In just six short years, IJGA Bishops Gate is proud to have built the foremost golf coaching team in junior golf, with the results of our students evidencing the quality of instruction and development. Our analysis shows that we had twice the number of wins over our nearest rival and four times the number of wins over our third-place rival academy.
We see in the structure of the golf program two main elements, one obviously being the Coaching and Instruction of students, but also very importantly we recognize the importance of many areas of the golf program that require professional Management and Organization.
At IJGA we believe in developing autonomous and resourceful student athletes. We strive to create an environment that promotes individual purpose, builds skills and competencies, and helps students achieve their potential.
Based on research and experience we have developed a high performance golf training program to achieve that objective. The structure of the program is a POD system whereby students are organized in a POD with a highly experienced team of coaches who compliment one anothers strengths.
Within the POD system we are able to offer streaming so that students can work at their own individual level and in the areas that they need it most. We recognize that students need different challenges in their testing, performance games and technical coaching and the POD system allows us to provide that.
We have also introduced “core” and “autonomous” which allows for more developed and experienced players to have more input on their training schedule. The objective is to create a high level of motivation for students who are in the Core group to advance to Autonomous and for more advanced players to have more accountability in managing their own improvement.
The value of this model is in four distinct areas:
It provides a consistently high level of coaching to avoid any student being “left behind”
It allows for a more strategically planned tournament schedule for each individual and not for a golf group
It allows for a more individual training schedule because students have flexibility within the POD to work on all aspects of their game
It creates an interdependent coaching team that allows students to learn from more than just one coach and for the team to collaborate and share ideas.
Besides the clear advantages of the POD model, academy students also have access 7-days a week to the challenging training course at Bishops Gate where they spend time learning how to make decisions, building playing skills, and growing in emotional and strategic development. Creating a sense of autonomy and self-sufficiency through great coaching is what gives our students the best tools and preparation for their college careers and beyond.
The IJGA Directors
Director of Instruction
Fred is the founder of Fred Griffin Golf and previously served as the Director of the Grand Cypress Academy of Golf (formerly the Jack Nicklaus Academy of Golf) in Orlando, Fla., since it opened in 1986.
A Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, Griffin teamed with CompuSport International and Dr. Ralph Mann to create the first science-based curriculum program based on high-speed video and computer graphics in the golf instruction industry.
Griffin’s and Mann’s research on the biomechanics of the swing spawned the golf instruction book, Swing Like a Pro, which became a model for the many swing sequence articles you see in magazines today. This dedicated passion for research-based instruction is what sets Griffin apart from other programs. In fact, he and Dr. Mann have spent years together and as a result have completed scientific research on all aspects of the game from full swing, putting, pitch and run, pitching and bunker play.
A regular on Golf Digest’s Best Teachers in Your State list, Griffin has served on the National PGA Presidents Council and National PGA Teaching Committee and spoken at four national PGA Teaching and Coaching Summits.
His many other professional achievements include: North Florida PGA Section Teacher of the Year (1988, 2019), PGA National Finalist Teacher of the Year 2019, North Florida East Central Chapter Teacher of the Year (1988, 2009, 2019), and Golf Digest’s America’s 50 Greatest Teachers. Among the many players who have taken lessons from Fred are Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Payne Stewart, Seve Ballesteros, and Bernhard Langer, Liselotte Neuman, In Gee Chun, Amy Yang and Jihee Lee.
Director of Player Performance
“Take a moment to close your eyes, prior to each shot then follow your routine with focus.”
Grant Balcke is a seasoned golf coach known for his honest and fair approach to golf training.
With over 15 years of experience, his golf career spans three continents.
Grant started his professional coaching career at the acclaimed National Golf Club in Melbourne, Australia as a part of the Australian PGA Education system. After 2 years, Grant moved to South East Asia to become the Junior Development Manager and eventually Owner of the Asian Golf Institute based at the Keppel Club in Singapore coaching players of all levels.
