Todd Anderson, the PGA director of instruction at Sea Island Golf Club in St. Simons Island, Ga., and one of the country’s most respected and innovative instructors, is the recipient of the PGA Teacher of the Year Award.
Anderson, 48, is a 23-year member of the PGA of America and is the third member of the Georgia PGA Section and second from his home facility to be named recipient of the national PGA Teacher of the Year Award. The award was established in 1986, honoring outstanding teachers of golf among the PGA of America membership.
Anderson will be recognized at the PGA of America Awards, Jan. 27, 2011, during the 58th PGA Merchandise Show at the Orange County Convention Center’s Linda W. Chapin Auditorium in Orlando, Fla.
“Our 2010 national award winners reflect the best values and qualities of our association,” said PGA of America President Jim Remy. “Our recipients have made an impact among their Section peers, their respective communities and influenced others throughout the country. They have inspired both juniors and young professionals, which is a rite of passage in our profession. By their hard work, we are proud to declare that PGA professionals are experts in the game and the business of golf.”
Born in Grand Rapids and formerly of Rockford, Anderson has spent the past six years at Sea Island Golf Club, which also is home to 1995 PGA Teacher of the Year Jack Lumpkin. Since 2000, Anderson has been listed among Golf Digest’s 50 Greatest Teachers, and since 2002 has been one of GOLF Magazine’s Top 100 Instructors.
Introduced to golf through his father, Bill, a single-digit handicap player, Anderson evolved from being a multi-sport athlete in high school into focusing on golf. The PGA instruction lineage continues in the Anderson family, with his brother, Dave, 46, the PGA director of instruction at Olde Atlanta Golf Club in Suwanee, Ga.
Anderson attended the University of Alabama, competing on the Crimson Tide golf team from 1980 to 1984, and serving as team captain his senior year. He turned professional in 1984, and began his PGA apprenticeship at Green Ridge Country Club, now Egypt Valley Golf Club in Ada. His mentor at the time was PGA professional Lynn Janson, now at Black Diamond Ranch Golf and Country Club in Lecanto, Fla.
Anderson’s first PGA head professional position was in April 1987 at Elk River Club in Banner Elk, N.C. Anderson moved back to south Florida in 1994, where he was both PGA head professional and later PGA director of golf at Old Marsh Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens. In 1997, he reached a career crossroad.
“I had to make a choice to either continue serving as a club professional or become a full-time teacher,” said Anderson. “I chose teaching and I’m very pleased that I did.”
Anderson spent seven years, 1997-2004, as PGA director of instruction at the Breakers Golf Club in Palm Beach, Fla., developing that facility’s golf instruction program. He moved to Sea Island Golf Club in May 2004 as PGA director of instruction.
At both facilities—the Breakers and Sea Island Golf Club—Anderson credited the support he received from the top: Chairmen of the Board Jim Kenan (Breakers Resort) and Bill Jones III (Sea Island Company).
“They believed in my ideas, and that has made all the difference in how we conduct our business and the type of programs that we are able to deliver,” said Anderson. “Their support was tremendous and I credit both gentlemen for helping me develop my teaching career.”
What has transpired under Anderson’s guidance is a state-of-the-art learning center at Sea Island Golf Club that implements a multi-dimensional approach to golf instruction. His on-site staff features such specialists as fitness trainer Randy Myers and sports psychologist Dr. Morris Pickens, who team in addressing a student’s game, body, mind and equipment.
“To efficiently develop any area of a student’s game requires expertise in each field,” said Anderson. “I wanted to take it a step further. I believe a team of instructors and specialists are needed to implement a program. I wanted to assess a player’s game, to quantify where they are struggling and focus on where they are in need of improvement.”
Anderson’s teaching career also included a stint from 1989 to 1997, working with the Golf Digest schools. “This gave me a unique opportunity to work with the top instructors in the game,” said Anderson, “which helped me develop my teaching foundation. As an instructor, you start with the kids and beginners, then progress to the better players. I enjoy working with the top players in the game, which is a great challenge. But, I also get great satisfaction from helping the better player.”
Anderson was the 1999 South Florida PGA Teacher of the Year and the 2003 South Florida PGA Horton Smith Award recipient before moving to Sea Island Golf Club.
“I’ve always loved the teaching aspect of the profession,” said Anderson. “I’ve been fortunate to learn from many good teachers in my career.”
Additionally, Anderson teamed with PGA director of golf at Sea Island, Brannen Veal, to develop and implement an apprentice teaching program. With the help of PGA professional Mike Cook, the staff created a variety of junior programs for boys and girls ages 6 to 19 that has produced a long list of both scholarship athletes and several of the premier Georgia prep players.
Anderson has taught more than 70 PGA, Nationwide, Champions and LPGA Tour professionals. Leading this list is his coaching relationship with Brandt Snedeker. Other Tour professionals who have utilized Anderson’s counsel include: former PGA champion Davis Love III, John Rollins, Charles Howell III, Brett Quigley and Dudley Hart.
Anderson graduated from Rockford High School (RHS) in 1980 and is a member of the RHS Hall of Fame. He and his wife, Stacey, live in St. Simons Island, Ga., and are parents of three sons, Travis, 22, Taylor, 19, and Tucker, 17.