Hank Haney leaves Hilton Head junior academy
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A change of leadership is underway at the International Junior Golf Academy on Hilton Head Island, S.C. Lead instructor Hank Haney, Tiger Woods’ former coach, has parted ways with the academy and will be replaced by Kevin Smeltz. The split was first reported by The Island Packet, a Hilton Head-based newspaper.
The change is reflected in the name of the academy, formerly known as the Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy. The academy also will no longer have any affiliation with Haney’s sponsors, Crocs and TaylorMade, according to The Island Packet.
Peter Orrell, president and CEO at IJGA parent company Junior Sports Corp., told the Packet the split was mutual.
“Hank has made an enormous impact and countless contributions to the IJGA, and his legacy will carry on for years to come,” Orrell said in a release. “IJGA will continue to reflect the philosophies and values he is famous for, and we wish him all the best.”
When contacted by Golfweek, Haney declined to comment.
Haney had been with the academy since 2007, and his name was attached in ’08. It was founded in 1995 and boasts such prominent alums as I.K. Kim, Song-Hee Kim and Stephanie Meadow. The academy features a staff of golf instructors, mental trainers, college placement advisors and fitness coaches who train nearly 150 junior golfers from more than 25 countries across six continents.
Smeltz is an instructor at The David Leadbetter Academy, and his stable includes PGA Tour players Camilo Villegas, D.A. Points and Charles Howell III. Smeltz, a native of Greenville, S.C., spent three years in Japan as the director of golf instruction at Leadbetter’s academy there before returning to Orlando, Fla.
“Kevin’s international and professional experience in the game will be invaluable to our students from more than 25 countries,” Orrell said. “As the new school year begins, he is an excellent addition to our golf instruction staff and will provide a hands-on approach with our passionate golfers.”
Information from the International Junior Golf Academy used in this report.