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USGTF-China has just completed its first training and certification course in 2011 from March 17-22, with 15 candidates who attended. Five earned Level III certification, five Level II, and five Level I.

This was the first time conducting a training course inside the campus of Fudan Shanghai Visual Arts University (SIVA), which is one of the top five colleges in China. The college owns a nice driving range and classroom facility for golf training. The university also sent some 30 students and teachers to sit in and understudy the training course. As in the past, the playing ability test was held at Tianma Golf Club. The weather was good one day and raining and cold the next.

We then went to Beijing, the capital city of China, at the request of Beijing University and the Golf Association of the university to hold a oneday seminar introducing USGTF and its teaching system. We were well-received and the response was overwhelming. Beijing University and the Golf Association are excited and interested in our teaching system, and are now discussing an arrangement with us to provide training programs for their golf teachers to finally turn them into professionals.

We plan to hold our second training and certification course June 9-14 and our 2011 USGTF-China Teachers Cup tournament on June 15.

 

In a recent visit to Thailand, WGTF president Geoff Bryant met with Thailand GTF director, Natthanon Lerkkumsup. Thailand GTF is one of 40 member nations that make up the World Golf Teachers Federation. According to Mr. Lerkkumsup, “Many of us here in Thailand are looking forward to participating in this year’s World Golf Teachers Cup this October in Orlando.”
 
We have begun a new and improved education program for teaching professionals here in Germany. This includes eight one-week courses: four practice and four theoretical courses. The practice courses are at Zollmühle Golf Club and Beilngries Golf Club, while the theoretical courses are at the TU Technical University in Munich.

We already have many participants; they come from all over Germany and have all kinds of different skills, like tennis teacher, ice hockey player, and others. We have now completed a practice course and four theoretical courses. The fi rst practice course was at the Zollmühle Golf Club and ran for one week, with all kinds of technical, mental teaching, and playing practice to get prepared for the basics. The education staff conducting these courses are Dieter Lang and Wolfgang Friedel, along with our team.

The four theoretical courses at the TU Munich also ran one week and included theoretical knowledge from psychology to anatomy. The theoretical program runs under the guidance of Professor Beckmann, along with his team, and was done very well.

The next practical course will be in June 2011 at Beingries Golf Club. We are proud to have an education certification installed to get the best for our students, and for our members to become the very best golf teachers in Europe.

 
It seems hard to believe, but no Australian has ever won the Masters! This past spring, we saw Adam Scott and Jason Day in strong contention the last day, but it just wasn’t meant to be. Both Scott and Day finished as runners-up, just two strokes behind Charl Schwartzel, and Geoff Ogilvy was another two back. All three Aussies were victim of the finest finish in Augusta history, with Schwartzel birdieing the final four holes to shut out all other competitors.

Australian golfers have had close calls in the past, most notably Greg Norman in 1986 and 1996, and Bruce Crampton in 1972. Others who had chances to win on the weekend in the past include Stuart Appleby and Peter Thomson.

You would think with such a notable cast of characters that Australian golf would have had a Masters champion by now, but it just goes to show you that no championship is easy to win. And, with the proliferation of young talent in the game such as Day, Scott and Aaron Baddeley, and with the old guard of Appleby and Robert Allenby still capable of winning any given tournament, it seems certain that an Australian golfer will be donning the coveted green jacket in the not-too- distant future.

 
From March 12-19, the DGTF Education Centre, in cooperation with the WGTF of Bulgaria, conducted a Level III certification course in Bulgaria. The location was the beautiful Pirin Golf & Country Club in Bansko. Three aspiring members of the WGTF of Bulgaria put forth a major step towards Level III certification. The students were trained by Edward J. Verstraten and examined by Dravko Dachev, chairman of the Bulgarian Golf Teachers Federation. The theoretical subjects, etiquette, and rules were taught by Gert-Jan de Wit, GVB examiner and Rules commissionaire. All participants, Bojan Stojanov, Ivan Topalov, and Yanko Gubarov passed the course. We are confident that with their knowledge and teaching skills they will be of great value to the Pirin Golf & Country Club and that they will be of great significance for the WGTF of Bulgaria and their future students.

Later this year, in addition to the Level III course, the DGTF Education Centre will organize additional courses in Biomechanics and Club Fitting for golf professionals. We thank Mrs. Manya Kosanova and Mr. Yordan Kanazirev, manager and director of the Pirin Golf Resort, for their warm welcome and pleasant stay.

