Seeing Jin Young Ko’s name anywhere on the leaderboard is sure to strike fear into the hearts of her competitors on the LPGA Tour. Why? Because she has been ranked #1 in the world for a record 164 weeks (non-consecutive). She has 15 victories on the LPGA Tour and her future remains bright.

She is in the top half of the pack when it comes to driving distance and in the top third in driving accuracy, and when you put the two together, it makes her one of the best drivers of the ball. She is also in the top 10 in greens in regulation and is also in the top 10 in putts per GIR. When you add all of that together, it makes for a formidable task to best her on any given week.

Her work ethic is also very strong, and it doesn’t hurt to be extremely talented. At 28 years old, she has plenty of time to earn more victories and add to her two major championships, as well.


OnCore Golf manufactures golf balls for golfers of all skill levels, and its technology is second to none. Five golf balls are in OcCore’s lineup, starting with the Vero X2. This is a new ball for 2023 and is a 4-piece, cast urethane ball with 95 compression, designed for golfers with high swing speeds who want total control around the greens. Next up is the Vero X1. This ball outperformed other tour balls, with 60% less sidespin. It is a 4-piece, cast urethane golf ball coming in at 85 compression.

Next in the tour performance category is the Elixr 2022, a 3-piece urethane blend. It promotes added feel around the green with added distance and more accuracy off the tee. The Elixr ball is for intermediate or advanced players and is a 3-piece urethane blend with slightly lower compression than the Elixer 2022. Finally, there is the Avant 55, perfect for beginner or intermediate players with lower swing speeds. Its construction is a two-piece Surlyn blend and comes in at 55 compression. It is a softer distance ball that won’t break the bank.

For more information on OnCore, please visit the company website at https://www.OnCoreGolf.com.


Dr. Christina Gladney is not your typical golfer. Gladney, a student of USGTF professional John Rosenthall, is a college professor, fitness expert, and higher education administrator with a passion for helping African Americans live healthy lives and excel in their professions. “I am new to the game of golf and see this game as a way of sharing tips for a healthy lifestyle while having fun,” is something Gladney says on a regular basis. She is the director of assessment at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and a visiting professor at Jackson State University in Mississippi.

Golf is new to Gladney. She has taken a very aggressive approach to learning the game and creating opportunities for her friends and colleagues to be introduced to the game of golf. For those who are already golfers, she loves to create opportunities for them to network while partaking in the sport. As a public health instructor, the very same traits she expects and demands from her students are the ones she brings to her golf lessons. Those traits are to listen carefully, pay close attention to your environment, watch how others perfect their skills, and mimic what you see in others you would like to emulate.

Although new to the game, Gladney has taken her enthusiasm and interest to the next level. While sharpening her skills, she has decided to expand the game by introducing golf to African-American women and girls by combining golf with healthy living aspects and professional development. The new program she is leading is The Essence of Golf. The program supports participants through empowerment initiatives related to holistic wellness and professional networking.

A typical Essence of Golf event includes a weekend of golf lessons, rounds of golf, and facilitated discussions designed to strengthen individuals spiritually, emotionally, physically, financially, socially, and professionally. Professional networking is an essential element of the weekend. Participants leave the weekend with a renewed spirit, new relationships, and new approaches to self-improvement.



James Draper III of Martinsville, Virginia, is a USGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional®.  He is currently the director of golf at Beaver Creek Golf Club in Collinsville, Virginia, and golf coach at Patrick & Henry Community College in Martinsville.  He has been around the game of golf for nearly 40 years with playing success on the high school and collegiate levels. He is a past PGA Works national champion and CIAA conference champion. Going back to school at age 35, he won his school’s host event by seven shots.

Draper attended Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina, but finished his education at Winston-Salem State University. Draper was inspired by his grandfather, who played on the Neckbone and Chitterling Tours professionally, and his father, who coached high school and college golf and could break 80 from both sides of the ball.

His teaching philosophy is a simple technique in which resistance, space, and width are the key components of the swing. Draper is US Kids Golf-certified and has been an instructor with The First Tee of Central Carolina for 13 years.  He also finds joy in working with adaptive golfers in his area.


July’s major championships produced two surprise winners:  Allisen Corpuz won the U.S. Women’s Open at Pebble Beach and Brian Harman won The Open at Hoylake.  Neither golfer was on the radar of the pundits when they made their predictions about who would win.

Corpuz was a rookie in 2022, and had three top-10 finishes.  Prior to her Open victory, she had two more top-10 finishes in 2023 before her breakthrough win, so she certainly showed plenty of promise.  She’s 25 years old, which would be young in the men’s game but is a bit older by LPGA standards; however, with the game she has shown so far, she will be in the winner’s circle again, and most likely multiple times before her career is done.

Harman grew up in Savannah, Georgia, and was the top-ranked junior player in the country when he signed with the University of Georgia to play golf.  After bouncing around on the mini-tours for a while, he made the PGA Tour in 2012.  He was a solid, if unspectacular, player, until his first victory in 2014 at the John Deere Classic.  He won again in 2017 at the Wells Fargo Championship before winning the Open in July.  Harman has always been a steady player, making most cuts, contending with some frequency and winning every few years.  He dominated The Open field with a complete game, and is in serious contention to be considered for the U.S. Ryder Cup team this fall.


Southwest – Ron Cox from Nashville, Tennessee, continued his winning ways when he captured the USGTF Southwest Region Championship held May 19-21 at Twin Creeks Golf Club in Allen, Texas.  Cox fired a two-round total of 142 to run away with the title by eight strokes over region director Bruce Sims.  Jeff Kennedy was another three strokes back in third, followed by Ruben Ramirez in fourth.

Central – The USGTF Central Region Championship will be played Sunday and Monday, September 24-25, at Walden Ponds Golf Course in Hamilton, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati.  The entry fee of $250 includes two tournament rounds, range balls, and prize money which includes not only tournament finishes but any side games.  To enter and for more information, please call region director Tony McMullin at (513) 479-6895.


With the arrival of the World Golf Teachers Federation (WGTF) in the Netherlands, a lot has changed in the Dutch golf teaching landscape. Where previously PGA Holland was the only golf teachers organization in the Netherlands, the WGTF Netherlands was added three years ago. The fact that the organization now has a firm foothold is not only evident from the growing number of studentsthat graduate each year, the organization is now also KSS certified (Kwalificatie Structuur Sport).

Said Bjorn Beekman, director of WGTF Netherlands, “It is exactly at professionalism that we have made the biggest leap in recent years. It is clear that the international WGTF product is very solid, but in the Netherlands the requirements are slightly different. Here, the sports federations united in NOC/NSF strive for professionalism and therefore well-trained sports management. For this reason, every sports organization in the Netherlands is held by NOC/NSF to a number of minimum quality requirements. To meet these requirements, the KSS is used. And that’s exactly what we successfully passed this year.”

Beekman continued, “A few months ago we organized a few courses and clinics at BurgGolf Haverleij, a large club in Den Bosch. What turned out? The response was so positive that we received a request to provide several teachers. So, we are not a union that just educates golf teachers, but we also help them with internships and jobs. Plus, due to the large number of teachers in our network, we can also quickly meet any requests from clubs for full- or part-time teachers. The bottom line is that WGTF teachers are currently working at more than a hundred clubs in the Netherlands.”


A recent USGTF certification class held in Fort Pierce, Florida, attained a special status when every member of the class scored 100% on both the written teaching and rules tests. According to examiner Jerry Ellstrom, this remarkable achievement was made possible by the structure of the class.

There are now 24 hours of classroom instruction the first three days, where candidates learn more in-depth the concepts of teaching all facets of the game. The increased classroom time allows for more questions and answers and a more thorough understanding of the course material. Of particular note is the USGTF’s official teaching manual, How to Teach Golf: The American Golf Teaching Method, is covered throughout the classroom sessions.

The schedule of upcoming certification classes can be found at https://www.usgtf.com/certified-golf-teaching-professional.  


By Jim O’Neil

My golf story is a long one; I’ll give everyone a break with some highlights. At 10 years old, I had my first golf lesson at Eagle Haven Golf Course with head pro Lefty on Little Creek Amphibious Base in Virginia. Yep, very close to Seal Team Six training quarters.

My journey in golf is actually a very humbling one, so please understand this is my story. I’m not at all bragging about my accomplishments in this wonderful game of golf. In 1980, I made the Kempsville High School golf team, mainly because of head pro Jack Harvey at NAS Oceana in Virginia Beach (Aeropines Golf Course). My father would buy me two lessons a year, and then both my father and Jack told me to practice. I practiced so much I ended up on a college NAIA golf team and won player of the year twice.

In 1986, I took my first PGA apprenticeship job under the then-active president of The Middle Atlantic PGA section, Don Saylor, at River Bend Country Club in Great Falls, Virginia. In 1990, I moved home to Virginia Beach and took a job under, again, an active president of the MAPGA, Gene Mattare.

After three years of soul-searching, wondering if I was a player or a businessman in the PGA, I decided to get away from the game completely and focus on my new love. Mrs. Mia O’Neil entered my life, and we started our family under the wonderful global company Stihl Incorporated in Virginia Beach. Team Stihl allowed us to raise our three children Lashar, Brenden and Tameria for 28 years.

Currently, the United States Golf Teachers Federation has given me a rebirth in golf. I’m currently a Stihl retiree who plays in our company golf league on Thursdays. Now – praise God – I’m the full-time golf instructor at NAS Oceana and I’m in training to win again on what I call the teachers tour.


By Sean Moore, USGTF, Alexandria-Virginia

Throughout my career in athletics and golf, I have had the privilege of working with numerous talents of all ages and genders. One of my first students when taking over as director of golf at Rudy’s Golf and Sports Bar in Alexandria, Virginia, was a young man named Cooper Fischer. He was an 11-year-old that was very new to golf but had tremendous experience in soccer. He wanted to give golf a try and was incredibly shy and unsure of what the future held for him in the sport.

We began our journey together once a week and truly started from scratch. We wanted him to eventually gain enough skill sets and confidence that he could play with his uncle and father. Cooper quickly began to show improvement, but more importantly, he started to get that sparkle in his eye when we worked together as you could see he was beginning to love the sport. Cooper was persistent in his pursuit to not only improve his swing, but he thrived on learning about course management, terminology, history and the people that have paved the way for golfers of all ages. With the support of his entire family, Cooper developed a tremendous swing and has built his confidence as a young man. He hits the range two or three times a week, including his structured lessons, and now reports back to me weekly regarding his strengths and weaknesses from his previous sessions.

Cooper and I have built a tremendous friendship as instructor and student. We grind on the range together while sharing a bag of sour gummies or a basket of fries. His post-lesson tradition: to sit with his family and have the famous grilled cheese from Rudy’s Golf. The Fischer family has not only supported their son and his drive to be a better golfer, but they have embraced the lifestyle. Cooper’s dad has also found a new spark as well and is excited about sharing the game again with his son. Cooper and I will continue to work together, and he may choose to try competition at some point.

However, in my eyes he has already won. He discovered the sport we all love so much. He’s improved his swing, his knowledge and his confidence. He is a tremendous example of hard work and commitment. He reminds me every week of why I choose to teach golf for a living, and I can’t wait to see the things Cooper is able to accomplish on and off the course.


Many people associate Mizuno Golf irons with better players, and they would be correct.  However, to assume that Mizuno makes irons only for better players would be incorrect.  New in the JPX lineup for 2023 is the Hot Metal HL iron, designed to provide a slightly higher launch angle than the regular Hot Metal.

