Editorial – To Paraphrase An Old Saying: Liv And Let Live:

Editorial – To Paraphrase An Old Saying: Liv And Let Live:

By: Mark Harman, Director of Education

The biggest news to hit the golf world in 2022 was the creation of the LIV Golf Tour. With Greg Norman as its commissioner, LIV drew a few of the biggest names in golf away from the PGA Tour, most notably Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed, Phil Mickelson and Cameron Smith.

While the USGTF’s official position on LIV Golf is one of neutrality, it can be stated with certainty that the new venture will continue to be a presence in 2023. Many people have a problem with the source of the funding for the new tour – the Saudi Arabian government’s Public Investment Fund, while others have pointed out that many American corporations and even our government do business with Saudi Arabia. Both sides have valid arguments.

I have watched a few of the tournaments on YouTube, and the production is somewhat different from that of the PGA Tour’s. A “pylon” on the left side of the screen continually updates with the position of the players, and many shots are shown. There is also a team aspect to the tournaments, which to me seems somewhat of a gimmick, but the players have apparently bought into it.

I personally don’t understand the PGA Tour suspending players who went to LIV. I would love for someone to ask commissioner Jay Monahan how it benefits the PGA Tour that the above-mentioned players are no longer allowed to compete on that tour. At any rate, it seems the LIV Tour is here to stay for at least another year or two, if not longer. Golf’s other entities need to come to grips with this fact and find a way to coexist.

Student Spotlight – Chuck Colfer

Student Spotlight – Chuck Colfer

By Pat Church, USGTF Master, Eugene, Oregon

Many of us have students that stand out and have done wonderful things in this game of golf. I have one who is very “Special.” Meet Chuck Colfer, a 72-year-old Special Olympics athlete who competes in bowling, powerlifting and golf. His haul of medals and ribbons are way too numerous to count.

I met Chuck when I started coaching golf for our local Special Olympics program in 2004. He then competed in the Skills grouping: putting, chipping, pitching, drive and irons. He was consistent and always finished “in the money” within his age grouping.

As the years went by, Chuck always alerted his family when it was time to go golf with Coach Pat. He never missed a practice and was always ready to do his best. His form is not a pretty sight, but his commitment is! In 2012 his mother died, and his family found him a personal care worker – enter Roy. With Roy’s help, Chuck blossomed: more talkative, but not a conversationalist; more outgoing and even more engaged in his golf. Chuck and Roy became a Unified team that played alternate shot for nine holes. They struggled at first, but grew into a strong team, usually still finishing in the medal rounds.

Every year come September, he begins his countdown to his birthday…in November. I am always invited to his birthday dinner at his favorite diner – such a grand night. Chuck and other Special Olympic athletes have made me a better, more patient teacher. His friendship has enriched my life and now in my semi-retirement, Chuck, Roy and I play as often as we can.

“PRO” File – Teaching Professional Scott Lehman

“PRO” File – Teaching Professional Scott Lehman

Scott Lehman of Nashville, Tennessee, first picked up a club in 1969 at the age of 8 in his hometown of Ripon, Wisconsin. Continuing to play during his youth, Lehman played on the Ripon High School team for four years.

He went to the University of Wisconsin-LaCross and graduated with a degree in Marketing in 1984. As he was interested in surfing and the beach, he bought a one-way ticket to San Diego and, along with a high school friend who had graduated from the University of San Diego, started selling surfboards, skateboards, tee shirts, etc. He developed a very successful sales career, and years later relocated to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It was there that his company was bought out and he lost his job.

Following a period of uncertainty, he and his wife Leslie became committed Christians, and their faith has played a huge role in their lives ever since. He became a USGTF member in 1998, and eventually he and Leslie moved to Nashville. In, 2007, Lehman started In His Grip golf ministries, named after the book that led him on his faith journey. Since then, he has shared his life story at the Masters Prayer Breakfast in Augusta, Georgia; co-authored the book The Master’s Grip, and authored More Than a Game, among other achievements. Lehman’s latest project is that he is the associate producer of the new Payne Stewart movie set to come out in 2024.

Lehman and his wife Leslie still live in Nashville with their son Micah.>