When the USGTF and WGTF adopted the slogan “Leader in the field of golf instruction,” at the time it seemed a brash statement. After all, the PGA had been around much longer, and instruction was long associated with that organization.  

But a funny thing happened along the way. The USGTF continued to improve and update its certification program and more people interested solely in teaching – without the other attendant duties required of a club professional – sought out the USGTF to become educated in the art and science of teaching.  

Today, the USGTF has a more rigorous standard of earning certification than ever before. Due to the work of USGTF president Brandon Lee and National Office examiner Jerry Ellstrom, candidates receive the most up-to-date information and methodology in teaching.  

As the old saying goes, if you aren’t moving ahead you are falling behind, and the USGTF is certainly taking this to heart and enhancing its presence in the golf world. In addition to upgrading the certification process, the USGTF has committed to reaching out to younger candidates to further the long-term health of the organization. It is also committing to a marketing plan to continue and improve the USGTF’s visibility among the golfing public, all the better to serve its members.  

Thirty-five years after the founding of the USGTF, the organization, along with the WGTF, has become an incredible standard of excellence for the golfing public to rely on in terms of top-notch instruction from its members. This will only continue to increase, as the “leader in the field of golf instruction” maintains the highest standards and ethics possible continuing into the 21st century.


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Annie Mascot’s foray into golf wasn’t exactly love at first sight. As she put it, “I remember being 10 years old, outside in the cold and rain, just thinking, ‘When will this be over?'” However, her parents urged her to continue, and when she joined her middle school’s golf team, the Augora Hills, California, resident met USGTF professional Jim Govostes.

“When I started on my middle school’s team in 7th grade, I was not good by any means,” said Annie. “I had an untrained swing and the temperament of, well, a 7th-grader. I would get frustrated that I wasn’t good and that I wasn’t the best, that I would mess up from time to time. Of course, we all get frustrated about those things, but the reason why my frustration didn’t get the best of me in those early years has a lot to do with Jim. He would remind me that change takes time, that practice makes improvement, and that if I just kept going, eventually I would get there.”

Said Govostes, “Annie started her golf career with a pretty ugly golf swing. But there was the base of a very, very powerful golf movement in her swing. She wanted to improve, and she had a mother and father that both supported her. We started weekly lessons, and we worked on backswing, turning, staying solid from hips down and delivery.” Being strong-headed, Annie didn’t always take to Govostes’ teaching, but in the end, it paid off. She said, “Switching my mindset from being insecure about where it started to having pride in how far I came is what made me start to fall in love with the game.”

She turned that love of the game into great success, winning the individual NCAA Division III national championship in 2023, setting a single-round scoring record of -5 along the way while representing Washington University of St. Louis. She is now a mechanical engineering Ph.D candidate at Stanford University, a great testament to her academic acumen, which, in the end, is the most important accomplishment of all.


By Yongbeom Kim

After immigrating to Texas in 2001, golf became a new challenge for me through daily practice and playing, even in my busy engineer’s life where I could learn and practice golf much more than in my native Korea.

After obtaining USGTF certification, I have developed a more consistent swing and better scores through my playing and practicing, and have learned a great deal by studying theory. As a result, I developed my philosophy of teaching golf. In 2015, I started working as the director of the USGTF Foreign Language Certification division and am imparting my knowledge and experience to those USGTF candidates.

Above all, I learned a great deal from the curriculum’s How to Teach Golf textbook, and instructed the candidates based on this content. I also opened the Prime Golf Academy to teach beginners through advanced players. In particular, seeing those who have obtained their USGTF certification through me and to teach others to play golf has been highly rewarding, and I plan to continue doing so for quite some time.


While he doesn’t have the record of Tiger Woods – and frankly, likely never will – Scottie Scheffler has, for the past two years, played a lot like him. In fact, it can be fairly stated that his game is the equal of Woods’ in his prime save for one thing, and that is consistent excellency with the putter.

From tee-to-green, Scheffler has no peer on the PGA Tour. He has been number one in strokes-gained: tee-to-green 10 times in the past two years, while the next competitor has done that only three times. He has won eight out of his last 49 PGA Tour starts for a winning percentage of 16.3%. for context, Woods’ career winning percentage is just over 20% and Jack Nicklaus’ hovers around 11%, so Scheffler is indeed in rarified air. He also became the first player to successfully defend his Players Championship title, on the heels of a dominant 5-stroke win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

What’s curious about Scheffler’s game is that, while he was pegged for stardom at an early age and throughout college, few outside observers would have thought he would become so dominant. Putting was never his strong suit, but he has solved that problem, at least for the moment, by switching to a mallet putter. He also has a swing with footwork that is unique, but obviously, the ball has no idea what his feet are doing. At present, his peers are left scratching their heads over how to up their games to compete with golf’s latest dominant player.


All USGTF members, regardless of membership level or residence, are eligible to play in any region championship. You may also refer to region championship action at https://www.usgtf.com/tournaments-for-golf-teaching-professionals.  

Northeast – The USGTF Northeast Region Championship will be held Thursday, June 20, at Mountain View Golf Course in Ewing, New Jersey. Tee times will begin at 12 noon. The entry fee is $185. For more information and to enter, please contact region director Bob Corbo at simductivegolf@gmail.com.  

Central – The USGTF Central Region Championship will be played in July at Walden Ponds Golf Course in Hamilton, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati. The exact date will be determined soon. The entry fee is $250. For more information, please contact region director Tony McMullin at tmcmullin72@yahoo.com.  

Southwest – The USGTF Southwest Region Championship will be held Friday-Sunday, September 20-22, at Twin Creeks Golf Club in Allen, Texas. The entry fee is $250. For more information and to enter, please contact region director Bruce Sims at bsims@pga.com.


Do you want to take your teaching to the next level? USGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional® certification courses will be held May 6-8, 2024, at Legacy Golf Club in Las Vegas, Nevada, and December 9-11 at the USGTF National Office in Fort Pierce, Florida. Participants will have to successfully pass the playing ability test requirements, which are four strokes lower than what is required for a Certified Golf Teaching Professionals®; successfully complete the online USGTF Certified Professional Golf Coach course by end of the onsite course dates; give a thesis presentation with a Q&A to follow, perform a shotmaking demonstration and pass the written teaching test. This is a great educational opportunity for any Certified Golf Teaching Professional in good standing for a minimum of 12 months. For more information and to register, please visit https://www.usgtf.com/master-golf-teaching-professional.


Painted Desert Golf Club in Las Vegas, Nevada, will host the 2024 United States Golf Teachers Cup on Monday and Tuesday, October 7-8. It marks the second consecutive year that the U.S. Cup returns to America’s capital city of fun and excitement. Registration is now open for the U.S. Cup and can be accessed at http://www.usgtf.com/uscup.  

The Luxor on the Las Vegas Strip will once again serve as the recommended host hotel, offering much better prices than 2023 through diligent efforts by Headquarters. Those interested in making early reservations can book at https://book.passkey.com/event/50719407/owner/4939/home  For more information on Painted Desert Golf Club, please visit http://www.painteddesertgc.com.