IJGA offers a team of trained and experienced coaches committed to an elite golf training program. Bringing with them years of industry experience and world-class backgrounds, our coaches will develop and implement a coaching strategy to elevate your game.
MEET THE COACHES
Ramon “Alex” Puchales grew up in Caguas, Puerto Rico, and was introduced to golf by his uncle in New Jersey. He has played golf for 17 years in places such as Puerto Rico, Mexico, Qatar and Korea where he won the 2003 8th Army Golf Championship in Sung Nam, South Korea. He began teaching seven years ago and graduated Professional Golfers Career College with honors and winner of “Most Positive Attitude Award” and the Gerald E. Hall Sportsmanship award. Puchales joined IJGA in 2010 as a Hank Haney Level 1 certified instructor after his tenure as a staff professional at Hunter Golf Course in Savannah, Ga., and Hilton Head Lakes Golf Club in Hardeeville, S.C. Puchales’ students have won in nationally recognized events including the State Junior Championships. His students have also qualified and played in USGA Junior Championships. They have continued on to win collegiate tournaments of different levels. His philosophy to succeed in junior golf is to for his students to surround themselves with a good support team, write their goals, and do whatever is necessary to achieve those goals.
Sue Lee was born in South Korea and grew up in New Jersey. She played in a number of junior, amateur tournaments, garnering multiple wins at the state and regional levels, playing in the U.S. Girls Championship, and setting the course record at Peddie School Golf Course in New Jersey. Sue has also competed extensively in national and international tournaments alongside players such as Christina Kim and Aree Song, and turned pro in 2005. She completed her first teaching certification in 1997, and is currently a member of LPGA T&CP. In addition, she has attended training programs and workshops to keep her teaching knowledge and skills current, that she is now a recognized Level I-TPI Certified Instructor, Level III-TPI Junior Certified Coach and a Certified US Kids Golf Instructor. In the past, she has used her passion and skill-set to also design an integrated training program for juniors at the Leadbetter Academy and completed a dissertation at Rutgers University on the mathematical analysis of golf mechanics. Her focus and dedication to junior golf eventually led her to join the IJGA in 2014. She credits her students for her ongoing passion to excel and continue evolving a better teacher and desires to access the truths behind a successful golf swing.
Dick Wedzik grew up in Erie, Pa, and was introduced to golf by his brother when he caddied for him in the city championship. He has now been golfing for 48 years and after earning his Class A membership in the PGA competed in section PGA events and the PGA Winter Tour. In 2002 he qualified and played in the USGA Senior US Open. He has been coaching for 32 years including four years in Mexico, and time with a student in Moscow, Russia. Wedzik has been titled the Tri-State PGA Professional of the Year, Western New York Apprentice Player of the Year, and West Virginia PGA Player of the Year. After his tenure as Head Professional at Bridgeport Country Club in Bridgeport, W.Va., he joined IJGA in 1996. His former students include Jose Octavio Gonzalez, a top professional on the Negro Modelo Tour, and IJGA alumni such as Pablo Larrazabal, a three-time European Tour winner, and Martina Eberl, two-time European Tour winner. His philosophy for juniors to succeed is to look at what the best players are doing, and work harder than they are.
Jon Hall was raised in New Jersey and introduced to golf by his grandparents while visiting them in Hilton Head Island. He began playing Harbour Town at the age of six and continued to succeed from there as he later led his high school team to two State Championships. He attended St. Mary’s College, a Division 1 private school in Moraga, Calif., on a golf scholarship and competed against top competitors in the WAC Conference. He attended the Golf Academy of America in San Diego where he graduated in 2001 with certifications in Advanced Rules, Club Fitting, Advanced Teaching, and Advanced Golf Course Management. Hall joined IJGA in 2007 after working as a golf professional for the Plantation Club at Sea Pines Resort in Hilton Head Island. He has taught players of all levels from beginners to Division 1 scholarship players such as Stephanie Meadow the three-time All-American who produced the best season at University of Alabama as a junior during the 2012-2013 season. Hall’s philosophy towards success in junior golf is simple, ATTITUDE. “If you think you can or think you can’t, you will always be right.”
Dwight Nevil grew up in Denison, Texas, where his father managed the Denison Country Club. Nevil’s father began teaching Nevil at the age of six at the Country Club. He has now been playing golf for 63 years and has been teaching for more than 35 years. During his tenure as a golfer, he has played internationally on the Asian Tour in 1970 and a few events in Mexico. Nevil competed on the PGA Tour for eight years and had two wins including the Magnolia Classic in 1973. He is now a Life Member of the PGA of America and a Veteran Member of the PGA Tour (Champions Tour). On the Champions Tour he has won the Texas Senior Open in 1995 and was awarded the Northern Texas Section Distinguished Service Award in 2011. Nevil joined IJGA in 2012 from the Dallas Hank Haney facility where he worked as a coach and club fitter. He believes the only way to succeed in junior golf is through hard work and believing in yourself, “If it is to be, it is up to me”.
