Trio among best young teachers in America

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona (Jan. 19, 2021) —A trio of golf instructors at Desert Mountain Club in Scottsdale has been honored by being included among the “2021-2022 Best Young Teachers in America” by Golf Digest Magazine. 

The most talented instructors under age 40 include Jennifer Tucker (37), Richard Franklin (37), and Paxton O’Connor (29). This is the first appearance on the prestigious list for Tucker and Franklin and the second time for O’Connor.

Desert Mountain Club, the only private community in the world with six Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses, plus a new, 18-hole par-54 course – No. 7 at Desert Mountain – also is home to the $1.6 million Jim Flick Golf Performance Center. 

Dedicated to one of the game’s legendary instructors, the 6,500-square-foot facility features a wealth of resources and is equipped with the most advanced technology available in the industry to provide a comprehensive game enhancement program from golf fitness to playing skills and mental game techniques.

“We are so proud of these stellar instructors and honored to have them recognized by Golf Digest,” said Desert Mountain Club CEO Damon DiOrio.

“Each brings a unique approach to their coaching practice and is fully committed to providing innovative, world-class instructional experiences for our members and their families. They continue to set the bar higher and higher each and every day.” 

O’Connor has served as Director of Instruction at Desert Mountain Club since 2018. Previously, he was an instructor at the Butch Harmon School of Golf in Las Vegas, where he further developed his fascination for the game of golf through countless stories and interactions with world-class players, instructors, and business leaders. Paxton’s teaching experience gives him the unique skill to translate sophisticated concepts into simple, tangible coaching practices.

Franklin, an international leader in junior golf instruction, recently joined the Desert Mountain team to oversee the new Junior Sports Academy (JSA).  Striving to “bring out the best in young learners,” Franklin studied childhood development and behavioral psychology before realizing that fun and interactive games on the course are the best way to both teach and excite children. Franklin’s game system, called “DiscoverGolf,” will serve as the learning platform for the golf component of JSA.

Tucker has been a member of the Desert Mountain team since 2007 and has been teaching full time since 2013.  She utilizes simple language, drills and challenges to covey concepts and build movement patterns based on comprehensive scientific cause and effect relationships. In addition to debuting on the list, Tucker also penned a putting tip that is featured in Golf Digest (issue 1, 2021).

“As we expected, our latest Best Young Teachers selection process included more applicants than ever, and the competition to make the list was fierce. We’re confident we’ve identified the instructors under age 40 who are making the biggest impact on the industry – and in more ways than ever, with the growth of digital and social media,” said Ron Kaspriske, Senior Editor, Instruction, Golf Digest. 

For more information on the Desert Mountain community, access the web site at www.desertmountain.com.

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