Prior to turning professional, Grant enjoyed a successful junior and amateur career and played NCAA DI golf at the University of Southern Mississippi. Coach Grant came to IJGA because he aspired to work with Elite Junior Players full time and aid them in developing as players and people. “Gary’s Coaching and the system of Training was something that I believed matched my goals and beliefs in the golf swing and game development, so it was a great fit to
join the coaching team.”
He enjoys the constant challenge and how the game blends numerous skill sets together all into onesport. Golf gives young players the opportunity, direction, knowledge, and assistance to work hard, stay on task and achieve their goals. Grant believes that in the development of junior athletes, there needs to be technical proficiency in order for strategy, mental and personal performance.
Grant has coached and mentored both national and international players to receive college golf
scholarships to Division 1 schools. He has also assisted and instructed professionals including Morgan Hoffman, Shanshan Feng, Ariya & Moriya Jutanugarn, Lydia Ko and Yani Tseng.
Director of Golf Operations
“If you cannot do the little things well you will never do the big things well”
Chris is originally from Pittsfield, Massachusetts and has been a member of the PGA since 1988. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Physiology. While at Maryland, Chris was captain of the golf team that was coached by PGA Tour Player and 2005 Players Champion Fred Funk. Chris holds the rare distinction of being a Certified Level 3 TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) Instructor in two categories: Junior Coach and Golf Instructor.Chris was the 2004 Northeast New York section PGA Teacher of the Year, a Top 50 Instructor in North America as listed by the Golf Range Association of America, and a Top Teacher-in-State as listed by Golf Digest and Golf Magazine. For the last three years, he has been named one of the Top 25 Elite Junior Golf Coaches in the country by Future Collegians Golf.
Chris has been training Elite Junior Golfers for over 25 years. He has found that undoubtedly there is a correlation between their technical golf abilities and their commitment to fitness. “The more committed to fitness a junior golfer is, the better they develop speed, dynamic balance and technically sound positions throughout their swing.”
As a player, Chris is a two-time qualifier for the PGA National Professional Championship as well as the qualifying medalist for both the 1982 U.S. Amateur Championship and the 1995 Cannon Greater Hartford Open on the PGA Tour.
Director of IJGT
“Stick with your first decision and don’t be worried about making a mistake.”
Bryan Mulry’s is more than just a golf instructor, he is a coach to his students.
Coach Bryan started playing golf at the age of 9, attracted to the sport because it was one of the few that can you play individually. In 1995, Bryan graduated from the Professional Golf Management Program at Ferris State University.
Before joining the International Junior Golf Academy, Bryan spent 11 years as a Head PGA Golf
Professional managing two 18-hole private facilities. He oversaw golf operations, the on-course golf shop and performing all golf instructional programs for students and adults of all ages!
His experiences teaching the game of golf on the lesson tee and golf course have helped him improve golfers of all ages and skill levels throughout the world. He came to IJGA because “there isn’t a better program for any young aspiring golfers to attend. At the academy, I have an amazing opportunity to teach and coach juniors with goals, desires and drive to better their futures academically, personally and professionally.”
He truly believes in Gary Gilchrist’s system of training and the improvement and positive results of his students keep him motivated. Bryan is a dedicated coach who supports his students both on and off the course. “It’s amazing how golf and life’s challenges and stories blend so well together.”
As a golf clinic specialist, Bryan has traveled throughout many countries demonstrating and teaching golfers how to better their game using 5 main components of the training system, technical, physical, mental, strategy and personal development.
The IJGA Bishops Gate Coaching Team
Drake Edmond’s love for the game, competitive nature playing the game and commitment to self-improvement was something he wanted to share with golfers of all levels. Drake is proficient in utilizing Sam Putt Lab, Trackman, force plates and V1 analysis. Through his calm, supportive demeanor, Drake develops each player to have confidence in themselves and the resilience needed to be a top junior golfer.
Golf Management degree, Professional Golfer’s Career College
Instructor, David Leadbetter Golf Academy
Instructor, Nike Golf Camps
Rookie of the Year
LaPorte Herald Argus Golfer of the Year
3x DAC All-conference Player of the Year
“The secret of golf is humility, empathy, and patience.”
