the Northeast Region director. He can be reached at bcgolfcoach@gmail.com.

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SE Tourney on Tap for this Month; Central to Follow

The USGTF Southeast Region Championship will be held July 29-30 at GlenLakes Country Club in Weeki Wachee, Florida, approximately 45 miles north of Clearwater. The entry fee of $175 includes two days of golf, range balls and prize money. Dinner at an area restaurant will be held after the first round on Saturday. The recommended hotel is the Quality Inn Weeki Wachee, which is approximately 10 minutes away from the golf course. For more information, please contact region director Mike Stevens at ams1127@msn.com. Entries are being handled by the USGTF National Office at (888) 346-3290 (a 3% service charge will be added for credit card entries by phone). The Central Region Championship will be conducted in conjunction with another great event (Brent Davies, Director) – The USGTF Central Region Championship…

Avis, Budget Offering World Cup Deals

USGTF industry partners Avis and Budget rental car companies are offering special rates out of McCarron International Airport in Las Vegas for the upcoming United States and World Golf Teachers Cups, to be played October 16-19. Both Avis and Budget are offering exclusive group rates for the tournaments. These rates not only offer discounts on rentals, but also offers greater discounts on SUVs and luxury cars. The discount codes are: Budget – BCD# D815198 and Avis T525898. The rates are good for seven days prior to and seven days after the tournaments only. Reservations may also be made by clicking on the company logos found on www.WorldGolfTeachersCup.com.

USGTF Launches Re-Designed Site

The USGTF’s website at www.USGTF.com has been re-designed, taking on a more contemporary look to better reflect current trends in web design. In addition to a sleeker look, the site offers the USGTF National Office staff the power to make timely changes more quickly. If you know someone who is interested in becoming a USGTF member, please direct them to the site, and if they have any questions, they may call the National Office at (888) 346-3290. In addition to the main organization site, the USGTF has a site devoted exclusively to its members at www.USGTFMembers.com. The site is divided into two sections, one public and one private. To use the private section, members need to register and then have their registration validated by the USGTF Membership Services department. If…

Summer Edition of Magazine Now Out

The Summer 2017 edition of Golf Teaching Pro® magazine has been mailed out. If you have not received your copy, please contact the USGTF National Office at (888) 346-3290. Also, we welcome member submissions to the publication. Teaching or playing tips, drills, articles and member profiles are always a wonderful addition to each issue. The deadline to submit material is September 15, and may be done so by emailing Membership Services at info@usgtf.com.

“PRO” File – Touring Professional Brian Harman

It may only seem like it, but golf professionals with the last name of “Harman” tend to be a little on the, shall we say, vertically-challenged spectrum of height. Reigning United States Golf Teachers Cup champion Mark Harman stands just 5′ 7″, as does a tour golfer with the same last name who is making his mark on the professional scene, Brian Harman. The latter Harman gained notoriety for taking the 54-hole lead into the final round of the 2017 U.S. Open, only to be overtaken by Brooks Koepka’s sterling 66 (see “PRO” File – Touring Professional Brooks Koepka). Earlier this year, Harman won the Wells Fargo Championship when his 28-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole found the bottom of the cup to edge no less than world number…

Go Slow Like Brooks Koepka

What can we learn from the new U.S. Open champion, Brooks Koepka? Here is one important lesson: Go slow when you are under pressure. If you watched Brooks during the final round of the U.S. Open, he never walked fast. In fact, the TV commentators on a few occasions commented that he was walking slower than usual. How did this help Koepka win the Open? And how can it help you play better under pressure? We tend to get anxious in competition. When we are anxious, we typically do everything a little faster. We walk faster, talk faster and even think faster. This nervousness also increases the speed of our swing rhythm. This increased speed in our actions is in response to a release of hormones from our brain. When…

U.S. OPEN

Like most people, I spent part of Father’s Day weekend watching this year’s U.S. Open at Erin Hills. While there is much debate on whether it was a successful U.S. Open for the USGA, I clued in on a different feature of the game. Fox Sports’ utilization of the ProTracer technology on a majority of the shots made it easy to watch the shape and trajectory of the player’s golf shots take form. Brooks Koepka plays a left-to-right ball flight, a fade. Hole after hole, I was impressed to note that he hardly ever went away from it. Even when the hole might have been better suited for a draw, he continued to play his go-to golf shot. While I admit I didn’t watch every shot, of the ones I…

An Organized Pro Equals Happy Students

Hap Hazard is a golf teaching pro at Bucket O’ Balls Driving Range. He’s normally on time for his first lesson of the day, but as the morning wears on and morphs into afternoon, Hap is far behind on his lesson schedule. Mr. Smith arrives for his noon appointment, only to find that Hap can’t see him until 12:20. Mr. Smith decides to cancel the lesson and leaves. Hap is actually happy to see this, because he can now get to his 12:30 lesson on time. The client, Mr. Jones, is someone to whom Hap gave a lesson two months ago. Mr. Jones keeps referring back to what Hap told him at that time, but Hap has no idea what Mr. Jones is talking about. At the end of the…

Common Sense Teaching vs Modern Technology

By Douglas Gray- USGTF Certified Golf Teaching Professional, Fife, Scotland Whilst playing the Eden Course at St. Andrew son a fine spring day in Scotland, I was introduced to a prominent R&A member of some more years senior to me. He was in our four-ball, and his good friend informed me that George had been to every golf teacher under the sun, except Mr Leadbetter. A slight exaggeration, until I learnt more as our game progressed. During an enjoyable nine holes, I listened to talk of ‘Trackman’, ‘Hogan Fundamentals’ and lots of teaching theories, as George had been trying to find the theory for many years. I distanced myself from this chat as I only ‘input’ when asked. Eventually, George asked, “Could you do anything for me, Douglas?” I replied very calmly,…

No Trackman? No Problem!