Not only that, but it offers the maximum amount of forgiveness of any iron in the Mizuno line.  It is specifically designed for mid- to high-handicappers, although an argument can be made that players of greater ability would benefit from them, too.  USGTF members enjoy a generous discount from Mizuno Golf.  To take advantage of this program, please contact the USGTF National Office at (772) 88-USGTF.


If you’re only a PGA Tour fan, you may have missed that Bryson DeChambeau shot a 58 at the Greenbrier in West Virginia to win his first title on the LIV Tour. In reviewing his round, it’s evident the skills he’s worked hard to develop paid off.  He famously turned himself into a legitimate long-drive competitor, last year finishing second in the world championship.  Two things stood out when looking at DeChambeau’s 58:  his balance when hitting the driver and how well he putted.
His superior balance allowed him to hit long, accurate drives, giving him a lot of short irons and wedges into the greens on the par-70 course. It also helped that the course was softened by rain, as he was able to fire his wedges into the greens like hitting a dartboard. He rolled the putter as well as it could be. DeChambeau remarked how hard he’s been working on his game, and it paid off in perhaps the greatest round of golf that he’ll ever shoot.


Back in 1989 when the USGTF was founded, the only other option to have some accreditation for golf teaching was the PGA of America (and the LPGA Teaching Division for women). Founder Geoff Bryant figured there were people who just wanted to teach golf and not concern themselves with the other duties of the traditional club pro.

And he was right. Thirty-four years later, the USGTF continues to be the most prestigious organization of golf teaching professionals. There have been a few other contenders come (and in some cases go) over the years, but none have the cachet the USGTF does. For example, a recent Google search turned up over 91,000 results for “USGTF” compared to just 7,800 for another organization. The USGTF is also the most widely recognized and sought after. Rest assured those of us at the National Office are working tirelessly to make sure this continues far into the future.


The deadline to enter the 2023 United States Golf Teachers Cup, to be held Monday and Tuesday, October 9-10 at the Revere Golf Club in Las Vegas, Nevada, is Wednesday, September 13.  As in recent years, this tournament will feature a concurrent pro-am (although bringing an amateur partner is not required for participation).  The entry fee of $595 includes two rounds of tournament golf plus range balls, prize money, and an awards luncheon following play.  Play will be contested in three divisions:  Open, Senior and Super Senior, with women competitors placed in the appropriate age division playing from shorter tees.
For more information and to register, please visit http://www.usgtf.com/uscup.


Are you interested in taking your teaching skills to the next level?  The next USGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional® certification course will be held Monday-Wednesday, December 11-13, at the USGTF National Office in Fort Pierce, Florida.  In addition to lower playing ability test requirements, candidates must submit a written thesis, do a shotmaking demonstration and pass a written teaching test.  Candidates must have been a fully certified member in good standing for a minimum of 12 months.  To register, please visit http://www.usgtf.com/master-golf-teaching-professional.


By Peter Jaklic   Under an overcast sky with a steady drizzle, the stage was set for the 2023 CGTF Cup at Tyandaga Golf and Country Club in Burlington, Ontario, August 24. Although not long, Tyandaga proved to be quite a challenge, especially in the wet conditions. Our longtime member, Brad Weake, and his entire team at Tyandaga were, once again, incredible hosts.   In the end, there were almost 30 CGTF members competing. This year, more golfers were able to break the 80 mark than last year. Our president, Marc Ray, had the tournament round of his life, shooting a 71 despite a triple bogey on the narrow par-5 17th. Peter Jaklic was runner-up, carding a 76, and new member J.P. Van Rooyen rounded out the top three by overcoming some early nerves to shoot an impressive 77. Mel Hennigar, Alex Chan and Urb Van Bendegem came in at 78. A friendly putting and chipping competition was awaiting all members upon the completion of their rounds. Our CGTF educational lead, Jeff Howe, continued to provide us with teaching tools, training aids and discussion points to help us all learn from one another’s experiences. This sharing of knowledge simply added to the sentiment of camaraderie.   As the afternoon progressed, all of us were honored by a visit from our former president and founder, Bob Bryant. Bob eloquently shared his thoughts about our growing organization and reaffirmed that our present leadership, under Marc Ray, is one of the pivotal reasons to our great success. As a token of appreciation, the CGTF Cup has now been renamed the Bob Bryant Trophy to recognize the growth of the organization over the formative years under Bob’s tenure.


Central – The USGTF Central Region Championship will be played Sunday and Monday, September 24-25, at Walden Ponds Golf Course in Hamilton, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati.  The entry fee of $250 includes two tournament rounds, range balls, and prize money which includes not only tournament finishes but any side games.  To enter and for more information, please call region director Tony McMullin at (513) 479-6895.


He came onto the PGA Tour in 2019 with two other heralded collegiate stars, Matthew Wolfe and Collin Morikawa.  Most pundits said Morikawa had the highest ceiling followed by Wolfe, with Hovland third.  Wolfe was the first to win on Tour, and Morikawa lived up to his billing by winning two majors relatively quickly.
Hovland?  It took him a while, but he has now reached the pinnacle of achievement for the season-long FedEx Cup competition by winning the Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta, Georgia.  It caps off an amazing two-week run for Hovland, who also won the previous week’s BMW Championship.  He took home the richest prize in golf, $18 million, and has set himself up to be one of Europe’s stars in the upcoming Ryder Cup in Italy.


On June 6, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the governor of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), announced to the world that the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour and the PIF agreed to drop lawsuits against each other and work collaboratively for the good of the game.  What does this mean for the future of professional golf?
According to Sports Illustrated, “The PGA Tour would control the structure of golf moving forward – including whether PIF’s LIV Tour continues operations, and if so, in what form. The Tour has promised a ‘good-faith’ evaluation of LIV’s viability, though potential penalties for LIV players who apply for PGA Tour reinstatement have already been discussed. The parties have set a deadline of the end of 2023 to reach a deal, and that condensed timeline means that 2024 could be a transition year for the sport. The PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Tour’s assets would all go into a separate company, of which the Tour would have controlling interest. PIF would then be an investor in that company with the right of first refusal for future investments.”
Reading into this, it sounds like LIV may or may not exist going forward, and if it does still exist, it’s not likely to be in its present form.  LIV’s current business model includes selling its teams as franchises, and at this point in time there doesn’t seem to be much interest.  It’s no secret the Saudis want to get into professional golf as a major player, and at the moment, LIV just isn’t resonating enough.
Going forward and based on what Sports Illustrated reported, since the PGA Tour has assets in professional golf far and above what the Saudis have, it looks like the PIF will provide funding in return for a chance at greater returns in professional golf in the future.  This may include having PGA Tour events in Saudi Arabia, for example.  But the Saudis have made it clear this is a business venture, not a charity, and they expect a good return on their investment.  Time will tell how exactly this will happen.  And part of that certainly will include welcoming back LIV players to the PGA and DP Tours.  


Rudy Project, a longtime USGTF industry partner, has just been named by MyGolfSpy.com as the best golf sunglasses. And to celebrate the 4th of July, Rudy Project is now offering USGTF members a 40% discount through Tuesday, July 4.  Please contact the USGTF National Office for your Rudy Project code and go to https://www.rudyprojectna.com/pages/vip-login to create your account


By Cy Frederic
I have been a USGTF certified golf teacher since June 2022. I have been coaching the middle school golf program at my school, Faith Lutheran Middle School and High School in Las Vegas, Nevada, since 2012. I have been coaching the varsity girls golf team since 2022.
The two students for the Student Spotlight are Milan Norton (8th grade) and Nick Horodesky (7th grade). Milan finished tied for second in the national Drive, Chip and Putt competition at Augusta National in 2019 in the girls 7-9 competition. She also the 2022 Middle School City Champion playing for Faith Lutheran, and is the 2023 co-MVP for Faith Lutheran. Nick is the 2022 and 2023 MVP for Faith Lutheran. He is the 2022 Southern Nevada Junior Golf Association (SNJGA) 11-12 player of the year, and won the Jim Foley World Stars championship in 2022. In addition, he was the 2020 TPC Summerlin junior club champion, and was part of the SNJGA Border Wars Elite Travel Team. He is also an IMG qualifier for 2021, 2022 and 2023.
In my tenure as the middle school golf coach, I have also acted as commissioner for our self-made league, the Southern Nevada Middle School Golf League. What started out as just two schools in 2008 has grown to 12 schools this past season. From April to May we orchestrate weekly nine-hole league matches across the Las Vegas valley for over 150 5th- through 8th-graders.


By Jake Parker
I started learning to play golf when I was 10. My father was my coach, my practice partner, my playing partner, my mentor, my financier, and my ride to the golf course. We studied the game together. Every aspect: the swing, the players, the equipment, etc. At that time, my father became my toughest competitor. We competed through my teenage years and then into my 20s. My game, through his help, developed, and I began to finally conquer my goal of winning against my father. My father and I also had many discussions about me becoming a professional golfer.
In college, I was on the University of Montana Tae Kwon Do team. While representing the University of Montana, I won a gold medal at New York University, a silver medal at UC-Berkeley, and a bronze medal at Princeton. This led me to opening my own Tae Kwon Do school, where I have spent the last 20 years developing athletes and passing along what was given to me. I played golf recreationally, played local tournaments and enjoyed every round that I could with my dad.
My father passed away on June 7, 2020, at the age of 70. This was a turning point in my life. Although I had accomplished every Tae Kwon Do goal from medaling at state, to U.S. collegiate nationals, to U.S. nationals, I had not begun to accomplish any of the golf goals my father and I talked about, and this weighed on me. Through patience and prayer, Jason Miller, a USGTF graduate and a member of the Ranch Club in Missoula, Montana, entered my life. He sent an email to the general manager, Nick McKethen, asking and explaining that he had a student that was preparing for the USGTF and the playing ability test, and asked if there was any way he could help out. His response was, we are very excited for him and he can access the golf course Monday-Thursday and play two 18-hole rounds in exchange for coming out to the golf course twice a week to chip balls from the fescue back into the driving range and drive around fixing ball marks on the greens.
My first day at the Ranch Club did not include chipping golf balls from the fescue back into the driving range or fixing ball marks on the greens. Rather, I helped set up a tournament, taught two junior camps with Mike Barnett, a Montana PGA hall of famer, then wrapped up the tournament. At the end of my first day, I was officially hired as an employee at the Ranch Club and have been there for the last 2 1/2 years.
When I graduated from the USGTF November 12, 2021, I was offered a teaching position at the Ranch Club. I accepted gratefully, and since then have been involved in coaching private lessons, junior camps, ladies fundamentals (including to my wife, my general manager’s wife and our head pro’s wife), Special Olympics athletes, and the Loyola High School golf team. After teaching my first golf lesson, I knew I couldn’t wait to teach my next!
I am blessed to have a very supportive wife, Alicia, and son Jackson, who hold me up and encourage me! They also have a passion for the game. On days when I am not coaching Tae Kwon Do or golf, we loop as a family. We share personal goals and we all help each other achieve them.


Established stars Rickie Fowler, Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy and Cam Smith were all in contention to win the 2023 U.S. Open, and it seemed certain that one of them would take home the trophy. An interloper named Wyndham Clark was tied for the lead after the third round, but surely, with such big names around him, he was certain to fold, right?
Wrong. Clark held the steadiest of them all and won the title, defeating a stellar list of challengers. But to many, this is not all that surprising. Clark came from a pedigreed collegiate background, first having competed at Oklahoma State before transferring to Oregon. He has long been considered ultra-talented, but it took him a while to show it. He first earned his PGA Tour card in 2018, but up until this year, only did enough to keep his card and little more.
Then, he had a breakthrough at the Wells Fargo Championship in May, winning for the first time. His Open title validated the belief that many had in him, but ironically, one of the non-believers was himself. He started seeing mental coach Julie Elion in January, who instilled in him a belief he was as good as others believed he was. So far this year, Clark has seven top-10 finishes to go along with his two victories. It remains to be seen if Clark will become one of the game’s enduring stars, but no one who knows him will bet against this happening.