Camilo Castiblanco is a passionate and experienced golf player and coach with experience providing and creating instruction plans to help players meet and exceed goals. After playing different mini tours and regional tours decided to continue sharing his passion for golf now teaching.
Camilo was born in Bogota, Colombia. Started playing golf at the age of 8, participating in various events inside and outside the country being a member of the National Team for a few years. After graduating from high school, Camilo started his college at Sergio Arboleda University, graduating later with honors at King Juan Carlos University at Madrid, Spain. During college, Camilo’s dedication to golf never stopped, on 2015 he attend to IJGA as a post-grad to later become a PGA member and tour player.
Later on his career he attended to IJGA La Loma on 2017, with his dedication and commitment to golf he received a two-year full ride scholarship from the Former Director of Golf Manuel Bermudez and the coaching staff, Juan Martin Hoyos and Oscar Palacio. Camilo is always open to share his knowledge and experience, very goal oriented, always ready to go the extra mile. He enjoys teaching and developing junior players that want to take their game to a higher level, making a difference in their technical game, mental development, physical strength and course strategy.
Was the First Assistant and Ambassador for the PGA Junior League in all South Florida section, having more than 200 students and a coaching staff of 40 instructors that wanted to grow the game at Miami Dade County and Broward County. Looking for Creating positive experiences early, for all athletes, that will keep more players engaged and retained in our sport. Always looking on introducing the right aspects of play in a structure that is fun, engaging, and progressively challenging is key.
He has coached players from all over the world, making them feel motivated and with the desire to succeed. With 3 professional wins over his years on tour, makes Camilo a strong believer that “hard work beats talent”.
“What started as a simple invitation to practice a wonderful sport in early 1986, quickly became a passion, my passion for golf.”
Born in Armenia, Colombia Andrés began playing golf at the age of ten joined as member at Club Campestre in his hometown. Andrés obtained his architect degree from La Gran Colombia University in 2000. With much effort and dedication, he became one of the best amateurs in the country, receiving numerous invitations to national and international events. He became a Professional Player in 2003 and competed in the Colombian Tour. He played in major events in which he stood out for his good performance and sportsmanship. Andrés has had an extensive sports career.
He worked for over 12 years as a Golf Instructor and Head Golf Professional for Club Campestre Guaymaral and Club Los Lagartos in Bogotá, both elite clubs in Colombia. There, he developed the Junior Golf Programs and organized events and other golf operations. He joined the Staff at Jim McLean Golf Schools (JMGS) in the Doral Resort and Spa, Miami in 2006 where he gave lessons to players of various levels, improving their technical skills, conducting golf schools, corporate clinics, as well as teaching in Junior Elite Programs and Junior Summer and Holiday Camps. He worked as a coach at the Junior Players Golf Academy (JPGA) located in Hilton Head Island, SC from 2008-2010, preparing players who wanted to improve their game in seek of obtaining scholarships at universities in the United States.
Andrés has over 18 years of teaching experience as a golf instructor and coach, which translates into over 20.000 hours of instruction, giving lessons to golfers of all levels, from juniors, beginners to elite players and professionals. He possesses strong personal skills and dedication, as well as a competitive spirit, talent and professionalism. In addition he speaks English and Spanish.
No. 1 Player in Colombia’s National Golf Rankings in 2002, Member of the Colombian Golf Federation as a Player and Master Instructor since 2003, Winner of the Jackie Burke award for best golf assistant at JMGS Doral 2006-2007, Certified Instructor at JMGS teaching system, Lowest round of 62 strokes held at the Red Course at Doral Resort and Spa.
“My teaching philosophy adheres to a system with a set of fundamentals that combined with the use of technology, such as video swing analysis and launch monitors provide players the right tools for improvement. Additionally, I implement innovative methods to make the necessary changes using drills and challenging practice. I pay attention to detail in developing a set of skills and specific requirements for each individual, all based in the motivation and love for our sport. My golf mantras are Be great the basics and Practice with purpose.”
