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Huang Wins Central Region Title

A “southern invasion” intruded upon the recent USGTF Central Region Championship at Pheasant Run Golf Course in Canton, Michigan. Hunter Huang of Atlanta, Georgia, held off Mark Harman of Ridgeland, South Carolina, by two strokes to claim the title. Defending champion Matt Smith of Columbus, Ohio, finished third.

Huang opened the first round with a 72, good for a one-shot lead over Smith and Ron Cox from Nashville, Tennessee. Smith was at 73, and Harman was another stroke back at 74, along with new USGTF member Mike Chism of Farmington Hills, Michigan. Huang continued his fine play with an opening nine of 35 to start the final round, with Smith hanging in there at 36. Cox was still a factor after a 37, and Harman carded a 34 to close the gap to one. Harman birdied #10 to forge a tie, which lasted through the 15th hole. Huang then went birdie-par to Harman’s par-bogey, sealing the deal.

Region director Brent Davies hosted the event, and all competitors agreed it was a great tournament.

(Pictured: Hunter Huang and Brent Davies)
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Important U.S. Cup Practice Round Info

Due to an oversight by Oakcreek Country Club when booking the 2019 United States Golf Teachers Cup, practice rounds will not be available on Saturday, October 5, at Oakcreek. However, we have arranged with Sedona Golf Resort for U.S. Cup participants to be able to play there that day for $69 plus tax. Please call Sedona Golf Resort at (928) 284-9355 and mention you are with the U.S. Cup.

Practice rounds are available at Oakcreek on Sunday, October 6, at 1:30 p.m., as part of an afternoon shotgun start. To book, call the Oakcreek pro shop at (928) 295-6400 to put your name on the list. We will have your hole and cart assignment when you check in. Oakcreek agreed to drop the practice round rate to $50 for Sunday only. The opening welcome party that evening has been moved back to 6:30 p.m. at Oakcreek. Practice rounds will still be available on October 4 and prior for $59.

There is still time to enter this year’s tourney. Please visit, or call the USGTF National Office at (888) 346-3290. The entry deadline is Friday, September 20

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Northeast Region to Hold Pro-Am

The USGTF NE Regional inaugural Pro Am tournament has been arranged by region director Bob Corbo, and will be played Friday, September 20, at Mercer Oaks East Course in West Windsor, New Jersey. Tee times are set to begin at 12:00 noon. This will be an 18-hole four ball (best ball) event. The cost is $300 per team (two-person teams) and includes green fees, carts, range balls and awards. The entry deadline is Friday, September 13. USGA Rules apply.

– Amateurs must have a valid USGA handicap. 70% of the handicap will be used for tournament. (Pro will be responsible for handicap verification).

– Each player will play from the appropriate age group tee, same as our USGTF tournaments.

– Cash prizes will be given to the pros by age group for 1st, 2nd & 3rd place winners, based on the number of participants in each group, and overall tournament winner.

– Age groups & approximate tee yardages

  • up to 49 – 6,700
  • 50 – 59 – 6,500
  • 60- 69 – 6,326
  • 70+ – 5,934
  • Women – 5,212
  • Please click here to register or call (609) 520-0040.
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    USGTF Member Benefits

    USGTF membership comes with many benefits beyond the ability to identify oneself as a USGTF member in good standing. Among them are:

    – Discounted golf equipment from major manufacturers

    – Group liability insurance at greatly reduced rates

    – Continuing education opportunities

    – Regional, national and international competitions

    – Subscription to Golf Teaching Pro magazine

    – USGTF logoed merchandise, books and videos

    – Industry recognition

    To remain a USGTF member in good standing for the coming calendar year, dues must be paid on an annual basis. USGTF dues allow your organization to continue to operate at a high level and provide the member benefits listed above. Compared to other professional organizations, USGTF dues cost less and more than pay for themselves when purchasing discounted golf equipment and liability insurance. Those of us at the USGTF National Office would like to thank you for being a member, and as always, if there is anything we can do for you, please call us at (888) 346-3290 or email Membership Services at

    “PRO” File – Touring Professional Collin Morikawa

    A lot has been made of the youth movement in professional golf with the likes of Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka, etc. But an even younger youth movement is taking place in 2019, and Collin Morikawa is part of it. Morikawa is a member of the collegiate “Big Three” consisting of himself, Matthew Wolff and Viktor Hovland, all of whom turned professional this year after outstanding NCAA careers. Morikawa attended the University of California in Berkeley for four years, and almost immediately made his mark on tour. He finished runner-up to Wolff at the 3M Open in Minnesota, and then found himself in the winner’s circle at the Barracuda Championship in July, defeating runner-up and established PGA Tour winner Troy Merritt. Former tour player and radio personality Carl Paulson believes of the “Big Three,” Morikawa has the most complete game. Time will tell if that proves to be true, but barring injury, Morikawa is certain to be haunting the top of the leaderboard for years to come.

    Editorial: Don’t Forget the Ball

    USGTF professionals are expected to be knowledgeable not only in teaching the game, but in being able to analyze a student’s equipment to determine if it is the right fit. An overlooked aspect of equipment fitting is the golf ball itself.

    Generally, balls come in two broad categories: tour-caliber balls and recreation-caliber balls. Tour-caliber balls have high spin rates off the short irons and low spin rates with the longer clubs, while recreation-caliber balls tend to have lower spin rates with all clubs. When fitting a ball to a student’s game, the first thing they should be asked is if they want more control into the greens and more spin on chips and pitches, or more accuracy. Since recreation-caliber balls spin less, they will also have less sidespin on hooks and slices. However, there are some balls in the recreation category that spin almost as much as urethane-covered tour-caliber balls, so testing on a launch monitor should be done to check specific models. If a launch monitor isn’t available, testing golf balls around the green on chips and pitches can suffice, as well as testing them during a casual round of golf.

    Tour-caliber balls generally come in softer and firmer feels, the latter usually designated by an “X,” as in Titleist’s ProV1 and ProV1x, Callaway’s Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft X, and Bridgestone’s B and BX. The X balls generally fly higher and have slightly more spin with the irons. For recreation-caliber balls, they generally come in “distance” or “soft” designations. Distance balls are often the least expensive on the market and are good for players who can’t break 100 which, believe it or not, constitute the majority of golfers. Despite the fact that distance balls are the firmest and are designed mainly for distance, the fact is today they are not appreciably longer than any other ball on the market, including tour-caliber balls, although they will in most cases be noticeably longer with the irons due to their lower spin rates.

    The next time you analyze a student’s equipment, check out the ball they’re playing and make the appropriate recommendations.

    By Mark Harman, USGTF National Course Director