Northeast – Nick Verdes won the USGTF Northeast Region Championship played June 15 at Mountain View Golf Course in Ewing Township, New Jersey. Verdes fired a stellar round of 69 to win the event by six shots. Jonathan Dorfmann won the 50-59 division with a 76; Steve Pezzino captured the 60-69 division with an 81, and Peter Palmisano took home the 70+ title with a 76. Dorfmann, Palmisano and Ken Kim, who earlier this year won the Southeast title, all finished tied for second overall.
Central – The USGTF Central Region Championship will be played Sunday and Monday, September 24-25, at Walden Ponds Golf Course in Hamilton, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati. The entry fee of $250 includes two tournament rounds, range balls, and prize money which includes not only tournament finishes but any side games. To enter, please call region director Tony McMullin at (513) 479-6895.


By Steve Mak
Hong Kong, also known as ‘”the Pearl of the Orient,” Is famous for its beautiful harbor views, multicolored splendor of fireworks, bright lights, skyscrapers, delicious foods and cooking arts, temples and the Buddhist Statue (The Big Buddha). Hong Kong is located geographically in the southern tip of China and is one of the world’s most significant financial centers and commercial ports.
Due to the limited supply of land, Hong Kong has only six golf courses, for which only one is a public course. But luckily, right next to the border is the Guangdong Province of China, which has 50 to 60 golf courses, including the world’s biggest golf club – the Mission Hills Golf & Country Club. The traffic time is only one to two hours of driving and is convenient for golf lovers to play there.


Seven Certified Golf Teaching Professionals® earned their Master Golf Teaching Professional® credentials June 12-14 in the certification course held in Las Vegas, Nevada, under the tutelage of Bill Rice. Participants were: James Draper III, Martinsville, VA; Jake Parker, Missoula, MT; Jason Miller, Missoula, MT; Liu Chunhui, Diamond Bar, CA; Richard Forde, Barbados; Ki Moon, Bellevue, WA, and Tom Alley, Henderson, Nevada.
Comments from the participants included, “I was certified by Bill 13 years ago, and it’s refreshing to see he’s the same positive, comedic person. His passion for teaching and the game of golf is refreshing and a pure joy.” – Alley. “I really like that the program is so focused on becoming a better teacher of golf. I believe it’s more detailed, nuanced, and specific in that way and it makes it very special.” – Miller.
The next Masters class will be held December 11-13 in Fort Pierce, Florida.


The Luxor, one of the Las Vegas Strip’s most famous hotels, has been signed as the host hotel for the 27th annual United States Golf Teachers Cup® 2023 to be played October 9-10, at the Revere Golf Club. Rates for the following nights are as follows: Saturday, $259; Sunday, $99; Monday, 79; Tuesday, $89.
Participants may book by clicking onto https://book.passkey.com/go/FUSG1023LX.
The tournament website is https://www.usgtf.com/uscup.


Prior to the PGA Championship, the only people in golf who knew the name Michael Block were the members and clientele of the course where he works, Arroyo Trabuco in Mission Viejo, California, his fellow PGA section members, and golf geeks. After his performance in the PGA Championship, every golf fan knows his name.

For three days, Block mesmerized the golfing world as he shot even-par each day to land a spot in the top 10 entering the final round, where he would be paired with Rory McIlroy. Block’s dream week continued when he aced the par-3 15th hole, sending everyone into a frenzy, and even received a hug from McIlroy. He finished in a tie for 15th place and secured a place in next year’s PGA Championship.

Block’s epic performance has several meanings, one of which is the seemingly impossible (or at least improbable) may not be so impossible, after all. Although Block somewhat downplayed his accomplishment by saying this is how he normally plays when his mind is free (calling it “Blocky golf”), what he did is remarkable. It also means that those of us who teach golf for a living can really play the game at a level that commands respect from our students – although perhaps not to Block’s ability, but the point stands. It also means that someone with a dream can really accomplish that dream if he or she puts in the blood, sweat and tears necessary. Finally, and perhaps most important, Block conducted himself in such a classy manner that showed you can still have success and be respectful and gracious. It’s a lesson that some athletes and other successful people should take to heart.


In 1993 when Callaway Golf founder Ely Callaway first became apprised of the USGTF, he took a deep interest in the organization and remained a staunch supporter until his passing in 2001. Callaway’s support for the USGTF continues to this day, as Master and Certified Golf Teaching professionals are eligible for a 30% discount below wholesale price, while Associate Members are allocated a 10% discount. To take advantage of this program, please contact Lucero Padilla at Lucero.Padilla@callawaygolf.com for VIP access.


Sara Qian from Maple Grove, Minnesota, has a special calling: She is a full-time emergency room nurse. But golf is not far from her mind, as she completed the USGTF certification course in 2021 under the tutelage of USGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional Bill Rice in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Qian began her journey in golf when her son was 4 1/2 years old, and she was looking for a fun sport that they both could do. Golf fit the bill, and soon her son was an accomplished golfer. This forced Qian to learn about the mechanics and the game in general. Although her son wound up going to college for academics rather than golf, Qian’s enjoyment of the game led her to the USGTF, so much so that her husband earned his certification the following year.

Today, Qian teaches part-time at Eagle Lake Golf Course in Minnesota, where her emphasis is developing women golfers. As a Korean person born in China, she speaks both of those languages fluently and finds that people from those countries feel more comfortable with someone who speaks their own language. With her duties as a nurse, combined with her efforts to grow the women’s game, it can certainly be said that Qian is a very special USGTF member, and the organization is fortunate to have her in our ranks.


Tom Alley has been a USGTF Certified Golf Teaching Professional in Las Vegas, Nevada, for the past 13 years. Going back to high school, his goal has always been to be a professional golfer. When he graduated high school, he was recognized by the USGA as one of the top 50 high school golfers in the country that year.

While attending college at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, he was planning to turn pro in the summer of his junior year. That summer, he was transferred from Michigan to Las Vegas with a bar and restaurant company to open their newest outlet. He ended up being a competitive bartender, winning multiple events and world championships. At the age of 30 he decided to re-dedicate himself to the game of golf. He proceeded to play amateur golf and won five Golf Channel Amateur Tour events and qualified for their national championship twice. He then turned professional and started playing on various mini-tours in the Southwest, as well as competing in state opens and U.S. Open qualifiers.

He became certified by the USGTF in 2010, and started Tom Alley Golf Instruction shortly thereafter, where he teaches a simple philosophy: make you better, faster. He understands that what works for some may not work for others, and every golfer’s swing is different. Alley has taught everyone from beginners to the college level. He was the head golf professional at an indoor hitting facility and worked as an independent professional at Desert Pines Golf Club. Alley still tries to play in 3-5 professional events a year, including the U.S. Golf Teachers Cup and Long Beach Open. He has a goal to win the U.S. Cup and participate in some of the other regional events.

Alley lives in Henderson, Nevada, with his wife and two dogs, and is currently the general manager of Tap Sports Bar inside the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.


It wasn’t that long ago that Brooks Koepka seemingly came out of nowhere to briefly dominate the major championship scene over a period of two years, having won four of golf’s most prestigious titles. Then, he basically disappeared from contention. That is, until he gave Jon Rahm a huge tussle at this year’s Masters and finally winning once again at the PGA Championship.

Koepka had to overcome a series of injuries, mainly to his knee, that limited his ability to play great golf. The interesting thing about Koepka is his ability to win major championships while being somewhat of much more ordinary player in non-major events. This certainly goes to the power of the mind to achieve greatness when one puts their mind to it.

Koepka has now entered the realm of all-time greats, as only 19 other men have won five or more major championships. He has the same number of majors as Seve Ballesteros, for example, and more than some of the legends of the game, including Raymond Floyd. Now that Koepka is healthy, the only question is how many more majors will he win before he’s done.


Northeast – The USGTF Northeast Region Championship will be played Thursday, June 15, at Mountain View Golf Course in Ewing, New Jersey. This one-round event features tee assignments based on age and gender, and has an entry fee of $185, which includes one round of tournament play, range balls prior to play, and prize money. A dinner is planned after the round. For more information and to enter, please contact region director Bob Corbo at simductivegolf@gmail.com.

Central – The USGTF Central Region Championship will be played Sunday and Monday, September 24-25, at Walden Ponds Golf Course in Hamilton, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati. The entry fee of $250 includes two tournament rounds, range balls, and prize money which includes not only tournament finishes but any side games. To enter, please call region director Tony McMullin at (513) 479-6895.


By Ricky Campbell

My experience in golf started just over 50 years ago, and 1977 was the first time for me playing golf in Trinidad. That’s when I realised how much one can learn in the sport. Our national team was made up of caddies, and the players from Trinidad were a mixture of caddies, businessmen and women. I must add there weren’t any women on our side.

The standard of golf in Trinidad was so high that in order to compete, we had to practise a lot with limited golf clubs and time. The result was having two players, Carlos Baynes and Carlos Beckles, on the national team, the former being the # 1 player for a couple years in Trinidad and Tobago. During that time, our national team was one of the best-playing against nine other Caribbean islands in the Hoeman Cup – now the Caribbean Championship.

Over the last couple of years, we had a lot of talented players, but not enough to make a team of six. In a couple of years, we are expecting to get back to those glory times now that Anthony Benny, Chris Richards and myself all have a very productive youth programme.


Registration for the 2023 United States Golf Teachers Cup is now open. This national championship event will be contested at the Revere Golf Club in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Monday and Tuesday, October 9-10. Both the Lexington and Concord courses will be utilized, as they were in 2021. Play will be contested in three divisions: Open, Senior (50+) and Super Senior (68+). Women competitors will be placed into their respective age divisions and will compete from shorter distances. A concurrent pro-am will be conducted with USGTF members invited to bring an amateur partner.

The entry fee of $575 per person includes two tournament rounds, range balls prior to and after play, closing luncheon and awards ceremony, and prize money. This entry fee amount is good until July 1, when the fee is increased to $595. To enter, please complete the registration form located here: https://www.usgtf.com/uscup.



Since its inception in 1989, the USGTF continues to grow and prosper to the benefit of both its members and the game itself. For 2023, the World Golf Teachers Federation (WGTF) is expanding to new countries, with the most recent being Barbuda. Providing competent and qualified teachers to previously underserved countries has been a hallmark of the WGTF.

The USGTF continues to see growth in its membership, as well, as people are seeing the benefits of USGTF membership. In addition to providing a high standard of training, USGTF members enjoy tournament participation, as well as access to educational materials, networking opportunities and industry partner discounts. As the year progresses, both the USGTF and the WGTF continue to enter new and exciting territory.


As USGTF professionals, we are the ultimate ambassadors for the game of golf, and with that role comes great responsibility. It is important to uphold a high standard of behavior and etiquette, not only to put the organization and the game of golf in a good light, but it’s also important from a personal point of view. And no, that’s not being selfish.

What does it mean to uphold a higher standard of behavior and etiquette that may be different than what is expected of amateurs? First and foremost, it means keeping one’s composure in all circumstances, even if doing so may be difficult. This allows for rational thinking and the ability to solve problems or diffuse tricky situations. Losing composure simply adds to the chaos that may exist.

Personal appearance is another important aspect. Dress codes have been loosened in recent years, but the uniform of the professional remains intact. Female professionals have a little more leeway than do male professionals in this regard, but there are still certain standards that apply to everyone. It also commands an air of respect when the professional’s appearance matches his or her role in the golf industry.

