A New Year, A New Promise

The year 2020 will go down as one of the most unusual, if not the unusual, we will see in our lifetimes. The COVID-19 coronavirus wreaked havoc worldwide, with many countries going into lockdown mode and doing their best to keep people apart. Life in the United States was no exception as governors everywhere mandated business closures, including golf course facilities, in many states. However, a strange and unexpected thing happened: Most courses that were open saw a dramatic upsurge in rounds played and revenue generated, as people were seeking a safe outdoor activity. Golf fit that bill perfectly, and many golfers who had fallen away from the game returned. With the great news that highly effective vaccines are being approved, we should return to normal sometime by the middle to late part of the year, according…

Member Search Now Available Online

The USGTF has launched a new feature on USGTF.com for its members. Now, all active members’ certification may be verified with a simple search of the name. All active members’ photo and certification level will be displayed for verification. This new feature is one more way that the USGTF is striving to help USGTF professionals with their careers. Along with the newly released Job Positing listings on www.USGTF.com, the USGTF continues to be committed to supporting our members and offering relevant benefits.

USGTF Regional Action Returns in 2021; U.S. Pro Hickory Also on Tap

Southeast – A doubleheader of events, the 2021 USGTF Southeast Region Championship and the U.S. Professional Hickory Championship, will be held February 20-22, 2021, in Tampa, Florida. (Note: You can play in one or both events.) First up is the S.E. Region Championship at Bay Palms Golf Complex at MacDill Air Force Base. This two-round event will be played Saturday and Sunday, February 20-21. The entry fee is $200 for this 12:00 noon starting time event. A prize fund of $1,000 is assured with 12 players. The U.S. Professional Hickory Championship will be held on Monday, February 22, at Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club, also in Tampa. The purse for this championship is $5,000, and the entry fee is $100. Hickory golf clubs and balls are provided to players who are in need. The entry deadline for both…

WGTF Member Nations Contribute to Golf Teaching Pro

A record 20 WGTF member nations contributed content to the current Winter 2021 edition of Golf Teaching Pro magazine. At the risk of leaving some out, it would be too long to list all the nations here, but it suffices to say that many countries are wanting to truly unite as one under the WGTF umbrella and grow the USGTF and WGTF brands. It is important to have this type of cooperation and coordination among the member nations for not only the health of the USGTF, but also each individual federation and its members.

Tournament Summary: U.S. Women’s Open, PNC Championship

An incredible finish by South Korea’s A Lim Kim resulted in her winning the very first major championship in which she played, the recently completed U.S. Women’s Open at Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas. She birdied the final three holes on an extremely difficult track to edge world number one Jin Young Ko from South Korea and Amy Olson from the United States. Olson was playing the final round with a heavy heart as her father-in-law passed away unexpectedly after the third round of play. Japan’s Hinako Shibuno was the third-round leader, but she wasn’t satisfied with her performance up to that point as she spent a couple of hours on the practice range after the third round. She had reason to suspect her game was off-track as she…

“PRO” File – Touring Professional Rory McIlroy

Hollywood, California is where many stars in the entertainment business are made, but Holywood, Northern Ireland, can also lay claim to producing its own star. Rory McIlroy has been a fixture on the international scene since 2007 when he made a splash at The Open as an amateur. Turning pro in September of that year, he scored two top-four finishes in European Tour events to earn his card. Slated for stardom since he was a youngster, McIlroy has failed to disappoint. By the end of 2008 he moved into the top 50 on the Official Golf World Ranking, and in 2009 he won the Dubai Desert Classic for his first win. By this time, he was well known to golf fans everywhere, and great things were expected. In the 2011…

Editorial – Real Driving Range VS. “Virtual” Range

It seems like forever that a typical lesson consisted of a driving range, teaching pro and a student hitting golf balls. The pro would watch the student hit balls, dispense some advice, sometimes using training aids, and then send them on their way. While this type of lesson still exists, top teachers everywhere are turning to the technology of launch monitors, such as TrackMan, FlightScope and GC Quad. Formerly used mainly as clubfitting tools, these launch monitors are now becoming commonplace. What are the advantages vs. the disadvantages between teaching a traditional lesson and teaching a “modern” lesson? Modern Virtual Lesson, Advantages – Launch monitors offer the advantage of measuring, plain and simple. The teacher can know whether the clubhead path was left of, right of, or right down the target line at…

Season’s Greetings And Happy Holidays!

