The 50 Greatest Teachers

Butch Harmon has been tabbed by his peers as the game's best instructor in the second installment of Golf Digest's 50 Greatest Teachers survey.

Butch Harmon has played a significant role in the development of the game's best player, so it comes as no surprise that Harmon's fellow teachers have this year voted him the game's best, in Golf Digest's second-annual 50 Greatest Teachers survey. Harmon came out ahead in a tight race against David Leadbetter and Jim McLean (last year's No. 1 and No. 3, respectively)--a fitting honor for someone entrusted with the world's most famous swing.

Harmon's work with Tiger Woods has been well documented in our pages--Harmon is a Golf Digest Teaching Professional and Woods is a Golf Digest Playing Editor. Among other things, Harmon helped Woods tighten his swing and improve his distance control. After an adjustment period in 1998, Woods has enjoyed a period of dominance unlike any other in the game's history.

How we did it

The 50 Greatest Teachers and Best Teachers in Your State lists we compiled last year were an authoritative guide to the nation's best instructors. We used that list as a starting point to build an even better survey for 2001.

In addition to following our research procedures from 2000, we also asked the teachers who were named to our 2000 lists to nominate other instructors in their areas to be considered in 2001. We then built comprehensive ballots for each state, distributing nearly 1,500 in the early part of 2001. And just like last year, within three weeks we received more than two-thirds of the completed ballots.

Our two-tiered balloting process gave us comprehensive rankings of not only the nation's best instructors, but the best teachers across each state.

Golf Digest's 50 Greatest Teachers and Best Teachers in Your State lists make finding the perfect teacher for you and your game easier than ever before, whether you live in Florida, where 15 of the top 50 teachers are based, or in North Dakota, which has fewer than 20 Class A PGA professionals.

To tell us about a teacher you think should be on the ballot for our next survey, e-mail us at

Joining Harmon among America's 50 Greatest Teachers are many of the familiar names from last year's list, along with seven new honorees--Jim Hardy, Fred Griffin, Ben Doyle, Laird Small, Hank Johnson, Bill Harmon and Tom Ness.

The nation's most populous state, California, also had the most new teachers join the top 50: Doyle, Small and Harmon. Bill Harmon (No. 42) completes the set of teaching Harmon brothers on the 50 Greatest list--Butch is No. 1, Craig is No. 20, and Dick is No. 27.

Colorado's Mike McGetrick (No. 10) was the only new member of the top 10, while Jim Hardy of Houston made the highest debut, at No. 28. Last year, Paul Runyan was the oldest instructor on the list at age 92. Now, at 93, he's the oldest on the 2001 list as well--and still teaching a full schedule from his home base in Pasadena, Calif.

Accompanying America's 50 Greatest Teachers is our list of the Best Teachers in Your State. We think it's the most useful resource available for finding a great instructor, no matter where you live.

You'll find state-by-state rankings of the most accomplished instructors, along with a recap of America's 50 Greatest Teachers.

In the coming months, Golf Digest will feature exclusive instruction articles written by members of America's 50 Greatest Teachers.

1. Butch Harmon

Butch Harmon Golf School

at Rio Secco

Hendersen, Nev.

Phone: 702-889-2444

2. David Leadbetter

David Leadbetter Golf Academy

at Champions Gate

Orlando, Fla.

Phone: 407-787-3330

3. Jim McLean

Jim McLean Golf School

Miami, Fla.

Phone: 305-592-2000

4. Jim Flick

Nicklaus-Flick Game Improvement


Phone: 800-642-5528

5. Rick Smith

Rick Smith Golf Academy

at Treetops Sylvan Resort

Gaylord, Mich.

Phone: 517-732-6711

6. Hank Haney

Hank Haney Golf Ranch

McKinney, Tex.

Phone: 972-542-8800

7. Chuck Cook

Austin, TX

Phone: 512-330-0707

8. Dave Pelz

Dave Pelz Scoring Game School

Austin, Tex.

Phone: 800-824-8899

9. Bob Toski


Golf Learning Center

Coconut Creek, Fla.

Phone: 954-975-2045

10. Mike McGetrick

McGetrick Golf Academy

Englewood, Colo.

Phone: 303-799-0870


11. Dr. Jim Suttie

Cog Hill Golf & C.C.

