IJGA students had a special treat waiting for them when they arrived at Pinecrest Golf Club on Thursday: LPGA playersAzahara Munoz and Sarah Jane Smith were there to practice alongside them. Both women are coached by IJGA instructors. IJGA Director of Instruction Kevin Smeltz is Smith’s coach and Tim Vickers coaches Munoz.
Munoz, who just finished her fourth season on the LPGA tour, worked alongside Vickers’ students on the putting green in the morning giving the students an up-close-and-personal look at how the pro handles her short game.
The 27-year-old is a great role model, especially for the IJGA’s international students as the Spanish player attended college at Arizona State University before turning pro. While at ASU she was the 2008 NCAA Individual National champion and led the Sun Devils to the Team National Championship in 2009. She currently sits at No. 14 on the Rolex Rankings and has finished in the top-20 in 16 of 25 events played.
In the afternoon, Smith joined Munoz on the driving range. Smith, the top-ranked junior in Australia in 2002, had a very successful amateur career before joining the LPGA tour. The 30-year-old Australian earned her LPGA Tour card in 2005 by winning the final event of the Symetra Tour. Her current Rolex Ranking is 137 with her best performance of 2014 coming at the Kingsmill Championship presented by JTBC where she tied for second.
Both the students and the pros had an enjoyable experience. You can find more photos of the visit on the IJGA Facebookpage.