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Hank Haney Developing Future of Golf on Hilton Head Island


Tiger Woods, Charles Barkley, Ray Romano, Rush Limbaugh and Marta Silva have one thing in common: they've all been coached by Hank Haney.

While the last name on the list is not as recognizable as the others, it may be soon. Silva is a member of the University of Georgia women's golf team and Golfweek's No. 1 ranked female collegiate golfer.

She's also one of the hundreds of young up-and-coming players who've been educated (both in the classroom and on the course) at the Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy (Hank Haney IJGA).

Located in Hilton Head Island, S.C., Hank Haney IJGA is a full-time golf school (grades 5-12) featuring players of all abilities from 25 countries and 45 U.S. states. Students receive daily instruction in full swing, short game, course management, college placement, mental preparation and fitness training. Half the day is spent on golf and the other half in the classroom at Heritage Academy, an academic institution for students dedicated to both school and an extracurricular activity like golf, tennis or equestrian.

"Hank Haney IJGA is the perfect choice for juniors in search of a diverse learning environment with a focus on discipline, sportsmanship, character building and goal setting," says Haney.

Each student at the Academy receives individual instruction from Haney, who visits campus every four to six weeks. As one of the world's top golf instructors, he not only works on students' swings but helps them develop a plan to reach their potential off the course.

"For each student at Hank Haney IJGA, our focus is to teach them the skills they need to be successful in the game but, more importantly, we use golf as a vehicle to help them to learn how to be successful in life," says Haney.

Three years ago, Derrick Villareal came to the Hank Haney IJGA from Hartland, Wis. According to his father Ernesto, the family selected the academy for its personalized training. The results were almost instantaneous.

"When Derrick returned home after his first semester, he won every major tournament and shot under par to qualify for several exclusive junior golf tournaments," says Ernesto. "This year, he won 11 tournaments and is one of the youngest in the nation who is 'All-Star Exempt' through the American Junior Golf Association."

Earlier this summer, Derrick was the youngest competitor in the Wisconsin State Amateur, beating out several top collegiate and amateur golfers from the across the state.

At times, it can even be a family affair. Mickey Werenski, a junior at Hank Haney IJGA and native of South Hadley, Mass., followed in his brother Richy's footsteps at the Academy on Hilton Head Island. Richy is now a sophomore on the men's golf team at Georgia Tech, which captured the ACC Championship last year.

"I've wanted to come here since my brother attended. Hank Haney IJGA has really helped me bring my game to the next level," says Mickey.

It's not just the tournament and golf training results parents are applauding. The Sanders family of Memphis, Tenn. says the Hank Haney IJGA has been a perfect fit for their daughter Bria since she enrolled last year.

"The Hank Haney IJGA golf coaches, Heritage Academy teachers and residential instructors each do a fantastic job in their role," says Mike Sanders, Bria's father. "We are extremely pleased with her progress and the skill set she has developed."

For Haney, the recipe for success is simple: "The most important trait in becoming a successful junior golfer is having a great work ethic and always trying to improve your game."

For more information, visit http://www.ijga.com/index.php.