By Kurt Kragthorpe
Craig Hocknull is not interested in trying to impress his golf students. He just wants them to get better.
If some teachers use big words and technical jargon, “I try to take the opposite approach,” said Hocknull, Glenwild Golf Club’s director of instruction. “I simmer everything down to its most basic points.”
Not every great golfer is an excellent teacher, but Hocknull combines the two skills. Having qualified for consecutive PGA Championships in 2018 and ‘19 via the PGA Professional Championship, the Australian is one of the Utah Section PGA’s top players. He’s also a Teacher of the Year in the Southwest Section.
Marty Bauer, Glenwild’s director of golf, credits Hocknull with an ability to cater his lessons to his students, determining how they learn most readily.
It obviously helps that Hocknull has been doing this for a long time – since he was 12 years old. He would teach his father’s friends and his high school friends, and he continued that assistance with his Jackson State golf teammates.
His enrollment at the historically black college is part of the background that led PGA.com to suggest that Hocknull “might be the most interesting man in the 2018 PGA Championship field.” Hocknull is such a good storyteller that one of his weekly clinics this past summer offered the opportunity for Glenwild members to ask him questions about his life in golf. He also addressed green reading and recovery shots, not the usual clinic subjects. He has invented a putter (the Saber Cat) and training aids that supplement his teaching.