By Anthony Bernard Benny
Sitting at my desk and looking down memory lane, I could not help but smile at what this great game has done for me, from being a caddie, a worker on the golf course, a stint as caddie master and also a player, but the best was yet to come.
One day, I was asked to play in an event that had the best players in my country. It was a four-day event and at the end, I placed second, a loser by one (1) shot. The then-manager of the golf club suggested that I should turn pro. In those days, being a pro was mostly to teach, because there were one or two events for us to play, and being a good player, everyone believed that you could teach, as well.
I remember quite clearly that one day while giving a lesson to one of my very outstanding students, there was a guy not too far away, on the range. He put his clubs down and headed for the manager’s office. I then thought that maybe I had spoken too loudly, or said something offensive. In a matter of minutes, the manager came out of her office and requested that I visit her after finishing my lesson. I proceeded to the Manager’s office after my lesson was completed. She informed that the gentleman on the range had asked her to speak to me about being his teacher/coach. We became good friends. One night he asked me, “Where do you get all this knowledge? What do you have as evidence to show that you are a teacher?” All I had was my local PGA card. He then informed that that was not enough and I should research and find a school where I could get my teaching card.
Chris Richards and I went in search of this and we found quite a large number of schools, but decided on the United States Golf Teachers Federation.
On yet another night, I had a class of six (6) new students and after the class, I told the leader of the group that I was going to America to golf school to learn to be a better teacher. He asked me who was paying for it. I then called the name of the other guy present and without hesitation he said that he would double what the other guy was paying.
That was more than ten (10) years ago and to date, I am still supported by the second gentleman to be a member of the USGTF every year. I look forward with great anticipation as to where the next USGTF Cup will be held. There are many reasons why, but most of all, I look forward to seeing my friends made from events of the years gone by, and the new ones that I am going to make. Plus, it gives me time to go visit my guru and friend David Leadbetter.
Being a lover of the sport, I am always open to knowledge, and to be a good teacher, one must be always open to learning.
To all my golfing friends, golf simply means a game of lasting friendship.