Thirty Years + of Outstanding Teachers at W. Michigan Golf Show
(Grand Rapids, MI) For over 30 years, the West Michigan Golf Show (WMGS) has been nationally recognized for the quality of its presenters, providing rich and entertaining instructional content for its patrons. In all, the WMGS has hosted 11 National PGA Teacher of the Year; 3 LPGA Teacher of the Year; 19 of the U.S.A’s “Top 50 Teachers;” 8 Michigan PGA Teachers of the Year; and 12 current or former PGA Tour, Champions Tour, and LPGA Tour players.
Here’s a line up of past headliners and presenters that have appeared in Grand Rapids. This year’s show is Feb. 8–10 at DeVos Place.
30 + Years of Top Teachers and Presenters at the West Michigan Golf Show:
1989 @ Cascade Sports Arena
- Hank Haney, Mark O’Meara’s teacher at the time. ’93 National PGA Teacher of the Year.
- Mike Hebron, ’91 PGA National Teacher of the Year
- Evan “Big Cat” Williams, two-time National Long Driving Champion
(Big Cat drives ball through phone book, not phone booth, as erroneously listed on press release)
1990 @ Ford Fieldhouse, Grand Rapids Community College
- Wally Armstrong, PGA Tour Player for 11 years and celebrated teacher
- Jack Hamm, Muskegon native, who had at the time longest drive in a PGA-sanctioned event at 437 yards. Still seen on golf infomercials on the Golf Channel.
- Elaine Crosby, Jackson native and former UM player, had eight top 10 LPGA finishes in ’89.
- Danny Edwards, winner of five PGA Tour events.
- Charlie Sorrell, ’90 Nat. PGA Teacher of the Year, the “rhyme” lesson master.
- Danny Edwards makes a return visit
- Bill Kratzert, four-time PGA Tour winner, and now a TV golf analyst for ESPN
- Rick Smith, Treetops golf pro, teacher to Rocco Mediate and Billy Andrade.
- Wally Armstrong returns.
- Bill Strausbaugh, Maryland, ’92 Nat. PGA Teacher of the Year. (Now deceased.)
- DeDe Owens, Chicago, ’93 LPGA Teacher of the Year and Master Golf Professional; (Now deceased.)
- Dave Pelz, Texas, former NASA scientist who then became short game teaching expert. At the time, students included Tom Kite and Steve Elkington; today: Phil Mickelson’s teacher and Golf Channel analyst.
- Sandy LaBauve, Phoenix, ’94 PGA Junior Golf Leader Award winner. “Top 50 Golf Instructor” by Golf Magazine. Now instructor at LaBauve Golf Academy in Phoenix;
- Charlie Sorrell returns for second appearance.
- Gary Wiren, Florida, ’87 National PGA Teacher of the Year and Master Professional; Today: still in-demand as a teacher and speaker, Wiren was inducted in the PGA Hall of Fame in ’06.
- Henry Young, Treetops’ Director of Instruction and ’94 Michigan PGA Teacher of the Year. Today: At Treetops as Director of Instruction and a Top Ten Teacher in Michigan by Golf Digest.
- Dean Reinmuth, San Diego, a Top 50 Instructor in U.S, one of the first teachers of teenager Phil Mickelson.
- Deborah Graham, San Antonio, was the first sports/golf psychologist at the WMGS. Worked with Dave Stockton, Lee Janzen, Michelle McCann.
- Todd Anderson, Rockford (MI) native, a Golf Digest’s (GD) Golf Schools teacher, appeared on GD’s August ’97 cover, students included Dickey Pride. Today: Dir. of Instruction at Sea Island (GA) Learning Center, one of GD’s “America’s 50 Greatest Teachers.”
- Mike Stachura, Trumbull, CT, Golf Digest’s Associate Editor for equipment; author of over 100 articles for the magazine. Today: GD’s Senior Editor for equipment and Editor of its highly popular “Hot List” equipment guide.
- Rick Smith makes a return visit for clinics and to tout his newest course design, Arcadia Bluffs, opening in the summer.
- Bob Winters, Charlottesville (VA), a protégé of renowned sports psychologist Dr. Bob Rotella, and author of “Great Putting—Right Now.” Today: Staff member of the David Leadbetter Golf Academy in Orlando; frequent guest on the Golf Channel and Golfweek TV.
- John Morse, Marshall native, won the ’90 Australian Open and the ’95 Hawaiian Open Inducted 2006 into the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame.
- Paul Giesler, Savannah, developer of the HealthSouth Sports for Golf Program and Kinetic Golf program for developing golf-specific exercises.
- Sandra Palmer, 19 career wins on LPGA Tour and ’75 U.S. Women’s Open winner. Today: Retired from competitive play, Palmer is the head teaching pro at Sahalee CC in WA
- Mike Stachura, Golf Digest’s equipment editor, returns.
2002 (Now under ShowSpan Inc., show moves to Grand Center, downtown Grand Rapids)
- Kay McMahon, CA, 1995 LPGA National Teacher of the Year; former National President of the LPGA Teaching & Club Professional Division.
- Rolla Frisinger, Coldwater, Michigan PGA Junior Golf Leader
- Charley Vandenberg, Grand Rapids, ’98 Michigan PGA Teacher of the Year
- Patti Butcher, Grand Rapids, “Top 50 Teachers” by Golf for Women Magazine
- Wally Armstrong returns for a third time
- Kay McMahon returns.
