You're in good hands

Instruction at St Andrews Links Golf Academy is provided by PGA-Qualified St Andrews Links Instructors. Using innovative, personally tailored coaching methods to enable pupils to make the most of potential and to improve their performance, our instructors deliver a range of coaching styles, from the highly technical to more traditional.

Our team of instructors utilise state the art swing analysis studios, biomechanical assessment and fantastic long and short game facilities to provide a comprehensive instruction programme, putting the Academy at the forefront of golf coaching throughout the world.

 

The technology we use here is first class and makes a lesson an exceptional experience for the client.
Steve North

Steve North - Director of Instruction

Steve North is responsible for the delivery of the world class coaching at St Andrews Links. He is one of Golf Monthly’s Top 25 Coaches and was also awarded a Top 25 Most Admired Operator in Golf Award, by Golf Inc magazine (US) in 2008.

Steve moved to the Home of Golf to build and develop the Golf Academy after many successful years as David Leadbetter’s Director of Instruction. As one of the youngest golf professionals to complete the rigorous David Leadbetter training, Steve went on to conduct golf clinics all over Asia for some of the world’s leading corporations and continues to do so at St Andrews Links. His clients include Allianz, Brooks Brothers, HSBC, Credit Suisse, RBS, Chase Manhattan Bank, BMW, Audi and FedEx.

Specialising in the use of analysis software and technology, Steve continues to keep the Golf Academy at the very forefront of instruction and has gone on to play pivotal roles for the Scottish Golf Union and University of St Andrews development / coaching programmes. He has also coached numerous players to national titles throughout the world.

Steve currently writes for several publications including Golf Monthly, Asian Golf Monthly, the St Andrews Links Yearbook and St Andrews Links News.

Kevin Hale - Senior Instructor

Kevin came to the Academy from The Belfry, a facility famous for playing host to European tour events and the Ryder Cup.

Kevin began playing the game at a young age and enjoyed notable success as an amateur. Whilst a junior, Kevin won the Staffordshire County Championship.  As a result of his well-rounded play he turned professional, and shortly thereafter qualified as a member of the PGA of Great Britain and Ireland.

Kevin is heavily involved in developing young talented golfers across Scotland and beyond and currently works as the National U16’s Head Coach and St Andrews University Ladies Head Coach.

“I really enjoy my coaching here in St Andrews, whether I am helping visiting golfers to learn specialist Links shots, helping players lower their handicaps, or training elite golfers to be champions.”

I work with a player’s individual body, mind and technical abilities. I want to improve each area in a simple and practical way.
Kevin Hale
I believe by combining traditional and modern teaching philosophies with the latest technology, pupils can accomplish their most efficient golf.
David Watt

David Watt – Senior Instructor

David has been coaching for over twelve years with an unwavering desire in that time to further his knowledge and stay at the forefront of golf instruction. His belief in the possibility of improvement through looking closely at the body-swing connection led him to being one of the very first instructors in the UK to be involved with the TPI, gaining Level 3 status in 2011.

David is currently leading the Golf Academy’s biomechanics programme by using our AMM 3D 8 sensor system to gain a unique insight into the body’s movements during the swing. By combining this information with Trackman and force plate data he can definitively target the key areas of potential improvement.

As comfortable as David is in the high-tech atmosphere of our teaching studios, he is equally at home on the traditional links courses of St Andrews. Having grown up in close proximity to St Andrews he is well versed in the unique challenges posed by these links and enjoys the challenge of helping you take what you have learned in the Academy and deliver it on the course.

David is currently the Director of Golf for the University of St Andrews which is reaping the benefit of his knowledge and enthusiasm in all areas of the game.

Fintan Bonner - Academy Instructor

Fintan joined the St Andrews Links Golf Academy team from a coaching role he held in Black Bush Golf Club in Ireland. He began playing golf at a young age and achieved a wide range of success as an amateur. Whilst he was a junior he was a selected to be a member of the Leinster Elite Panel and was chosen to represent his province on numerous occasions.

At University College Dublin, Fintan achieved a Diploma in Sports Management and went on to achieve a BA HONS Degree in Accounting and Human Resource Management at National College of Ireland. He was awarded a Golf scholarship at both of these Universities and was a member of the winning team that clinched the Irish University Championship 2 years in a row.

From a coaching standpoint Fintan is an NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) Practitioner. He believes that the roots of good coaching are grounded in the instructor’s ability to communicate effectively with their student and create a successful learning environment.  As well as being a highly regarded instructor, Fintan is a Custom Fit Specialist, having trained with some of the top Customisation Experts in the world.

In terms of a coaching philosophy, Fintan believes in creating a positive coaching environment for the golfer by promoting growth, development and learning. This is achieved through the use of the latest analysis software and technology to help deliver an individual plan with the golfer to achieve their golfing goals.