Finally, there are times when we play golf with our members or our students. Sure, it might be tough to hit bad shots and not play our best, but it’s important to remember that we are not playing golf for a living, so in perspective, what we shoot doesn’t affect our lives in any way, shape or form. But how we react to poor play does, and it also sets the example – good or bad – for all to see.


Swing Profile golf analyzer is releasing a major update V11 and it comes with an automatic ball tracker (at no extra charge)! While recording golf swings with “Auto Capture”, ball tracker instantly draws trajectories, providing coaches valuable visuals for:

  • 1.) identifying the odd shots
  • 2.) correlating swing techniques with ball flights

Moreover, Swing Profile V11 has been rebuilt on a new cloud server for faster backup and video sending to students.

V11 is scheduled to be released on 12 May. For the month of May and June 2023, we are offering 50% off Swing Profile “Coach” version, as well as 50% off our new golf putt training app “Putt Profile” (www.puttprofile.com). Download apps and try now! For more information, please contact info@swingprofile.com.

Features of Swing Profile golf app for coaches include:

* PGA Show award-winning “Auto Capture” and “Auto Replay” technology for golf analysis and self-training.

* Real-time ball tracker for instant ball trajectories tracking.

* “Student Lockers” system for organizing student videos into their own separate folders for easy retrieval.

* Brand new golf coach directory to expose your coaching business to hundred-thousands of Swing Profile users.

* Automatic video backup to secure cloud storage and video synchronization across devices.

* Fast and easy video exchange with students. Receive videos on both Swing Profile app and on email.

* Simplified online video analysis workflow. Easily receive video from student, analyze with voiceover, and send back the voiceover video.


He’s only been playing golf for three years, but Reese Woodbury from Stuart, Florida, has legitimate Division I college golf aspirations. Already an accomplished golfer, Reese has won four out of the eight tournaments he’s entered this year on the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour, including the very first one he played. Oh, and by the way, he’s also shot a personal best of 63…already!

After a basketball injury, Reese looked for a sport where he could compete and be successful. He was drawn to the game, in part, because his father Michael had played a lot of golf. Reese cites the “cool atmosphere” of the game that he sees on television as one allure, along with the individual aspect to the game, in contrast with his former sport.

USGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional Jerry Ellstrom serves as Reese’s coach, and said, “I love his focus and confidence in his abilities. He’s willing to stay with it in terms of the different challenges of the game.” Showing the depth of affection between the two, Ellstrom teases him by calling him “Stump,” because Reese likes to try to take his ball over the trees of doglegs and inevitably his ball winds up next to a stump.

Reese said the strength of his game is from tee to green, and although you can’t shoot the scores he does by being a mediocre putter, he said there’s always room for improvement in that area. Reese also commented, “I want to thank my dad for all the time and energy he’s put into allowing me to follow my dreams and hopes, and to allow me to practice at the finest facilities.” Reese’s dream school is Arizona State University, where he cited the program’s history and the allure of the Phoenix area. Keep an eye out for this young man, because it’s certain you’ll hear his name again soon.


By Jerry Heinz

I was certified through the USGTF in 2008 and started teaching at Cottonwood Golf Club in El Cajon, California, that same year. I worked with San Diego Chargers and San Diego Padre players, and also Hollywood celebrities. I worked with my kids camps, which was fabulous, and helped several charity events with the Wounded Warriors and Susan G. Komen (breast cancer) charities, and more.

My last two years teaching in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, I was at The Refuge Golf Club, an Arnold Palmer design. Unfortunately, the course went bankrupt again and now I work towards qualifying for the PGA Tour Champions. My game feels great, and I’ve had the pleasure of being gifted with Sqairz golf shoes. The founder of Sqairz has been very kind to me. He also said currently John Daly, Nick Faldo, Sepp Straka and myself are the only ones currently wearing the newest pair, with the breast cancer pink ones being my favorite.

I finished fifth in the U.S. Golf Teachers Cup a couple years ago in Las Vegas. It was great meeting all the members. I had a blast a few years ago doing a podcast with John Daly and Bob Menery. John is very generous, as he sent me another lion headcover which, yellow being my favorite color, I added two feet of yellow dreadlocks to it. He also sent me his new CD which I enjoy.

I have four children who are adults now: Tyler, Connor, Katie and Cameron. Connor is pursuing his path with the PGA and working at a private country club, still trying to beat Dad (me) on the course.

My teaching does not always involve cash money. I enjoy helping individuals at any given time, even if it’s just a grip change or setup tip which I always share examples through photos and videos. I moved to Arizona six years ago full-time to help my mother, who suffered from dementia. I acquired my job at The Refuge immediately. They brought me into the team in a very short time. They loved my portfolio, and the rest is history.


You can rearrange the letters of Jon Rahm’s las name to form the word “harm.” And few of his competitors would argue that Rahm is causing great harm to their chances of winning golf tournaments these days.

Rahm captured his second major championship of his career when he won the Masters this past April. Rahm was truly a master at Augusta National as he methodically overtook third-round leader Brooks Koepka and kept plodding his way to victory. For Rahm, this season has been yet another quantum leap in his career. He has now won four tournaments this year and five in the past 12 months. Rahm is part of a new “Big Three” which includes Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler. For a while, it seemed as if these three were all about equal, but with Rahm winning the season’s first official major, combined with his four victories, he has, for the moment, separated himself from the other two.



Southwest – The USGTF Southwest Region Championship, originally scheduled for May 19-21 in Allen, Texas, has been postponed. Region director Bruce Sims is planning to reschedule the event later this year.

Northeast – The USGTF Northeast Region Championship will be played Thursday, June 15, at Mountain View Golf Course in Ewing, New Jersey. This one-round event features tee assignments based on age and gender, and has an entry fee of $185, which includes one round of tournament play, range balls prior to play, and prize money. A dinner is planned after the round. For more information and to enter, please contact region director Bob Corbo at bcgolfcoach@gmail.com.


Golf is a sport that is valued and enjoyed across the world – allowing for continued development and growth of the players, as well as the instructors. At the WGTF, we are all about connecting instructors across the world and improving the quality of instruction provided to new and up-and-coming players. With the continued growth and expansion of our WGTF organization, we are reaching new and untapped locations, recently gaining members hailing from Antigua and Barbuda.

Antigua and Barbuda have three golf courses, Jolly Harbour Golf Club, Cedar Valley Golf Course and a nine-hole course at the Mill Reef Club.



If you are looking to take your teaching to the next level, becoming a USGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional® is the perfect way to do so. It is a great learning experience with the theme of “A Sharing of Ideas.” Courses will be conducted June 12-14 at the Legacy Golf Club in Las Vegas, Nevada, and December 11-13 at the USGTF National Office in Fort Pierce, Florida. For more information and to register, please visit https://www.usgtf.com/master-golf-teaching-professional.

Those wishing to become a Certified Golf Teaching Professional® have nationwide courses that they can attend. All facets of teaching the game will be covered, and successful candidates will be qualified to successfully teach advanced players. Upcoming courses are: May 8-12 in Fresno, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada; May 15-19 in Evansville, Indiana; May 22-26 in Atlanta, Georgia, and June 19-23 in Fort Pierce, Florida. For more information and to register, please visit https://www.usgtf.com/certified-golf-teaching-professional.



Due to contract negotiations being renewed and favorable terms being reached, the USGTF’s initial choice to host the 2023 United States Golf Teachers Cup, The Revere Golf Club in Las Vegas, Nevada, will now host the 27th annual event on Monday and Tuesday, October 9-10. Both the Lexington and Concord courses will be utilized, as they were in 2021. Play will be contested in three divisions: Open, Senior (50+) and Super Senior (68+). Women competitors will be placed into their respective age divisions and will compete from shorter distances.

The Luxor on the Las Vegas Strip will once again serve as the recommended hotel. Complete entry and practice round information will be made available shortly.



Starting January 1, 2010, a new grooves regulation was enacted by the USGA and R&A because they thought the then-current grooves spun the ball too much. Club manufacturers found a way to actually make better grooves, which meant the rules change was useless but meant many competitive golfers had to buy new irons. In 2016 came the infamous “anchored putting ban,” which is still a sore spot with many today.


In 2019 the USGA and R&A completely overhauled the rules, the two most drastic changes being hitting the flagstick with a putt was no longer a penalty, and all drops were taken from knee height. After a long adjustment period, golfers accepted the changes. And now comes the latest controversial rules proposal, a Model Local Rule for “elite” golfers where they would play a distance-restricted golf ball. The rules makers deem this necessary because, in their own words, elite golfers hitting the ball too far “undermines the core principle that a broad and balanced set of playing skills should remain the primary determinant of success in golf.” They are also worried about courses supposedly “having” to increase yardage to handle all of this.


People who say, “Why don’t they just make the courses tougher” are not understanding their position. It’s not a matter of score; to them; it’s a matter of angles and what club is being hit into the green. There is also an element who want to return to the days of long irons into par-4s and where going for the green in two on a par-5 was a big deal. But those days are gone.


I recently went to the Korn Ferry Tour in Savannah, Georgia, and they played a course that measured just over 7,000 yards, and I did not see anyone making a mockery of the course. There are also practical problems with implementing a shorter ball: When do promising players switch over? In high school? In college? It would also be tempting for less-honest players to cheat by using the longer ball. It’s also not a given the PGA Tour will adopt the new rule, either, so what would be the incentive for ball manufacturers to even make such a ball? If that happened, the new rule couldn’t even be implemented. In short, while the USGA and R&A will almost certainly put the Model Local Rule into place and will follow it for their championships – as likely will the Masters – if the major tours don’t adopt the rule, we will have a big mess on our hands. And even if they do adopt it, there will still be a mess, albeit a smaller one.


After extensive research, we have concluded that the best way to go forward is individual policies. (The previous policy through Bollinger was a group policy.) We compared coverages and rates from multiple companies and determined that F.L. Dean & Associates will best meet your needs without exorbitant costs. The rates below reflect a 15% USGTF discount, accessible when you obtain coverage through our branded link. Each instructor that purchases coverage will have their own policy and their own insurance certificates. They are not shared like a group policy would be, but rather the coverage they buy is the coverage they get.


Coverage is General Liability (coverage and rates for $2,000,000 General Aggregate, other options available at differing rates) – $1,000,000 per occurrence, and $2,000,000 aggregate, including an additional $5,000 of medical payment expense for any medical expenses incurred by a guest or spectator.


Rates are as follows for the $2,000,000 General Aggregate selection (this is what you’ll pay all inclusive, no additional fees for annual coverage):


  • CA, FL, NY – $296.78
  • CT, MS, NV, RI, SC – $285.50
  • All other states – $240.42


Please contact Member Services to obtain the application link.


Angela Lee is currently a freshman at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, where she competes on the varsity golf team. Her path to Georgetown was filled with competitive success that any college golf coach would love to see. She is a winner on the prestigious American Junior Golf Association Tour and was invited to many high-level invitationals on that tour. In addition, she was the 2021 North Jersey Player of the Year, was a four-year letter winner on her Immaculate Heart High School team in the Township of Washington, New Jersey, serving as the captain the last to years. She is also academically accomplished as a member of the National Science Honor Society, a four-year honor roll student and earned a 3.9 grade point average.


Angela commented, “Golf is a sport that has taught me valuable lessons that are applicable in the real world. One of the most important lessons that I learned from golf is personal responsibility and integrity. Golf is a sport that relies heavily on individual honesty and adherence to the rules. Additionally, golf teaches me valuable problem-solving skills, as I must always analyze the course and make strategic decisions to succeed. Golf also requires mental toughness, with players needing to maintain focus, manage emotions and overcome setbacks.”