- Rolla Frisinger returns
2004 (Show moves into the new DeVos Place, downtown Grand Rapids)
- Charlie Sorrell returns for a third time
- Elaine Crosby returns for a second time
- Brad Dean, ’99 Michigan PGA Teacher of the Year
- Jim Flick, Scottsdale, acclaimed teacher of Jack Nicklaus, World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame inductee. (Now deceased–Flick had agreed to appear at 2013 Show before passing away in Nov.)
- Debbie Massey, Michigan, two-time British Women’s Open winner and LPGA player.
- Gary Wiren returns for a third time
- Bart Lower, Ionia, MI, the Golf Channel’s The Big Break contestant and finalist.
- John Dal Corobbo, the ‘05 Mich. PGA Teacher of the Year
- Elaine Crosby & Brad Dean, Crystal Mt. Resort
- Frank Thomas, Orlando, Golf Digest’s and Golf Channel’s Chief Technical Advisor.
- Dave Kendall, Ypsilanti, two-time Michigan PGA Teacher of the Year
- Patti Butcher, Blythefield CC
- Brian O’Neill, Boyne Junior Golf Academy, Junior Golf Leader of the Year
- Greg Rose, Oceanside, CA, co-founder of the Titleist Performance Center and co-host of the Golf Channel’s Golf Fitness Academy
- Charlie Vandenberg, 2007 Michigan PGA Teacher of the Year
- Patti Butcher, Top 50 Teacher by Golf for Women magazine
- Rick Smith, Phil Mickelson’s teacher, makes his third appearance at the Show
- The Big Break contestants Casey and Rachel Lubahn, Michigan residents, appear in celebration of Valentine’s Day
- Mike Bender, the reigning National PGA Teacher of the Year, is the headliner. Bender is former Masters champion Zach Johnson’s teacher.
- Frank Thomas, former Technical Director for the USGA and current Golf Channel Technical Director
- Jason Guss, Treetops Golf Academy; a Golf Digest “Top Teacher Under 40.”
- Todd Anderson, Rockford native, returns as the reigning National PGA Teacher of the Year.
- Allison Fouch, Grand Rapids native and LPGA player
- Brian O’Neill, Boyne Golf Academy
- John Novosel Jr, from Tour Tempo subject of Golf Magazine and Sports Illustrated
- Mike Shannon, Golf Digest’s Top 50 Teachers; putting expert from Sea Island Resort
- Dan Pohl, Mt. Pleasant native, is a two-time PGA Tour winner and Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member
- Andy Matthews, Ada native, will be competing on the PGA Tour Canada Tour. Former Michigan Am champ. Appearing with instructor Charley Vandenberg, 4-time Mich PGA Teacher of the Yr.
- Matt Harmon, Kentwood native, will be competing on the PGA Tour’s com Tour. Appearing with instructor Dave Kendall, 2-time Mich PGA Teacher of the Yr.
- Frank Thomas, makes his third appearance at the Show.
- Jason Guss & Brian O’Neill will team up for a “Worst Swing Makeover.”
- Lou Guzzi, the 2013 PGA Teacher of the Year
- Bobby Wilson, 4-time Senior Long Drive Champion
- Kathy Gildersleeve-Jensen, 2014 PGA Teacher of the Year; first woman so honored
- Brian Manzella, Golf Digest’s Top 50 Teacher in the U.S.
- Michael Breed, 2012 PGA Teacher of the Year; host of Golf Channel’s The Golf Fix
- Jason Guss, Michigan PGA Teacher of the Year; Golf Digest’s “America’s Best Young Teachers”
- Brian Natzel, 2016 Indiana Teacher of the Year, Golf Academy at Swan Lake
- Joe Charles, PGA, Director of Instruction-Treetops
- Bobby Wilson, five-time National Senior Long Drive champion
- Jason Guss, 2013 Michigan PGA Teacher of the Year
- Joe Charles, PGA, Treetops Director of Instruction
- Graham Polakoff, Golf Fitness & training expert
- Meg Mallon, 18-time LPGA winner and World Golf Hall of Fame member
- Alison Curdt, PGA Master Professional & 2015 LPGA Teacher of the Year
- Jason Guss, Golf Digest’s “Best Young Teachers” list
- Jeff Caminiti, Maple Hill Golf
- Ian Hughes, GolfTEC
- Patti Butcher, Golf Channel Academy
- Joe Charles, Treetops.
- Chris O’Connell, PGA TOUR star Matt Kuchar’s teacher since 2006 and a Top 100 Teachers in America by Golf Magazine.
- Joe Charles, Treetops
- John Ericsson, PGA, Director of Instruction at Swan Lake, IN
- Jason Guss, Golf Digest’s “America’s Best Young Teachers.”
- Ian Hughes, GolfTEC
- Adam Schriber, MI PGA Teacher of the Year, LochenHeath
- Mark Wilson, Michigan PGA Hall of Fame and Rules of Golf Expert
- Kyle Wolfe, Director of Handicap & Competitions, GAM
Carolyn Alt, ShowSpan, at 616-447-2860
Terry Moore, Sportserv Ltd., 616-490-0433, email@example.com