Spirit International to return in 2021 with elevated profile
- Golfweek photo
- Golfweek photo

The Spirit International Amateur will return in 2021, as teams from around the world will bring their best male and female amateur golfers to Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity, Texas.

The 2021 Spirit International will be played November 1-6.

Since its launch in 2001, the Spirit has hosted top U.S. and international players, many of whom have gone on to stardom in professional golf. Past winners include Lorena Ochoa, Paula Creamer, Brandt Snedeker, Martin Kaymer, Sei-Young Kim, Danny Willett, Lexi Thompson, Jordan Spieth, and Brooke Henderson.

Other past participants include Jason Day, Thomas Pieters, Ya-Ni Tseng, Jessica Korda, Francesco Molinari, Si Woo Kim, Na Yeon Choi, and Charl Schwartzel.

In 2019, France (Adrien Pendaries, Julian Sale, Pauline Roussin Bouchard, Candice Mahe) won their first overall Spirit title, with a team total of 37 under par. Cole Hammer and Andy Ogletree (USA) took the men's team title, while Jeong Hyun Lee and Ina Yoon (Korea) won the women's team title. Australia's Jack Trent and Lee were the men's and women's individual champions.

Related: France wins Spirit Int'l, but USA doesn't leave empty-handed

Mark Steinbauer
In an effort to raise the profile of the event, the Spirit Golf Association (SGA) announced that Mark Steinbauer, PGA has been named Vice President of the Spirit Golf Association. In his new role, Steinbauer will oversee partnerships for The Spirit International Amateur. Steinbauer will also work in the development of new charitable events for The Spirit Golf Association and its corporate partners.

Steinbauer is a Class A PGA Member, Master Professional and a 30-year veteran of the golf industry with extensive experience managing golf operations at private facilities, golf academies and schools.

“Mark is a forward-thinking and progressive PGA Professional who has run successful day-to-day golf operations at courses in Texas and South Carolina,” said SGA President Charlie Epps.“He also brings extensive experience managing high-level tournaments and USGA events to our team. Mark and I have worked together several times over the years. His energy and expertise made him my first call when we began our search for a vice president.”

Steinbauer has an extensive track record of revenue and membership growth at every stop during his career. He has overseen course redesigns, operations changes and rebranding initiatives in addition to serving as a director or host for numerous tournaments, including three USGA events.

“It is an honor to join the Spirit Golf Association and I look forward to working again with Charlie (Epps) and the rest of The Spirit staff,” said Steinbauer. “This is a first-class, service-minded organization and I cannot think of a better fit for me. I am ready to get started.”

Steinbauer has earned numerous awards as an instructor including South Texas PGA Professional of the Year in 2015 and 2011. He was named to Golf Magazine’s prestigious Top 100 Instructor list in 2011 and has served as a member of the PGA National Education Committee since 2017. He is a five-time winner of the South Texas PGA Horton Smith Award (education) in addition to the 2010 Bill Strausbaugh Award (club relations) and the Harvey Penick Teacher of the Year award in 1994. Since 2000, he has served on the Presidential advisory board for TaylorMade and Adidas.

ABOUT THE The Spirit International Amateur

The Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship is world class golf event played every other year. It features the world’s best amateur men and amateur women golfers as they represent their respective country in team and individual competitions. The 96 participants enjoy an Olympic-like experience from the Opening/Closing Ceremonies, international village and competing for gold medals.

The World Health & Golf Association and Texas Golf Association invite 24 countries from six continents to participate. Established in 2001, The Spirit is a biennial event that alternates tournament years with the World Amateur Team Championships.

Part of the uniqueness of the Spirit International are the five simultaneous competitions: Combined International Championship, Men’s Team Championship, Women’s Team Championship, Men’s Individual and Women’s Individual.

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