BGGA is the Dominant Force in Junior Golf

Bishops Gate Golf Academy (BGGA) has supplanted itself as the dominant force in junior golf after the success during the 2017-18 academic year. The Academy had 75 students from 22 countries representing the Academy across several junior golf tours.

The total wins for BGGA this past year is a record for the Academy at 50. There was a total of 109 top-3 finishes and 213 top-10 finishes.

There’s one win that stands out among them all and that came from Peruvian junior golf standout Julian Perico when he won the AJGA Simplify Boys Championship, an invitation only event. That wasn’t Perico’s only highlight this year as he also finished second in Sir Nick Faldo’s Major Champions Invitational and finished T7 at the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley. BGGA Male Player of the Year Perico also signed to play college golf with the University of Arkansas where he’ll start in the fall.

BGGA’s Female Player of the Year Siyan Chen won three times this year and had six top 10 finishes. Chen also verbally committed to the University of Illinois and will sign her national letter of intent with the school next November.

In the fall, BGGA swept the Faldo Series U.S. Grand Final. Winning their respective age divisions were Teddy Tetak, Annie Kim, Egor Zotov and Ying-Ting Hsieh. Each player earned an invite to play in the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final and BGGA was represented by Kim, Zotov, Hsieh, Niels Schmidlin and Cynthia Tu. Kim wound up finished second in the Girls 18 and Up Division.

Several other students had dominating performances. Dongjin Park had three wins on the IJGT in the spring along with four other top-10 finishes this year. Park also set the BGGA tournament record after shooting an 11-under 61. Nic Pevny won three times on the IJGT this spring in the Boys 14 and Under Division and record another top-10 finish.

Around the new year, BGGA has two students win prestigious junior events. Petr Hruby won the 2017 Doral Publix Junior Golf Classic. Hruby also had another top-3 finish and he verbally committed to play for the University of Washington in 2019. Thomas Pfoestl won the Optimist Tournament of Champions and had three top-10 finishes.

Jeffrey Wu won the CJGA World Challenge at Innisbrook Resort in December.

Dongjin Park and Ying Ting Hsieh won the boys and girls divisions respectively at the AJGA Judy Oppenheimer in Okatie, South Carolina in June.

BGGA students were successful off the course as well as two students received AJGA honors. Tracy Lee was named to the 2017 AJGA Scholastic All-America Team, and Perico was named to the 2017 AJGA Junior All-America Honorable Mention Team.

With the combination of great tournament results and top academics, BGGA had a great senior class commit to go on and play college golf at colleges like Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Wisconsin, South Carolina, etc.

Bishops Gate Golf Academy Announces New Director of Golf

Bishops Gate Golf Academy (BGGA) announces a new Director of Golf Coaching and Instruction in Kevin Craggs, renowned PGA Advanced Fellow Professional.

After playing on the European tour for a number of years, Kevin transitioned into coaching and for many years was the coach to the Scottish National team. He built his career on successfully improving the games of golfers at all levels from Junior Golfers, Club Golfers all the way through to Tour Players on both the U.S. and European tours. Over the last 10 years his teaching philosophies have regularly been featured in two of the country’s top selling golf magazines and featured 12 times on front covers.

“This is an exciting opportunity to lead student-athletes at the most prestigious junior golf and academic institution in the world,” Craggs said. “I am sincerely thankful to the leadership at BGGA, and look forward to bringing my experiences to assisting these young women and men in achieving their goals.”

Craggs will take the reins of the program that is dominant in the U.S., with 56 wins last season, more than its east coast competitors combined. Craggs replaces Kevin Smeltz, who remains as a BGGA Advisory Board Member.

“Craggs has a very significant career, and his experience in the highest levels of golf training and his affinity with the players is second to none. We are delighted Kevin is joining us,” said Andrew Summers, BGGA CEO and Founder.  “It’s incredibly rewarding to see BGGA’s success this past season, a testament to our investment in our facilities and people, which is the foundation for students to develop their golf at BGGA. With Craggs joining the team, we expect our student’s development to continue to excel in the years to come.”

