BGGA Students Cap Off 2017 With Wins

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Bishops Gate Golf Academy’s Petr Hruby won the Doral Publix Junior Golf Classic Boys 16-18 Division in a sudden death, one-hole playoff on Saturday, December 23, 2017. Hruby and Alejandro Madariaga both finished at 1-over 217, but Hruby was able to make birdie to clinch the win.

Hruby, from Czech Republic, shot rounds of 75, 70 and 72 over the three-day event. Hruby adds this win to a second-place finish he had this fall on the IJGT.

<img class=”alignright size-medium wp-image-6895″ src=”×224.png” alt=”” width=”300″ height=”224″ />BGGA’s Tianyu “Jeffrey” Wu also capped his 2017 season off with a win. Wu finished at 4-over 218 to win the CJGA World Junior Challenge on December 30, 2017 at Innisbrook Golf Resort in Palm Harbor, Fla.

The Chinese junior golfer had rounds of 74, 73 and 71 to win by four strokes. This makes the second top-5 finish for Wu this fall.

BGGA’s Diego Cordova finished T2 at the Dixie Amateur from December 19-22, 2017 at Heron Bay and TPC Eagle Trace in Coral Springs, Fla. The Mexican junior golfer had rounds of 70, 70, 71 and 72 for a 5-under 283. Cordova was one shot shy of the winner.

Other BGGA students at the Doral Publix Junior Golf Classic had top results including Siyan Chen’s third-place finish, Tracy Lee’s seventh-place finish and Manhua Chen’s T8 finish.

BGGA’s Hiroshi Tai finished T4 at the Junior Orange Bowl Championship on December 30, 207 at the Biltmore Golf Course in Coral Gables, Fla. Tai finished at 7-under 277 with rounds of 68, 69, 73 and 67.

Tai, from Singapore, moved up the leaderboard in the final round after carding a bogey-free, 4-under 67.

BGGA students return to the Academy this week, and we look forward to seeing more great results in 2018.

The Original You: Hiroshi Tai

Hear about Hiroshi Tai’s journey in golf and about the impact BGGA has had on his game and life.

BGGA’s Siyan Chen Claims Title at Sea Pines Junior Heritage

Bishops Gate Golf Academy student Siyan Chen won the Girls Division at the Sea Pines Junior Heritage on Sunday, February 4, 2018 at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Chen, a junior at BGGA from China, posted a first-round 3-under 69. Little did Chen know that the final round would be canceled due to weather and course conditions and that she would be named the winner based on first-round scores.

During the first round Chen recorded six birdies and three bogeys to lead the Girls Division by six strokes.

In the Boys Division, BGGA’s Dongjin Park and Hiroshi Tai finished T3 by scoring 1-over 73 during the first round.

Also competing this weekend was BGGA’s Cynthia Tu who finished T5 in the IMG Junior Golf Tour event at Rio Pinar Country Club in Orlando, Fla. Tu used rounds of 76 and 74 for a 6-over 150 finish.

BGGA students will use this week of golf training to prepare for upcoming junior golf tournaments.

Importance of SAM PuttLab Analysis

By Nate Dougherty, BGGA Senior Coach

At the beginning of each semester and when a new student arrives at Bishops Gate Golf Academy, we use SAM PuttLab as part of a broader assessment process to accurately evaluate the student’s abilities and proficiency of skills related to performance. Based on the individual’s ability and goals, the associated POD (group of coaches) identifies the student’s priorities and creates the blueprint for improvement.


Using SAM PuttLab, coaches get an accurate analysis of the student’s putting stroke and level of consistency presented in easy to understand software and reports.


After evaluating the student’s performance and analyzing the mechanics of their putting stroke, coaches use SAM PuttLab to help the student understand exactly what is causing inconsistent and/or poor putting through the simplest possible explanation.

Initiate Technical Change

With an accurate diagnosis and a simple solution, the coach can use SAM PuttLab in Training Mode so that the student gets real time audio or visual feedback related to their specific technical goal. The coaching from BGGA and feedback from SAM PuttLab are critical for the student to gain an overall understanding of the new skill through information, guidance, error detection and error correction.


After the student understands exactly “what” to do from the SAM PuttLab analysis and training, they spend time implementing the new skill in various environments, including the training facility and golf course, where they are learning “how” to perform the skill. During this phase, SAM PuttLab can be used regularly in Training Mode to set a task or challenge for the student to achieve a certain level of proficiency in the specific skill.

Measure Again

Once the student has had sufficient training (different for each student), coaches can use SAM PuttLab in Measurement Mode as a way to evaluate the progress of the new skill and to ensure that the student is on the right track. By using SAM PuttLab to regularly flip back and forth between measuring and training, coaches at BGGA are helping students improve performance in the short term while building sound fundamentals that will enable improved long-term performance as well.

Five BGGA Students Qualify for Faldo Series Asia Grand Final

Five Bishops Gate Golf Academy (BGGA) students will play in the 12th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final at the Faldo designed course in Da Nang, Vietnam from March 1-3, 2018.

