Letter To The Golf Channel Hierarchy from Geoff Bryant, USGTF President
February 21, 2003
Mr. David Manougian
President, The Golf Channel
7580 Commerce Center Drive
Orlando, FL 32819
Dear Mr. Manougian,
Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Geoff Bryant, President and CEO of the United States Golf Teachers Federation (USGTF).
In 1989, I founded the USGTF, because I believed there had to be an alternative method to training and certifying golf teaching professionals. I knew this, due to the fact that I was a ski teaching professional, certified in seven days by the Professional Ski Instructors of America. America has some of the best ski teaching professionals in the world.
Since 1989, the USGTF has trained and certified over 6,000 members. Furthermore, we have spawned a worldwide teaching phenomenon, by establishing the World Golf Teachers Federation (WGTF). The WGTF has 36 member nations that are now all training and certifying their own golf teaching professionals. This has also led to the annual United States Golf Teachers Cup, and the biennial World Golf Teachers Cup. As you can see, with over 12,000 members worldwide, we have certainly added to the growth and popularity of the game in a very significant way.
Now comes the real question, and the purpose for this letter: why does The Golf Channel report on everything under the sun, regarding golf, except the USGTF? I know that you are well aware of us, through the fact that many your top management receive our quarterly issue of Golf Teaching Pro magazine. Also, in 1999, a Golf Channel producer was sent to report on the World Golf Teachers Cup – an event that draws golf teaching professionals from around the world. I can only surmise that this story was never run because it became known that the event was run by the USGTF.
In 1997, we spent $100,000 advertising with The Golf Channel. Initially, our ads were to run in September, and did not run until November. When questioned as to why, Jeff Foster, your representative stated, “The PGA is having a real difficult time with your ads.” When reminded of the illegality of this action, the ads were eventually run but basically only during times of light viewership. My thinking was simply to advertise elsewhere, due to the fact that management at The Golf Channel were not quite ready to accept the fact that the PGA of America had competition after 73 years.
Now, let’s move on to 2003. The USGTF and WGTF are as strong as ever, and growing every year. I believe it is time to accept the fact that the PGA is no longer a monopoly. Of course, you could continue to ignore us, but as you know, with that type of thinking, this country would have only one race of people, one religion, one university, and only one type of fast-food restaurant! Continuing to ignore the impact of an additional 12,000 golf teaching professionals worldwide, who are trained specifically to teach golf, might call into question The Golf Channel’s exclusionary business and journalistic ethics.
Our continued growth and success, that our talented members achieve, is evidence in itself that we are here to stay. Your responsibility to report on our national and international events, and our incredible impact on the golf teaching industry, supercedes whatever political interests you may have with the PGA of America.
President and CEO
Cc: Joy Henneberger, News Manager
Adam Barr, Business Reporter/Analyst
Lee Siegel, Producer