When the USGTF was founded in 1989, it was much-needed in filling a void in the golf instruction realm. Thirty-five years later, much of the promise of the USGTF has been fulfilled with bigger and better things in store in the future.

In the beginning, all USGTF classes and instruction were held in-person at a few locations nationwide. These gatherings routinely drew 40-50 candidates to each certification course, proving the USGTF was vital to the golf industry. As the computer age became an everyday reality, online learning supplemented in-person sessions in the form of earning Associate Member status.

CEO and president Brandon Lee’s vision for the future includes a more rigorous and involved certification program to keep up with the ever-growing body of knowledge needed to teach the game effectively, while at the same time making the program accessible to more people. A vital goal of the USGTF is to involve younger candidates to assure long-term growth and health of the organization. Since virtually everyone under the age of 30 has grown up knowing computers and artificial intelligence technology their wholes lives, programs tailored to their expectations are being developed to further the goal of federation health and growth. The 21st century certainly belongs to the USGTF and WGTF.


Golf coaching is easy and fun with Swing Profile golf analyzer, and you can make a perfect start in 2024! For the month of January 2024, you will get a free $10 Apple gift card when you buy a 1-year Coach Subscription*. Simply download app from Apple app store, register, and after purchasing 1-year Coach subscription, email us at info@swingprofile.com with subject “USGTF” to redeem the offer. Offer is valid until 31 January 2024. For any help, contact info@swingprofile.com.

Features of Swing Profile golf app for coaches include:  

  1. PGA Show award-winning “Auto Capture” technology for golf analysis and student self-training.
  2. “Ball tracker” for instant ball trajectories tracking
  3. Easy “voiceover” for recording your voice and drawing
  4. Easy video exchange with students on both Swing Profile app and email
  5. “Student Lockers” system for organizing student videos
  6. Enlist your coaching business on our “Coach directory” to be seen by hundreds of thousands of Swing Profile users
  7. Automatic video backup to secure cloud storage and video synchronization across devices
For the month of January and February 2024, we are offering 50% off Swing Profile “Coach” version, as well as 50% off our new golf putt training app “Putt Profile” (www.puttprofile.com). Download apps and try now! For more information, please contact info@swingprofile.com.

*Offer is available to new subscribers only and requires using the latest version of Swing Profile app. Apple gift card may take up to 5 weeks to dispatch.


USGTF members who have students notable for their achievements, accomplishments, or even notable progress, are invited to submit their stories for consideration in the monthly e-newsletter. A picture of the USGTF member along with their student will also be featured in the item.

Such submissions are important to highlight the success of USGTF members. Not only does the student spotlight showcase the teaching professional in addition to the student, but putting out success stories by USGTF members continues to show the strength of the certification process and the qualifications of all USGTF members. As the old saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats! Submissions may be made at info@usgtf.com.  


A native of Louisiana, Thomas T Wartelle turned pro after graduating with a B.S. in Agronomy from the University of Louisiana. He is a PGA and WGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional, as well as a WGTF course examiner.

Wartelle’s career as a playing professional brought him around the world, competing in Europe, Asia, South America, Canada and the USA. His 30+ years of professional golf have been an unbelievable journey, going to over 40 countries as a player/instructor with 20,000+ hours of instruction given, and teaching and meeting thousands of students and great people around the globe. He has traveled the world training golf instructors to teach golf, using a unique system for learning.

Wartelle’s teaching philosophy and methods have been recognized as innovative, and best described as a combination of “old-style feel” with the latest in technology. Wartelle is renowned for training players who are serious about moving to the next level.  This includes numerous professional tour players, college golfers, amateur champions and high-level junior golfers. His training includes all aspects of the game with a focus on mechanics, short game, tournament preparation and fitness/speed training.

Wartelle has been named to the WGTF Top 100 Instructors list. In 2007, he was inducted into the WGTF Hall of Fame. He is a contributing writer for several golf publications and media.  His mission is to grow the game while developing golfers into champions in golf and life. His mantra is “pay it forward.”  You can visit his social media on Facebook and Instagram @ttwgolf.