According to her coach, USGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional Sungmin Baek, “At seven years old, she came to me for lessons after her mother informed me of her interest in the sport. It quickly became apparent that Angela had a natural talent for golf, particularly for someone her age. Watching her progress from how to grip and hold a golf club to becoming a Division I golfer at a highly prestigious university has been an incredible experience for both of us. As her instructor for over 11 years now, I continue to be amazed by Angela’s resilience and hardworking nature.”


Andrew Allen

Andrew Allen from Aynor, South Carolina, has an impressive resume that would give anyone pause. In addition to his certification from the USGTF, Allen has received certification from the Titleist Performance Institute; is a certified Kimoodo instructor; received certification as a “Master Mental Game Specialist” from the IGPA, and is a certified personal trainer. Allen is also a proficient player, holding the course record of 60 at The Traces Golf Club in Florence, South Carolina, and is the reigning two-time club champion at The Country Club of South Carolina in Florence.


Allen is also a fixture on radio’s South Carolina Sports Talk as a commentator. His teaching facility, Swing and Putt (www.SwingAndPutt.com) has both indoor and outdoor capabilities, and features state-of-the-art technology. Allen believes there is value in paying for information, which is why he always charges something, even if it’s only as little as $1, because people tend not to value something that was given to them for free.


He also had some challenges in his younger years. Allen said, “During my junior high years, I grew over a foot in less than five months. I was informed by orthopedic doctors that I had to be very careful, because I would be prone to degenerative conditions of the joints and spinal column due to the hyper growth spurt combined with the lack of nutrition to keep up with my growth. It was so bad it was projected that I could be in a wheelchair as early as my upper 20s. Measures were taken, and I had to wear metal bracing on my legs and use crutches. I committed myself to learning all that I could about what was happening or had happened to me. I did not accept that as my fate, so I set my course learning about my own body through the study of nutrition and fitness. Golf grew as a passion of mine and I organically dumped everything into learning everything I could about the movements required to play golf at a fun to career-winning level. My love for golf and helping others has inspired my 15-year-old daughter Sydney to follow me into golf as a future professional golf coach herself.”


Well, he did it again. Scottie Scheffler once again captured one of the biggest prizes in professional golf when he won The Players Championship held in March. He also returned to the #1 ranking in the Official World Golf Ranking. Scheffler also won the WM Phoenix Open earlier in the year, mirroring his early-season success of 2022. That campaign ended successfully when he won the Masters.

Golf has always had a “Big Three” throughout its history, starting with “the great triumvirate’ of Harry Vardon, Ted Ray and James Braid. Later, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan and Sam Snead formed a formidable trio, and then along came Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo and Greg Norman all butted heads in the 1980s and 1990s, and in the early 2000s Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els reigned supreme. Today, Scheffler is part of a group consisting of himself, Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm who have separated themselves from the competition. It certainly is an exciting and historic time in golf at the present.



Southwest – The USGTF Southwest Region Championship will be held Friday-Sunday, May 19-21, at Twin Creeks Golf Club in Allen, Texas. There will be a welcome dinner on Friday evening, with two rounds of tournament play commencing Saturday. The entry fee is $225 and includes range balls. For more information and to enter, contact region director Bruce Sims at bsims@pga.com.


Australia’s Brendan Jones captured the 102nd playing of the New Zealand Open, held March 2-5 at Millbrook Resort and The Hills in Queensland, New Zealand, firing a four-round total of -18 to defeat four golfers by three strokes. Jones shot a third-round 62 to surge into the lead, and his 66 the final day was more than adequate for the victory.


Most of New Zealand’s and Australia’s best golfers competed, along with top professionals from Asia. According to the tournament’s website, “Speaking after the event, tournament chairman John Hart said that having the tournament back is a great thing for not only all New Zealand sporting fans, but also for the tourism and hospitality sectors in Queenstown. ‘We are delighted to have been able to return after a few years away. It’s been a tough few years, but we are very happy to be back and delighted with how the tournament week unfolded. The support we have received from not only our fantastic family of sponsors but the tournaments partners, players and volunteers has been heart-warming for everyone involved,’ said Hart.”


Do you want to take your teaching to the next level? USGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional® certification courses will be held June 12-14 at Legacy Golf Club in Las Vegas, Nevada, and December 13-15 at the USGTF National Office in Fort Pierce, Florida. Participants will have to successfully pass the playing ability test requirements, which are four strokes lower than what is required for a Certified Golf Teaching Professionals®; successfully complete the online USGTF Certified Professional Golf Coach course by end of the onsite course dates; give a thesis presentation with a Q&A to follow, perform a shotmaking demonstration and pass the written teaching test. This is a great educational opportunity for any Certified Golf Teaching Professional in good standing for a minimum of 12 months. For more information and to register, please visit https://www.usgtf.com/master-golf-teaching-professional.https://www.usgtf.com/master-golf-teaching-professional



More Information Coming Soon!

The tournament will once again feature a pro-am format, where USGTF/WGTF professionals may bring an amateur partner to compete.

Play will be contested in three divisions: Open, Senior (50+) and Super Senior (68+). New for 2023 is that female competitors will now be placed in their appropriate age group and compete from shorter tees. This will allow them to play for greater prize money than in the past. The entry fee of $575 will cover two tournament rounds of golf, range balls prior to play, prize money and a closing luncheon and awards ceremony. Entry information will be made available soon.


Tiger Woods returned to official tournament competition this past February after a 7-month absence, and his return was typical Tiger since his car accident two years ago. He made the cut and then shot a stellar 67 on Saturday before a pedestrian 73 on Sunday.

Tiger says he only plays if he believes he has a chance to win, but his performance highlights a dilemma that no one has really talked about: Tiger needs reps to contend, but is playing so rarely due to his physical condition that he cannot get the reps he needs to contend. Now, before anyone says in years past that Tiger played well the first time out after an extended layoff – which would be correct – Tiger is no longer young. From personal experience, I can tell you the older you get, the more you need the reps. And no, I’m not comparing myself to Tiger in terms of skill, but I’m not the only one who has gotten older who has made this observation.

So now the question is, will Tiger make an effort to play more in order to be sharp for the majors? Because if he doesn’t, or his body doesn’t let him, then to make the climb to the top of the mountain one more time may not be possible. Yes, even for Tiger Woods, who has, since 1997, made the seemingly impossible happen.


By Scottie McAlarney, USGTF Certified, Torrance, CA

Eddie Kaufman from Throop, Pennsylvania, has been a golf student of mine at my “A Swing for Life” golf academy since the age of eight years old and has just finished his Mid Valley High School golf career this past fall in October of 2022. I have also had the privilege of serving as Eddie’s head coach on the golf team, where he earned the Scranton Times All-Regional “Player of the Year” award, recognizing the best player in the northeast part of the state.

Since his early years as a student of mine, he consistently showed progress each and every year from the junior ranks to playing high-level tournament golf. He has never been afraid to make changes to his swing when needed, including a significant one we had worked on right before a major high school championship event that had him finishing with a 5-under par 67 and earning him “athlete of the week” honors in our area.

I have had numerous junior players in my 27-year career, including my son, who still plays in professional events, but no one has done what Eddie has been able to accomplish during his 10-year time frame with me as my student. Eddie will be going on to play golf for Roanoke University in Virginia. Academically, Eddie has a 3.9 GPA, is a member of the National Honor Society, and has achieved many other academic awards.


Perhaps the most distinctive thing about Scottie Scheffler is the “Scheffler Shuffle,” where his back foot moves considerably after contact, almost like he’s dancing. In years past it would have been considered a bad flaw, but today, where ball flight consistency reigns supreme among instructors, it’s no big deal.

Scheffler notched his fifth victory of his PGA Tour career when he won the Waste Management Open, known more for its rowdy behavior on the 16th and 17th holes than the golf itself. Like the Scheffler Shuffle, this would have been considered a bad “flaw” back in the day, too, so maybe it’s fitting that Scheffler finds success at the WM as he has now won the event two years in a row.

Scheffler is one of the best ballstrikers on tour, ranking 3rd in strokes-gained off the tee and 14th in strokes-gained approach shots. He is a pedestrian putter, ranked 93rd, but analytics has shown us that ballstriking prowess is more important than putting prowess for success on the tour.


(Note: This information was provided by John Joy and is reprinted.)

John Joy is a master club fitter and instructor at Le Triomphe Golf Academy near Lafayette, Louisiana. He has over 50 years of experience in the game of golf. The academy is an indoor/outdoor teaching facility utilizing the latest teaching technology to provide students with the ultimate golf experience. Two indoor hitting bays provide the ability to launch balls into an outdoor range from the comfort of climate-controlled teaching bays. The academy features an extensive practice area which includes a putting green, chipping green and sand and grass bunkers.

He utilizes motion analysis and digital media technologies. He currently holds the title as one of Golf Digest’s Top Club Fitters in the country and has a loyal following by those who know there is no club fitter that can compare. Joy not only has knowledge and skill, but has the true desire to make sure that every golfer that crosses his path will walk away with key improvements to their golf game.

Joy started his golf career on sand greens in Texas in his pre-teen years and later started an apprenticeship with designs of staying within the golf industry. While working and living abroad for nearly 30 years, he had the privilege of playing golf all over the world, from sand greens in southern Iran to the royal courses of Asia and Great Britain. Upon retirement in the early 1990’s, he began earnestly focused on refining his golf skills. He has passion for the game and knows that there are no two golfers alike. He strives to be the best in his field and always keeps up with the latest technologies when analyzing a student’s game.


Mark Harman from Ridgeland, SC, and newly appointed director of the Southeast Region of the USGTF, shot a 76 to win the U.S. Professional Hickory Golf Championship at the 100-year-old Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club outside of Tampa, Florida, on February 20. Harman is the first USGTF professional to win the event in its 13-year history.

Asked to comment, retired Southeast director and tournament chairman Mike Stevens said, “It’s great to see a fellow member of the organization break through and win the event. As for the tournament, it would have never come to fruition if not for the support of former president of the USGTF, Geoff Bryant. Geoff always believed that it was important for golf professionals to remember the roots of the game and pass its history on to peers and students alike. The USGTF title sponsorship of the tournament for several years while he was president allowed me to build it into what it is today. For that, I will always be grateful to him. Hope to see more of our members participate in the future.”

The tournament celebrates the Florida Open, a hickory event played at this venue in 1925, and the winner has his name affixed to the John Shippen Cup, named after America’s first golf professional. The cup resides permanently in the Temple Terrace clubhouse. Next year’s event is scheduled for Monday, February 19, 2024.


Southeast – Ken Kim emerged victorious to capture his first USGTF region title as he took home the trophy at the USGTF Southeast Region Championship, held February 21-22 at Clearwater Country Club in Clearwater, Florida. Kim fired a 71 to lead the first day by three strokes over defending champion Ron Cox. Two-time Central Region champion Hunter Huang was another two strokes back at 76. Kim shot a 75 the second day in difficult conditions to post the victory over runner-up Huang. Results can be found at https://www.2023-se-region.golfgenius.com.

Southwest – The USGTF Southwest Region Championship will be held Friday-Sunday, May 19-21, at Twin Creeks Golf Club in Allen, Texas. There will be a welcome dinner on Friday evening, with two rounds of tournament play commencing Saturday. The entry fee is $225 and includes range balls. For more information and to enter, contact region director Bruce Sims at bsims@pga.com.


In the city of Barueri-SP, professional Jack Corrêa will work on popularizing the sport of golf in the region through the Goupgolf Academy and Instituto Golfe Brasil. On March 18, 2023, the first public driving range will be inaugurated at Parque Ecológico Barueri in São Paulo.

