Under the direction of Stuart Morgan (Director of Instruction), the IJGA’s coaching staff has a mission focused on Player Development. Our team of trained and experienced coaches are committed to providing an elite golf training program.
Morgan has the coaching staff focused on developing strong skills and assists each instructor on aiding each student’s ability to take practice skills to a competitive tournament environment. Bringing with them years of industry experience and world-class backgrounds, our coaches will develop better players, not just a better golf swing.
“The more you can combine the technical, mental, emotional and tactical in a training environment, the better.”
– STUART MORGAN
MEET THE COACHES
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.
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.
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”.
Originally from Chicago, Jared Steger was introduced to the game of golf by his grandfather when he was 10 years old. He went on to play high school golf where his team won the Conference Championship and were the Illinois State Champions. Following an impressive high school career, Steger played Division I college golf at Northern Illinois and then Western Illinois before turning pro. He competed professionally for five years on the Web.com Tour, PGA Tour Canada and PGA Tour Latin America. Steger’s teaching philosophy is “There’s no one way to swing a club, but there is an efficient way to excel.” While at IJGA he aims to “turn golfers into players.”
Surrey, England native Kieran Staunton started playing golf at age 13 when his father introduced him to the game. He worked his way through the junior ranks and into the top level amateur game in the UK and Europe before turning professional. Staunton began his pro career on the mini tours in the U.K. before progressing onto the European Tour, European Challenge Tour and Web.com Tour. “I enjoyed my time traveling the world playing the various tours and gained a huge amount of experience,” Staunton said. “I hope to be able to pass on this experience to the IJGA students during my time here.”
Growing up with a love of sports, Connor Brown always had an interest in coaching. Hailing from Maryland, Connor has experience in many sports including lacrosse, hockey and of course golf. His knowledge and experience with various sports allowed him to gain a strong understanding of successful coaching techniques and best practices.
Having the valuable opportunity to experience the IJGA program first as a student, Connor knows precisely what it takes to be successful. Motivated by the opportunity to aid IJGA students in pursuing their dreams, Connor uses his knowledge from both sides of the academy to create plans for success.
“My favorite part of being a coach is the continuous learning,” Connor says. “I have seen the coaching side from a player perspective and then also from the coach perspective and I believe that allows me to truly understand the ways to enable success.” Having spent the past two years working with all coaches at IJGA, including Kevin Smeltz and now Stuart Morgan has given Connor valuable knowledge. “The education they have provided me is incredible. I love sharing my knowledge with the students.”
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.
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.
DIRECTOR OF COLLEGE PLACEMENT
North Carolina native Scott Rosen began his journey into the industry by earning his degree in Business and Marketing Education at East Carolina University. While at ECU, Scott worked as a player personnel and recruiting assistant for the football program where he helped recruit the all-time NCAA receptions leader and now Atlanta Falcon Justin Hardy.
Scott moved on to the University of Georgia in 2014 where he earned a Master’s in Sport Management and Policy. During his studies at Georgia, Scott interned with Octagon Sports Marketing in Atlanta and with the PGA Tour at TPC Sugarloaf in Duluth.
In 2015, Scott joined the IJGA as an academic advisor before transitioning into his role as the Director of College Placement. “I take pride in helping students find the best fit college program to continue their academic and golf careers,” says Scott. “The IJGA has allowed me to bring my previous experience with the NCAA and recruiting to an environment with a talented golf staff where we are all committed to providing our students the best possible college placement experience possible.”
DIRECTOR OF MENTAL TRAINING
A native of the U.K., Iain Highfield played rugby, football, cricket and golf as a junior. He competed in rugby at Leeds University while earning a degree in Economics. Qualified in Economics and Business Psychology as well as sports and exercise psychology, Iain began to apply his coaching models to junior golf in 2009. In 2011 he co-founded Leap Golf U.K. and worked with elite juniors as well as Ladies European Tour, Euro-Pro, Challenge Tour and European Tour professionals. During this time, Iain based himself at the Nike Golf Academy in Leeds. He also consulted for Devere Golf Academies, state and national teams and was a part of the Nottingham University golf coaching team.
Iain has formulated an eclectic mental performance program that he believes will help players experience freedom, flow and fun in competition. At the end of 2013, Iain acquired an O1 visa to come and work in the United States and now gets to live his passion of enabling junior athletes to evolve into the people and players they desire to be every day.