Kevin Craggs testimonials from players and the media:

European Tour Players

“His knowledge and enthusiasm for the game installs invaluable confidence in a pupil. In my mind he is an outstanding coach with a fantastic appetite to improve player’s skills”
Sandy Lyle (Former US Masters & British Open Winner)

“I’ve worked with Kevin for years and must admit that he’s the most enthusiastic and positive coach I’ve ever had, he is terrific, great Coach with a vast knowledge”
Colin Montgomerie (European Tour Player & Ryder Cup Captain)

“One of the most Natural and talented Coaches I have ever seen”
Severiano Ballesteros(All Time Golf Legend)

“Having worked with some of the best coaches in the world Kevin is certainly among those talented few who have the ability to tailor specific swing mechanics to suit the pupil”
Phillip Parkin (Sky Sports Commentator & Former European tour Player)

“Great coach with a real passion to improve a player’s game”
Stephen Gallacher (European Tour Winner & Ryder Cup Player)

“Top guy who gave me some great foundations to build my game and career on
Nicolas Colsaerts (European Tour Winner & Ryder Cup Player) 

LPGA & LET Tour Players

“Kevin has been a very positive influence on my golf both mentally and physically. He has a great positive attitude and we have done a lot of good work together on my swing to the point that I feel that I am playing the best golf of my life”
Catriona Matthew(LPGA Tour Player & Ladies British Open Winner 2009)

“Kevin not only saved my Game he rescued my career. His knowledge and ability to coach in a simple way is without doubt world class, he is a major influence to me on and off the course
Mel Reid (LPGA Tour Player)

“I have worked with Kevin for many years, he understands all aspects of the game and has an amazing talent to educate and motivate players to get the very best from their ability”
Kylie Walker(Ladies European Tour Player)

“Kevin is by far the most enthusiastic and able coach with whom I have ever worked with, his knowledge of the golf swing is superb making learning and understanding easy. There is no doubt that I would have not achieved the same success in my career without his support.
Lynn Kenny (Ladies European Tour Player)

“When I’m just near him it makes me want to be better. I’ve never had this much fun playing golf’
Paula Creamer (LPGA Tour Player & Major Winner)

“Kevin is an amazing coach and mentor who can bring the very best out of me and my game”
Tiffany Chan (LPGA Tour Player)

Media Publications

“Kevin’s clear and consistent teaching style earned him a place on Golf Monthly’s list of top 25 UK coaches. Since then he has regularly provided the magazine with imaginative and effective instruction, making him a valued member of our top team of teaching professionals. For every swing fault he has a range of different cures that he explains with precision and clarity”. – Golf Monthly Magazine

“Kevin has the very rare ability to explain the nuances of the golf swing in simple, understandable terms.  He is extremely inspirational and makes you wantto improve.” – Bunkered Magazine

“Kevin combines the vast knowledge of one of the world’s leading coaches with simplicity – an unbeatable mix for the eager to learn.”  “Kevin does the impossible – he makes golf simple.” –  Daily Record Newspaper

IJSA and Global Junior Golf Strengthen their Partnership for the Upcoming Years

IJSA and Global Junior Golf strengthen their partnership for the upcoming years. A promising future with exciting new tournaments is coming up…

International Junior Sports & Education Advisors (IJSA) and Global Junior Golf (GJG) are happy to announce an expansion of the current partnership. After Bishops Gate Golf Academy (BGGA) has joined as a GJG Performance Center in 2016, it is an absolute honor that International Junior Golf Academy (IJGA) will be listed from 2018 onwards as a GJG Performance Center. Global Junior Golf is seeking and accepting only premium academies from around the world as GJG Performance Centers, which deliver top professional training facilities and family atmosphere for juniors, so juniors can ultimately chase their golf and collegiate dreams. IJGA has a long history of building top juniors and have helped players from around the world to achieve successful college careers. It is a great honor that two of top junior golf academies in the world are now connected and will be able to share their resources and expertise to all GJG members around the world!

