In a coaching career that spans more than 25 years, Gary has been responsible for recruiting and developing more top-ranked junior-level golfers than any other coach in the world. Simply put, Gary Gilchrist is synonymous with junior golf.
Gary’s passion and approach for helping his students improve is unparalleled in the junior golf academy business. He knows how to accelerate student development to achieve optimal results in the shortest amount of time. He understands that every student is unique and building confidence through high quality training will improve consistency and ultimately help a student reach his full potential.
In his illustrious coaching career, Gilchrist has coached many of the game’s top PGA and LPGA professionals helping these students achieve remarkable success including 8 Major Championships, three players ascend to #1 World Ranking, an Olympic bronze medal winner and over 40 combined wins combined on the PGA, LPGA and European tours.
In his illustrious coaching career, Gilchrist has taught more than 75 AJGA All-Americans, 6 AJGA Players of the Year, 2 U.S. Amateur Champions, U.S. Junior Girls Champions, 1 NCAA women’s Champion and 2 U.S. Public Links champions.
No other coach in the junior golf academy business is more trusted by families than Gilchrist. Gary’s dedication and passion for teaching the game and impacting the lives of all his students is unparalleled.
Gilchrist has been recognized by Golf Digest as a Top 50 Teacher in America from 2011-2018, Golf Magazine as a Top 100 Teacher since 2013, and Future Champions Master Coach in 2017.
Gilchrist solidified his position in junior golf circles when he became an official partner of the American Junior Golf Association, the highly respected junior golf association that has featured hundreds of future golf stars, including Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel.
Working on the whole person is something Gilchrist has always valued. That’s the main reason he partnered with Montverde Academy, a private independent co-ed college preparatory boarding and day school located just 20 minutes from GGGA. Montverde is where GGGA students get a rigorous academic foundation during a half day of school.
“Montverde Academy was one of the biggest attractions with bringing the Academy to Mission Inn,” says Gilchrist, who attended Texas A & M University prior to turning professional in 1987. “The fact it was nearby was valuable. Most of the families investing in their children to come to our academy want them to go to the best Ivy League schools or top NCAA Division I universities.
“It’s not like going to school at some of the other golf academies. We’re building that foundation and understand the importance of what it means to be a student-athlete. Not just at the junior level but at the college level.”
– Gary Gilchrist
Growing up in Durban, South Africa, Gilchrist dreamed of playing pro golf like many juniors. After playing golf for two years at Texas A & M, Gilchrist’s dream came true when he won the South African PGA Tour School and started competing against the likes of Ernie Els and Retief Goosen. Gilchrist played on South Africa’s elite Sunshine Tour for five years, and was a three-time winner on the South African PGA Winter Tour.
Later, Gilchrist’s professional golf interests led him to the David Leadbetter Golf Academy in Florida, where he helped Leadbetter coach PGA Tour players such as Nick Price, David Frost, Mark O’Meara, Andy Bean and Els. After seemingly being at the pinnacle of his coaching career, though, Gilchrist ventured toward unchartered territory: junior golf.
In 1995, Gilchrist was charged with developing the first full-time junior golf academy in the world. After running IMG’s David Leadbetter Junior Golf Academy as the Director of Golf from 1995-2004, Gilchrist took his expertise to the International Junior Golf Academy (IJGA) in Hilton Head Island, S.C., where he oversaw hundreds of elite junior and professional golfers for another three years.
Though Gilchrist was initially trained as a technical teacher, he quickly realized to take golfers to the next level, they needed to master more than just technique – they also needed a comprehensive training program that incorporated every aspect of being a champion and that’s just what he did with starting the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy.
“It was never my goal to be the most famous instructor… My dream was to help support young people in realizing their potential and dreams. I love golf; I love to train young people.”
– Gary Gilchrist
Basically, Gilchrist’s mission to foster a holistic and nurturing environment where student-athletes can train and develop into future champions – both in golf and in life.
- Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher 2012-2013
- Golf Digest Top 50 Best Teachers in America 2013-2014
- Golf Digest Top 50 Best Teachers in America 2011-2012
- Won 10 amateur tournaments
- Member, South Africa’s national team
- Helped Texas A & M win Southwest Conference championship, 1987
- Won South Africa PGA Tour School, 1989
- Played South Africa’s Sunshine Tour, 1989-1994
- Three-time winner on South African PGA Winter Tour
- Trained at David Leadbetter Golf Academy, 1993-95
- Appointed Director of Golf at David Leadbetter Junior Golf Academy, 1995-2004
- Director of Golf at IJGA, 2004-2006
- Selected by Nike as green grass elite instructor, 2004
- Author, “Train Like a Champion” e-book, 2006
- Established Gary Gilchrist Golf Inc./Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy, 2007
- Co-author, nationally distributed book, “Going for the Green,” 2009