Bishops Gate Golf Academy is excited to welcome Kevin Smeltz to the BGGA team as the Director of Golf. Smeltz will be relocating to BGGA full-time in June 2015 to prepare for the fall semester. Until then, he will be overseeing the golf programs at both BGGA and the International Junior Golf Academy in Hilton Head, S.C.
Smeltz was introduced to the game of golf by his father while in high school. He received All-American Honors while at the University of North Florida and, after graduation, decided to pursue a career in golf instruction. He trained at the Leadbetter Golf Academy (LGA) and became an LGA Certified Golf Instructor before accepting a position as David Leadbetter’s assistant. While in this role, Smeltz worked with a variety of major championship winners including Nick Faldo, Nick Price, Ernie Els, Greg Norman, and many more. After a year and a half under Leadbetter’s wing, Smeltz took a position as the Director of Instruction at the Leadbetter Golf Academy in Japan. After three years abroad, he accepted a position as the Director of Instruction, as well as the Director of Training and Certification Worldwide, at the LGA World Headquarters in Orlando, Fla. In September 2013, Smeltz became the Director of Instruction at the International Junior Golf Academy.
Smeltz has a passion for training and developing junior golfers and enjoys the long-term development opportunity that a full-time academy provides.
Smeltz can be found on several of the Golf Digest awards lists, including Top-20 Teachers under 40 (2007-2009), Best Teachers in Florida (2007-Present), and Best Young Teacher (2010). He’s also on the list of Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Teachers from 2012 to present.
This past year, Smeltz became a published author; his book can be found in Barnes and Noble and on Amazon. He has also written for numerous publications in Asia, Europe, and the U.S. and starred in videos for Golf Digest.
While under his instruction, Smeltz’s players have won 19 tournaments on the PGA tour, Champions Tour and LPGA Tour. His players have also won multiple professional tournaments in Europe and Asia. Under his tutelage, five of Smeltz’s students achieved PGA Tour status for the first time, and six of his students achieved Web.com Tour status. Two of his players were ranked in the top 10 in the world while working with him, both on the PGA Tour and the LPGA Tour. Smeltz has taught two U.S. Walker Cup team members, two No. 1-ranked college players, a No. 2-ranked college player, and many top-ranked juniors.
Smeltz currently works with several professional tour players, many of whom will be moving their training base to Bishops Gate Golf Academy, including:
Manuel Villegas – Web.com Tour
Roope Kakko – European Tour
Na Yeon Choi – LPGA Tour
Yani Tseng – LPGA Tour
Bank Vongvanij – Asian Tour
Jennifer Song – LPGA Tour
Jee Young Lee – LPGA Tour
Sarah Jane Smith – LPGA Tour
Sue Kim – LPGA Tour
Chie Arimura – LPGA Tour