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Best Young Teachers

Know a great golf instructor? This might be the opportunity for them

All those hours spent getting sunburned on the lesson tee, poring over video of bad swings late at night, and massaging the fragile egos of golfers during the time in between should count for something, right? We agree.

Golf Digest is looking to identify the Best Young Teachers in America. The only requirement to apply for this recognition—other than having a handful of years under your belt as a full-time teacher and a knack for making golfers better—is to be younger than 40 on June 30, 2023. If that’s you or someone you know, send us a note at and briefly tell us a little about yourself or your nominee and request an application. The deadline to submit is Oct. 15.

Want a taste of what it takes to make the list? Here is CJ Nafus, director of instruction at Roxiticus Golf Club in Mendham, N.J., demonstrating a blend of technical know-how and creativity by sharing a few thoughts on how to execute a fairway wood shot off a clean lie. Nafus, 32, made the 2021-’22 list of Best Young Teachers.

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Photos by Steve Boyle

“Timing is a big part of it,” Nafus says. “Your goal should be to have your hands and clubhead get back to the golf ball at the same time. To do that, it helps to imagine that there is a wall right in front of the ball and your club and hands contact it simultaneously. Keep in mind, the release of the fairway wood starts sooner in the downswing than with an iron, but this helps get energy into the golf club while delivering its loft into the ball. When that happens, you’ll be able to hit it clean off of any lie."

Reminder: The deadline to submit a nominee to is Oct. 15.