Furthermore, IJGA and BGGA will host two prestigious Global Junior Golf events in December 2018 which opens the gates for international players to experience WAGR ranked tournaments in the U.S. The American Global Junior Golf ‘tournament swing’ will give juniors more possibilities to play on the home soil of college coaches, which ultimately helps in any college recruiting process. IJGA and BGGA will showcase both events not far away from the academy facilities. GJG members will have the chance to visit and explore each facility, where many national teams call home during winter training. Additionally, special packages will be available for GJG members to train at the academies and will have a chance to get introduced to the full expertise of the academy staff members. Global Junior Golf is very proud to offer their members extra value over the off season with future premier junior tournaments. A big thank you to Mrs. Lee-Anne Misseldine, CEO of IJSA and her whole staff for promoting junior golf. GJG would like to take the opportunity and have a quick interview with Lee-Anne about the upcoming exciting endeavors:

GJG: Lee-Anne, once again a big thank you from the GJG family for promoting junior golf and for the exiting extended partnership. How do you feel about the new endeavors?

Lee-Anne: It has been a pleasure working with Global Junior Golf for the last couple of years. We have been so impressed by the passion and professionalism of the team and feel very aligned in our values and mission for growing junior golf. This new partnership, expanding into IJGA and bringing GJG events to the USA, was a natural progression for our already successful partnership and we are very excited for the new opportunities this will bring to our students and GJG members.

GJG: GJG members already had the chance to get to know one of your premium brands, Bishops Gate Golf Academy. Please introduce International Junior Golf Academy to the GJG family.

Lee-Anne: IJGA is a very well-established brand in junior golf, with a rich history over 20 years. At IJGA we believe in developing the whole person—the athlete, the student and the young adult. Emphasizing both intensive training and scholastic achievement through the nationally accredited Heritage Academy, IJGA has produced some of the best junior golfers playing within the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA). As a result, nearly all of our students receive college scholarships to the top collegiate golf programs in the United States. Highly sought after, the diverse student body represents 28 countries as athletes and scholars. The golf team is led by Jonathan Yarwood, a UK PGA Master Professional with over 20 year’s experience in developing some of the world’s best juniors. Set in the golf paradise of Hilton Head, IJGA is ideal for players wanting to accelerate their progress and develop their game.

GJG: The goal of the “American tournament Swing“ of Global Junior Golf is that juniors have a chance to meet each of your academies (BGGA & IJGA) and additionally play top international tournaments. Can you tell us something about the hosting golf courses and each of the tournaments?

Lee-Anne: We are so excited to be hosting two Global Junior Golf events in December of 2018, both which will be operated in partnership with the International Junior Golf Tour (IJGT). The first will be in Hilton Head, South Carolina, one of the most prestigious golf regions of the U.S., followed by an event in Central Florida, close to BGGA. At this time we are working to secure both courses, which will be highly ranked courses, providing excellent challenges and conditions. Both events will be powered by IJGA and BGGA respectively We expect to have course confirmations in early March and look forward to those exciting announcements.

GJG: Both venues are logistically easy to reach and have international airports. At BGGA you fly into Orlando, Florida and for IJGA you fly into Savannah, Georgia. Can you give some insight to which type of player would find a fit in either Academy?

Lee-Anne: Both IJGA and BGGA have unique differentiators, and I encourage all the Global Junior Golf members who plan on travelling to the U.S. in December to play both events and visit both academies. Preferences come down to location, coaching teams, school, if relevant, and other non-core offerings. As far as the core program which encompasses golf training, technology, mental and fitness training, facilities, college preparation and student life, both programs are excellent and offer a great experience to a junior or amateur player wanting to improve their game and compete in the U.S.

GJG: Can players expect that college coaches will attend the events?

Lee-Anne: IJGA and BGGA are premier junior programs, with a strong network of college coach relationships and connections. Coaches are always looking for good student-athletes for their programs and rely on our recommendations to make recruiting decisions. We will be inviting as many college coaches as possible to attend our events to give exposure to the players and showcases their abilities.

