GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The reigning National Teacher of the Year and a legendary Long Drive Champion will headline the 2014 West Michigan Golf Show to be held at DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids on Feb. 14-16. Philadelphia (Pa.) native Lou Guzzi, the 2013 PGA National Teacher of the Year, will provide free seminars all weekend along with Texas native Bobby Wilson, a four-time National Senior Long Drive Champion.
Guzzi, the owner and PGA Director of Instruction of the Lou Guzzi Golf Academy at Talamore Country Club in Ambler, Pa., is the PGA of America's 28th Teacher of the Year. He joins such previous honorees as Grand Rapids native Todd Anderson, Hank Haney, Mike Bender and the late Jim Flick—all past presenters at the West Michigan Golf Show. Chair of the Philadelphia PGA Section Teaching Committee and one of GOLF Magazine's "Top 100 Teachers in America," Guzzi was honored for his overall teaching performance, innovative and special teaching programs, instructional offerings in various media, as well as outstanding golfers under his tutelage. He'll receive his award later in January at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando.
"Considering the history of outstanding teachers at the West Michigan Golf Show, it's a privilege to be a part of it in 2014," said Guzzi. "I'm looking forward to sharing my core teaching philosophy of 'knowledge is power.' It's all about sound fundamentals and correct swing positions and linking them to the proper way to practice. And as heard on the television commercial, 'it's not rocket science; it's common sense.' "
For Bobby Wilson, a long drive is also power. For over twenty-five years, Wilson has been conducting clinics and exhibitions in an entertaining, amusing style about how to hit the golf ball longer and straighter. A four-time national Senior Long Drive champion with winning drives all over 360 yards, Wilson is the all-time leading money winner on the Long Drivers of America Tour, boasting 11 separate tour titles. Coincidentally, it was Evan "Big Cat" Williams— Michigan PGA member, inaugural West Michigan Golf Show headliner (1989) and two-time National Long Drive Champion—who helped Wilson in the early days of his career.
"Evan was my mentor and took me under his wing when I started competing in long drive championships in the 80s," said Wilson who lives in Southlake, Texas. "He was a pioneer of the sport and put long drive contests on the map. It's a special thrill to be following in his big footsteps at the West Michigan Golf Show. In my clinics, I break some myths about the golf swing while also showing how anyone can pick up an extra 15-20 yards off the tee."
Golf Show Manager Carolyn Alt said West Michigan golfers are in for an entertaining lesson with the addition of Guzzi and Wilson to the Pfeiffer Lincoln Seminar Stage. "Not only are Lou and Bobby nationally recognized for their expertise and experience, but they're both consummate communicators who enjoy engaging with large audiences."
According to Alt, Guzzi will be the 11th nationally honored teacher by the PGA or LPGA to have appeared at the WMGS in the past 26 years. In addition to the aforementioned Anderson, Bender, Flick and Haney, other award-winning teachers have been Mike Hebron, Kay McMahon, DeDe Owens, Bill Strausbaugh, Charlie Sorrell, and Gary Wiren. Alt added that seven Michigan PGA Teacher of the Year honorees have also appeared on stage.
Held continuously since 1989, the West Michigan Golf Show attracts thousands of Michigan golfers to hundreds of exhibits and will feature clinics, putting contests, junior golf instruction, swing analyzers and unbeatable golf shopping values. With several charities benefitting from the Show, sponsors include: Treetops Resort, Pfeiffer Lincoln, Odawa Casino Resort, Golf Association of Michigan, Boyne USA and the Michigan PGA.
Produced by ShowSpan Inc. and held at DeVos Place, the West Michigan Golf Show hours are 2:00 pm-9:00 pm, Friday; 10:00 am-7:00 pm, Saturday; and 10:00 am-5:00 pm, Sunday. Tickets are $10 for adults, $4 for children ages 6-14, and children 5 and under are free. Tickets will be available at the door as well as online at www.westmichigangolfshow.com
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