2018-2019 RankingOctober 29, 2018

Best Young Teachers in America 2018-2019

Our sixth biennial list of the top golf instructors under 40 is the strongest yet
Illustration by James Yang

It's easy to spot the giants. They wear trademark hats, appear in TV commercials and can be seen on the practice ranges of golf's major championships. They have academies around the world, and people pay good money to hear them speak or read their theories on how to swing the club. What's not as easy to identify are the teachers who hope to one day take their place. That was the genesis of our first group of up-and-coming golf instructors. We recognized the 20 best under 40 in 2008. Since then, every two years, we've searched for more young talent to grow our roster of teaching's next generation. The applications are submitted from all corners of the United States, and we're confident our latest list is the most impressive ever—114 strong. These are Golf Digest's Best Young Teachers in America.

RELATED: Tips from the Best Young Teachers

To consider as many potential honorees as possible, we started by taking nominations from respected sources: tour players, previously recognized teachers and instructors on our state and national rankings. Then we sent applications to the nominees to determine who had the acumen to make the cut. We looked at accomplishments, who they've learned from, what they've done to continue their education, and how they handle the day-to-day challenges of trying to improve amateur golfers. We even asked many of them to supply a great tip to demonstrate their ability to simplify the complexity of learning golf. You'll read some of their advice on the following pages. Be prepared to be impressed. We were.


• NEW TO THE LIST

NORTHEAST

JASON BARRY / 30
Mercer Oaks G. Cse., West Windsor, N.J.
$110/hr.

JASON BIRNBAUM / 36
Manhattan Woods G.C., West Nyack, N.Y.
$250/hr.

JESSICA CARAFIELLO / 35
Innis Arden G.C., Greenwich, Conn.
$140/hr.

SCOTT CHISHOLM / 33
Rolling Green G.C., Springfield, Pa.
$170/hr.

JOE COMPITELLO / 33
Plainfield C.C., Edison, N.J.
$175/hr.

• SARA DICKSON / 31
The Country Club, Brookline, Mass. $130/hr.

• GREG DUCHARME / 27
Michael Breed Golf Academy at Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point, New York City
$300/hr.

JUSTIN FOSTER / 33
Ridgewood C.C., Danbury, Conn.
$120/hr.

MARIO GUERRA / 34
Quaker Ridge G.C., Scarsdale, N.Y.
$200/hr.

• STEVE KEOGH / 38
Leadbetter Golf Academy at Konnect Golf, New York City
$225/hr.

ADAM KOLLOFF / 35
Pure Drive Golf, Woburn, Mass.
$150/hr.

ANDERS MATTSON / 38
Saratoga National Golf Academy, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
$150/hr.

MATT MCLEAN / 34
Oakmont (Pa.) C.C.
$200/hr.

• JOE OSTROWSKI / 33
Golf & Body, New York City
$200/hr.

MEGAN PADUA / 33
Maidstone C., East Hampton, N.Y.
$125/hr.

JORGE PARADA / 34
Liberty National G.C., Jersey City, N.J.
$350/hr.

BILL SCHMEDES III / 33
Forsgate C.C., Monroe Township, N.J.
$225/hr.

JASON SEDAN / 33
Lake Winnipesaukee G.C., New Durham, N.H.
$125/45 min.

• STEFANIE SHAW / 31
Sebonack G.C., Southampton, N.Y.
$160/hr.

STEPHEN SIERACKI / 32
Indian Spring C.C., Marlton, N.J.
$150/hr.

MICHAEL SWEENEY / 31
The Bridge, Bridgehampton, N.Y., and The Bridge Golf Learning Center, Manhattan $220/hr.

• MARK WALDER / 35
DiJulia Golf, New Hope, Pa.
$150/hr.

MICHAEL WHEELER / 32
Whitford C.C., Exton, Pa.
$125/hr.


MID-ATLANTIC

LEIGHANN ALBAUGH / 38
Magnolia Green G.C., Moseley, Va.
$100/hr.

EARL COOPER / 29
Wilmington (Del.) C.C.
$150/hr.

• GAYLON CUDE / 30
Golf House Tennessee, Franklin, Tenn.
$120/hr.

MICHAEL DICKSON / 38
Congressional C.C., Bethesda, Md.
$200/hr.

• ROBBIE FRITZ / 35
Greensboro (N.C.) C.C.
$125/hr.

MATT KILLEN / 33
Troubadour, Nashville
$500/hr.