As we head into the Christmas and holiday season, we at the USGTF National Office want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah, and certainly a Happy New Year for 2021. The National Office will be closed on Thursday and Friday, December 24-25 and also on Friday, January 1. As always, we look forward to serving all of your member needs.

Golf Teaching Pro® Coming This Month

Golf Teaching Pro® magazine, the official print publication of the United States Golf Teachers Federation, will be issued starting this month to all members in good standing through 2021. The magazine will be sent upon membership renewal. If you have already done this, no worries! You should be getting the magazine shortly. The digital version of the magazine will also be released.

USGTF Inside News

The year 2020 started off with a bang for the USGTF and became perhaps the most momentous in its history since 1989. First, Brandon Lee became president and CEO when founder Geoff Bryant retired after leading the organization for 31 years Then, the COVID-19 coronavirus hit, derailing virtually every aspect of not only American life, but also all over the world. USGTF in-person classes were canceled for several weeks, but online learning became extremely popular. The Summer 2020 edition of Golf Teaching Pro was put out as a digital-only version due to the uncertainty that all businesses and organizations faced. A full slate of in-person certification classes is set to resume in 2021, and the schedule of classes is now available online at www.usgtf.com. Finally, the deadline to submit membership…

USGTF Competition To Resume In February With SE Championship

A doubleheader of events, the 2021 USGTF Southeast Region Championship and the U.S. Professional Hickory Championship, will be held February 20-22, 2021, in Tampa, Florida. (Note: You can play in one or both events.) First up is the S.E. Region Championship at Bay Palms Golf Complex at MacDill Air Force Base. This two-round event will be played Saturday and Sunday, February 20-21. The entry fee is $200 for this 12:00 noon starting time event. A prize fund of $1,000 is assured with 12 players. The U.S. Professional Hickory Championship will be held on Monday, February 22, at Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club, also in Tampa. The purse for this championship is $5,000, and the entry fee is $100. Hickory golf clubs and balls are provided to players who are…

Industry News – Masters Recap

It was the most unusual Masters in history, starting with the fact that it was held in November. Add into the equation no patrons, save for members and their guests and players’ guests, and it was unique, to say the least. Oh, and we didn’t even mention the lack of blooming azaleas. First day scoring was very low, as Dustin Johnson and Dylan Fritelli led the way with 65s. Even Tiger Woods, who had struggled as of late, opened with a 68 to put himself firmly in the mix. After two rounds, Johnson, Cameron Smith and Jon Rahm were tied at -9, and looked to be a battle of the ages between Johnson and Rahm. However, Rahm was only able to muster -1 on the weekend, and it was the…

“PRO” File – Dustin Johnson

The only surprise is why it took Dustin Johnson so long to win his second major. Johnson, one of golf’s top players for the past decade, finally won another when he took home the coveted green jacket at Augusta National this past November. Most analysts agree that when Johnson is on top of his game, only Rory McIlroy poses a threat to take him down. Despite the fact that Cameron Smith and Sungjae Im tied for runner-up honors, neither really threatened during the final nine as Johnson was on cruise control. For Johnson, this victory represents an important milestone in his stellar career. For a man of such accomplishment and at times domination, it didn’t seem right that his career major total was stuck at one. Johnson becomes only one…

EDITORIAL – Masters History Most Special Among the Four Majors

The Open (formerly called The Open Championship, and prior to that formerly called the British Open) is the oldest of the four majors. The U.S. Open has a storied history almost as long, dating back to 1895. Next up is the PGA Championship, first played in 1916. The Master is the new kid on the block with its debut in 1934, but it can be fairly argued that the history of the Masters is the most special among the four. For one, it is played at the same location every year at perhaps the most famous golf course in the world, with apologies to the Old Course at St. Andrews. Even the most ardent of golf fans will be hard-pressed to describe all the holes on the final nine at the Old Course, but no…