GJG: During each event, players and parents will have the chance to attend Lecturing nights about College Golf and Academy life. Can you give some advise on how players should prepare for these educational sessions? Do they need to bring any information with them? And do you have any advice on how to approach college coaches?

Lee-Anne: The college recruitment process is complex and potentially overwhelming. Some students are unable to approach a coach due to NCAA rules, which restrict communication with students under a certain grade. At each academy, we will be conducting in-depth educational sessions to outline the process and provide practical tools to help student and families create their college plan. It would be helpful to bring your golf resume updated with academic scores such as GPA, SAT and TOEFL scores.

GJG: BGGA and IJGA have produced some very successful alumni students. Who are some of your alumni, and from which part of the world do juniors attend your academies?

Lee-Anne: We have students and alumni from all over the world, who have been successful in their collegiate and professional golf careers, as well as many who went on to pursue their passion in a number of other areas. The purpose of BGGA and IJGA is to prepare our students not just for golf, but for life, and give them the tools to be their very best, not matter what their path.

IJGA alumni include Morgan Hoffmann, Shanshan Feng, Song-Hee Kim, Pablo Larrazabal, In-Kyung Kim, Stephanie Meadow to name a few. BGGA has a much shorter history, but is proud of the caliber of player at the academy, such as Julian Perico, a top ranked Peruvian player and Anna Chen, who has won 10 events across different tours.

GJG: Why have you chosen to host the“American tournament swing“ of Global Junior Golf?

Lee-Anne: GJG events are run to a very high standard and all carry WAGR rankings. The IJGT is very pleased to be in partnership with GJG to provide this same high standard of tournaments to IJGT members and academy students. These first two events are just a start and we hope to continue to grow GJG in the States.

GJG: 2018 promises to be a very exciting year. Players will able to start qualifying for the ”American Tournament swing” in Portugal and are also already able to send their application inquiries. How many spots will be max available at each tournament and what will be the qualification criteria

Lee-Anne: We anticipate a maximum of 100 players at each event. Tournament details will be released soon, providing full information on tournament events, housing options, golf course etc.

Lee-Anne, thank you for your time and we are already counting the days fort he “American tournament swing“ from Global Junior Golf, proudly powered by IJGA and BGGA. The season 2018 is on the move and players are looking forward to qualify.

Hydration Considerations for Young Golf Athletes

By Karen Harrison, BGGA Director of Health and Athletic Development

Adequate hydration is important for both good health and optimum sports performance. It is well-documented that with sporting activity lasting longer than 40-60 minutes, the consumption of water along with carbohydrates (your primary energy source) is performance enhancing. For a golfer, who potentially spends up to five hours playing a tournament round and countless hours practicing outdoors, ensuring adequate hydration is a MUST. Let’s examine the topic of proper hydration for the young golf athlete in more detail.

Firstly, how is dehydration likely to affect you? The general signs and symptoms of dehydration are easily recognized. In cases of mild dehydration, they may include one or more of the following: headache, fatigue/weakness, dizziness, dry skin/lips, nausea and/or muscle cramps. More severe dehydration can cause vomiting, confusion and agitation, with extreme cases leading to convulsions and unconsciousness.

Playing in the heat and humidity magnifies the importance of maintaining a hydrated state since these factors increase the risk of dehydration and even worse, a dangerous rise in core body temperature (usually referred to as heat exhaustion or heat stroke). In fact, these heat-related illnesses can occur even while exercising in a temperature environment (that’s only mid 60’s °F!). It should be said however, that most healthy children and adolescents can safely participate in activities in warm to hot conditions with suitable preparation and monitoring. Thus, most heat-related illnesses are preventable.

Being aware of the risk factors for dehydration or exertional heat-illnesses is the first step towards prevention. Some of the other risk factors affecting golfers may include insufficient consumption/access to fluids during play, poor fitness, inadequate pre-hydration, little sleep/recovery, illness, clothing (if it leads to excessive heat retention) or two rounds played in one day.

