U.S. Cup And Pro-Am Update

Oak Creek Country Club in beautiful Sedona, Arizona, will host the 24th annual United States Golf Teachers Cup Monday and Tuesday, October 7-8. New to the tournament this year is a concurrent pro-am, and USGTF members are encouraged to bring an amateur partner to team up with. Amateurs are required to have a verified USGA GHIN handicap and will receive 80 percent of their course handicap. The team format will consist of a four-ball format, using the best score between the pro’s gross score and the amateur’s net score.

The entry fee will be $475 for both professionals and amateurs, and participants will receive: Two tournament rounds of golf with range balls before and after play; prize money, gift certificates and chance to win daily prizes; a clinic featuring USGTF teaching professionals; a welcome party with a goody bag and closing banquet/awards ceremony. Entry information will be made available shortly, as will information on a recommended hotel.

Abraham’s Team Wins League Title, Tournament

USGTF member Walt Abraham, head golf coach of Athenian High School in Danville, California, led his squad to the BCL-East league round-robin regular season title and also the league post-season tournament title. The team finished 9-1 in match play and next heads to the Division 2 championship tournament. The league title marks the seventh time in Abraham’s 11 seasons as head coach that Athenian has taken that honor. Athenian fields a young squad of three freshmen, one sophomore and two juniors, with three players earning all-league honors.

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USGTF Regional Action Begins This Month

USGTF regional championships are a great way to compete and enjoy some camaraderie among your fellow members. Regional championships offer a way to get together without traveling extremely long distances, in most cases.

Southwest Region – The USGTF Southwest Region Championship will be held Saturday and Sunday, May 4-5, at Ridgeview Ranch Golf Course in Plano, Texas. Region director Bruce Sims is the host. A practice round is available Friday, May 3, for a cart fee, and a dinner will be held that evening. The entry fee is $225, and an optional $20 skins game is available. For more information and to enter, please contact Sims at (214) 475-5168, bsimspro@hotmail.com.

Southeast Region – May 18-19, 2019, at GlenLakes Country Club in Weeki Wachee, Florida. This private course is challenging, beautiful and impeccably maintained. Mature stands of oak and pine, water features, undulating hills and sand traps provide endless variations of play. A prize fund of $1,000 and the Southeast Trophy is assured with a field of 12 players. Entry deadline is May 10. Send entries to

USGTF National Office 200 S. Indian River Drive, Suite #206 Fort Pierce, FL 34950

If paying with credit card, call the office directly at (888) 346-3290.

Questions? Please contact USGTF Southeast Regional director Mike Stevens at ams1127@msn.com.

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

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 simductivegolf@gmail.com.

“PRO” File – Touring Professional Marilyn Smith

She made her last public appearance in March, greeting LPGA participants as they left the 18th hole green during the Bank of Hope Founders Classic in Phoenix, Arizona. A couple of short weeks later, Marilynn Smith passed away at the age of 89. Smith was one of the founding members of the LPGA Tour in 1950. She would go on to win 21 tournaments and two major championships. As an additional claim to fame, Smith became the first woman to work as an announcer on the broadcast of a men’s tournament. Today, the familiar voices of Judy Rankin and Dottie Pepper can be heard on the airwaves, but Smith was the pioneer. According to GolfChannel.com, “As one of the 13 women who founded the LPGA in 1950, Smith filled so many roles vital to the organization’s growth. She spent time as tour president, secretary, business manager and public relations specialist. She fulfilled sales and marketing duties and tournament operation responsibilities.” Smith’s passing leaves only two LPGA founders still alive, Shirley Spork and Marlene Hagge.

From The USGTF Pro Shop

Mental Rules for Teaching Golf by Dr. Gregg Steinberg is on sale for $12.95, which includes shipping through the end of May. This invaluable guide to the mental side of golf and teaching is a must-read for all USGTF members. Please contact the USGTF National Office at (888) 346-3290 to obtain your copy today.

Editorial – Is Slow Play Really A Problem?

Slow play seems to be a big topic these days on both Golf Channel and PGA Tour Radio on Sirius/XM. Groups routinely take around five hours to play on Friday and Saturday, when play is in threesomes, but the pace does pick up considerably on the weekend when twosomes are the rule.

It is said that the average golfer models their playing habits after the professionals and adopt their habits, but in all the places I’ve played nationwide, on courses both public and private, I really have yet to see this. Slow play, in my opinion, mainly stems from too many players on the course at one time. This is not to say that there aren’t slow players, but I seriously doubt that they are mirroring what they see on TV every weekend. I am lucky in the regard that where I play, mainly in courses around the Savannah, Georgia, area, slow play is really not an issue. If I get stuck behind a group taking 4 1/2 hours, that’s a long day by our standards here.

There are two things that courses can do to speed up play if slow play is indeed a problem at their facility: 1) Use a more reasonable tee-time interval. Yes, I know revenue is all-important, but many courses of all stripes have 9-minute intervals. Courses who use anything less than this are inviting trouble. 2) Empower course marshals and rangers to take care of the problem. When I rangered in Tallahassee, Florida, when I lived there, I would approach the offending group in a very diplomatic way, asking them to either pick up the pace as groups behind were waiting, or let them through. Not once did I receive any pushback.

One thing I would urge courses not to do is tell groups to pick up their ball and move ahead. These people paid to play 9 or 18 holes, not 7 or 16. As I mentioned before, diplomacy and awareness go a long way.

By Mark Harman, USGTF National Course Director

Reach Over 25,000 Golf Teaching Professionals!

How would you like to get the word out about your products to people who can actually help sell your products? Golf Teaching Pro® magazine goes out to every USGTF member and interested parties twice a year. This publication has articles and advertisements specifically geared towards teaching professionals, who are influential in their students’ purchasing decisions on equipment, training aids, apparel, etc. Ad space is still available for the upcoming Summer issue, click here for more details or contact our national headquarters at 1-888-346-3290.