ERIKA LARKIN / 37
The Club at Creighton Farms, Aldie, Va.
$175/hr.

BEN PELLICANI / 34
Westhaven G.C., Franklin, Tenn.
$100/hr.

BRIAN ROGISH / 33
The Golf Club at Lansdowne (Va.)
$175/hr.

TYRUS YORK / 35
High Performance Golf Academy, Nicholasville, Ky.
$120/45 min.


SOUTHEAST

DAVID ARMITAGE / 36
La Gorce C.C., Miami Beach
$235/hr.

• STEVE BUZZA / 31
Bonita Bay C., Bonita Springs, Fla.
$150/hr.

• CODY CARTER / 29
The Club at Savannah Quarters, Pooler, Ga.
$80/hr.

• JORDAN DEMPSEY / 37
PGA Tour Performance Center at TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach
$225/hr.

MATT DENZER / 39
Leadbetter Golf Academy at PGA National, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
$200/hr.

• NICK DUFFY / 37
Bishops Gate Golf Academy, Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.
$250/hr.

DANIEL GRAY / 38
Sea Island Golf Performance Center, St. Simons Island, Ga.
$235/hr.

IAIN HIGHFIELD / 36
Governors Towne C., Acworth, Ga.
$150/hr.

• STEVE LIPPINCOTT / 34
GolfTEC Westshore, Tampa
$125/hr.

DAN LOCKHART / 38
Fiddlesticks C.C., Fort Myers, Fla.
$140/hr.

MACKENZIE MACK / 30
Rogers Park G. Cse., Tampa
$50/hr.

BRETT MEYER / 33
The Leadbetter Golf Academy, ChampionsGate, Fla.
$195/hr.

RENEE TRUDEAU O'HIGGINS / 35
Quail West G. & C.C., Naples, Fla.
$150/hr.

JARUT PADUNG / 29
PGA Tour Academy at World Golf Village, St. Augustine, Fla.
$150/hr.

• ZACK PARKER / 37
Bishops Gate Golf Academy, Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.
$250/hr

• CHEMA SANCHEZ / 39
The Leadbetter Golf Academy, ChampionsGate, Fla.
$225/hr

JUSTIN SHEEHAN / 33
Pelican G.C., Belleair, Fla.
$150/hr.

BRANDON STOOKSBURY / 38
Idle Hour C.C., Macon, Ga.
$125/hr.

ALANA SWAIN / 30
PGA Tour Performance Center at TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach
$225/hr.

JOHN TILLERY / 36
Cuscowilla G.C., Eatonton, Ga.
$250/hr.

ABBY WELCH / 39
Kiawah Island (S.C.) Golf Resort
$160/hr.

• SCOTT WICKHAM / 38
Avila G. & C.C., Tampa
$150/hr.

TIM YELVERTON / 39
Old Waverly G.C., West Point, Miss.
$125/hr.

GRAYSON ZACKER / 32
Jim McLean Golf School at The Biltmore, Coral Gables, Fla.
$250/hr.


MIDWEST

KIEL ALDERINK / 35
Champion Ways Golf Performance, Lake Bluff, Ill.
$150/hr.

GREG BARESEL / 33
Cantigny Golf Academy, Wheaton, Ill.
$135/hr.

LUKE BENOIT / 37
Interlachen C.C., Edina, Minn.
$150/hr.

• SARAH BIDNEY / 39
Wakonda C., Des Moines
$90/hr.

• MOLLY BRAID / 31
Westmoor C.C., Brookfield, Wis.
$100/hr.

• GARRETT CHAUSSARD / 35
Skokie C.C., Glencoe, Ill.
$120/hr.

BILLY FITZGERALD / 39
Beverly C.C., Chicago
$140/hr.

• CHRIS GREEN / 31
Glen View C., Golf, Ill.
$180/hr.

• COURTNEY MAHON / 34
Falcon Ridge G.C., Lenexa, Kan.
$100/hr.

CHAD MIDDAUGH / 34
Muirfield Village G.C., Dublin, Ohio
$100/hr.

KYLE MORRIS / 33
The Golf Room, Dublin, Ohio
$139/hr.

• NICHOLAS PELLE / 38
GolfTEC Minnetonka, Plymouth, Minn.
$150/hr.

• JOHN PERNA / 36
TPS Player Service, Naperville, Ill.
$375/hr.

BRENT SNYDER / 38
Troy Burne G.C., Hudson, Wis.
$125/hr.