One of the perks of living in the 21st century is that improved technology has made many aspects of our lives more convenient. From using your smart phone to lock your car doors to computers that give us the entire body of accumulated knowledge at our fingertips, technology has made things easier in ways unheard of just 20 years ago. Golf instruction has benefitted from the technology explosion, too, as teachers invest in the latest video, launch monitors and training aids, all in an effort to provide their students with the best possible learning environment. These devices also give the teacher information that may not have been possible to glean without their use. Yet, if we go to any typical driving range and golf course and observe teaching professionals in…

USGTF Class Schedule

If you’re a USGTF Certified Golf Teaching Professional® and have been so for the past 12 months or longer, there is no better way to (more…)

Summer Magazine Coming Soon

The Summer 2017 edition of Golf Teaching Pro magazine has gone to press and will be in your mailbox this month. The magazine has garnered many accolades from (more…)

Recalling Long Jim,The First PGA Champion

By Mike Stevens USGTF Certified Golf Teaching Professional® Tampa, Florida One hundred years ago, the PGA Championship was inaugurated at Siwonoy Country Club in Bronxville, New York. Thirty-two players qualified for the tournament at sites around the country. One qualifier, Jack Pirie, failed to arrive, so a blind draw was set up, allowing one player to get a first-round bye. The PGA Championship began as a match-play tournament. It wasn’t until 1958 that it became a stroke-play event. It was quite grueling, requiring 36-hole matches over a five-day period. Jim Barnes, a native of England, defeated Jock Hutchinson on the 36th hole to win the title. Barnes, known as Long Jim because of his long, booming tee shots, was born in Cornwall, England, on March 8, 1886. Jim was also…

Golf Teachers VS. Golf Coaches: Differences And Similarities

When the USGTF formed the World Golf Coaches Alliance (WGCA), there wasn’t a distinction between teaching and coaching that had much coherence. Some people tried to define the differences, but such definitions were sorely lacking. Sean Foley said on the Charlie Rose’s PBS show, “I teach kids and I coach adults.” Another difference was said to be that teachers teach basics while coaches teach more advanced concepts. Still another claimed that teaching was refining technique while coaching was in how to use the techniques. All are plausible, but miss the mark. Think of our traditional team sports such as football, basketball and hockey. The leader of the team is not the “head teacher.” No, he’s called the “head coach.” Baseball has a manager leading the team, but even that sport…

Putting Your Students in…The Best Learning Environment

Imagine you’re about to take on a great adventure with many unknowns. You’re probably looking forward to it with a mix of excitement and trepidation, and everything in between. You think about how much you’ll get out of it and the benefits and joys, but you may also be thinking about any potential negative aspects and pitfalls that could arise. Students, especially beginners, who are taking golf lessons for the first time may experience all of these emotions, since for them, the beginning of their golf career may well be that great adventure on which they are embarking. Unfortunately, there are too many true stories about intimidating instructors and unfriendly golf staff which only serve to turn people off from the game which we all know to be wonderful, one that provides lifetime memories and friendships. As golf teaching professionals, it’s our responsibility to make sure that students enjoy…

Intentional Reflection

The new school year started a few weeks earlier than normal this year in Tampa, Florida, where I teach high school and coach the boys’ golf team. I was a little worried, because our team lost two of our top players to graduation and the previous season had not gone well. I had spent a great deal of time thinking about what had gone wrong last season. Were the players getting what they needed out of our practices? Was I giving the feedback and support each player required? Was I pushing the team too much? Whether I realized it or not, I was engaging in reflection. Reflection is a process that has helped me look back on experiences and apply that knowledge to my instruction. It has helped me improve what I do and how I do it. Great…

Something Old, Something New…Something Borrowed, Something Blue

It is what every bride is told to wear on the day of her wedding – something old, new, borrowed and blue. It can very well apply to the gentlemen and gentlewomen who assemble each year at the USGTF-sponsored World Hickory Open in Scotland. Some take to the links with clubs that have been aged for a century. Others wield modern authentics crafted by companies that still make clubs in the old tradition. Some have to borrow clubs to compete as they are entering for the first time, and many are blue when a wayward mashie shot finds the gorse or pot bunker. It is all part of the challenge we refer to as hickory golf. I would dare say that the mention of Panmure Golf Club would just pass over the heads of most golfers these days. But the layout just minutes…

Partner Events

The Zurich Classic was held this past April on the PGA Tour.  The event changed its format from a normal stroke-play, individual event to a two-man team.  Both four-somes and four-ball formats were put into play.  This was a great move by the tournament committee for a number of reasons, the major one being that it increased participation by top-notch golfers, thus boosting viewership and sponsorship. In the past few years, the overall field had declined for the Zurich.  In my opinion, the top players in the world were skipping the event because it didn’t fit their schedule, or they didn’t enjoy the course.  The “buzz” was not there, a nightmare for any tournament committee and sponsors.  As a result, the committee decided they needed to make a change to…

Why Golf Will Never Die

“Today’s kids just want to spend their time playing video games,” say the naysayers about golf, “and on top of that, the game t