Craig Hocknull named SWSPGA Teacher of the Year

2013 SWSPGA Player-of-the-Year captures coveted award

“Making your golf game better…making golf a better game” is the working moniker to more than 1,400 golf professionals in the Southwest Section of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America. Improving one’s game on the fairways and greens often falls under the watchful eye of the golf instructor and Arizona is home to some of the best golf teachers in the world.

One of them, Craig Hocknull of Desert Forest Golf Club was recently named “Teacher of the Year” by the SWSPGA. The affable Australian earned Player of the Year honors in 2013 after capturing two prestigious SWSPGA events: Arizona Open and the Yamaha Match Play Championship. Hocknull also played two years (2012-2013) on the Tour.

“To be honored among some of the finest teachers in the country is truly a great feeling. The Southwest Section boasts perhaps the best instructors found anywhere and I know there are so many that are deserving of this award. Arizona with our great climate and outstanding golf companies is so well-respected around the world and draws the very best in instructors and also students. Aside from Professional of the Year, this award is perhaps the most coveted,” said Hocknull. 

Hocknull is the PGA teaching professional at Desert Forest Golf Club, an iconic golf course in Carefree, Arizona in the winter season, which is usually November through May, and when he’s not at Desert Forest, Craig is growing the game as owner/operator of the Outback Golf Academy, which has several Valley locations. “My goal as a teacher is to help my students find more consistency in their game. Everyone has their own unique make-up of strengths and weaknesses. I strive to help my students find the most efficient and athletic motion that will ultimately create consistency and a greater joy through repetitive solid golf shots.”

A 1997 graduate of Jackson State University in Mississippi with a Bachelor of Science in Health and Physical Education, Hocknull is well-versed on how the body, regardless of size, should swing a golf club, producing optimum results. “My knowledge of bio mechanics provides me with a solid foundation and my knowledge of club fitting helps me to be creative in finding solutions that are unique. Some of my students have played in the Masters and the US Open and for those individuals to seek out my help is truly a great honor for me,” added Hocknull, who also spends time as a golf trick shot professional.

“Craig is so well-deserving of this prestigious honor from the Southwest Section – PGA of America. He consistently brings a high level of class, service and professionalism to Desert Forest GC,” said Roger Bacon, general manager of Desert Forest GC. “His knowledge of the game and his rapport with his students makes him a great ambassador of the game of golf and is truly a tremendous asset to all of us at Desert Forest Golf Club.”