AWARDED FOR EXCELLENCE IN GOLF INSTRUCTION ALONG WITH OVERALL PERFORMANCE AS A PGA PROFESSIONAL. IMPACT ON TEACHING AND GOLF INSTRUCTION, INVOLVEMENT IN JUNIOR GOLF ACTIVITIES, INNOVATIVE CONTRIBUTIONS TO GOLF INSTRUCTION AND ARTICLES PUBLISHED ARE SOME OF THE CRITERIA CONSIDERED FOR THIS AWARD.
For her excellence in teaching, as well as her innovative contributions to golf instruction, Joy Bonhurst is the 2019 MAPGA Teacher of the Year. Joy epitomizes the PGA and is a dedicated role model for the PGA and LPGA. Joy has worked extensively with individuals of all playing levels – from beginners to accomplished players (Amateur & Professional) & with all levels of physical ability – from athletes to golfers with disabilities. Bonhurst has served on the MAPGA Tournament Committee since 2016, was the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional (T&CP) Northeast Section Education Coordinator 2005 – 2013 and has recently been selected to serve on the LPGA T&CP Tournament Committee. She has been a member of the Proponent Group, a network of golf educators, since 2009.
Bonhurst’s mother, an avid golfer introduced her to the game of golf over 35 years ago. She and her mother would practice hitting golf balls at her schoolyard on Long Island, New York. To make practicing more fun, she taught her dog how to shag her golf balls.
It was while spending time practicing at her schoolyard that she fell in love with the game of golf. As the fourth women golfer to be inducted into the Methodist College Athletic Hall of Fame, Bonhurst and her team won Methodist’s first four NGCA Division III National Championships from 1986 -1989. Bonhurst has a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Professional Golf Management. After graduating from Methodist, She pursued her dream to become a golf professional and has been a PGA and LPGA member for more than 23 years and is a Class A Teaching Professional.
Her passion for teaching and playing the game of golf continues to grow stronger and stronger every day! Bonhurst is passionate that golf is a game of the lifetime to be played and she passes on that passion to her students; including inspiring other golf professionals to play more golf. Bonhurst wants players to enjoy the game of golf as much as she does. She is also inspired by her student’s accomplishments whether winning a tournament, shooting your best score, getting out for exercise, or having fun with friends.
Having been influenced by many great teaching professionals and mentors, she loves to learn how to improve her teaching ability and commits significant resources and time on professional development through working with other professionals, certifications, seminars, online webcasts and teaching and coaching summits. To complement her keen eye, Bonhurst has been a pioneer in the early adoption of technology enhancements. Her continued professional development has resulted in increasing her teaching and playing abilities which have in turn benefited her hundreds of students.
She believes that a successful teacher and/or coach is able to identify how students learn best, is a good communicator, and motivates each student. When she first starts to work with a student, she will ask a series of questions in order to best determine goals, physical limitations, and how her students best learn (watching, hearing, doing or any combination). Bonhurst prepares customized teaching programs that incorporate a combination of teaching tools (from high tech Trackman and K-vest to training aides) for the students indoors and outdoors lessons to target areas of focus along with playing lessons. Each of these teaching locations provides the student with a different perspective and targets the development of new skills including a positive mental game.
Her passion for growing the game of golf is evident whether teaching her students, being the Co-Tournament Director for the Annual Bermuda Ladies Pro-Am Golf Classic for the past 22 years, growing the golf program at Blue Mash Golf Course which includes golf clinics, running and playing in the Blue Mash Birdies, a weekly social competition and supporting the National Women’s Day of Golf. She also supports LPGA sponsored “Girls Golf Clinics” and several Veteran’s initiatives.