Golden, Harman Win Regional Events

Southwest – Cole Golden shot an opening round 69 against a strong field that featured several current and past USGTF champions at a windy Ridgeview Ranch Golf Course, which hosted the USGTF Southwest Region Championship May 4-5 in Plano, Texas. Tough, tricky greens and somewhat wet conditions after several days of wet weather had hit Texas earlier in the week greeted the competitors. Southwest Region director Bruce Sims and Master Lee carded 76, while Brent Davies and Chris Tyner shot 77. Grant Gulych, Jeff Kennedy, and D.B. Merrill came in with 78.

Golden continued his fine play on day two and was never threatened, as only Davies was able to get within three shots on the back nine before Golden responded with a birdie on the next hole. Golden finished with a 69-74 – 143 for a 1-under-par total. Davies finished in second place after shooting 70, which was the low round of the day, for a 147 total. Lee played solidly all day after shooting a fine round of 74 for a 150 total, coming in third place.

Southeast – Mark Harman made a statement that he is still a force to be reckoned with at GlenLakes Country Club in Weeki Wachee, Florida, this past May. The reigning U.S., Canadian and World Cup champion from Ridgeland, South Carolina, set a Southeast Region Championship scoring record of seven under par (70-67 – 137) to best Ron Cox of Henderson, Tennessee by five shots. Richard Crowell from Pensacola, Florida, and Rich Lively of Rockledge, Florida, took third and fourth, grabbing the balance from the $1,200 purse.

Cox, leading by a stroke heading into the final round, and Harman battled shot-for-shot on the front nine, but on the back nine, lightning struck. Harman eagled the par-4 13th hole, where he hit a punch shot from 125 yards under a tree which found the bottom of the hole. He carded six birdies in addition to the eagle to pace his final round score. Thanks goes out to GlenLakes head pro Tom McCrary, who has hosted us for several years.

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The 24th annual United States Golf Teachers Cup will feature a concurrent Pro-Am during the event to be played Monday and Tuesday, October 7-8, at Oak Creek Country Club in Sedona, Arizona. USGTF professionals will be paired with one amateur partner who will receive 80 percent of his or her USGA course handicap. Amateurs must have a current USGA GHIN handicap to receive strokes, or else they will be assigned a course handicap of zero. It is not required to have an amateur partner to compete.

Discounted hotel arrangements have also been made with the Comfort Inn in Camp Verde, approximately a 25-minute drive from the course. Rooms are available from October 5-10 for $74.99 per night, plus tax, and can be booked by calling the hotel at (520) 433-4613 and mentioning the U.S. Cup. Practice rounds are available at Oak Creek for $59 after 10:00 a.m. before the tournament and can be arranged by calling the course at (928) 295-6400. Registration for this showcase event will be made available soon.

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Two More Region Titles Remaining In 2019

Northeast Region – The 2019 USGTF Northeast Region Championship will be conducted Friday, June 21, at Mercer Oaks West Course in West Windsor Township, New Jersey. Region director Bob Corbo serves as the tournament host. The entry fee is $165. For more information and to enter, please contact Corbo at

Central Region – The 2019 USGTF Central Region Championship, a 36-hole stroke play event, will be held Sunday and Monday, August 4-5, at Pheasant Run Golf Course in Canton, Michigan. For more information and to register, please visit Questions can be referred to region director Brent Davies at or (248) 701-6843. The Michigan/Ontario Golf Teachers Tour also boasts a complete summer schedule. Please visit for more information.

USGTF Member Beard Pens Book

USGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional Barney Beard has written a new book geared towards beginners. Beard said, “I’ve spent many years enjoying, playing and teaching golf. This little book is the result of all those years and all the people who have taken the time to make me a better golfer.

“I like the quote by my friend: ‘If you put the hay down where the calves can get it, the cows can get it, too.’ I have done my best to make the book clear and simple. My book is available on Amazon. There also is a left-hand version available. The book, Golf For Beginners, has won a medal with the Florida Authors and Publishers Association. The award is to be presented August 3 of this year. Who would have thought?”

Beard’s website is, and he can be reached at

“‘PRO” File – Touring Professional Bob Toski

He’s known today for his great teaching career, but USGTF member Bob Toski also forged a fine playing career before taking his talents to the lesson tee. Toski played the first of his 247 tournaments on the PGA Tour in 1947, but it wasn’t until 1950 when he hit his stride. He played in 24 events with five top-10 finishes, and he made the cut in almost every tournament he played in for years. In 1953 he won his first event, and in 1954 the floodgates opened. Toski won four events, including the richest tournament, the World Championship of Golf at Tam O’Shanter Country Club in Illinois, and was the leading money winner in 1954.

Toski joined the fledgling Senior Tour in 1980, eventually competing in 76 events on that Tour. His last individual appearance was at the 1997 U.S. Senior Open. In 1999, he played in the WGTF’s World Golf Teachers Cup individual championship, where he was even par after 16 holes until he was called away from the golf course due to a personal matter. Ken Butler wound up winning with a score of 73, but had Toski been able to finish, who knows what the end result would have been? Toski survived a massive heart attack several months ago, and today he is still on the lesson tee at the age of 92, still imparting his wisdom and knowledge to those lucky enough to be his students.

Editorial – Does the Pro Game Really Influence Amateurs?

It’s an accepted bit of wisdom – since the pros play slowly, amateurs take their cues from them that it’s also okay for them to do so. This has been repeated on social media and in articles often enough that it must be true, right?

I’m not so sure. As I write this, I played in our morning game with two other players. I walked and carried my bag the entire 18, and another in our group used a push cart, with the third using an electric golf car. We teed off at 8:08 and finished at 11:37, which means we finished in a minute under 3 1/2 hours. Even on the weekends when it’s crowded, it’s common to get around in 4 to 4 1/2 hours maximum. Now, our course in Savannah, Georgia, is pretty wide open, but I’ve never had a problem at other area courses, even our muni, when it comes to pace of play.

The amateurs who do mimic what the pros do are the junior and college players. It’s common for rounds to take well over five hours as they pace off yardage, study the wind and go through elaborate pre-shot routines, complete with breathing exercises and visualization techniques. I’m in favor of a checkpoint system, where if a group isn’t on a particular tee at a particular time, they get a warning, and if at the next checkpoint they haven’t kept the pace, dock everyone in the group penalty strokes. Yes, this may not be fair to the faster player(s) in the group, but something drastic must be done.

As coaches, we can help our competitive players develop a pre-shot routine that is fairly quick. It doesn’t have to take over five hours to shoot under par, and we need to play our part to help keep players in competition moving along.

By Mark Harman, USGTF National Course Director