This project aims to spread the sport in the region and will help hundreds of young people and families who want to learn and practice the sport. The supporters of the city hall of Barueri-SP are represented by Mayor Rubens Furlan and Vice Mayor Piteri, and their secretaries Bidu (supporter of the environment project), Ademir, Renato, Adão, Rogério and the secretary of sport Tom Moises. They are excited to be fulfilling this dream.

“Our country has many talents, and this project will certainly make a great opportunity in the state of São Paulo and Brazil,” said Corrêa. “We will not only bring the dream of discovering a great player, but this project will be fundamental for the golf industry, giving young people the necessary knowledge to be able to perform any function within a club, academy, resort and others.” Corrêa is the technical vice president of the Olimpic Golf Course, director of Goupgolf and president of Instituto Golfe Brasil.


If you have not yet paid your 2023 membership fees, the time to do so is now! The scheduled increase in late fees, which was due to take place on March 1, has been extended one week. After March 7, the late fee will be $50. Please visit https://www.usgtf.com/annual-membership-renewal to renew your USGTF membership to remain a member in good standing and continue to be a part of this great organization. With the increasing demand for certified instructors in the industry, it has never been more important to keep your teaching credentials active and remain member in good standing.


WGTF Banner with Member Country Names


As the world becomes more interconnected, it only seems natural that global alliances offer benefits in many ways. One of those global alliances is the World Golf Teachers Federation. Founded in the early 1990s, it was ahead of its time, especially in the golf industry.

Today, the WGTF offers a global alliance where different, individual federations come under the auspices of one umbrella. This has the benefit of providing a consistent standard of training and giving credibility to each federation. This diverse network of individual federations proves the old saying, “strength in numbers.” Each federation has something to offer that will benefit other federations, and with the WGTF, it is possible to quickly incorporate these benefits. This further serves to strengthen all federations together in a synergistic manner. Moving ahead into the 21st century, the WGTF will undoubtedly play a greater role in shaping the future of teaching the game of golf.

Editorial – What is a Good Age for Juniors to Start Learning Golf?

Golf Instruction Before my current tenure as a teaching professional at an indoor studio with all the latest in video and launch monitor technology, I hadn’t really taught that many junior players. That all changed when I took my current position some six years ago.


Parents will ask me, “What is a good age to start learning golf?” Based on my experience, the best answer I can give is, “When they express a desire to be better at golf and they’re at least 5 years old.” By then, they should be used to learning in a school environment so that should translate over. When it came to my own kids, now 15 and 14, believe it or not I never gave them one bit of instruction for years. Sure, I put a golf club into their hands at early ages, but they never once asked me any swing advice. A few years ago, they attended USGTF professional Graham Lewis’s junior camp where I was also teaching, and I farmed out their instruction to another coach who did a fine job with them.


I’m currently teaching an 11-year-old who is the #1-ranked junior player for his age group in the Hilton Head, SC/Savannah, GA area. He has a younger brother who, at age 3, had a near-perfect swing. And still at age 6, it’s incredible. I told his dad I would not teach him because he’s such a natural and that if he develops any bad habits, I’ll step in. But so far, so good.


It cuts me up to no end when I see parents tell their kids, “Keep your eye on the ball!” Or, “Swing easy!” Not once have I ever said this to any kid or any adult, because they are old myths that one amateur tells another. Then again, we as teaching professionals exist for a

Srixon Releases Refreshed Z-Star Series for 2023

Srixion Z-Star Series Balls


SRIXON®, a global leader in golf ball technology and innovation, announces the eighth generation Z-STAR Series golf ball. The Z-STAR Series is scheduled to launch Feb. 15, while the Z-STAR Series DIVIDE is scheduled for Spring 2023.


The Z-STAR is engineered with a thin mid-layer and softer compression to prioritize softer feel and approach shot spin, while the Z-STAR DIAMOND also has a thin mid-layer but has a firmer compression to optimize iron spin and distance. The Z-STAR XV’s unique core achieves a soft center that increases dramatically in hardness with an evenly distributed hard outer edge, which boosts ball speed for increased distance and enhances iron spin.


Key innovations inside the Z-STAR Series golf ball:


  • New FastLayer DG Core: Starts soft in the center and dramatically becomes firm around its edge, giving high-speed players exceptional feel and plenty of ball speed for maximum distance.
  • New Spin Skin+: A durable coating that digs deep into your wedge and iron grooves, maximizing spin for better control and stopping power.
  • Speed Dimple Pattern: Less drag and more lift boosts overall distance and flies straight, even in the toughest wind conditions.


For more information on the Z-STAR series family, go to http://www.us.dunlopsports.com/srixon.http://www.us.dunlopsports.com/srixon

Student Spotlight – Ignacio Placencia

By David Smith, USGTF Certified, Torrance, CA

Student Spotlight - Ignacio Placencia I met Ignacio Placencia in March of 2022 when I started teaching at Montebello Golf Course in Montebello, California. This young man was on the driving range with the Bishop Mora Salesian High School golf team and was having a hard time with his swing. Being that I saw him with his golf team, I automatically assumed that they were there for lessons with their coach. I was right, but I could also see that Ignacio needed help – really needed help – before he hurt himself.


I gave him some instruction, and then a couple of weeks later he called me to sign up for lessons. Ignacio has put in the work and has been going through “the process.” He has grown so much in the game in such a short period of time due to his work ethic, discipline and desire to be good at the game of golf. He will play his last season on the golf team at Bishop Mora Salesian in the spring of 2023 and as his instructor, I am quite sure he is going to surprise everyone at how good he has become. I am proud of Ignacio for sticking with the process and he deserves this spotlight.


He wants to attend the University of Texas at Austin. The field that he is most interested in and that he plans to study is finance. He wants to be able to provide financial advice and information to families and individuals regarding financial planning and investing.


In Ignacio’s own words, “The game of golf has provided me with the skills to be patient and disciplined. Golf has taught me what hard work could do for you. The beginning of the year I wasn’t practicing that much and you see it in my swing. Then, during the summer, I started taking golf seriously. My swing was better and so was my on-course game. The way I see golf being a part of my future is by connecting with new people every time I play.”

“Pro” File – USGTF Member Mike Givens

USGTF Member Mike GivensUSGTF member Mike Givens is in his sixth year as the head men’s and women’s golf coach at Menlo College in Atherton, California. During his tenure at the NAIA school, Givens has led the men’s team to seven tournament victories, including setting tournament scoring records in five of them. Menlo was also ranked nationally for the first time as a program under his leadership. The women’s team has had an equally impressive run, winning six tournaments and seven players have been awarded as All American Scholar Athletes, including the highest Menlo College team GPA at 3.61 and ranked with the 10th highest team GPA in the nation.


Givens’ players on either team include three who have been awarded as the Menlo College Freshman of the Year and two who was named the Golden State Conference Freshman Player of the Year. The women’s team has produced two All-Americans.

“Pro” File – Touring Professional Jon Rahm

Although the Official World Golf Ranking doesn’t list him as the #1 player, as of the end of January there is no one playing better golf than Jon Rahm. He has finished in the top 10 in all three of his starts this season, including victories in his last two tournaments. He also has five top-10s in his last six starts.


Tabbed for stardom when he came out of Arizona State University by way of Spain, Rahm failed to disappoint. He has been a steady force in professional golf since he started, including a big singles victory over Tiger Woods in the 2018 Ryder Cup in France. He won the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in 2021 and is a constant presence on major championship leaderboards.


Rahm is one of the game’s best drivers of the golf ball, something he credits as a key to his success. He and his wife Kelley Cahill have two children.

Regional Schedule Update; Southeast Championship This Month

Golf Course


Southeast – The USGTF Southeast Region Championship will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, February 21-22, at Clearwater Country Club in Clearwater, Florida. The entry fee is $235 and is payable to region director Mark Harman through Venmo (@MarkHarman), PayPal (markharmangolf@aol.com), and personal check to Mark Harman, 1656 Colony Dr., Ridgeland SC 29936. Tee assignments will be done by age and gender, along with daily prize money and second-day divisions. The entry deadline is Wednesday, February 14. For more information, contact Harman at mark@usgtf.com.


Southwest – The USGTF Southwest Region Championship will be held Friday-Sunday, May 19-21, at Twin Creeks Golf Club in Allen, Texas. There will be a welcome dinner on Friday evening, with two rounds of tournament play commencing Saturday. The entry fee is $225 and includes range balls. For more information and to enter, contact region director Bruce Sims at bsims@pga.com.


For more details on this and other Regional Events please visit the Tournaments page under the Stay Informed tab at www.USGTF.com.

WGTF Expands to Vietnam

Vietnam Flag Expanding on its global mission, the WGTF and USGTF will soon have a presence in the country of Vietnam, one of Asia’s fastest-growing golf markets. Several dozen courses are now under construction in addition to those already in business. This outreach by the WGTF into Vietnam is expected to be mutually beneficial and to bring qualified golf instructors to that country.

USGTF Now VA-Approved for GI Bill Use

GI Bill Approved banner


We are proud to announce that the USGTF Associate Member Online Course and the USGTF Certified Golf Teaching Professional on-site course are now approved by the Veteran’s Administration, under the GI Bill, for course fee reimbursement. The course fee will be reimbursed by the VA after proof of payment and proof of course completion is submitted by eligible veterans. Eligible veterans need to complete the VA Form 22-0803 (Application for Reimbursement of Licensing or Certification Test).


The V.A. Education Call Center is available at 1-888-442-4551 (Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST) for any questions about GI Bill benefits.

Editorial – The USGTF’s Role In The Golf Industry

When the USGTF was founded in 1989, the only option for prospective male golf teachers who wanted certification was to join the PGA of America. Women had their own organization, the LPGA, but it was more known for conducting professional tournaments than its teaching division. While women were welcome to join the PGA, at that time it wasn’t commonplace.

Thirty-four years later, the USGTF is firmly established and is looking to the future. A change in leadership occurred in 2020 when Brandon Lee became president and CEO, and his energy for the organization is well known. The USGTF’s role in the industry will continue to expand as more people seek certification and make an impact in the golf industry. By developing well-trained and certified instructors and coaches, USGTF professionals offer a level of competence that is unmatched.

Many USGTF professionals have found their niche in the junior golf realm and are helping the next generation of players to excel. There are too many to name everyone individually, but Thomas Parkin, featured in this edition of the e-newsletter, embodies the spirit of USGTF professionals who dedicate themselves to the junior set. The USGTF will also continue to innovate its programs as knowledge and technology increase, which in turn will produce the most skilled instructors possible. That not only benefits the USGTF and its members, but also the golfing public.

Swing Profile Golf App Now Available On Mac Laptop

Coaches can now run the Swing Profile golf app on a Mac (minimum M1) and analyze student videos captured on the Mac or mobile devices such as iPhone and iPad. The Mac version offers convenience of keyboard and large screen, making it easier to type out comments or record voice-over for students. Go to app store and download for free now!

Features of the Swing Profile golf app for coaches include:

  • PGA Show award-winning “Auto Capture” and “Auto Replay” technology for golf analysis and self-training.
  • “Student Lockers” system for organizing student videos into their own separate folders for easy retrieval.
  • Brand new golf coach directory to expose your coaching business to hundreds of thousands of Swing Profile users.
  • Automatic video backup to secure cloud storage and video synchronization across devices.
  • Fast and easy video exchange with students. Receive videos on both Swing Profile app and on email.
  • Simplified online video analysis workflow. Easily receive video from student, analyze with voiceover, and send back the voiceover video.
  • For the month of January and February 2023, we are offering 50% off Swing Profile “Coach” version, as well as 50% off our new golf putt training app “Putt Profile” (www.puttprofile.com). Download apps and try now! For more information, please contact info@swingprofile.com.

