The WGTF came to fruition as a result of the creation of the United States Golf Teachers Federation (USGTF) four years earlier in 1989. The USGTF realized that the golf teaching profession should be a separate entity unto itself. Therefore, a unique program was established not available anywhere else – – – – a six-day golf teaching certification program with ongoing education thereafter through membership publications, monthly email newsletters and instructional DVDs. Individuals from around the world wanting to teach the game now traveled to the United States to become certified and would then return home and begin teaching golf.
The USGTF’s program was unique in that it opened the door to those who had never been given the opportunity to enter into the golf teaching profession. Prior to this, there was only a 4-6 year apprenticeship program initially established by the British PGA in 1901, carbon-copied by the Canadian PGA in 1911, the PGA of America in 1916, and subsequently reproduced over the years by every other nation that decided to establish a PGA entity of its own.
The problem with this apprenticeship program, however, was that the world had changed, technology had advanced, and new methods for learning had evolved. WGTF founder Geoff Bryant, who had an extensive background in skiing as well as golf, knew this new approach was a much better system for training teachers. According to Mr. Bryant, “North America produces some of the world’s greatest skiers. Their teachers did not require four-to-six-year apprenticeship programs. Every great Canadian and American ski coach started their initial training with a one-week program. The key, however, was that they were at least provided the opportunity to enter the industry and move forward in their profession.”
With USGTF members now established in every golfing nation, Mr. Bryant realized that it would be most beneficial for everyone to be trained in their own languages and that each golfing nation should establish its own national golf teaching organization under the larger umbrella of the World Golf Teachers Federation. This prompted the concept of establishing, for the first time ever, the term Master Golf Teaching Professional® and trademarking the name.
Initially, Master Teaching Professionals from the United States traveled to each WGTF member nation to assist in their training and certification process. As time progressed, however, and according to plan, nearly all member nations have now established their own examiner training programs and conduct their own training.
As a result of this evolution, it is interesting to note that the World Golf Teachers Federation is the first and only worldwide membership entity of golf teaching professionals that adopted a standardized method of certification to cross boundaries amongst all golfing nations.
From a historic point of view, the creation of the World Golf Teachers Federation helped to open the door to those not previously granted the opportunity to teach the game. Today, the WGTF is a robust blend of nations, races, culture and languages. The WGTF has set this new standard and it is hoped others will now follow suit.
The benefits of a cross-fertilization of ideas and culture have had far reaching effects for teaching professionals. There are now over 25,000 WGTF members who act as ambassadors to the game and who share their passion for golf each and every day with their students around the world.