The Player Development Award recognizes a PGA Member who has made extraordinary contributions and achievements in the area of player development. Congratulations to PGA Professional, Stefanie Ferguson, Lead Instructor at ExperienceGolf for being the 2021 Player Development Award winner!

As a Colorado Native, Ferguson started playing golf in high school which led to her playing collegiately for Colorado State University. Following graduation, Stefanie wanted to take a stab at playing professionally. While working on her LPGA teaching card, she discovered her passion for teaching, so she joined the PGA in order to continue on the coaching path. “Growing up, I played everything but golf and wasn’t really even interested in it. It turns out I really learned to love it.”Ferguson had 1,018 students last year through lessons, camps, Junior programs, adult programs, season-long programs, and others; totaling roughly 5,000 individual visits. ExperienceGolf and Ferguson have programming for every type of golfer and time availability. She is committed to growing the game of golf through the Committed Player Program, Welcome2Golf, Adult and Youth Operation36, the Hale Irwin Junior Program targeting juniors looking to play at the collegiate level, Colorado Golf Association Outreach programs, Big Brothers Big Sisters programs, helping Special Olympics and Girl Scouts, and others! She was named to Golf Digest’s Best Young Teachers 2021-2022 list and won the 2021 Colorado Avid Golfer CAGGY Award for Best Instructor for Women – Staff Pick.

What does winning this award mean to you?
It’s a great honor, I see it as an award for our whole team, (ExperienceGolf) – our whole team works really hard, and this award just shows that we’re moving forward in the right direction. I was the first one to hop on with Elena King, LPGA, when she founded ExperienceGolf, and to see that we’ve been able to get people to actually play golf, and not just hit balls on the range is such a great feeling.

What are the qualities that you possess that you believe supported you in winning this award?
I think having the ability to listen to people, and figure out what their goals are is so important. What are they really looking to get out of their instruction – listening and asking more questions. To make it about the student, and not about what we’re trying to do, personally. I think more people are trying to have more fun with the game, so being able to not make things so technical, so there’s a lot of ways we can do that!

We try to find other ways for people to get out on the course and enjoy the game instead of stressing over the small things in their swing. We utilize the Vision54 method a lot in what we do; how to stay present regardless of their skill level, finding your ideal state, regardless of what your swing is doing. It’s something you can sense or feel, vs your technique. The more we can be in the right mindset over the ball, the better. It’s a different approach, and I believe that’s the reasoning behind our success. A lot of our clients have used this “being present” mindset is also something they can take out with them for the rest of their lives, not just their golf game.

As it relates to golf, what is the best piece of advice would you give to others?
Listen; it’s so easy to get distracted, so being present with who is in front of you, is so so important. It’s easy to get caught up on the range, so I try and find ways for more people to get out on the course. You can learn so much more about people on the course, so I know it’s going to make a huge difference. I would also say that doing things with a purpose is also incredibly important. To actually learn from the practice swing, not just doing things to say you did it.

What’s your proudest moment of being a golf professional?
The amount of “personal best” stories we’ve received over the years has been incredibly rewarding, it’s why I do what I do. We’ve impacted something that they love to do, so to be a part of that is huge.

What’s something that others might not know about you?
I love to travel -I spent a month in Southeast Asia, the food was so so good. I’ve also seen most of Europe! Over COVID, Maggie Hartman, PGA, and I were doing trick shots, and we got posted to ESPN! We didn’t know our friend was sending these videos to ESPN’s Instagram; so they posted it to their app and Website. It was pretty wild to see that notification come through on my phone.

Click Here To Watch ESPN Video.