DOUG SPENCER / 37
Spencer Golf Academy, Fairfield, Ohio
$125/hr.

JAKE THURM / 39
Ruffled Feathers G.C., Lemont, Ill.
$200/hr.

• MICHAEL WENZEL / 39
Sportsman's C.C., Northbrook, Ill.
$130/hr.

T.J. YEATON / 30
The Hawthorns G. & C.C., Fishers, Ind.
$125/45 min.


SOUTHWEST

• JEREMY ANDERSON / 35
The Legacy Golf Performance Center, Phoenix
$170/hr.

• JEFF BARTON / 38
Preston Trail G.C., Dallas
$130/hr.

CARLOS BROWN / 38
Carlos Brown Golf Academy at Buffalo Creek G.C., Rockwall, Texas
$140/hr.

JONATHAN BUCHANAN / 33
Dallas C.C.
$150/hr.

MIKE BURY / 37
Las Colinas C.C., Dallas
$225/hr.

TROY DENTON / 35
Maridoe G.C., Carrollton, Texas
$200/hr.

KEVIN JOHNSON / 38
Hank Haney Golf Academy at Westridge McKinney, Texas
$125/hr.

EUJONE "EJ" KIM / 36
Axis Golf Academy & Fitting Center, Montgomery, Texas
$150/hr.

• JOHN KOSTIS / 31
Grayhawk G.C., Scottsdale
$125/hr.

JUSTIN KLEMBALLA / 31
Paradise Valley (Ariz.) C.C.
$125/hr.

COREY LUNDBERG / 35
Trinity Forest G.C., Dallas
$250/hr.

• ASHLEY MOSS / 28
Superstition Mountain G. & C.C., Gold Canyon, Ariz.
$150/hr.

• PAXTON O'CONNOR / 27
Desert Mountain C., Scottsdale
$150/hr.

AARON OLSON / 37
The Raven G.C., Phoenix
$200/hr.

ANDY PATNOU / 30
McCormick Ranch G.C., Scottsdale
$150/hr.

BRIAN SCHORSTEN / 39
Colonial C.C., Fort Worth
$125/hr.

KAYLIN SKOVRON / 31
Jeff Isler Golf, Southlake, Texas
$140/hr.

DOUG STRAWBRIDGE / 39
GolfTEC Upper Kirby, Houston
$275/hr.

BOYD SUMMERHAYS / 39
McDowell Mountain G.C., Scottsdale
$700/2 hrs.

JOEY WUERTEMBERGER / 39
Jim McLean Golf Center, Fort Worth
$225/hr.


WEST

A.J. AVOLI / 37
Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, Carlsbad, Calif.
$300/hr.

• TASHA BOHLIG / 38
El Caballero C.C., Woodland Hills, Calif.
$140/hr.

DEVAN BONEBRAKE / 33
Rolling Hills C.C., Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.
$200/hr.

ALISON CURDT / 36
Alison Curdt Golf at Wood Ranch G.C. Simi Valley, Calif.
$150/hr.

TYLER FERRELL / 37
La Rinconada C.C., Los Gatos, Calif.
$225/hr.

• MATT HENDERSON / 33
TPC Las Vegas
$150/hr.

JON HORNER / 33
CordeValle G.C., San Martin, Calif.
$200/hr.

KYLE KUNIOKA / 33
Honolulu C.C.
$150/hr.

• SEAN LANYI / 37
Tri-Mountain G.C., Ridgefield, Wash.
$100/hr.

CHRIS MAYSON / 37
Maderas G.C., Poway, Calif.
$300/hr.

• LIAM MUCKLOW / 39
The Madison C., La Quinta, Calif.
$350/hr.

PATRICK NUBER / 36
GolfTEC, Englewood, Colo.
$200/hr.

TRAVIS OLSON / 32
Rock Creek Cattle Company, Deer Lodge, Mont.
$140/hr.

• TOMMY SHARP / 37
Golf Lab, Salt Lake City
$105/hr.

KEVIN SHIMOMURA / 34
Ko Olina Academy, Kapolei, Hawaii
$140/hr.

• BRAD SKUPAKA / 31
GolfTEC, Englewood, Colo.
$250/hr.

• CHRIS SMEAL / 39
Stadium Golf Center, San Diego
$175/hr.

DREW STECKEL / 32
Southern Highlands G.C., Las Vegas
$350/hr.

• GAVIN WITZER / 36
Henry Brunton Golf Academy at Strawberry Farms, Irvine, Calif.
$1,500/10 hrs.


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