Sunday, July 29, has been designated this year’s Golf Teachers Appreciation Day. Golfers from around the country are encouraged to show their appreciation for these hardworking men and women who make the game more enjoyable, and who tirelessly promote it to all. Golf teachers, in turn, are encouraged to show their appreciation by donating a lesson fee that day to the charity of their choice.   Here is what USGTF member Mike Stevens has to say:   “I am not a teacher, but an awakener.” These are the words of Robert Frost, the great American poet. I can think of nothing better to describe the men and woman who toil daily helping average people learn a game that is never really mastered. Somewhere, I once read that nine-tenths of teaching is encouragement. Much of our time is spent cultivating, bolstering and saying, “You can do this.” Would the game be enjoyed by so many without the guiding hand of teachers willing to share their knowledge and experience? Not likely. We do it with little fanfare. Our students’ thanks are enough recognition, for this is our passion, and sharing it is the motto of the United States Golf Teachers Federation.   This summer, the USGTF will honor golf teachers with a national day of appreciation. Now, I could say it’s about time, but I’m sure I speak for all teachers who will humbly say thanks for the recognition, we are grateful for the tribute. I have been around the game of golf for 51 years now and often think back on how much pleasure it has provided me. I can think of nothing better than sharing that enjoyment with those who would like to find out what it is all about. Teaching and passing on the traditions of the sport are what I chose to do. It has been a rewarding experience, and along the way I have collected lifelong friendships and supporters. On the national day of recognition, my fellow teachers, let’s lift a glass of cheer to each other and keep the fire burning. I leave you with the words of Cicero, “What nobler employment, or more valuable to the state, than that of the man who instructs the rising generation.”  
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