DEBBIE DONIGER has been named one of the Top 50 Best Women Teachers in Golf, among her many other accolades. She is also a mom! Listen to our interview to find out how she balances the rigors of the golf industry with raising her family and also to learn what makes her teaching style so special.
Debbie grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut and was a student of Jim McLean for 20 years. As a junior and an amateur, Debbie won every New York Metropolitan tournament in the Met area. Named the top Smith Corona Academic All America for the AJGA, Debbie graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was captain of the golf team her junior and senior years. She led the Tar Heels to an ACC Championship in 1992, won the ACC Championship, and was elected All-Conference. She also led her team to an 8th place finish in the NCAA Championship.
Debbie was one of five college seniors selected to represent the United States in The World University Golf Matches, where she won the individual Bronze medal – the only American to medal in the competition. After graduating, Debbie competed on The Futures Tour and The Gold Coast Tour. She also qualified in 1993 as the low American on The European Tour. In 2004, Debbie was inducted into the ACC Hall of Fame as one of the best women golfers in the ACC for the last 50 years
Presently, Debbie is in her 11th year as Director of Instruction at GlenArbor Golf Club in Bedford, New York and is also considered a Lead Master Instructor at The Jim McLean Golf School, where she has studied and worked for over 25 years. Debbie has watched countless hours of instruction with several Top 100 teachers not just Jim McLean. In May of 2013, Debbie was prominently featured on the cover of Westchester Magazine for their summer golf preview. And was also nominated as LPGA Teacher of the Year in the Northeast section, yet to be decided. In 2012, Debbie was ranked the 7th best teacher in New York and was named to Golf Digest’s Top 50 women teachers in America list voted by her peers. In 2009, Golf Digest magazine named Debbie the 6th Best Golf Teacher in New York, the highest ranked female instructor in New York, and one of Golf Digest’sTop 20 American Golf Teachers Under 40, having already named her the 10th Best Golf Teacher in New York and one of the Top 20 American Golf Teachers Under 40 in 2008. Debbie was also nominated for the elite category of Top 100 Golf Instructors by Golf magazine in 2005 and 2007 and was recognized as one of the Top 50 Teachers by Golf for Women magazine in 2005, 2006, and 2007. Debbie’s instructional articles have been featured in numerous publications, such as her regular contributions to Golf for Women magazine, her “Breaking 100-90-80” article in Golf Digest, and her “Indoor practice” piece in Green Magazine. She has also made repeated guest appearances on Peter Kessler’s radio program, Making the Turn, on the PGA Tour Network. And has appeared on The Golf Channel’s Academy Live four times. Many of Debbie’s junior students have earned scholarships to various colleges, most notably Cameron Wilson to Stanford, and Erica Herr to Wake Forest. Interestingly both students qualified for the respective US Open’s in 2012 and 2013. Currently Debbie is studying to be completely certified under the Trackman University. Teaching is changing and this is one major component, if not the component to getting students to improve even faster.♣