Huang, Richards Take Titles In Sedona

Shouting “Hunter” Huang of Atlanta, Georgia, won his first United States Golf Teachers Cup championship this past October 7-8 at Oakcreek Country Club in beautiful Sedona, Arizona, with scores of 75-68 – 143 to win by two shots over Jose Esteves of Puerto Rico. Huang came from behind with four consecutive birdies during the final round on holes 14 through 17 to seal the deal. Alejandro Duque of Costa Rica finished third at 75-72 – 147, while first-round leader and defending champion Mark Harman of Ridgeland, South Carolina, was at 74-74 – 148.

Christopher Richards of Trinidad & Tobago earned his first United States Senior Golf Teachers Cup title, knocking off two-time defending champion Grant Gulych from St. Thomas, Ontario, with scores of 70-70 – 140. Gulych was in at 71-70 – 141, while another Canadian, Dave “The Sheriff” Belling was third at 72-70 – 142. Michael Wolf from Evansville, Indiana, rounded out the top four at 75-77 – 152.

The Super Senior division was won by John McGaugh, while the Ladies title was nabbed by USGTF Hall of Famer Pat Church. Gary Focken won the Legends division championship.

In the concurrent pro-am competition, Duque and his amateur partner Diengo Chou won the championship with a two-round total of 129 in the net fourball competition. Focken and Terry Edwards also finished at 129, but the team of Duque/Chou won on the strength of Duque’s lower final round score serving as the tiebreaker. Steve Fine and Cliff Armstrong finished third.

Sedona proved to be a wonderful setting for the tournament, and participants remarked on the incredible beauty of the area. For all scores, please visit

Pictured from left to right: Cole Golden, Shouting Huang and Mark Harman

Southeast Region Championship to Kick Off USGTF Competition Calendar

USGTF Southeast Region director Mike Stevens has announced that the 2020 region championship will be played Thursday and Friday, January 23-24, at Rio Pinar Golf Club in Orlando, Florida. The tournament coincides with the week of the PGA Merchandise Show, where numerous USGTF members congregate every year, so this is an opportune time to get in some winter golf in central Florida.

Rio Pinar hosted the tour event for many years that eventually became the Arnold Palmer Invitational. The entry fee is $195 and includes two tournament rounds, range balls and prize money. Tee assignments will be based on age and gender. The entry deadline is January 1. To enter, please call the USGTF National Office at (888) 346-3290 or send a check for $195 to: USGTF, 200 S. Indian River Dr., Suite 206, Ft. Pierce, FL 34950. Any questions can be directed to Stevens at

“PRO” File – Touring Professional Lanto Griffin

It’s not exactly a rags-to-riches story, but Lanto Griffin, winner of the Houston Open in October, epitomizes the down-and-out golfer who eventually made it big. With almost nothing in his bank account in 2014 after failing play well on some developmental tours, Griffin was about finished trying to realize his dream. But some friends and acquaintances who believed in him provided some much-needed financial backing to keep him going. Three years later, he was ready to quit again, but a sports psychologist was able to turn him around mentally, and this past year he won a tournament on the Korn Ferry Tour, helping him to earn his tour card for 2019-20. Griffin was introduced to the game by his father Michael, who sadly passed away when Griffin was 12. Steve Prater, who was coaching Griffin, took on the role of father figure and mentor, guiding Griffin’s golf game and helped mold him into the person he is today. Those who are contemplating giving up their dream would do well to look at Griffin’s life story and perhaps draw some inspiration from it.

USGTF Pro-Shop Closeout

Men’s USGTF Logoed Microfiber Pullover 1/4 Zip Windshirt – Available in Navy with Royal/Gray Trim and Red with Black/White Trim. – $30.00 (limited stock)

To order, please call (888) 346-3290 between 8am-5pm ETD.

Editorial – Paying College Golfers: Good or Bad?

California’s new law will allow college athletes to be paid for their participation in sports. So, it will be interesting to see how the USGA applies this to their amateur status rules. Under Rule 6-2, “The amateur golfer must not obtain any payment, compensation or financial gain, directly or indirectly, for allowing his name or likeness to be used in these ways. However, he may receive reasonable expenses, not exceeding actual expenses incurred, in connection with the promotional activity.” Looks like a lot of lawyers will be getting a nice payday when it comes down to it.

Let’s be honest. A lot of golfers at high-profile schools are there to groom themselves for one of the professional tours. Maybe they should have a choice of declaring themselves professionals while still in school. I believe that you can be a pro in one sport and play a different sport for your college team. College golf does not bring in the kind of revenue that football and basketball bring into their universities. Actually, none. So, who cares if you want to declare yourself a pro golfer and play for your college team? If you’re that good and can make a few bucks in endorsements, more power to you. That’s the way the sports world works.

By Mike Stevens, USGTF member and contributing writer