Meet Our Certified Academy Instructors

As part of our mission of providing game development opportunities and competition experience for junior golfers of all skill levels, North Georgia Junior Golf also provides access to top-level teaching through our Certified Instructor program. NGJG Academy Instructors are not just swing coaches or analysts. Each instructor possess a specialty in the training of maturing and experienced junior golfers – such as working with younger ages or in group settings, focusing on proper swing mechanics in line with the age and physical attributes of the player, and offering on-course knowledge and insight that combines course strategy with competition-specific relevance. All Academy certified instructors have worked with players that have moved on to compete at the college level.

  • Cutts Benedict, PGA
    Cutts Benedict, PGA Academy Director & Instructor

    Cutts has been a full-time PGA golf professional since 1982. He has been the head professional at various clubs covering a 20 year period, most recently at Jennings Mill in Athens from 1997-2006. He served as tournament director for the Tour Athens Regional Foundation Classic from 2007-2009​. Cutts teaches golf full-time at ​​Lane Creek Golf Club near Athens. Cutts is a past Georgia PGA board member who was honored in 2003 & 2004 with the Horton Smith Award for contributions to PGA education with golf instruction programs. Cutts is a former 3-year letterman for the University of Texas Longhorns.

    Call 706-255-5591

  • Clay Chappell
    Clay Chappell Academy Instructor

    Clay has been teaching golf to juniors for over 15 years. After working with the Atlanta Junior Golf Association, he began teaching at The Golf Club at Bradshaw Farm in Woodstock, Georgia. Clay then moved to Los Angeles and joined the Marty Tregnan Junior Golf Academy. While in L.A., Clay founded the U.S. Junior Golf Association to help provide more opportunities for juniors to learn to play golf. In 2004, he moved to Athens to operate the A&F Golf Range and operates a year-round junior program modeled after the program in California. Since 2004, Clay has introduced the game to over a thousand juniors. Clay also serves as the Site Director for LPGA-USGA Girls Golf of Athens. In 2006, Clay was named Honorable Mention in the U.S. Kids Golf Top 50 Kids Teacher list.

    Call 706-614-1927

  • Jeff Kaneko, PGA
    Jeff Kaneko, PGA Academy Instructor

    Jeff Kaneko, a PGA Member with over 20 years of teaching experience, has an extensive background in the area of short game and putting. For over 10 years, Jeff refined his skills as a Lead Instructor for Dave Pelz Golf. He has worked with Kevin Kisner, Webb Simpson, D.A. Points, Se Ri Pak, K.J. Choi, Rocco Mediate, Vijay Singh, and Gary McCord, among others. He has appeared on several Dave Pelz Golf Academy shows on the Golf Channel, in addition to being featured in The Dave Pelz Putting Bible. Jeff is a U.S. Kids Golf Certified Coach and has been recognized on the Honorable Mention list to the Top 50 Kids Instructors in the U.S., three of the past four years. He currently serves as Secretary for the Georgia PGA Senior Division. Outside of his illustrious career in Golf, Jeff was a former soccer player and remains an avid tournament poker player. When he isn’t teaching or playing golf competitively, Jeff enjoys spending time with his wife Dale, his two daughters and his first grandson. Be sure to schedule a lesson with Jeff, he will change the way you think about the game!

    Call 706-338-2542

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