    Student Spotlight – Jayleen Sito

    By Walt Abraham, USGTF Master, Walnut Creek, CA

    Jayleen Sito started taking lessons from me at age 7 as a beginner. She has progressed through the years because of her love for the game. At each age starting at 10, she has been one of the top golfers in her age group in Northern California. She finished 2nd in the points standings in 2021 and was invited to the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship in Pinehurst, North Carolina, where she finished in the top 30 and again in 2022, where she finished in the top 25.

    She has won numerous tournaments during the last few years on the U.S. Kids Tour, Junior Tour Northern California and the American Junior Golf Association. This year, she has won the JTNC Invitational in June, the U.S. Kids NorCal regional, and recently took first place in the U.S. Kids Monterey Championship at 3-under par, while also taking bronze medalist honors in the second tournament of the week

    Jayleen is one of the nicest young ladies around. She is also competitive and dedicated and is always the one wanting to do more, and will shortly be giving back by helping younger children with no experience get into golf through her mother’s school program. She is a fine example of what makes golf a great game.

    “PRO” File – Teaching Professional Thomas Parkin

    Thomas Parkin from Santee, California, was drawn towards golf at the age of 4 and started playing more seriously at age 9, often playing 36 to 54 holes a day during the summer. After graduating from Sheffield Hallam University in Sheffield, England, he married Chrissy, now his wife of 13 years, that same year.

    Chrissy, who was an Olympic-level ice dancer, inspired him to do what he loved and led him to work in the golf industry. The next year, they relocated to San Diego, California, where he began his golf coaching career. He has successfully run his own golf school for seven years at two different courses; served as a swing coach to a high school team which lead to their rapid improvement, and coached junior golfers who competed in the Junior World championship.

    He and Chrissy have a four-year-old son, Caleb, who loves to work on his golf game. Interestingly, he also had a successful career on the side as a wedding and events deejay. Other business ventures include starting an online health and fitness blog and YouTube channel with his wife, personal training, and music production. He is currently in the process of launching a golf YouTube channel.

    PGA Tour Schedule Has Some Changes For 2023

    For the past several years, the PGA Tour season has carried over from the fall season one year into the summer season the next. All that will change when the schedule reverts to a calendar-year-only model, with the final event being the Tour Championship in August. Tournaments currently in the fall season are now in limbo as to what their future holds.

    In the meantime, a series of “elevated events” featuring purses of $20 million and more are now on offer for PGA Tour members, with the top 20 in the Player Impact Program semi-obligated to play in each event in order to bring the top players together more often. How this affects tournaments that don’t have elevated status remains to be seen, but it’s safe to say that these events will give other players a chance to shine. Click Tournament Schedule to see upcoming events.

    Regional Championships Kick Off with Southeast Tourney

    Southeast – The USGTF Southeast Region Championship will be played Tuesday and Wednesday, February 21-22, at Clearwater Country Club in Clearwater, Florida. This two-round event features tee assignments based on age and gender, and has an entry fee of $235, which includes two rounds of tournament play, range balls prior to play, and prize money. A dinner is planned after the first round. Please contact SE Regional Director Mark Harman at mark@usgtf.com with any questions. For more details on this and other Regional Events please visit the Tournaments page under the Stay Informed tab at above.

    Golf Teaching Pro In Print, Digital Form

    Golf Teaching Pro magazine, the official member publication of the USGTF, is now available in digital form in addition to its print form. The magazine has features and articles of interest to all golf teaching professionals, including instruction and news from around the world.

    Articles in this edition include a feature on the United States Golf Teachers Cup, ways to take advantage of instructional opportunities, equipment information on shafts, and a historical look at the teaching profession, among others. This 64-page edition is a valuable resource for all USGTF professionals.

    WGTF Top 50 Teachers Named

    Every two years, the World Golf Teachers Federation names its Top Teachers, and the list for 2022-23 has been released. The list can be found in the new edition of Golf Teaching Pro magazine, the official member publication of the USGTF and WGTF as well as online at www.WGTF.com under Awards. The USGTF extends its congratulations to all that were named in the Top 50 list.

    Happy New Year from USGTF

    From everyone at the USGTF National Office, we wish you a Happy New Year and hope you have a prosperous and successful 2023 season. As the USGTF enters its 34th year of operation, the National Office staff is ready to serve you, and we welcome your input. Please contact member_services@usgtf.com, or you may call (772) 88-USGTF or (772) 888-7483.

    Editorial – To Paraphrase An Old Saying: Liv And Let Live:

    By: Mark Harman, Director of Education

    The biggest news to hit the golf world in 2022 was the creation of the LIV Golf Tour. With Greg Norman as its commissioner, LIV drew a few of the biggest names in golf away from the PGA Tour, most notably Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed, Phil Mickelson and Cameron Smith.

    While the USGTF’s official position on LIV Golf is one of neutrality, it can be stated with certainty that the new venture will continue to be a presence in 2023. Many people have a problem with the source of the funding for the new tour – the Saudi Arabian government’s Public Investment Fund, while others have pointed out that many American corporations and even our government do business with Saudi Arabia. Both sides have valid arguments.

    I have watched a few of the tournaments on YouTube, and the production is somewhat different from that of the PGA Tour’s. A “pylon” on the left side of the screen continually updates with the position of the players, and many shots are shown. There is also a team aspect to the tournaments, which to me seems somewhat of a gimmick, but the players have apparently bought into it.

    I personally don’t understand the PGA Tour suspending players who went to LIV. I would love for someone to ask commissioner Jay Monahan how it benefits the PGA Tour that the above-mentioned players are no longer allowed to compete on that tour. At any rate, it seems the LIV Tour is here to stay for at least another year or two, if not longer. Golf’s other entities need to come to grips with this fact and find a way to coexist.

    New Industry Partner – USGTF Signs With HotelPlanner.com

    Just in time for the holidays! USGTF is pleased to announce a new travel partner to offer discounts to our members for lodging and rental cars worldwide.

    Members can save up to 65% at over 1,000,000 hotels, resorts, condo rentals, bed ‘n’ breakfast inns, corporate housing and rental homes worldwide. Corporate and Group lodging is also available. Check it out today at https://usgtf.hotelplanner.com/.

    Student Spotlight – Chuck Colfer

    By Pat Church, USGTF Master, Eugene, Oregon

    Many of us have students that stand out and have done wonderful things in this game of golf. I have one who is very “Special.” Meet Chuck Colfer, a 72-year-old Special Olympics athlete who competes in bowling, powerlifting and golf. His haul of medals and ribbons are way too numerous to count.

    I met Chuck when I started coaching golf for our local Special Olympics program in 2004. He then competed in the Skills grouping: putting, chipping, pitching, drive and irons. He was consistent and always finished “in the money” within his age grouping.

    As the years went by, Chuck always alerted his family when it was time to go golf with Coach Pat. He never missed a practice and was always ready to do his best. His form is not a pretty sight, but his commitment is! In 2012 his mother died, and his family found him a personal care worker – enter Roy. With Roy’s help, Chuck blossomed: more talkative, but not a conversationalist; more outgoing and even more engaged in his golf. Chuck and Roy became a Unified team that played alternate shot for nine holes. They struggled at first, but grew into a strong team, usually still finishing in the medal rounds.

    Every year come September, he begins his countdown to his birthday…in November. I am always invited to his birthday dinner at his favorite diner – such a grand night. Chuck and other Special Olympic athletes have made me a better, more patient teacher. His friendship has enriched my life and now in my semi-retirement, Chuck, Roy and I play as often as we can.

    “PRO” File – Teaching Professional Scott Lehman

    Scott Lehman of Nashville, Tennessee, first picked up a club in 1969 at the age of 8 in his hometown of Ripon, Wisconsin. Continuing to play during his youth, Lehman played on the Ripon High School team for four years.

    He went to the University of Wisconsin-LaCross and graduated with a degree in Marketing in 1984. As he was interested in surfing and the beach, he bought a one-way ticket to San Diego and, along with a high school friend who had graduated from the University of San Diego, started selling surfboards, skateboards, tee shirts, etc. He developed a very successful sales career, and years later relocated to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It was there that his company was bought out and he lost his job.

    Following a period of uncertainty, he and his wife Leslie became committed Christians, and their faith has played a huge role in their lives ever since. He became a USGTF member in 1998, and eventually he and Leslie moved to Nashville. In, 2007, Lehman started In His Grip golf ministries, named after the book that led him on his faith journey. Since then, he has shared his life story at the Masters Prayer Breakfast in Augusta, Georgia; co-authored the book The Master’s Grip, and authored More Than a Game, among other achievements. Lehman’s latest project is that he is the associate producer of the new Payne Stewart movie set to come out in 2024.

    Lehman and his wife Leslie still live in Nashville with their son Micah.>

    “PRO” File – Touring Professional Adam Svensson

    With a last name like “Svensson,” you would be forgiven to think the PGA Tour’s latest winner came from a Scandinavian country. Not exactly, although his hometown of Surrey, British Columbia, oftentimes has the same winter weather. He always excelled at golf, winning the Canadian Boys Junior Championship in 2012.

    Svensson matriculated at Barry University in Miami, Florida, where he once again excelled. He won nine tournaments, was twice the NCAA Division II individual champion, and was a first-team All-American. He turned professional in 2015, and in 2018 won on what is now the Korn Ferry Tour. He earned his PGA Tour card for 2019 but lost it, only to regain it for the 2021-22 season.

    His victory in November’s RSM Classic in Georgia is a continuation of his rise in golf. Svensson’s career has been on a steady upward trend ever since he first picked up a club. It is likely this trend will continue for years to come.

    Tournament Central

    Mark Harman from Ridgeland, South Carolina, has been named the new USGTF Southeast Region director, taking over for Mike Stevens who retired from the post earlier this year. Harman plans to have this year’s Southeast Region championship in Florida sometime in February, tentatively during the week of February 19-25. He asks that anyone who wants to get on the Southeast Region mailing list to write to him at mark@usgtf.com to receive updates.

    News From Great Britain & Ireland

    By Peter Hudson
    WGTF Great Britain & Ireland
    The year 2022 continued to see massive growth in the WGTF of GB&I and all its subsidiaries. Some of our goals may be limited if governments around the world do not come to terms with practical elements caused by the pandemic, but for everyone, it will remain an opportunity to build stronger resilience and discover more effective solutions than ever before.
    The interest in those wanting to help others play much better golf has also been on the increase, and we have managed two residential trainings this year. Three of the coaches attending have already started to coach. Participants have included an ex-tour player, international hurler, event manager, pro footballer, international independent adviser, plus many more, proving those who truly want to help others play better golf can appear from any walk of life!

    Magazine Coming Out This Month; Membership Cards Included

    Golf Teaching Pro, the annual official member publication of the USGTF and WGTF, will be mailed to all members in good standing this month, along with membership cards. The magazine is one of the most valuable resources available to USGTF members and includes information pertinent to every golf teaching professional, such as instruction, features and international news and happenings. Look for it soon.

    Editorial – How Much Do We And Our Students Rely On Our Equipment?

    By: Mark Harman, Director of Education

    “I’m not good enough to get fitted for equipment” is the mantra of too many golfers who wish to save money in purchasing golf clubs. The fact is (and I confess to hearing this elsewhere), better players can often find a way to make ill-fitting equipment work while the average player can’t. In other words, the average player can’t afford not to have fitted clubs. For me personally, I am very picky about my equipment as I can feel the minutest of differences. This comes from too many hours, days and years of trying to become a professional golfer back in the day, and my sense of feel was highly refined by this. Of course, properly fitted equipment can only take us so far. We and our students have to have a reliable-enough swing in order to make improvement and enjoy the game.

