By Vinnie Manginelli, PGA
Craig Bocking is a five-time GRAA Top 100 Growth of the Game Teaching Professional and recently earned PGA of America Master Professional status, the highest educational achievement a PGA of America Golf Professional can attain.
Bocking, a three-time Teacher of the Year in the Alabama-NW Florida PGA Section, is the PGA of America Director of Instruction at The Ledges in Huntsville, Alabama and resides in Huntsville with his wife Rachel and daughter Anna Kate.
He is an elite performance coach who has dedicated more than 20 years to the research and study of improving golf performance, conducting over 20,000 lessons and developing more than 70 junior golfers to play college golf, several of them at the D1 level.
“This is a game I started playing when I was just nine years old,” Bocking says, “with my dad and uncle introducing me to the game. They are both avid golfers and love the game of golf.”
He played junior college golf and graduated in 2002 from the University of North Alabama with a Marketing degree. It was during his time at UNA that he decided to become a PGA of America Golf Professional and went on to attain PGA of America membership in 2006.
“After working in various golf professional positions, I knew early in my career that I wanted to teach the game and help golfers play their best golf,” Bocking explains. “I enjoy working with players of all skill levels who have a passion for golf. This is how we grow the game.”
Achieving mastery through the PGA of America was a goal Bocking had when he got into the business, and he credits his wife Rachel with being extremely supportive of him as he strove to achieve his goals.
He adds, “She was motivational, as she always is, and was a big reason that I was able to achieve my goals in a timely manner. She has contributed to all my professional career successes as a coach and has pushed me to live out my dream of teaching this great game. She motivates me every day and pushes me closer to Christ. It’s truly a blessing to be able to do what I love every day!”
Bocking touts his home club at The Ledges as being “a fun environment to work in.” He credits The Ledges’ owners, the Denny and Salter families, as well as General Manager Jim Ausley and their professional golf staff, headed by PGA of America Director of Golf Rob Clark, for being very supportive of what he does to grow the game of golf.
“They give me the resources to be successful and that helps me develop my students to play their best golf. Together we are not only growing the game, but building a world-class golf performance academy in Alabama,” Bocking says.
Bocking wants his players to see the passion that he has for the game and says that his desire for education and continued learning won’t cease now that he’s attained Master Professional status.
“I want them to continue the journey of learning and improving as well,” he admits. “After all, getting better never stops. It is in my DNA to continue to provide the best tools and coaching for any golfer who walks through the doors.”
Bocking coaches some of the top-ranked junior and amateur golfers in the country, including the 2021-2022 Pinehurst Elite Invitational Boys Champion, 2022 Alabama Junior Girls & Women’s State Amateur Champion, 2022 Alabama Boys State Junior Amateur Champion, 2023 Southern Junior Boys Champion, 2023 Alabama Men’s State Amateur Champion and the 2023 Alabama Women’s State Stroke Play Champion. He also coaches multiple high school teams and individuals who have won state championships.
“It’s truly an honor to be part of the inspiring group of PGA of America Master Professionals, and to earn this status at the home of the PGA of America makes it that much more special,” he concludes.