Craig Hunter of Sandpoint CC to be honored with Master Kids Teacher Award, Thursday, Jan. 23, at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla.

NORCROSS, Ga. — U.S. Kids Golf has announced the recipients of the Top 50 Kids Teachers Award, which annually recognizes the world’s most outstanding youth golf instructors. The class of 2013 includes golf professionals from 21 states, Canada, Costa Rica and Mexico, with recipients chosen from a record 747 applicants.

“The award was created to help parents find the best coaching for their kids,” said Dan Van Horn, President and CEO of U.S. Kids Golf. “The mission of U.S. Kids Golf is to make the game fun for kids, and the Top 50 Kids Teacher Award is an important part of encouraging golf professionals who are key in supporting us and achieving this mission.”

Since 2004, U.S. Kids Golf has honored golf’s best teachers with the Top 50 Kids Teacher Award. Applicants complete an online survey and winners are chosen based on their contributions to junior golf, such as: time devoted to teaching young golfers; innovation, creativity and fun in their programs; communication; parental involvement; and overall effort to grow the game. Award recipients include teachers who work at public, private, resort and municipal courses.

Teachers who are named a Top 50 Kids Teacher three times are recognized with the Master Kids Teacher Award. Since the award was introduced in 2007, 78 instructors have earned this distinction, including 10 teachers in 2013.

“Being named a Master Kids Teacher is the highest honor an instructor can receive from U.S. Kids Golf,” Van Horn said. “These individuals are vital to helping U.S. Kids Golf improve kids golf and ensure a bright future for the game.”

View full list of recipients.