    Basic things we can do as teaching professionals is to examine our student’s shaft flexes to see if they are a good fit. Although generally the slower the swing the more flexible the shaft should be, there are exceptions to this rule. The club must both feel good to the student and give him or her a reasonable belief they can develop a measure of consistency with it. This might lead to strange situations where someone with tour-like clubhead speed playing regular shafts and slow-swinging senior golfers playing stiff shafts. Such scenarios are rare but they do happen, so keep an open mind.

    We can also check if the lie angles on the irons are correct by examining the divot patterns. Many golfers’ divots will be toe-deep, indicating a lie angle that is too flat and thereby promoting an open clubface at impact. If you teach indoors, a lie angle hitting board and some lie angle tape will do the trick. In closing, while properly fitted equipment is important, it is also only one part of the improvement and enjoyment equation.

    Industry Partner – Budget Rental Car

    Longtime USGTF Partner, Budget Rental offer USGTF members and friends great savings and offers any time they travel – anywhere! Simply use the USGTF special BCD (Budget Customer Discount) number D815100 when reserving your car online.

    Book today to start saving at www.Budget.com.

    Student Spotlight – Jun Choi

    By Ken Kim, USGTF Master, Davenport, Florida

    My golf academy (Team J.K., Inc.) has trained 47 established tour players currently all over the world since 2004. Jun Choi (Beomjun Choi) is a playing professional originally from South Korea. His main goal is to play professional golf on the PGA Tour. Choi now travels all over the States in playing on the APT, FPG and GPro tours. Chio went to the Korn Ferry Q-School for the first time in 2022. He successfully passed the pre-qualifier in fourth place, shooting -12 for three rounds. He is currently based in Orlando, Florida.

    He is coached by myself (PGA Professional and USGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional) and June Lee (LPGA Class A Professional). The main focus is on his swing, short game, putting and mental prep for tournaments.

    Choi has increased his clubhead speed from 114 mph to 125 mph in three months, consistently hitting over 176 mph in ball speed. However, he also has great touch in his short game. He practiced relentlessly for hours in order to improve his skills and his understanding of fundamentals. His self-motivation and tenacity are what allowed him to get better every month, and not because of a set platform of training. It was his heart desiring more and his self-discipline to work for it. Often, we discuss biomechanics and how is it different from the kinesiology, or the advantages and disadvantages of a quantitative biomechanical analysis. Jun truly has an understanding of how things are working.

    This kind of character is rare in today’s tour player, and I am confident it will benefit him on any professional tour, that includes the PGA, KPGA, or Korn Ferry tours. Choi will not become apathetic, but will unceasingly search to improve himself and keep moving forward to become a PGA Tour player.

    “PRO” File – Teaching Professional Benjamin Lance Martin

    By Ben Martin, USGTF Member, Trinidad

    I got into golf at the age of 5. I grew up near the St Andrews golf club in Trinidad. My dad started me with one club and the rest is history. I have a deep-rooted love and passion for the game of golf. It is a big part of me and my life.

    My main golf inspiration was Tiger Woods. He took the game to the next level and was amazing to see what he achieved in his career. The amount of records he set and broke sets him apart from the rest! Our local hero in Trinidad is Stephen Ames, who has also done a lot for myself over my teenage years. I will be forever thankful for the help I have received over the years.

    I am a coach at St. Andrews Golf Club in Moka, Trinidad. I also play as often as I can because that is what gave me my love for this game. I hope to play in as many events in the future as I can. It was a pleasure coming to meet the USGTF crew, and even more of a pleasure to be the Open champion with a record-breaking score of -12 for two days.

    (Editor’s note: At just 14, Martin represented Trinidad and Tobago on the men’s national team, being the youngest player ever selected. After having a very successful amateur golfing career in Trinidad and around the Caribbean, Martin went on to play in some of the biggest amateur events around the world in countries such as the United States, Canada, South Africa, Peru, Puerto Rico, England, Scotland and Spain in an attempt to further his golfing career. Martin has also won many professional championships, including being a six-time champion of his country’s national championship, the Trinidad and Tobago Open.)

    “PRO” File – CJ Cup In South Carolina Winner Rory McIlroy

    Scottie Scheffler had a year to remember with four victories, including the Masters, and an extended reign as the #1 player in the world. The latter came to an end in October when Rory McIlroy recaptured the #1 ranking after winning the CJ Cup in South Carolina at the Congaree Golf Club in Ridgeland.

    Congaree itself is an extremely unique course in the United States, more akin to the Australian Sand Belt courses that proliferate in that country. The links-type golf required to play Congaree suited McIlroy perfectly, as he often played true links golf growing up in Northern Ireland. McIlroy was among the leaders the entire week, taking a one-shot lead over Kurt Kitayama and K.H. Lee into the final round. McIlroy shot 67 on Sunday to edge Kitayama, who also shot 67, by a stroke.

    After winning four major championships in a four-season span, the last coming in 2014, some predicted McIlroy could threaten Jack Nicklaus’ record total of 18 majors. However, he has failed to win another major since then, puzzling most observers because he continues to win at a high rate. Few doubt that McIlroy will win more majors. The only questions are when is the next and how many more will he win.

    Region Championship Recap

    Southeast, Tampa, Florida: Champion – Ron Cox

    Northeast, Ewing, New Jersey: Champion – Steve Pezzino

    Central, Mason, Ohio: Champion – Ron Cox

    Southwest, Allen, Texas: Champion – Ron Cox

    News From Nepal

    By Sachin Bhattarai, USGTF Member, Kathmandu, Nepal

    During 2022, the game of golf has advanced significantly in Nepal. The ladies’ captain of our club organized the Nepal Women’s Open Golf Tournament for the first time this year. The competition has also boosted female golfers’ interest in the present day. Due to the event, I genuinely believe that we may find more female golfers in the next few days who will be competing in more matches and tournaments.

    Not only are female golfers interested, but for the first time our academy has also begun offering regular golf lessons where nearly 120 students are interested in the sport and want to develop their golf knowledge. Similar to that, the scramble junior golf competition was also arranged by the club president of Royal Nepal Golf Club this year, and the junior event’s competitors displayed a great deal of enthusiasm. I want to create more teaching professionals and new golfers in the upcoming days. I will do my best to train Nepalese golfers and strive to turn them into teaching professionals there, much like how the USGTF taught golf teachers around the world and made them teaching professionals.

    Four Champions Crowned At U.S. Cup

    Super Senior Champion, Ron Cox (left) with USGTF CEO, Brandon Lee

    Sunny skies, warm temperatures and a golf course prepared to professional standards greeted participants of the 26th annual United States Golf Teachers Cup, held October 24-25 at Plantation Preserve Golf & Country Club just outside Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Champions were crowned in four divisions.

    Open – Ben Martin from Trinidad and Tobago won with an 11-stroke victory over runner-up Ken Kim with scores of 67-65 – 132. Martin’s final score set a record for lowest total in a U.S. Cup, breaking Dave Belling’s record from 2014.

    Ladies – Heidi Aittama from Lakeland, Florida, took home the Ladies division trophy with scores of 75-74 – 149, defeating runner-up and former champion Trish Buecher.

    Senior – An exciting back-and-forth battle that saw four different golfers leading in the final round culminated in Michael Wolf from Evansville, Indiana, coming out on top. Wolf had scores of 71-69 – 140 to win by two over runner-up Kirk Junge.

    Super Senior – Ron Cox from Nashville, Tennessee, continued his winning ways by shooting 72-68 – 140 to win by 13 strokes over runner-up Jerry Ellstrom. Cox’s margin of victory was the largest of any division in U.S. Cup history. Cox has also won the last four USGTF regional championships he has played in.

    Complete results can be found at www.USCup.GolfGenius.com.

    2023 Member Renewal Notices In The Mail

    It is important for all USGTF members to remain in good standing, as they have the right to publicly identify themselves as USGTF members, along with enjoying many member benefits and amenities. Member renewal notices have been sent to all current members, so check your mailbox. You may also keep your membership in good standing by visiting https://www.usgtf.com/renew.

    Editorial – Future Of Golf And Its Agenda

    By: Mark Harman, Director of Education

    Would Harry Vardon recognize today’s game if he could be magically transported to 2022? While some things would be the same, others would be so vastly different that Vardon might well wonder if it’s even the same game.

    Things used to change slowly in golf, but with the dawn of the 21st century, things are picking up at a rapid pace. Where once new technology took years to embrace, today’s players and coaches are quick to adopt a change if it is demonstrated to be beneficial. You would be hard-pressed to find a modern tour player who does not have a TrackMan or GC Quad – or in many cases both – to analyze their ball flight and club data to the nth degree. Experts in analytics crunch the data and lay out very specifically where players need to improve. Training regimens continue to evolve as the latest research comes in.

    The game of professional golf was shaken up in 2022 by the advent of the LIV Tour. Whether this tour can survive without a visible means of revenue remains to be seen. In response, the PGA Tour upped the purses dramatically for its marquee events and obtained pledges from its top players to play more golf. A tournament purse of $25 million would have been unthinkable just a few short years ago…and imagine what Vardon would think! But do not be surprised if, within the next decade, a tournament purse of $100 million is offered. So, it seems the game of professional golf, at least on the men’s side, will continue to see escalating purses.

    When it comes to teaching, almost certainly within the next decade every full-time teacher will have much of the latest technology available. There will still be teachers who go to the lesson tee with nothing more than their smartphone to take video, but they will usually be the club pro or someone who gives lessons only occasionally.

    Finally, the USGA and R&A have made a big deal about reigning in distance, or at least preventing future increases. Their problem is that today’s professional golfer is a true athlete who trains and is larger and much stronger than their counterparts of yesteryear. Whereas Dan Pohl led the PGA Tour in driving distance in 1980 with an average of 274.3 yards using a persimmon driver and balata balls, today’s longest players would probably still approach a 300-yard average with such implements. All indications are that the USGA and R&A will finally adopt one set of equipment rules for the pro game and elite amateur competitions and one for play at the club level.

    Student Spotlight Submissions Sought

    USGTF members who have students notable for their achievements, accomplishments, or even notable progress, are invited to submit their stories for consideration in the monthly e-newsletter. A picture of the USGTF member along with their student will also be featured in the item. Submissions may be made at info@usgtf.com.

    “PRO” File – Teaching Professional Mike Stevens

    Mike Stevens has been a USGTF member since 1995 and was formerly the Southeast Region director. He resides in Tampa, Florida, where he operated On Target Golf Schools at MacDill Air Force Base Golf Course for many years. The schools were a unique model in that they involve 6-week sessions of one hour per week, and the concept was very successful, as several other USGTF members also adopted that model.

    Stevens has always been devoted to the history of the game, and almost two decades ago he made the move to play exclusively with hickory-shafted clubs. He has won several tournaments, notably the Southern Hickory Four-Ball, and also the prestigious National Hickory Championship three times. When competing among his titanium-wielding peers, he more than holds his own. He was recognized as one of Florida’s top ten instructors by Florida Golf News and also as a top WGTF Teacher. In 2011 he was inducted into the USGTF Hall of Fame at Orange County National in Orlando, Florida, during the World Golf Teachers Cup. A native of Ohio, Stevens hold a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management.

    Stevens recently retired from teaching and as the USGTF Southeast Region director to spend more time with his family and grandkids, and to hone his game. He is still active in the hickory golf scene and will once again run the U.S. Professional & Amateur Hickory Golf Championship this coming February at Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club in Tampa. He also runs the Florida Hickory Golfers group that holds events monthly. Stevens also competes annually in the World Hickory Open in Scotland.