My coaching philosophy is to create a positive coaching environment for the golfer by promoting growth, development and learning.
Fintan Bonner

My philosophy is based around establishing the key fundamentals to allow for a strong and consistent golf swing.
Scott Herald

Scott Herald - Academy Instructor

Scott joined the team at St Andrews Links Golf Academy with a successful background in both coaching and playing. He attended university in Nashville, Tennessee on a golf scholarship before returning home and successfully undertaking his PGA qualifications at The Belfry and University of Birmingham.

Scott’s passion for golf began at an early age and he quickly showed signs of his natural talent for the game, winning titles at each age group within his county and playing in prestigious national and international events. After turning professional in 2008, he enjoyed success on the PGA Europro tour and the domestic Scottish circuit notably finishing 5th at the prestigious Scottish PGA Championships at Gleneagles in 2014.

Combined with his playing career, Scott began to forge an interest in coaching and different techniques, learning from some notable tutors whilst developing his own philosophies of how to maximise an individual’s potential. Scott believes a successful coach-pupil relationship relies on communication and trust, and that utilising the facilities and technology available within the Golf Academy can enhance this bond.

He said: “My philosophy is based around establishing the key fundamentals to allow for a strong and consistent golf swing, whilst working with the pupil to assess their strengths and weaknesses. Together we can devise a plan to help that pupil reach their goals.”

Blair Cross – Academy Instructor

Blair joined the team of St Andrews Links Golf Academy instructors from The Belfry.

As well as being a highly regarded instructor Blair is a custom fit specialist, holding the Callaway Golf Product Specialist Gold Award. He worked at the high tech Centre of Excellence at The Belfry showcasing the largest selection of demonstration clubs in Europe as part of his role in the Golf Operations department.

Hailing from Elgin, Blair grew up playing the links at Moray in Lossiemouth. He studied Golf Management at the University of the Highlands and Islands and played in the university’s team which competed in the British University Championships.

In terms of his coaching philosophy, Blair is a firm believer in matching the swing to the player by identifying the player’s personality and tailoring the coaching accordingly. Whether it is video analysis, explanation or a demonstration, ensuring the pupil gets the most out of the lesson is paramount.

Whether it is video analysis, explanation or a demonstration, ensuring the pupil gets the most out of the lesson is paramount.
Blair Cross
The aim of the programmes is to restore the body back to its full function through the combination of manual treatments and functional rehabilitation programmes.
Rob Wilson

Rob Wilson - Functional Movement Advisor

Rob Wilson joins St Andrews Links Golf Academy as our Functional Movement (FMS) advisor; this covers aspects such as rehabilitation through to strength and conditioning.

Rob has worked in professional sport for 14 years including time with the Great Britain Swimming Team and the Leeds Rhinos rugby league team.

After leaving the Royal Marines, Rob studied Physiotherapy at Leeds University and graduated in 1997. He went on to study Sports Therapy with Premier Training. From there he became Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Great Britain Swim Team from 1997 to 2001. He was also physiotherapist for members of the national squad in the regional elite group in Leeds.

In 2001 Rob joined Leeds Rhinos rugby league team as Sports Therapist and Rehabilitation Conditioner. During his time there the club won the Grand Final twice, were Challenge Cup runners-up four times and twice became World Club Champions.

Rob specialises in a number of treatment programmes using manual techniques such as Myoskeletal Alignment and Bowen Technique as well as acupuncture along the meridians to improve body movement.

Rob is certified in FMS (Functional Movement Screen) and uses the screen as the basis of his injury treatment and prevention/rehabilitation strategies. FMS comprises a series of seven basic movements that are fundamental to functional movement. By testing the body to these movements areas of restriction or asymmetry and therefore potential injury are highlighted. The areas of restriction, asymmetry or dysfunction are addressed using manual therapy and corrective exercise to release restricted areas and retrain weak and unstable patterns (not isolated areas) so that the correct function is restored.

Dr Paul McCarthy - Practitioner Psychologist

Dr Paul McCarthy is a chartered sport psychologist with the British Psychological Society and practitioner psychologist with the Health and Care Professionals Council.

He has spent the past 15 years helping amateur and professional athletes to excel and win when it matters most in sport.

Paul worked for several years at Nottingham Forest football club but now works mainly in professional golf and tennis. His clients have played and won on various tours within the UK and Europe.

He has authored several books (e.g., The Successful Golfer: Practical Fixes for the Mental Game of Golf; Becoming a Sport Psychologist) and peer-reviewed research articles exploring the value of positive emotion for sport performance and why athletes lose concentration.

Using sophisticated eye tracking equipment to explore differences among novice and elite golfers in various parts of the game, he is a psychologist with special expertise on supervision within the register of applied psychology practice supervisors supporting students to become chartered sport psychologists.

Paul has also contributed to articles in golf magazines such as Bunkered and Today’s Golfer.