Chad Popovich was raised in Utica, Michigan. He got his start in the golf world as a caddy at the age of 13. He worked his way up to become the Assistant Pro at Great Oaks Country Club in Rochester, Michigan. He relocated to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina in 2001. During the next few years he became the Assistant Pro at Belfair Golf Club in Bluffton, South Carolina where he was able to pursue his passion for golf club repair and fitting. After 2 years his hard work opened the door for Chad to become the full time club fitter for the Belfair 30 acre Learning Center in 2003.
Chad began fitting clubs for students from IJGA in 2008. The students would come to the Learning Center for their fitting. In June of 2011, IJGA was greatly improved by hiring Chad on a fulltime basis. Having him based fulltime at Pinecrest, the IJGA practice , it allows him to work with students on a daily basis. He is a certified custom clubfitter for Cobra, Mizuno, Ping, Taylor Made, and Titleist fitting systems. He has worked with and fit players of all levels from PGA, Nationwide, LPGA, Collegiate, Club Professionals to everyday golfers.
Dr. Adam Naylor
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF MENTAL TRAINING
Dr. Naylor brings over a decade and a half of applied sport psychology experience (Olympic, professional, collegiate, and elite junior) to his clients. Of note, his clients include – US Open competitors, Stanley Cup champions, Olympic/International medalists, NCAA champions, and UFC martial artists. He is also currently the mental game coach for the Bay Club (MA), coach educator for USA Hockey, and part of the faculty of the Institute for Rowing Leadership. He spent a decade directing the Boston University Athletic Enhancement Center and oversees the Mental Conditioning Services at BU.
Beyond serving as an educational resource for athletes, coaches and organizations, Dr. Naylor currently teaches at Boston University. Over the years he has also taught sport psychology classes at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, Mt. Ida College, and Middlesex Community College and sports studies class at Trinity College (Conn.). He has published in various academic journals and sport science online resources and sits on the sport science and player development committees of a variety of sports organizations. He is currently the Column Editor on Sport Psychology and Counseling for The International Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training, authors Psychology Today’s The Sporting Life blog, a bi-weekly contributor to Boston.com’s Get Moving blog, and a contributor to the Titleist Performance Institute.
Dr. Naylor obtained his doctoral and master degrees in counseling psychology and developmental studies (specializing in sport psychology) at Boston University. He earned his bachelors degree in psychology, minoring in human movement studies, from Trinity College (CT). He is an Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) Certified Consultant. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @ahnaylor.
DIRECTOR OF MENTAL TRAINING
Matt has nearly a decade of experience working with athletes, coaches, and administrators on the mental aspects of high performance. Since the summer of 2006, he has served as Director of Mental Training for International Junior Golf Academy in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. While at the academies, Matt has assisted the development of numerous All-American student-athletes. His clients include PGA TOUR, Nationwide TOUR, LPGA TOUR, and Champions TOUR players, as well as college and amateur athletes in a number of sports from around the world.
Matt teaches for the Professional Golfers Career College where he educates aspiring teaching professionals on the psychology of golf, designed a doctoral level course in performance enhancement for the University of the Rockies, shared psychology of leadership concepts with youth hockey coaches in the USA Hockey developmental program, and has been a contributing writer for coaching and athletic publications throughout the country. He is an active member of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) and has presented his work at numerous local, regional, and national conferences.
Matt received his Master of Education in Counseling/Sport Psychology from Boston University. Prior to his graduate training in sport psychology, Matt worked for the American Junior Golf Association where he served as the East Canon Cup Captain and United States Representative for the Junior British Open Championship. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MentalCoachMatt.
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF GOLF
DaWayne Penberthy was born in Bonnie Terre, Mo., into a career military family and grew up in many states. A retired United States Coast Guard veteran of 30 years, he was introduced to golf at the age of 22 while stationed in Puerto Rico and has been playing all across the world for the past 44 years. He graduated from the Professional Golfers Career College and has been teaching for three years. He came to IJGA in 2014 highly recommended by Pinecrest Golf Club where he was employed in Golf Operations. His philosophy for junior golfers to succeed is to help each student strike the ball as well and as accurately as they can for their skill level. They should improve their skill level over time as quickly as they are capable. He strives to encourage his to students to set reasonable expectations for their progress which can be achieved in order to promote a sense of accomplishment. Penberthy desires to help each student have fun learning about themselves, their swings, and to play the game as well and as long as they possibly can.
ATHLETIC DIRECTOR, ACADEMICS & COMPLIANCE
Despite getting into golf at a late age, Ann grew up watching her older brother Michael play golf in college and beyond, in turn catching the ‘golf bug’. She soon began to desire traveling to play and meeting new people. Ann played her first tournament at the age of 12 and began practicing harder and harder.
Ann landed at Coastal Carolina where she began her college golf career. Quickly accomplishing her goal to play in every tournament, Ann went on to rack up six Big South Player of the Week titles. Her shining moment came in the final round of the Big South Championship where she came from six strokes behind to capture her first win.
Ann’s education and golf experiences provided her a thorough understanding of the processes of pursuing college, competing and being successful. It is through her experiences that Ann is able to offer college placement assistance to all IJGA students with a desire to play college golf.
- University of South Carolina Beaufort- Admissions Counselor/Regional Recruiter
- South Carolina Junior Golf Association – Chapter Director
- American Junior Golf Association – Tournament Operations