Lemont, Ill.

Phone: 630-257-5872

12. Dr. Gary Wiren

Trump International G.C.

W. Palm Beach, Fla.

Phone: 561-682-0700

13. Jimmy Ballard

Ballard Swing Connection

Key Largo, Fla.

Phone: 800-999-6664

14. Mike Hebron

Smithtown Landing C.C.

Smithtown, NY

Palm Beach Polo & C.C.

Wellington, Fla.

Phone: 631-979-6534

15. Jack Lumpkin

Sea Island Golf Learning Ctr.

St. Simons Is., Ga.

Phone: 912-638-5119

16. Craig Shankland,

Hidden Lakes G.C.

New Smyrna, Fla.;

Phone: 904-423-0507

17. Mike Adams

Academy of Golf at PGA National

Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Phone: 561-627-7593

18. Rick Martino

PGA Learning Center

Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Phone: 561-468-7686

19. Martin Hall

Ibis G. & C.C.

W. Palm Beach, Fla.

Phone: 561-624-8922

20. Craig Harmon,

Oak Hill C.C.

Rochester, N.Y.

Phone: 716-381-1900

21. Peter Kostis

Kostis-McCord Learning Ctr.


Phone: 480-502-1800

22. Manuel De La Torre,

Milwaukee C.C.

River Hills, Wis.

Phone: 414-352-5876

23. Mac O'Grady

Palm Springs, Calif.

24. Randy Smith

Royal Oaks C.C., Dallas

Phone: 214-691-0339

25. Mike Bender

Timacuan G. & C.C.

Lake Mary, Fla.

Phone: 407-321-0444

26. John Elliott Jr.

C.C. of Ocala (Fla.)

Phone: 352-237-6644

27. Dick Harmon

River Oaks C.C., Houston

Phone: 713-529-4321

28. Jim Hardy

Jacobson Hardy Group,


Phone: 281-807-4176

29. David Glenz

David Glenz Golf Academy

Franklin, N.J.

Phone: 973-209-6075

30. Paul Runyan

Pasadena, Calif.

31. Darrell Kestner

Deepdale G.C.

Manhasset, N.Y.

Phone: 516-627-7880

32. Dean Reinmuth

Dean Reinmuth Golf School

San Diego

Phone: 858-756-2240

33. Todd Anderson

The Breakers C.

Palm Beach, Fla.

Phone: 561-659-8407

34. Fred Griffin

Grand Cypress Academy of Golf

Orlando, Fla.

Phone: 407-239-1975

35. Charlie Sorrell

Golf Meadows

Stockbridge, Ga.

Phone: 770-957-8786

36. Ben Doyle

Golf Club at Quail Lodge,

Carmel, Calif.

Phone: 831-624-2526

37. Mike LaBauve

Kierland G.C.


Phone: 480-922-9283

38. Liard Small

Pebble Beach (Calif.)

Golf Academy

Phone: 831-622-8650

39. Lynn Marriott

The Legacy Golf Resort


Phone: 602-305-5500

40. Hank Johnson

Greystone G.C.

Birmingham, Ala.

Phone: 205-980-5200

41. Phil Rodgers

La Jolla, Calif.

Phone: 858-453-1483

42. Bill Harmon

Big Horn G.C.

Palm Desert, Calif.

Phone: 760-773-7126

43. Mark Wood

Mark Wood Golf Academy

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Phone: 954-423-0897

44. Mike Malaska

Superstition Mtn.(AZ) G & C.C.

Phone: 480-983-3200

45. Bill Davia

Jupiter Hills C.

Tequesta, Fla.

Phone: 561-746-5228

46. Tim Mahoney

Talking Stick G.C.


Phone: 480-850-8616

47. Peggy Kirk Bell

Pine Needles Lodge & C.C.

Southernm Pines, N.C.

Phone: 910-692-8611

48. Tom Ness

Chateau Elan Winery & Resort

Braselton, Ga.

Phone: 770-993-3174

49. Jane Frost

Holly Ridge G.C.

Sandwich, Mass.

Phone: 508-428-5577

50. Gale Peterson

Sea Island Golf Learning Ctr.

St. Simons Island, Ga.

Phone: 912-638-5119

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