Located on the Hawaiian island of Maui, at Waiehu Golf Course, Lee Sakugawa is the first PGA of America professional in the Aloha Section PGA to become a Frankly Certified Putting Instructor (CPI).
Sakugawa was recently named the 2019 Aloha Section PGA Teacher of the Year and wanted to do more to help his students and those who seek his expert instruction.
“In the PGA training there was not too much focus on putting. I wanted to offer something more to my students. I have always known about Frankly Golf and the Frankly Frog putters and that brought me to the certification which opens up a lot more for my students. There are not too many instructors doing putting.
“I liked the overall program. It was easy to understand, and made it simple and easy to pass onto my students. Many students don’t spend a lot of time on short game and putting and I think this will help them get a lot better. Short game is much more important than the long game. Not many golfers realize this but the longer you play the more you realize it is so important.”
The online aspects of the CPI Course were attractive to Sakugawa, being located around 2500 miles from California.
“The Aloha Section PGA brings top teachers here to Hawaii and I always take advantage of that, but having the CPI Course online totally helps us here because it is very costly to travel to the mainland USA for workshops and seminars.
“I really appreciate the CPI program and Frankly Golf letting people get certified and helping golfers get better. There are not many programs like it around and Frankly Golf’s is the best known.”
Sakugawa has been a golf professional for 6 years. However, he grew up playing baseball and when he left high school he went to Boise State in Idaho on a baseball scholarship.
“After baseball, I started playing golf. As I became more serious I started playing in big amateur tournaments in Hawaii. I was helping the pro at the golf club and he suggested that I become a PGA member, which was the best decision I have made because it has so many positives, helping people, kids and growing the game.”
Now that he has been recognized by his peers as Aloha Section PGA Teacher of the Year and will receive his award in February, does Sakugawa have any advice for young teachers embarking on their careers?
“For any young instructors I would suggest they go to seminars, listen to the top instructors and pick their brains as much as possible. Get educated as much as you can.”
Frank Thomas, founder of Frankly Golf, former longtime USGA Technical Director, inventor of the graphite shaft and the person who introduced the Stimpmeter to the game of golf said,
“I am very impressed that Lee — recently been named Aloha Section PGA Teacher of the Year—has taken advantage of the online aspects of the CPI Course and would like to congratulate him on becoming the first PGA of America Member in Hawaii to become a CPI. I am sure there will be others who recognize the importance of the CPI Course and how this can help them without having to travel to the mainland.”