Jason Kuiper - Bobby Jones Golf Course - Grand Slam Academy
Kuiper has led the creation of the Grand Slam Golf Academy at Bobby Jones Golf Course since its inception in 2018. Prior to his work at Bobby Jones, he served as the Director of Instruction at the Woodloch Golf Performance Academy in Pennsylvania and as the Head Teaching Professional at the McCord Golf Academy in Florida. In addition to 15 years of industry experience, Kuiper also holds a Master of Business Administration from Moravian College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Millersville University of Pennsylvania.
He has worked under premier instructors and mentored top players throughout his career, notably achieving Class “A” PGA membership in 2011 under the supervision of one of Golf Magazine’s “Top 100” teachers, Rick McCord. Kuiper is highly regarded for his instructional ability, having been recognized as the Georgia Section PGA Teacher of the Year for 2020 and receiving US Kids Golf “Top 50” Teacher Award in 2019. He was also recognized as a GRAA Top 100 Growth of Game Professionals in 2020.
How old were you when you got started in golf and what eventually pulled you into becoming a golf professional?
I did not start playing golf until I was 16 which is obviously pretty late for a golf professional. I got in to golf because my best friend played and he got me into it. My parents or family never played and still don’t but I got hooked immediately and enjoyed mostly because I was hanging out with friends. I share that story constantly with parents of my young students as a lesson in how to get kids wanting to play the game.
How do you stay current with the latest developments in teaching methods?
I stay current by following top teachers on social media, listening to podcasts, reading magazines and youtube. It is so much easier in this generation to learn new teaching techniques due to technology and the internet.
What are 2 trends in golf that you’re excited about?
Two trends I am excited about is junior golf being given more respect at golf courses and girls golf.
I am starting to see golf courses give better respect to their junior programs. They are getting to use tee times and range space more so now than ever. A perfect example is we have PGA Junior League matches on the middle of the day on Sunday. We prioritize the kids and when they can play. This is a huge leap from 10 years ago when the kids got pushed away and not given space or time to play or practice.
We have weeks of camp where we have half girls which is amazing. I have two female staff instructors and we have a massive ladies and girls program. We have girls specific clinics and they fill. Girls golf is a huge segment of the market for us and we are loving it.
Do you specialize in teaching any facets of the game?
My two main areas of focus are junior golf program administration and high level technology based instruction. Sometimes these two areas are very different but the variety is what keeps it fresh. There are times I spend my time teaching a clinic with a bunch of 4 year olds and then the next hour I jump in our hitting bay talking Trackman data with a 2 handicap. I like doing both and mixing it up.
What sets you apart from other golf professionals?
We stand alone in our market as having the best technology and teaching available to the public. There is very little public golf in Atlanta and almost zero publicly accessible teaching at the level we provide. We use Trackman, K Motion, SAM PuttLab, S2M Force plates. All publicly accessible.
What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you personally or professionally?
I am very excited about creating a Digital Academy early next year. We are going to create an app that will give students subscription based access to online lessons and a digital video library with myself and my staff. I feel like this will help with revenue and more importantly, our students will be able to get more help.
Any advice for someone considering pursuing a career as a golf teaching professional?
You better love it. Teaching golf takes passion and energy. You can’t fake it. You need to really care about helping people and enjoy seeing people get better.