The Pirin Golf & Country Club is a unique resort on the outskirts of the popular Bansko ski resort. The area hosts about 140 apartments in different buildings, several cafes, restaurants, a four-star hotel with spa facilities, and a marvelous clubhouse overlooking the mountains of Pirin Nature Reserve. It is a unique location where one can ski in the mountains near Bansko and on the same day in the afternoon enjoy a spectacular round of golf.

From May 3-7, a European Golf Teachers tournament was played at the Pirin Golf & Country Club, sponsored by IBM. A full field of competitors and guests attended the event. The WGTF of Bulgaria is one of the youngest European sister organizations of the WGTF.

The WGTF of The Netherlands and DGTF Education Centre support the WGTF of Bulgaria in training of professionals and the establishment of the Federation.

 
Greetings to all Golf Teaching Pro magazine readers. Once again, I write to you from sunny South Africa, where only a year ago we came out of a successful World Soccer Cup tournament. The event brought to our shores much excitement, euphoria, and celebrations on a greater scale than ever experienced before.

We also had the opportunity to host visitors from every corner of the globe – including fanatical soccer fans, kings, queens and heads of states. I had the privilege of attending many of the games and getting up close to the players, as well as fi gures such as Joe Biden and Bill Clinton. For the duration of the tournament, I had the honour of serving as concierge to a royal family, and that time will always be special to me. Added to extremely positive international press, our economy also received a vital financial injection at a time when the world’s markets have been embattled.

We’re also very proud of our golfers’ performances in the Fedex Cup (Ernie Els 9th, Retief Goosen 10th, and Tim Clark 24th), and look forward to the announcement of The Nedbank Challenge field, formerly referred to as The Million Dollar and now billed as Africa’s Major. This year’s purse is worth $1,250,000 to the winner with a total of $5,000,000 in the pot for the field of 12. No less than a cool quarter of a million dollars to the golfer bringing up the rear of the field!

It’s said that the South African town of Hermanus has some of the best land-based whale-watching in the world, and it’s clear why – as I write this article, it’s reported that there are 132 Southern Right Whales in the bay outside my bedroom window. A five-mile path hugs the rugged coastline, providing an easy walking platform, with the Atlantic Ocean on one side of you and the picturesque Hermanus, dwarfed by the Babyfonstoring Mountains, on the other. It’s a true wonder to witness manoeuvres such as breaching, spyhopping, lobtailing, and sailing being performed by the very majestic 60-ton behemoths.

Bob Hope said if you watch a game it’s fun; if you play at it, it’s recreation; if you work at it, it’s golf. Well, Hermanus Golf Club is in the middle of this dramatically attractive whale-watching town, and one can’t help but feel there couldn’t be a better place to take part in recreation whilst having fun, working on your game! The 27-hole track was originally built in 1923, designed by Bob Grimsdell, with Peter Matkovich (arguably South Africa’s leading golf course designer) adding his magic touch to the 2006 overhaul.

Twenty-seven holes come in handy as the Hermanus population swells from 8,000 residents to over 40,000 in high season. The standout hole for me is the short par-4 18th, measuring 273 meters from the club tees; long hitters can certainly take the green on in one. Having said that, water protects the right side of the fairway, while bunkers line the left side and surround the green. There is also no guarantee to a safe result when playing a lesser club off the box, and the traps still come into play. Ocean views and mountains surround as you walk the well-wooded course. Whilst the course is ranked a relatively lowly #52 in the country, it is well worth adding to your golf itinerary – Cape Town is only 120km away and there is much to see and do. Please go to www.UrbanAndSafari.com and click on Hermanus Golf Tour to view travel options. The site is under construction and the tour will be posted on the 1st of November.

A note on future articles is that I hope to cover Gary Player’s course on his private stud farm, and Africa’s first nearby tiger sanctuary. I’d also like to invite pros looking at bringing golf groups to South Africa to contact me with regards to offerings. Again, the first fiVe e-mails I receive with the word Hermanus as the subject will be sent a beautiful book by Beth Hunt named Hermanus. Please note my new email address is ron@urbanandsafari.com.

 
DEVELOPMENT OF NEW PLAYERS
USGTF-Korea cooperates with universities to develop fresh talent. The popularization of golf has been rapid the last 10 years. It was always common to see a live telecast of baseball games or soccer games, but due to popularity of Korean pro golfers such as Se Ri Pak, Mi Hyun Kim, Kyung Joo (K.J.) Choi, and Yong Eun (Y.E.) Yang, etc., it’s not too uncommon to see live broadcasts of golf tournaments now. Every year, various types of high-level conferences are held, and through these competitions, many excellent pro golfers or amateur golfers are discovered. USGTF-Korea is in an excellent position to make such discoveries, since we are cultivators of leaders and teachers of golf pros.