The students earned the invitation based on their finish at the IJGT Faldo Series U.S. Grand Final played at Bella Collina Golf Club in Montverde, Fla. from November 23-25, 2017. BGGA students won all of the categories sweeping the Asia Grand Final invites.

BGGA’s Annie Kim won the Girls U18 Division with a 1-over 217. Kim put together rounds of 70, 73 and 74 to distance herself from the field. Kim won by 10 shots. Kim, from South Korea, is a senior and has signed to play golf on Vanderbilt University’s women’s golf team.

BGGA’s Egor Zotov won the Boys U16 Division with a 9-under 207 after rounds of 71, 69 and 67. He led the field by three shots. Zotov, from Russia, is a junior and in his second year at BGGA.

BGGA’s Niels Schmidlin also earned an invitation by finishing second in the Boys U16 Division. Schmidlin, from Switzerland, shot a 6-under 210 with rounds of 69, 70 and 71.

BGGA’s Ying-Ting Hsieh won the Girls U16 Division with a 3-under 213. Hsieh, from China, had rounds of 72, 72 and 69 to lead the field by eight shots.

Also making the trip is BGGA’s Cynthia Tu who placed second in the Girls U16 Division with a 5-over 221. Tu came to BGGA this fall from Vienna, Virginia.

The International Junior Golf Tour (IJGT) partnered with the Faldo Series in the Fall of 2017 to bring the world stage to domestic golfers across the United States. Through this partnership, IJGT and the Faldo Series are giving junior golfers the opportunity to put themselves on the map with the best players in the world.

Where Are They Now? With Marcos Montenegro

Marcos Montenegro graduated from Bishops Gate Golf Academy in May 2016 and spent the last year and a half training and playing in amateur and professional events around the world.

BGGA caught up with Montenegro when he returned to train at the Academy this winter.

What have you been up to since you left BGGA?
I’ve been training in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with my coach Santiago Garat. I’ve been playing in amateur tournaments as well as events on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica.

What are your goals?
Montenegro: I’m trying to play more events on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica as well as some Tour events to play at a high level. This is going to help prepare me for a professional career.

Do you know when you’re going to turn professional?
Maybe next January.

Why do you choose to come back and train at BGGA?
It’s amazing this place. I like to practice here and return to the place that has given me a lot. It’s really good to come back here where it feels like it’s family.

What did you learn at BGGA that you’ve taken with you and used since graduating?
Montenegro: I learned a lot. Living here is different than Argentina. There are more responsibilities here, so I think I learned so much outside of golf.

Garat: He came back to Argentina grown up. His English improved while at BGGA. He came to BGGA as a boy and came back to Argentina as a man.

BGGA Launches Fitness Challenge

This semester BGGA students are participating in a Fitness Challenge, an initiative developed by fitness coaches Karen Harrison and Justin Smith. The goal of the Fitness Challenge is to bring out the competitiveness in the students and to reward effort, attitude and performance in the physical training setting.

The BGGA Fitness Challenge began in January and will continue through Spring Break. Each week there are numerous challenges with points awarded for each challenge. By the end of the designated time period, the top 10 students on the scoreboard will be rewarded with a unique outing.

“It’s interesting to see, now that we’re six weeks in, how the game is motivating some of students,” said Harrison. “There’s definitely been a difference in behavior. Many of our students are highly competitive!”

The fitness challenges vary and may be performance-based at an individual or group level or be based on improvement for a nominated task. For example, this week the challenge is for students to hold the longest front plank possible (with good form) – our record – Daniel Song with 7 mins 12 secs. The challenges have also related to attitude, effort and discipline and attendance. In choosing a variety of challenges we hoped to make it fair across the board, so everyone has a chance at doing well. The BGGA golf coaches have also been asked to participate, assisting with some of the challenges relating to discipline in practice.

“It’s been a lot of fun to come up with the challenges and watch the students competing,” said Harrison.

“Some students get excited about the challenges and you can hear them talking about them on the range before class,” said golf coach Nick Duffy.

We already have students asking if we’re going to be doing it again next year. While it is somewhat predictable to see certain students in the top 3 or 4 positions, the remainder of the top 10 places really are up for grabs – it’s anyone’s game. Consistency is the key.

The Fitness Challenge Scoreboard is updated weekly. We will keep you posted on the results!

Fitness Challenges: 

Week 1: Physical Competence Testing Results (based on our Fitness Reports) for Best Male and Female and Most Improved

Week 2: The “Quiet” game – Encouraging reflection while in fitness class and to quiet the chatter so that the students can focus on their task at hand.
Coach Challenge – Do you know your stretching focus?

Week 3: Improvement on the Mile Run
Coach Challenge – Do you know your stretching focus?

Week 4: Six exercise circuit performance challenge
Coach Challenge – Do you know your stretching focus?

Week 5: Essay on “what I have learned in fitness”
Best attitude in class – Focus and attitude
Tic Tac Toe Team Relay Game

Week 6: Holding a front plank for the longest possible time
Coach Challenge – Best attitude/focus during golf training