Originally from Mt. Airy, NC, John joined the IJGA coaching team as a Senior Instructor in February 2022. Prior to teaching, John was a professional player himself, competing on the Hooters and Tear Drop Tours.
John’s teaching career has spanned the last 25 years, coaching at every level of the game from beginners to mini tour players. His teaching philosophy is to be fundamentally sound and for the student to have fun.
He has been a member of the PGA since 2000 and became a Certified Professional in Teaching and Coaching in 2008.
John was the Men’s Head Coach and PGM Instructor at Queens University in Charlotte for 7 years. He also taught at the Leatherman Learning Center and Golf Channel Academy in Charlotte. Most recently, John was the Director of Instruction at Hasentree Country Club in Raleigh, North Carolina.
John has been nominated as “Teacher of the Year” in the NFPGA and CPGA.
In 2020, he was awarded the Top-50 Coach I the country with the U.S. Kids program.
He is a level one certified coach with the Titleist Performance Institute, U.S. Kids, Operation 36 Golf, and Crush It Junior Program.
Hugh Royer III
Hugh Royer, III has a unique background. Not only is he one of the most highly-regarded instructors, his experience as a former PGA Tour player and top amateur golfer gives him the ability to relate to golfers of all skill levels and knows what it takes to get to the highest level. His instructional style combines his experience as a player and his insights as a student of the competitive game.
His teaching methodology is simple and effective. Basic fundamentals are a key component to his philosophy, fundamentals that were passed down by his father, Hugh Royer, Jr., also a former PGA Tour player (winner of the 1970 Western Open) and head coach at Columbus State University where his team captured five NCAA Division II titles.
“The key to instruction is to communicate to players in different ways,” Hugh explained. “I may need to use two totally different analogies to illustrate the same point to two different players.” “The transition to the collegiate and professional ranks is as much about lifestyle and organization as it is about golf and that is why IJGA is a perfect fit for me.”
Hugh played for two years at Mississippi State University and in those two seasons he had one tournament win and seven top-10 finishes. He then transferred to Columbus State University. He was NCAA Division II Player of the Year and First Team All-American for two years. He was named 1987 Amateur Player of the Year. He went on to win the Georgia State Amateur, the Southeastern Amateur (setting a record at 20 under par), the Azalea Amateur, and the Western Amateur.
Hugh turned professional in 1987 playing on the South African Tour for six years where he had one tournament win and several runner-up finishes. In 1993, Hugh captured two Korn Ferry Tour victories and two more in 1995. He played the PGA Tour from 1996 to 1998 and retired after the 2000 season. Since his retirement, Hugh has had the opportunity to teach some of the top junior, collegiate, and professionals in the game.
In 2000, Hugh was inducted into the Columbus State University Sports Hall of Fame, in 2020 into the Chatahoochee Valley Sports Hall of Fame, and in 2021, he was named Father of the Year by Family Golf Week.
While he is the newest member of our IJGA Bishops Gate team, Hugh was an instructor at our Hilton Head campus from 2003-2007.
The IJGA Mental & Performance Coaching Team
Senior Performance Coach
Gary has been a fully certified member of the Professional Golf Association of Australia since 1987, currently holding an Advanced Certification in Coaching. Throughout his career Gary has been very fortunate to have been entrusted with very diverse roles in public service leadership, professional golf, and athlete performance development.
During his 30 plus years coaching in many parts of the world, he has helped prepare players at every level of golf, from beginners to PGA Tour Major Champions. Today Gary’s goal is to share his experience, knowledge and passion learned over the years with the students at IJGA. As a golf performance coach and athlete, Gary embraces the simple philosophy of LEARN – PREPARE – PERFORM.
