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 is immaculately manicured, and offers a fair and enjoyable challenge. In addition, Sedona is one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in America, with red-rock formations and off-course activities and amenities that draw people from around the world. Entry and other information will be made available shortly.

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 Gregor Jamieson, who is a frequent competitor in the USGTF-sponsored United States Professional Hickory Championship held each February. Liu isn’t just about golf, however, as she does equestrian whenever she gets a chance. She loves animals, especially horses and dogs. Undoubtedly, she also loves birds – as in birdies – as well.

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 most people have put their clubs into winter hibernation.

As far as “The Match,” however, this one pales in comparison to one that took place at Cypress Point in 1954 between amateurs Ken Venturi and Harvey Ward against pros Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan. The event is described in the New York Times bestseller by Mark Frost titled, ironically, The Match. This was great golf. The group recorded 28 birdies over the eighteen holes and ended with Hogan and Nelson winning 1-up after Hogan rolled in a 10-foot putt to top Venturi’s 12-footer just before. Interestingly enough, the match was set up by none other than Eddie Lowery, who caddied for Francis Ouimet in the 1913 U.S. Open at Brookline.

I would not mind seeing more such competitions among today’s elite. To me, match play is intriguing. Just look at how popular the Ryder Cup has become. Maybe it’s time to bring back Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf.

By: Mike Stevens, USGTF Member and contributing writer