Clearly, the potential for poor fluid management to negatively influence performance is substantial, especially in the heat. Recent studies illustrate that even mild dehydration has been shown to reduce the muscular co-ordination required during sports skills (motor performance), affect mental clarity (focus, alertness, the ability to concentrate, decision making) and alter our perception of fatigue (it all seems harder!). In 2012, Smith and colleagues conducted research demonstrating that mild dehydration negatively affected both swing mechanics and decision-making, including the ability to judge distances, changes in slope and recognize differing shades of green. Ultimately, this led to a reduction in both the distance and accuracy of the golf shots measured.

How to know if you are dehydrated? One of the simplest ways is to assess the color of your urine. Generally, pale yellow (the color of lemonade) is a good indication that you are well-hydrated, and darker than the color of apple juice may indicate dehydration. Secondly, and more accurately, determine your sweat rate and therefore fluid loss during exercise under differing environmental conditions. In practice, measure your weight before and after a period of practice, noting how much fluid is consumed. The total amount of fluid lost and therefore weight lost per hour can be easily calculated, arriving at the amount of fluid lost per hour. Obviously, it will differ between individuals and according to the climatic conditions. Engaging in preparation such as this allows you to develop your own hydration strategy for both the practice setting and under tournament conditions which in turn can improve the quality of your practice and maximize performance. The pros do it!

In a conversation with former LPGA player, Sue Kim (Canada) related how she had a problem with drinking on the course; “I would never drink enough during a tournament. I simply forgot to drink”. Her solution? Kim modified her pre-shot routine. Arriving at the next shot, her routine began with a few sips of water. It helped her to maintain a hydrated state during a round and the action became automatic, ensuring she didn’t forget to drink.

General Advice:

  • As a guide, 13-16 year olds need 1.6-1.9L of total fluid each day (from food and fluids). Exercise will increase this amount.
  • Be prepared – bring adequate water with you to the course/practice range. There may not always be opportunities for purchasing water when you need it (e.g., ninth hole).
  • Be aware, thirst may not be a good indicator of how dehydrated you are.
  • Develop your own customized fluid replacement strategy and evaluate in training first before attempting it during a tournament.

Consuming fluids before exercise

  • Aim to start your practice/tournament in a well-hydrated state – check your urine color (ideally it should be pale yellow).
  • Consume 5-10ml/ kg BW water prior to exercise (i.e., 120 lbs. or 55kg = 275-550ml or 8-16 fluid oz.)
  • Consider including sodium in foods/fluids may be useful as it will help you to retain fluid during exercise.

During Exercise

  • Aim for 0.4-0.8 L of fluid per hour (130-250ml every 20 minutes).
  • Water is the number one choice for fluid replacement in most instances.
  • Consume small volumes of fluid frequently throughout the exercise/round/practice.
  • Avoid over-drinking. A condition called Hyponatremia (low blood sodium level) is the risk of consuming too much water, with symptoms shockingly similar to dehydration.
  • Recommendations are to consume enough fluid to minimize loss of body mass (1-2% loss)
  • There may be a case for sports drinks in certain circumstances when a source of carbohydrates and electrolytes (primarily sodium) are required (e.g., when access to food is limited).
  • Cold drinks may help to reduce core body temperature during exercise in the heat and increase the tendency to consume more fluid. Flavored waters may also increase consumption.
  • Avoid energy drinks at all costs!


  • The goal is to drink to 150% of the fluid lost during exercise (based on weight). Yes, more than you lost; this accounts for the obligatory urinary losses.
  • Eat a meal post-practice/tournament – it will provide the carbohydrates, protein and electrolytes (Sodium and Potassium) necessary for recovery.

