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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
2. David Leadbetter
David Leadbetter Golf Academy
at Champions Gate
3. Jim McLean
Jim McLean Golf School
4. Jim Flick
Nicklaus-Flick Game Improvement
5. Rick Smith
Rick Smith Golf Academy
at Treetops Sylvan Resort
6. Hank Haney
Hank Haney Golf Ranch
7. Chuck Cook
8. Dave Pelz
Dave Pelz Scoring Game School
9. Bob Toski
Golf Learning Center
Coconut Creek, Fla.
10. Mike McGetrick
McGetrick Golf Academy
AND THE REST OF THE BEST...
11. Dr. Jim Suttie Cog Hill Golf & C.C.
12. Dr. Gary Wiren Trump International G.C.
W. Palm Beach, Fla.
13. Jimmy BallardBallard Swing Connection
Key Largo, Fla.
14. Mike Hebron
Smithtown Landing C.C.
Palm Beach Polo & C.C.
15. Jack Lumpkin Sea Island Golf Learning Ctr.
St. Simons Is., Ga.
16. Craig Shankland, Hidden Lakes G.C.
New Smyrna, Fla.;
17. Mike Adams Academy of Golf at PGA National
Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
18. Rick Martino PGA Learning Center
Port St. Lucie, Fla.
19. Martin Hall Ibis G. & C.C.
W. Palm Beach, Fla.
20. Craig Harmon,Oak Hill C.C.
21. Peter Kostis Kostis-McCord Learning Ctr.
22. Manuel De La Torre, Milwaukee C.C.
River Hills, Wis.
23. Mac O'Grady Palm Springs, Calif.
24. Randy Smith Royal Oaks C.C., Dallas
25. Mike Bender Timacuan G. & C.C.
Lake Mary, Fla.
26. John Elliott Jr. C.C. of Ocala (Fla.)
27. Dick Harmon River Oaks C.C., Houston
28. Jim Hardy Jacobson Hardy Group,
29. David Glenz David Glenz Golf Academy
30. Paul Runyan Pasadena, Calif.
31. Darrell Kestner Deepdale G.C.
32. Dean Reinmuth Dean Reinmuth Golf School
33. Todd Anderson The Breakers C.
Palm Beach, Fla.
34. Fred Griffin Grand Cypress Academy of Golf
35. Charlie Sorrell Golf Meadows
36. Ben Doyle Golf Club at Quail Lodge,
37. Mike LaBauve Kierland G.C.
38. Liard Small Pebble Beach (Calif.)
39. Lynn Marriott The Legacy Golf Resort
40. Hank Johnson Greystone G.C.
41. Phil Rodgers La Jolla, Calif.
42. Bill Harmon Big Horn G.C.
Palm Desert, Calif.
43. Mark Wood Mark Wood Golf Academy
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
44. Mike Malaska Superstition Mtn.(AZ) G & C.C.
45. Bill Davia Jupiter Hills C.
46. Tim Mahoney Talking Stick G.C.
47. Peggy Kirk Bell Pine Needles Lodge & C.C.
Southernm Pines, N.C.
48. Tom Ness Chateau Elan Winery & Resort
49. Jane Frost Holly Ridge G.C.
50. Gale Peterson Sea Island Golf Learning Ctr.
St. Simons Island, Ga.