Registration Now Open for 2018 US/CGTF Cup

Registration is now open for the 23rd annual United States Golf Teachers Cup to be played October 1-3, 2018, at Ussher’s Creek Golf Course in Niagara Falls, Canada. This year’s cup will be played as a joint venture with the Canadian Golf Teachers Federation and will be held concurrently with the CGTF Cup. Niagara Falls is one of the world’s greatest vacation destinations and offers many amenities for a complete golf and family vacation. Please visit for more information and to register. We look forward to seeing you at this unique and cooperative venture.

US Professional Hickory Championship This Month

The 2018 United States Professional Hickory Championship will be played Monday, February 26 at Temple Terrace Country Club in Tampa, Florida. USGTF Southeast Region director Mike Stevens hosts this USGTF-sponsored event, which honors the game’s heritage, and pays homage to the original Florida Open played at the same site.

A purse of $5,000 is offered, and there is also a separate amateur division. Clubs will be provided for those who do not have their own, and may be obtained Sunday, February 25 at Terrace Hill Golf Course and Driving Range near the club. The entry fee is $100. For more information and to enter, please go to or email Stevens at

USGTF Regional Events

USGTF regional event action is a great way to meet some of your fellow members, compete and help strengthen your region. The USGTF has five regions: Southeast, Northeast, Central, Southwest and Northwest. Southwest Region director Bruce Sims and Central Region director Brent Davies have released the schedule for their 2018 regional championships, and information may be found at

All WGTF members, regardless of residence, are welcome at all USGTF regional events.

Jones Named Northwest Region Director

Longtime USGTF member Bert Jones has been named the new USGTF Northwest Region director. Jones, from Loomis, California, has been an active participant with the USGTF and is also a Master Golf Teaching Professional. He is the head professional at DarkHorse Golf Club in Auburn, California and serves as the head coach of the St. Francis High School girls golf team. He may be reached through email at

Player Amateur Tour to Tee Off

USGTF member Wayne Player is always on the go, and his latest venture is a boon to amateur golfers everywhere. The Player Amateur Tour is slated to begin play in 2018 with Player serving as commissioner. This revolutionary tour changes the way competition is held, and features a season-ending finale in Las Vegas.

USGTF members have an opportunity to serve as a Brand Ambassador with the tour and earn money along the way. To become a Brand Ambassador for The Player Amateur Tour and start generating incremental income today, please click here.

Member Success Stories and Profiles Sought

Golf Teaching Pro magazine, the official member publication of the USGTF, is looking for member success stories and profiles to be featured in the Summer 2018 edition. If you have a story that you believe your fellow members would be interested in, don’t be shy! We welcome any and all submissions, and are glad to highlight our members and bring some attention to their success.

Submissions may also be featured in the monthly e-newsletter. To submit your information, please send it to USGTF Membership services at, along with a profile picture (no hat or sunglasses, and a smile is always preferred!).
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Editorial – Members Weigh In on Teacher Honestly

By Mark Harman, USGTF Course Director

Last month, I wrote about my dilemma on how honest I should be with a student while at the same time not destroying their enjoyment and aspirations for their games. I asked my fellow members to weigh in on how they handled such situations, and a good number of you replied. Here are some of the responses:

Joe DeLorenzo wrote, “First, we must clarify expectations; improvements are not likely to happen overnight. Instructors can only provide information for improvements, provided the student is willing to put in the work. Goals must be staircased, so measure gradual improvements over time. If the high-level goal is to improve scores, start with baselines for each course the student will play, and try to break the personal best, but this comes after the following measurements: Lower-level examples of goals to measure might be reducing the number of three-putts per round, the success rates of ‘up-and-downs,’ fairways hit vs. missed, greens hit vs. missed, number of mechanical errors, number of mental errors, etc.  Instruction should target the problem areas first.”

Mike Dugan wrote, “The main thing I do with older golfers that are trying to get more distance is put impact tape on their clubface and make sure they’re somewhat in the center of the clubface with their driver. If they’re way off the toe or way off the heel and I can get them more centered, that usually gets them 10 more yards.”

My good friend John Linton wrote, “In this case we need to be honest with the person, just remember it will burst his bubble, and we should NEVER DULL A MAN’S DREAMS. So we have to learn how to step on a man’s foot without messing up his shoe shine. I believe I would try to tell him what is needed for him to accomplish his goals and point out where he falls short. Next, I would try to help him look at his situation realistically and show him what he needs to get to there. In the end, the truth will set you free.”

Finally, Robert Vitti wrote, “Whether the student understands his strengths and limitations or not, it is the teacher’s job to make clear and actively manage expectations. It is also wise to set small, more attainable goals that support mutual expectations. A student normally responds more positively when he realizes a small improvement on the way to his goal, especially if they feel they are attaining realistic goals along the way. It is also wise to re-visit expectations on a regular basis to ensure that you are both working toward the same end. This should always be a positive discussion, even if the expectations are being tapped back from time to time.”

Great thoughts. Due to space constraints, I couldn’t print all responses, but I want to thank everyone who wrote.