Season’s Greetings And Happy Holidays!

As we head into the Christmas and holiday season, we at the USGTF National Office want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah, and certainly a Happy New Year for 2021.

The National Office will be closed on Thursday and Friday, December 24-25 and also on Friday, January 1.

As always, we look forward to serving all of your member needs.

Golf Teaching Pro® Coming This Month

Golf Teaching Pro® magazine, the official print publication of the United States Golf Teachers Federation, will be issued starting this month to all members in good standing through 2021. The magazine will be sent upon membership renewal. If you have already done this, no worries! You should be getting the magazine shortly. The digital version of the magazine will also be released.

USGTF Inside News

The year 2020 started off with a bang for the USGTF and became perhaps the most momentous in its history since 1989.

  • First, Brandon Lee became president and CEO when founder Geoff Bryant retired after leading the organization for 31 years
  • Then, the COVID-19 coronavirus hit, derailing virtually every aspect of not only American life, but also all over the world. USGTF in-person classes were canceled for several weeks, but online learning became extremely popular.
  • The Summer 2020 edition of Golf Teaching Pro was put out as a digital-only version due to the uncertainty that all businesses and organizations faced.
  • A full slate of in-person certification classes is set to resume in 2021, and the schedule of classes is now available online at
  • Finally, the deadline to submit membership dues for 2021 and to remain a member in good standing is December 31, 2020. Dues may be submitted online at, or by regular mail at USGTF, 200 S. Indian River Drive, #206, Fort Pierce, FL 34950, or you may call the USGTF National Office at (772) 88-USGTF.
  • USGTF Competition To Resume In February With SE Championship

    A doubleheader of events, the 2021 USGTF Southeast Region Championship and the U.S. Professional Hickory Championship, will be held February 20-22, 2021, in Tampa, Florida. (Note: You can play in one or both events.) First up is the S.E. Region Championship at Bay Palms Golf Complex at MacDill Air Force Base. This two-round event will be played Saturday and Sunday, February 20-21. The entry fee is $200 for this 12:00 noon starting time event. A prize fund of $1,000 is assured with 12 players.

    The U.S. Professional Hickory Championship will be held on Monday, February 22, at Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club, also in Tampa. The purse for this championship is $5,000, and the entry fee is $100. Hickory golf clubs and balls are provided to players who are in need.

    The entry deadline for both events is February 10. To enter, make checks payable to Mike Stevens at 720 Bungalow Terrace, Tampa, FL 33606, or you may pay with Venmo @mikestevensgolf. You may also contact him at or (813) 244-7619 if you have any questions. Both events are a great way to experience some terrific competitive golf, and if you are a resident in our more northern locales, a fine excuse to get away for some warm winter golf and sunshine!

    Industry News – Masters Recap

    It was the most unusual Masters in history, starting with the fact that it was held in November. Add into the equation no patrons, save for members and their guests and players’ guests, and it was unique, to say the least. Oh, and we didn’t even mention the lack of blooming azaleas.

    First day scoring was very low, as Dustin Johnson and Dylan Fritelli led the way with 65s. Even Tiger Woods, who had struggled as of late, opened with a 68 to put himself firmly in the mix. After two rounds, Johnson, Cameron Smith and Jon Rahm were tied at -9, and looked to be a battle of the ages between Johnson and Rahm. However, Rahm was only able to muster -1 on the weekend, and it was the unheralded Smith who stood strong. Sungjae Im was always in the mix for all four days, and he and Smith wound up tied for second, a distant five shots behind Johnson.

    It comes as no surprise that Johnson finally won at Augusta, as his game is perfect for it, save for the fact that he prefers a fade while Augusta National treats those who draw the ball better. However, that didn’t deter Jack Nicklaus from donning six green jackets, so talent and skill can overcome the ball flight that the course apparently demands. Also unique is that the very next major to be played is…the Masters…in April. This has been a most unusual year for everything, golf included, and the majors were not exempt from this.

    “PRO” File – Dustin Johnson

    The only surprise is why it took Dustin Johnson so long to win his second major. Johnson, one of golf’s top players for the past decade, finally won another when he took home the coveted green jacket at Augusta National this past November. Most analysts agree that when Johnson is on top of his game, only Rory McIlroy poses a threat to take him down. Despite the fact that Cameron Smith and Sungjae Im tied for runner-up honors, neither really threatened during the final nine as Johnson was on cruise control. For Johnson, this victory represents an important milestone in his stellar career. For a man of such accomplishment and at times domination, it didn’t seem right that his career major total was stuck at one. Johnson becomes only one of 23 golfers in history with at least 24 PGA Tour wins and two majors. Predictions of the floodgates opening are common for players who achieve monumental victories, but rarely come true, but in Johnson’s case, it seems logical that he’s not done winning major titles and should add a few more to that total in the coming years.

    EDITORIAL – Masters History Most Special Among the Four Majors

    The Open (formerly called The Open Championship, and prior to that formerly called the British Open) is the oldest of the four majors. The U.S. Open has a storied history almost as long, dating back to 1895. Next up is the PGA Championship, first played in 1916. The Master is the new kid on the block with its debut in 1934, but it can be fairly argued that the history of the Masters is the most special among the four. For one, it is played at the same location every year at perhaps the most famous golf course in the world, with apologies to the Old Course at St. Andrews. Even the most ardent of golf fans will be hard-pressed to describe all the holes on the final nine at the Old Course, but no one has any such trouble with the final nine at Augusta National. Yes, the course is that memorable and special.

    The history of the tournament itself is among the most storied. Although none of us were around back then, Gene Sarazen’s double-eagle on #15 during the final round in 1935 is legendary. The 1975 edition featured a battle royal between Jack Nicklaus, Tom Weiskopf and Johnny Miller, and is still talked about to this day.

    Nicklaus’ amazing 1986 victory was even better, perhaps matched only by Tiger Woods’ comeback win in 2019. Many observers and so-called “experts” thought Woods would never win another Masters title, as he was too old and could not keep up with the younger generation (as was thought about Nicklaus in ’86). He proved the doubters wrong with a textbook example of course management, attacking at the right time and playing conservatively at others. The roars on #18 after he putted out were said to be the loudest ever heard at Augusta, eclipsing even those of Nicklaus’ 1986 win.

    Then there are the details people remember, both successful and not: Curtis Strange dunking two balls on #13 and #15 in 1980, costing him the title; Chip Beck laying up on #13 in 1994 while battling Bernhard Langer; Phil Mickelson pulling off the shot of a lifetime off the pine straw on #13 in 2010; Bubba Watson’s hooked wedge in 2012 during his playoff with Louis Oosthuizen, and many others, too numerous to mention here.

    Nicklaus’ six victories leads the way, followed by Woods’ five. Arnold Palmer comes in next with four green jackets. Gary Player owns three of them, as does Sir Nick Faldo, Mickelson, Sam Snead and Jimmy Demaret. No matter which aspect of Masters history we choose to look at, it’s hard to say it’s not the richest in our sport.

    By Mark Harman, USGTF Director of Education