Partial Coaching Transcript:
Australian Sports Medicine Foundation: Certified Sports Trainer. 1984
Professional Golf Association of Australia: Certified Member.1987
PGA Australia Long Drive Champion, 1989 – 1991
International Sports Sciences Association: Certified Golf Fitness Instructor. 2000
United States Golf Fitness Association: Certified Master Golf Fitness Instructor. 2002
American Council on Exercise: Theory and Methodology of Training Certificate, 2009
United States Sports Academy: Sports Psychology certified, 2010
Australian Sports Commission: High Performance Coaching certified, 2014
United States Lifesaving Association (USLA), National Youth Team, Manager / Coach.
Authored the “Junior and Youth Lifesaving Learning Objectives”. Which was submitted and approved by the International Lifesaving Society (ILS) as the
standard of expectation in order for USLA Junior Lifeguards to be eligible to compete in International competition.
As a Master’s athlete, Gary has won International Lifesaving Society World Surfboat rowing championships; World Paddling Association paddleboard championships; and former Master’s indoor rowing world record holder.
Julieta is a strong addition to the Mental and Performance Coaching team.A LPGA player since 2006, these are the highlights of her professional and amateur career:
Winner of the 2006 ADT Championship
Winner of the Women’s World Cup of Golf 2007
6 Top 10’s in Major championships
24 Top 10’s in LPGA events
Set an LPGA Tour record for the most money earned by a rookie at $1,633,586 in 2006
Gold medalist of the ODESUR Games 2014
Bronze medalist of the Pan American Games 2015
Participated in the 2016 Rio Olympics
Winner of the 2005 YMCA Futures Classic (Symetra Tour)
Winner of the US Girls championship 2004
AJGA Player of the Year 2004
4-time AJGA All American
Individual and Team Winner of the 2004 South American Championship
Flag bearer for Paraguay in the 2016 Rio Olympics
The IJGA Bishops Gate Fitness & Conditioning Team
Director of Health and Athletic Development
Director of Health and Athletic Development
With IJGA Bishops Gate since 2015
Karen Harrison has an eye for detail and this is reflected in the meticulous fitness assessments and improvement plans created for IJGA Bishops Gate students. Originally trained as a podiatrist, Karen studied at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia, then at the University of Queensland to obtain a Post-Graduate Degree in Exercise Science (majoring in Biomechanics). In 2004, Golf BioDynamics (GBD), the company jointly owned with husband Dr. Robert Neal, re-located to The Jim McLean Golf School in Miami, Florida (USA). Over the next decade, Karen further developed her golf skills, specializing in swing analysis, becoming proficient in BioFeedback Training and providing physical training programs for golfers of all abilities. In 2014/2015, Karen assumed the role as Director of Health and Athletic Development with the IJGA team in Hilton Head (SC) joining the IJGA Bishops Gate team in 2015. The fitness program delivered alongside Performance Specialist Justin Smith, is of the highest quality and challenges our students to reach their athletic potential. Karen also has extensive experience in managing overuse injuries and recently completed a prestigious qualification in Sports Nutrition through the International Olympic Committee.
Director of Fitness
“Hard Work Beats Talent, When Talent Doesn’t Work Hard.”
When Sebastian Brown discovered how much fitness improved his own golf game, he chose a career path that would help develop other aspiring golfers into athletes and propel their own games. Sebastian was born in Jersey, United Kingdom and attended the IJGA himself as a post-grad in 2004. This led to 4-years of collegiate golf while earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science. Now a seasoned performance coach with over 10-years’ experience training golfers to perform better, his experience includes work in corporate fitness for the PGA TOUR at TPC Sawgrass where he trained many TOUR professionals, exclusive country clubs, and sports performance studios.
His other credentials include the highest Level 3 Golf Fitness Instructor Certification from the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI), a Certified Functional Strength Coach from the renowned Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning, and Certified Fitness Specialist from leading human performance company, EXOS.
Over his career he has worked with many accomplished PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour professionals and learned not only the level of fitness required to play at the highest level but also the physical challenges that comes along with it. Sebastian recognizes that the golfers of the future must be all-around great athletes who bring good mobility, strength, speed, and power to the game. In his work with the IJGA, he helps his students master techniques that promote efficient movement patterns, develop an enjoyment for physical activity, while also reducing the risk of injury and boosting performance.