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 or by mail to the USGTF National Office, 1295 SE Port St. Lucie Blvd., Port St. Lucie, FL 34952.

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 growing the game of golf.

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 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

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 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 fee of $199 includes golf and prize money, and division play will be based on the number of entrants. To enter, sent your name, age, gender, telephone number, email address and a check for $199 to Bert Jones, USGTF NW Region Director, 9722 Rim Rock Circle, Loomis CA, 95650. The entry deadline is July 1.

Southeast – The USGTF Southeast Region Championship will be held Saturday and Sunday, July 28-29, at Shingle Creek Golf Club ijn Orlando, Florida, with region director Mike Stevens serving as the host. Shingle Creek Golf Club was designed by the Arnold Palmer Design Company. Senior golf course architect Thad Layton says, “We set out to do something resolutely different at Shingle Creek. Orlando is a golf town and our backyard. As such, we sought to build a golf course that would inspire and challenge every type of golfer. Through a hands-on approach and countless hours on site, we handcrafted a golf course with design features reminiscent of some of the finest classic golf courses in the world.”

A prize fund of $1,000 and the Southeast Trophy is assured with a field of 12 players, and divisions by age will be offered. It is also a good opportunity to catch up with fellow members and plan future events for the section. The entry deadline is July 15. If you have any questions, contact Mike Stevens at The entry fee is $185 and entries should be sent to the USGTF National Office at USGTF, 1295 SE Port St. Lucie Blvd., Port St. Lucie FL, 34952, or you may call the office at (888) 346-3290.

Central – The 2018 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.

Pine Knob is an upscale public course with 27 holes, tree-lined fairways, water, bunkers, great greens, and is an outstanding place to play. Hotel deals will be available at the Olde Mill Inn of Clarkston (some may remember this location from the 2015 Kelly Cup), a rustic lakefront look with an up-north feel. These rooms will go very, very fast! Participants will need to call (248) 623-0300 or go online at to book. One-person rooms start at $65, two-person rooms at $85, and it is not too early to book. Clarkston is located 45 miles northwest of Detroit right off I-75; a 75-minute drive from the Blue Water Bridge; 60 minutes from Windsor, and 90 minutes from Toledo.

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 foundation for performance. For example, we need a forward ball position teed to a proper height to allow a positive angle of attack to reduce ball backspin. After looking at equipment and setup, we need to draw our attention to the swing and swing plane to maximize the kinematic sequence. If the sequence is off, we are going to leak power. We can measure the sequence using K-Vest, which is a great tool! Keep in mind that driver face angle at the moment of impact contributes 85% of the ball flight.

Power has two basic elements, strength and speed. Just look at the swing speeds of the long drive champions! The biggest problem you are going to encounter with players is range-of-motion limitations, in particular, pelvic hip rotation. There are 16 ranges that should be evaluated by teaching professionals, and an evaluation takes about an hour. You can prescribe exercises to correct the limitations, or you can teach around the limitation. Building a list of two drills per limitation will help you prescribe the right medicine to help player hit the ball longer.

By Bert Jones, USGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional

“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 2018 and won the Honda Thailand Classic. Korda’s appearance is somewhat different, and she said she is getting used to the new face she sees in the mirror. Having won so soon after returning to the Tour shows her mental toughness, and it’s a sure bet that she will be better than ever now that this problem is behind her.
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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 about it a bit. If golf courses are continually lengthened and toughened to counter the distance gains, then that presents an issue. Maintenance costs for upkeep become overwhelming, and many courses that were built as so-called championship venues have closed. They were too hard and expensive for the average player. On the other hand, if courses are not altered, especially older ones that have been successfully run for years, then distance should not be an issue.

If people start shooting much lower scores, so what? That’s the whole point of hitting the ball longer. Does anyone think golfers want to go backwards in this day and age? Not going to happen. The cat is out of the bag and it’s not going back in.

By Mike Stevens, USGTF Member, Tampa, Florida