For the first time in quite a few years, the PGA Tour’s season-opener will officially open at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in January. The season itself will conclude this fall. For the past several years, the Tour’s official start to the season commenced after the FedEx Cup was concluded and covered two calendar years.  

The change was done to simplify the season, among other reasons. In addition to a change to the Tour’s calendar, a series of “Signature Events” will continue in 2024, a response to the LIV Tour’s high payouts. Signature Events will give 700 FedEx Cup points to the winner in addition to highly inflated purses and reduced, no-cut fields.  

The changes are not without controversy as many who are not eligible for Signature Events fear those who are eligible will easily keep their Tour playing privileges for years to come, becoming much less a tour based on merit and more on previous achievements. The year 2024 will certainly be one of the more interesting ones in Tour history.  


Southeast – The USGTF Southeast Region Championship will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, February 20-21, at Twisted Oaks Golf Course in Beverly Hills, Florida (west-central Florida). The entry fee of $245 covers two tournament rounds of golf, range balls prior to play and a prize fund. Tee assignments will be based on age and gender. For more information, please contact region director Mark Harman at mark@usgtf.com. There are three ways to enter: By check made out to Mark Harman, 1656 Colony Dr., Ridgeland SC 29936; Venmo @MarkHarman, or Pay Pal markharmangolf@aol.com. The entry deadline is Monday, February 12.


Golf Teaching Pro magazine, the official member publication of the USGTF and WGTF, is now available in digital form on our website at www.USGTF.com in addition to its print form. The magazine has features and articles of interest to all golf teaching professionals, including instruction and news from around the world.  

Articles in this edition include a feature on the United States Golf Teachers Cup, teaching and developing junior golfers, and a historical look at the Ryder Cup. In addition, news from around the world from the WGTF’s various federation nations is also featured. This valued resource is an important part of our communication with all USGTF and WGTF members.  


To be considered a master of one’s craft, as Merriam-Webster puts it, means “to become skilled or proficient in the use of; to gain a thorough understanding of.” USGTF members who have attained the level of Master Golf Teaching Professional® have reached a level that is truly exclusive. And why is that?

Have you noticed the registered trademark symbol after the phrase “Master Golf Teaching Professional”? This is because it is indeed a federally registered trademark, and only those who have successfully completed all requirements of the USGTF’s master-level certification process are legally allowed to use the term.

Many who have reached the level of Master Golf Teaching Professional have said the certification course itself is one of the best learning opportunities available. David Buise said, “Jerry (Ellstrom) was very kind, we had conversations about golf, about life and how I got into golf. He made it very comfortable for me taking the test. His knowledge alone helped me feel more comfortable with a lot of aspects that I can add to my teaching repertoire. I highly recommend the course to all who qualify.” Jason Miller added, “I really liked all the other students in the program, an awesome group of golfers and golf instructors. I want to emphasize how tremendous I think Bill Rice is. He’s delightful and extremely smart, extremely funny and kind, accommodating yet strict, personable. I definitely recommend the course, and if you’re looking to get a golf instruction job, the USGTF Masters certification is the cream of the crop.”

Candidates are required to present a written thesis to the rest of the class, affording a great learning environment for all. In addition, a shotmaking demonstration and passing a written teaching test are required. Those who have been a Certified Golf Teaching Professional® for a minimum of 12 months are eligible to attend the master-level certification class. The next class will be held June 12-14 in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information, please visit https://www.usgtf.com/master-golf-teaching-professional.


From everyone at the USGTF National Office, we wish you a Happy New Year and hope you have a prosperous and successful 2024 season. As the USGTF enters its 35th year of operation, the National Office staff is ready to serve you, and we welcome your input. Please contact member_services@usgtf.com, or you may call (772) 88-USGTF or (772) 888-7483, if the National Office staff can be of assistance to you.