The optimal strategy for fluid intake for young golfers will vary based on numerous factors including climatic conditions, the opportunity to eat/drink, gastrointestinal comfort and an individual’s own physiology and biochemistry. Thus, consider the hydration recommendations provided and work on developing your own customized hydration strategy for both practice sessions and tournament rounds. It should be considered an essential element of a golf athlete’s preparation.



American Academy of Pediatrics (2011). American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement – Climatic heat stress and exercising children and adolescents. Pediatrics, 128, e741. DOI:10.1542/peds.2011-1664

Coaching Association of Canada. Fluids for athletes. Retrieved from

Desbrow, B., McCormack, J., Burke, L., Cox, G., Fallon, K., Hislop, M., ……. (2014). Sports Dieticians Australia Position Statement: Sports Nutrition for the Adolescent Athlete. International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 24, 570-584.

Maughan, R. (2010). Fluid and carbohydrate intake during exercise. In L. Bourke and V. Deakin (Eds.), Clinical Sports Nutrition 4th Edition (pp. 330-347). Sydney, Australia: McGraw-Hill Education.

Smith, M.F., Newell, A. J. and Baker, M.R. (2012). Effect of acute mild dehydration on cognitive-motor performance in golf. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 26(11), 3075-3080.

BGGA Hosts Habitudes Leadership Event for Students

Bishops Gate Golf Academy (BGGA) Leadership and Character Division hosted a Habitudes Leadership event for students on January 15, 2018.

At BGGA, the focus isn’t only on golf. The Academy is driven to instill excellence in golf and character in students and holding these types of events drives home that focus.

BGGA students had the day off from school for Martin Luther King Jr. Day and spent their time learning what it takes to become a great leader.

The highlight of the event came when Timothy Alexander shared his story and inspired the students. Timothy Alexander has dedicated his life to motivating and inspiring others. Timothy was ranked the #8 high school football player in his state and had the opportunity to play for any college in the country. A life changing car accident in 2006 left him paralyzed from the neck down. Even though his dreams of playing college and professional football were shattered that day, Alexander has gone on to accomplish new dreams and find his purpose in life.

The students were captivated by his story and took to heart his message about being able to do anything they want to do by being persistent, resilient, consistent and committed.

The presentation was led by Executive Leadership Coach Michael Arnold and Andrew McPeak of Growing Leaders.

Arnold will continue the Habitudes series with students by holding more seminars throughout the semester.

Juggling Golf and Academics

Juggling golf and academics can be challenging. Check out the tips below for how to be a better student-athlete.

Set goals: You won’t know how to prepare your golf game if you don’t know the goals you want to accomplish. Don’t forget to set goals for your academics as well. This will help you make the most of your time at BGGA.

Stick to your routine: BGGA sets student schedules to balance academics, golf, fitness, etc. It’s up to the student to then manage their downtime between taking care of themselves, doing homework and having fun with friends. Sticking to a routine will keep you organized and help you to remember all the different areas with which you need to keep up.

Make academics a priority: To get into the college of your dreams, you’re going to have to have good grades and test scores. Universities look at much more than your golf scores.

Get at least eight hours of sleep a day: A lack of adequate sleep will cause you to lack energy and not be able to give your best to school or golf. If you stick to a routine, finding a way to get eight hours of sleep a night should be easy.

Eat a balanced diet: Don’t let what you’re putting in your body as fuel weigh you down. The food you take in has a definite impact on your energy level and ability to keep up with all that is required of you as a student-athlete. This also means not skipping meals.

Take advantage of travel time: Whether you’re flying or driving to your next golf tournament, take advantage of the down time during your travels. Use that time to keep up with your school work or prepare for SAT/ACT testing.

Use your coaches: BGGA coaches and staff will always be there for you. Don’t hesitate to ask them questions or get their guidance. They probably were in a similar situation to you when they were young. They also can hold you accountable for your goals and actions if you’re open and honest with them about your struggles and where you may need assistance.

Always give your all: It seems simple, but put in your best effort every day. Be ready to practice and play during the hours set aside for golf. You’re preparing yourself for college golf and beyond, so make the most of the time and attention you’re given at BGGA.