Collection of Golf's Elite Instructors Form Strategic Golf Channel Academy

By Golf Channel Public RelationsDecember 1, 2014, 5:40 pm

Some of golf’s most distinguished PGA of America and LPGA teaching professionals and top instructors are collaborating to form Golf Channel Academy, a dedicated network of teaching facilities committed to growing the business of golf instruction. Backed by Golf Channel, the game’s leading global multimedia and entertainment source, Golf Channel Academy will open 21 charter locations in Spring 2015, and additional elite instructors dedicated to game improvement among students of all abilities also will be invited to join this network of top-tier teaching facilities.

Golf Channel Academy coaches will benefit from a wide-spectrum of business consulting services and products addressing marketing, sales, technology and back-office solutions needs, as well as shared best-practices across the network. Coaches also will have the opportunity to appear on instructional programming across Golf Channel’s television and digital platforms. Additionally, golfers enrolled at Golf Channel Academy locations will be able to track progress alongside their coach using advanced software to measure specific goals.

“Golf Channel Academy represents a premier group of some of the top PGA of America and LPGA teaching professionals, who all share the goal of providing high-quality instruction with the support of a unified and recognized brand,” said Mike McCarley, president of Golf Channel. “One of the most effective ways for golfers to enjoy the game more is through instruction, which is the driving force behind Golf Channel Academy. Building upon Golf Channel’s appreciation of the direct impact PGA professionals have on growing the game, we will continue to focus on opportunities that encourage more golfers to play more golf.”

The inaugural group of Golf Channel Academy coaches represent 15 states and one province, 11 Golf Magazine Top 100 Teachers, seven book authors, 12 coaches who appear on Golf Digest’s list of “Best Teachers in State” for 2013-’14, and the current LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals National president:

  • Henry Brunton, Henry Brunton Golf, Maple, Ontario, Canada
  • Dom DiJulia, Dom DiJulia School of Golf, New Hope, PA
  • Chuck Evans, Chuck Evans Golf, Kansas City, MO
  • Jeff Fisher, Fisher Bryan Golf Academy, Mesa, AZ
  • Martin Hall, Ibis Golf & CC, West Palm Beach, FL
  • Virgil Herring, Westhaven GC, Franklin, TN
  • Dave Kendall, Kendall Academy of Golf, Ypsilanti, MI
  • Charlie King, Reynolds Plantation, Greensboro, GA
  • Rick Krebs, Waverly Woods GC, Marriottsville, MD
  • Rod Lidenberg, Halla Greens GolfCourse and Training Center, Chanhassen, MN
  • Anders Mattson, Saratoga National GC, Saratoga Springs, NY
  • Kenny Nairn, Celebration GC, Celebration, FL
  • Rob Noel, Rob Noel Golf Academy, Abita Springs, LA
  • Chris O’Connell, The Plane Truth, The Courses at Watters Creek, Plano, TX
  • Chad Phillips, Blue Giraffe Golf Institute, Tucker, GA
  • Kip Puterbaugh, Aviara Golf Academy, Carlsbad, CA
  • Dana Rader, Dana Rader Golf School, Charlotte, NC
  • Jeff Ritter, Poppy Hills Golf Course, Pebble Beach, CA
  • Jon Sinclair, Sinclair’s Golf Training Center, Euless, TX
  • Kellie Stenzel, Palm Beach Par 3, Palm Beach, FL
  • Trent Wearner, Trent Wearner Golf Academy, Englewood, CO

The impetus behind Golf Channel Academy stems from a collaborative idea between Todd Wilson, chief executive officer of Golf Channel Academy, and Scott Novell, president of Golf Channel Academy. Wilson based this golf instruction concept on a “brand-within-a-brand” strategy employed by NASCAR, where he was the long-tenured senior vice president and chief financial officer. Golf Channel Academy also will utilize the network and experience of its executive vice president Lorin Anderson, founder and president of Proponent Group, a golf instructor membership-based organization that is now part of the foundation of Golf Channel Academy.

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.