Are You Ready to Return to the Lesson Tee? How to Teach in the Covid-19 Environment

As states are starting to loosen up restrictions that prevented golf courses from being open, many golf teachers who were prevented from giving lessons are going to be able to return to the lesson tee. This is obviously good news for those who have been sidelined for several weeks.

In teaching in the current COVID-19 environment, the instructor must consider the students’ concerns if a golf lesson can be safely given. We believe the answer to that question is a resounding “Yes!” The Centers for Disease control guidelines currently recommend the wearing of masks in indoor settings where “other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission” (CDC website). So, if you’re teaching indoors, students may be more comfortable if you’re wearing a mask, as remaining more than six feet apart while teaching can be difficult. Another measure to be considered, whether teaching inside or outside, is to have hand sanitizer and antiseptic wipes readily available.

There is no telling at this writing when all restrictions may be loosened permanently. Until then, it is best to remain vigilant in our effort to combat the COVID-19 virus. The USGTF headquarters will continue to work together with our members in doing our part to exchange better ideas on how to make golf teaching safer and more efficient in order to get over difficulties during the these times.

USGTF Regional Tournaments Update

Southwest – The USGTF Southwest Region Championship, originally postponed from its March date, has been postponed once again from its re-scheduled late May date. No further information is available at this time.

Other USGTF regional championships are still on schedule. The USGTF will wait until the latest feasible moment if one or more of these events needs to be postponed or canceled, taking into consideration travel plans.

Northeast – June 26, Ewing Township, NJ

Central – August 2-3, Canton, MI

Northwest – September 16-17, San Francisco, CA

US Golf Teachers Cup– October 19-20, Revere GC, Las Vegas, NV

Please click here to learn more about these events.

USGTF Continues to Offer Online Courses and Continuing Education

With most learning going online, the USGTF continues to offer its online home study course. Golf courses that have remained open the past several weeks have seen a significant increase in play, and that’s good news for those in the teaching business. If you’re an avid golfer who may be looking for a career change or wanting to help golfers improve their games, the Associate Member online course is a perfect option. Please click here to learn how to become part of the nation’s largest and most influential organization of golf teaching professionals.

Current members may also take advantage of continuing education courses offered in the form of earning a Certified Professional Golf Coach® and/or Certified Golf Club Manager® designation. These ongoing certification courses have been very beneficial in the careers of many. Please click here for more information on these courses and to register.

The Match Continues!

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have been longtime golf rivals, but so have Tom Brady and Peyton Manning in the realm of professional football. These four legends are set to battle it out in The Match: Champions for Charity sometime in May in Florida. Woods will team with Manning while Mickelson will partner with Brady. In the original Match, played in November 2018, Mickelson got the best of Woods in extra holes under the lights in Las Vegas.

A format has not been released as of press time, but we can be sure that the entertainment value of The Match will be of interest to golf and football fans. Brady and Manning have demonstrated their cool under pressure in their main environment, so it will be interesting to see how they handle playing with two of the greatest of all time in their sport.

THE GOLF TENT – Have you ever canceled a lesson due to rain or too-hot weather?

The USGTF wants to introduce “The Golf Tent” to members as a good solution to increase your revenue instead of canceling lessons or stopping booking due to weather.

The Golf Tent provides a good opportunity to be able to coach in all weather – no more losing coaching revenue. How much would this lost income add up over 1, 3 or 5 years?

The Golf Tent is a portable, inflatable, robust structure designed for teaching golf and other outdoor activities. It is constructed of military-grade materials and zippers able to withstand gusts of wind up to 30 miles per hour. It is versatile and easily customized to fit the individual needs of the golf instructor. Whether you want to hit balls into the range or into the available net add-on feature, The Golf Tent is the best solution for the golf instructor or the at-home golf enthusiast.

For more information on the benefits of owning The Golf Tent, visit visit, or contact Mike Shirley at (334) 294-2385 or through email at

“PRO” File – Touring Professional Tom Weiskopf

He never really escaped the shadow of another Ohio State alum, but Tom Weiskopf was able to forge a very good career nevertheless. Weiskopf was always compared to his fellow Buckeye Jack Nicklaus, but any comparison to the greatest major champion of all time wouldn’t be fair to anyone not named Woods, Hogan or Jones, or to a few more select individuals.

Weiskopf turned professional in 1964 and won his first tour event in 1968. Starting in 1969, he was a fixture on Masters leaderboards, four times finishing as a runner-up – twice to Nicklaus. He never really seemed able to break through to win the big ones as much as what was expected, but he did win The Open in 1973 at Royal Troon. Weiskopf later commented that he loved to practice full shots but not putting and the short game, and he believed that cost him numerous victories in his prime. Weiskopf is one of only 51 players in history to win 16 PGA Tour events with one or more being a major, but so far his resume has not landed him a spot in the World Golf Hall of Fame

He went on to become a noted architect, with one of his most famous designs being the TPC Scottsdale course in Arizona, which is home to the rowdy Waste Management Open.

EDITORIAL – Clubs Do Make a Difference

In addition to my teaching position at a major golf retailer and as the teaching professional at Southbridge Savannah Golf Club in – where else? – Savannah, Georgia, I am tasked with club fitting at the golf store. This has given me an appreciation for the improvement in golf equipment over the years, although since the clubs can’t swing themselves, there will always be a demand for qualified golf teachers.

But equipment can and does make a difference. I’ve had more than a few students show up with clubs that are either a bad fit for them or so old that my students are just doing themselves no favors by employing such implements. In this day and age, there really is no excuse for golfers to not have clubs that give them the best chance for success.

This doesn’t mean dropping $3,000 or more on a set of clubs, although I’ve seen people do that. But it does mean getting the right shaft flex, flex point and weight, and getting clubheads that will provide both forgiveness and more distance. Lie angles are a major consideration in the irons. Oh, and let’s not forget the grip. Standard-sized grips are really too small for most male golfers, who need either a couple of extra wraps of tape under a standard-sized grip or a midside (or even a jumbo) grip.

Set makeup is a critical component. Retired PGA Tour Champions player Dana Quigley did not have any iron longer than a 7-iron in his bag for many years, and it’s common for LPGA players to carry several hybrid clubs.

Give your students’ equipment a thorough evaluation to make sure they’re using clubs that not only help them perform their best, but also give them maximum enjoyment out of hitting them.

By Mark Harman, USGTF National Course Director