THE DOMESTIC USGTF RETAIN 10,000 TEACHING PRO MEMBERS
USGTF-Korea (Yong Ho Kim, director) was founded in 1996. Every year, new professionals are selected through golf education and leadership teaching. Currently, USGTF members are 10,000-strong, and 19 branches in the Asian regions are overseen by our organization. In Korea, USGTF holds teaching pro certification on a yearly basis, and 100 to 150 people come to participate. Only 20 to 30 percent are successful in passing. Even though this may be a difficult process, many more come every year to participate. The certificate received is equal to the qualification of the certificate received in the U.S. This certificate entitles the holder to the same treatments as the U.S. certificate holders, which  includes rights to use of the domestic and international golf clubs and other various features.

SUPPORT OF JUNIOR GOLFERS THROUGH EMPHASIS ON EDUCATION AT SCHOOL
Director Kim, who was installed in the year 2005, works diligently to develop junior golfers, on whose shoulders rest the strong future for Korean golf. Director Kim has implied that “The ultimate objective of USGTF-Korea is to plan the development of a strong domestic golf world. To achieve this goal, the most important thing is to cultivate strong junior golfers.” In this respect, USGTF-Korea for the past five years, has supported the overseas golf conferences and provided scholarships for junior golfers. USGTF-Korea also supports enterprise, which puts an importance in school education on leading and rearing the junior golfers.

In 2007, we made an academic/industry co-op agreement with Hosuh University, and have supported and given scholarships to this university. In 2008 we started a workshop with a vision of establishing a sisterhood relationship for the talented and special students in the field. In July of this year we have contracted with Han Nam University, Social Welfare Administrative graduate school, to apply the USGTF educational program to advance the theoretical and practical golf technical improvement of the students in
learning to play golf. Moreover, we support and have co-op agreements with several other high schools  and universities.

Meanwhile, the first MFS Greg Norman Junior Masters for Korean Students tournament was held Kunsan Country Club last October 26-28. 252 male and female students participated at this tournament, and from this number, two men and two women were drafted from the participants. Sung Min Chae, Dong Hyun Kim, Mi Hyang Lee, and Won Hee Nah will participate in the upcoming December 12-16 tournament held in Australia, the Greg Norman Junior Masters Championship, to be held at Coolangatta & Tweed Heads Golf Club. If the male student wins, the tournament he will be given a PGA Australian Open season ticket, and if the female student wins, she will be given an LPGA ANZ Masters season ticket. The round-trip flight tickets and hotel expenses will be paid by USGTF-Korea.

MASTER FITTING SYSTEM REGISTRATION
Each of the male and female first- and second-place winners will be sponsored by MFS (Jae Hong Chun, CEO) and will be given the right to participate as representatives of the MFS-sponsored players. They will also represent MFS club and its products. Bolbick (Kyung Anh Moon, CEO) also sponsored their items as secondary prizes. Further, the winners were exempted admission fee, registration fees and other costs to register at the Southern Universities.

 
More than 70 golf teaching professionals participated in our yearly main event, “The 2nd Month Seminar,” at Golf Centre Dorhout Mees in the center of Holland. This year, we had a special workshop for our Level III and IV teachers with Phil Allen, the successful swing coach of the promising Dutch European Tour player Joost Luijten. Phil showed his method of “hands on teaching,” which was quite inspiring and brought all of us to a new level of teaching. At the same time, our other workshop featured Biomechanics of the Golf Swing by Physiotherapist Arno Hovius.

Our event featured the annual meeting of the World Golf Teachers Federation of the Netherlands. Many thanks for all the work done by Mr. Rene Imthorn. At the meeting, Mr. Walter van der Vlugt and Fred Westerdaal, former director of Titleist, were chosen and installed as the new president and new secretary of the WGTF of Holland. Mr. Eric van den Burg, member of the board, gave a presentation about the new software program which contains information on general administration of a club facility, handicap registration, course planning, and online agenda.

Again, we had a successful seminar with great attendance. We are already looking forward to the next year.

 
The following people have begun their schooling with the WGTF of Austria: From left to right - Rike Auer, Steffen Günther, Björn Kramer, Axel Leitner, Hartmut Schulz, Maike Wiemer.

In the first seminar we focused on the basics of psychology and pedagogy. The content was presented by sports psychologist Lothar Linz and Professor Harald Lange. Both examiners ensure that the instruction
is a well-balanced mix of theory and practice.

 


 

 

 

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