2014-15 RankingOctober 14, 2014

Best Young Teachers in America

The new list of Golf Digest's Best Young Teachers in America recognizes instructors under 40. To identify this group, we surveyed our nationally ranked teachers, all 41 sections of the PGA, and just about anyone we thought might know a good candidate. After a comprehensive evaluation, we welcome 11 new teachers to the list. These talented instructors, along with 29 who are returning, represent the future of golf instruction. Want a lesson? Here's a taste of how they can help you, from tee to green.

__ALPHABETICAL ORDER

  • NEW TO LIST__

* ZACH ALLEN

39, De Bell G. Cse., Burbank, Calif., $115/hour

STEVE ATHERTON

39, Eagle Springs G.C., Wolcott, Colo.

$175/hr.

A.J. AVOLI

33, Omni La Costa Golf Performance Institute, Carlsbad, Calif., $200/hr.

COREY BADGER

39, Golf Lab, Salt Lake City, $145/hr.

LUKE BENOIT

33, Les Bolstad G. Cse., Falcon Heights, Minn., $125/hr.

JOHN BIERKAN

36, Aronimink G.C., Newtown Square, Pa., $120/hr.

JASON BIRNBAUM

34, Alpine C.C., Demarest, N.J.

$170/hr.

MARK BLACKBURN

39, Blackburn Golf Academy at Greystone C.C., Birmingham, Ala., $250/hr.

* GIA BOCRA LIWSKI

38, Hamilton Farm G.C., Gladstone, N.J., $150/hr.

CARLOS BROWN

34, Carlos Brown Golf Academy at Waterview G.C., Rowlett, Texas, $130/hr.

CHRIS COMO

37, Gleneagles C.C., Plano, Texas, $1,500/half day

TIM COOKE

39, The Golf Learning Center at Sea Pines Resort, Hilton Head Island, $150/hr.

ANDREW DAWES

37, Saddlebrook Golf Academy, Wesley Chapel, Fla., $225/hr.

MARK DURLAND

39, Durland Golf School at Naples (Fla.) Grande, $145/hr.

ALEX FISHER

37, J.W. Marriott Wildfire G.C., Phoenix, $110/hr.

BILLY FITZGERALD

35, Olympia Fields (Ill.) C.C., $135/hr.

TRAVIS FULTON

37, Tour Academy TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, $200/hr.

JASON GUSS

37, Hawk Hollow G.C., Bath, Mich., $125/hr.

KEVIN HINTON

36, Piping Rock Club, Locust Valley, N.Y., $175/hr.

MATT KILLEN

29, The Killen Golf Academy at Olde Stone, Bowling Green, Ky., $260/hr.

* JAMES KINNEY

36, GolfTec Omaha, $125/hr.

* MEREDITH KIRK

36, Blackmoor G.C., Murrells Inlet, S.C., $60/hr.

ERIKA LARKIN

33, Larkin Golf Learning Community at Stonewall G.C., Gainesville, Va., $130/hr.

DONNY LEE

37, Core Golf Academy, Winter Garden, Fla., $200/hr.

* COREY LUNDBERG

31, The Club at Carlton Woods, The Woodlands, Texas, $140/hr.

* CHRIS MAYSON

33, Maderas Golf Academy, Poway, Calif. $150/hr.

MATT MCLEAN

30, Fishers Island (N.Y.) Club, $135/hr.

* WESLEY MENSING

27, Plainfield C.C., Edison, N.J., $175/hr.

ALEX MURRAY

38, Burlingame (Calif.) G. Ctr., $225/hr.

* MAGGIE NOEL

26, GolfTec Westheimer, Houston, $95/hr.

MEGAN PADUA

29, Belfair Plantation, Bluffton, S.C., $125/hr.

NICOLAS PAEZ

38, GolfTec Cleveland West, North Olmsted, Ohio, $250/hr.

* JORGE PARADA

30, Tour Academy TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach,

TRILLIUM SELLERS ROSE

36, Woodmont C.C., Rockville, Md., $175/hr.

JUSTIN SHEEHAN

29, Old Memorial G.C., Tampa, Fla.,$150/hr.

* SHAUN WEBB

36, David Toms Golf Academy, Shreveport, La., $150/hr.

ABBY WELCH

35, Kiawah Island (S.C.) Golf Resort, $160/hr.

JOEY WUERTEMBERGER

35, Jim McLean G. Ctr., Fort Worth, $225/hr.

* GRAYSON ZACKER

28, Jim McLean Golf School at Trump National Doral, Miami, $235/hr.

JARED ZAK

37, Sea Island Golf Performance Center, St. Simons Island, Ga., $200/hr.


BEST YOUNG TEACHERS: THE LIST AT A GLANCE

AVERAGE AGE: 34

 __AVERAGE HOURLY RATE:__ $165

POPULAR LOCATIONS: Florida (7), Texas (5), California (4), South Carolina (4); 21 states represented

MOST PGA TOUR STUDENTS

Mark Blackburn (5): Kevin Chappell, Robert Karlsson, John Peterson, Heath Slocum, Tyrone Van Aswegen

Chris Como (4): Aaron Baddeley, Trevor Immelman, Richard H. Lee, Jamie Lovemark

Matt Killen (4): Bud Cauley, J.B. Holmes, Kenny Perry, Josh Teater

Mark Durland (2): Chad Collins, George McNeill

Jorge Parada (2): Jonas Blixt, David Lingmerth

tour players

WE ASKED: WHAT ONE THING WOULD YOU TELL THE AVERAGE GOLFER TO IMPROVE THE FASTEST?

"Work from a perfect finish backward. The finish shows what occurred, what body parts contributed and the timing of the execution."—Megan Padua

"Simple things like green-reading, distance control, lie-reading and shot-planning don't require a swing change but can improve any golfer's game right away." —Corey Lundberg

"Because 46 percent of your strokes are taken with a putter, that club deserves attention in practice. Once you can control the distance of your first putt, your scores will drop quickly." —Alex Fisher

"Most average golfers need to have more weight forward at address to promote a downward strike on the ball. Tour pros are 75 to 90 percent forward at impact; weekend golfers aren't." —Mark Durland