New assistant golf coach Jeff Pierce bringing heavy analytics to Tech's golf performance
Georgia Tech volunteer coach Jeff Pierce
Scenes from Georgia Tech's 2nd round, NCAA Tucson Regional, May 17, 2016, Marana, Ariz. (photos by MIchael Holmes)
Scenes from the final round of the 2016 ACC Golf Championship in New London, N.C. (photos by Clyde Click)
Scenes with the Yellow Jackets from the final round of the Clemson Invitational in Salem, S.C.
Georgia Tech golf team competing in the second round of the Clemson Invitational on April 2, 2016
Pierce, 30, continues to assist with golf instruction for the current Tech players, and manages the program's newly-renovated Noonan Golf Facility at the edge of campus and next to Atlantic Station, using the facility to tutor the Yellow Jackets' players and his professional clients, including PGA Tour members Roberto Castro, Brooks Koepka, Derek Fathauer, Si Woo Kim and others.
Pierce came to Tech after serving as the director of instruction at Elk River Golf Club in Banner Elk, N.C., during the summer of 2015 and a three-year tenure as the senior instructor at Butch Harmon Floridian, an elite golf learning center based at The Floridian Resort in Palm City, Fla. Pierce has delivered golf instruction to players at all levels, creating and administrating programs in both individual and group situations. He has expertise in the latest instruction technology as well as club fitting and performance.
"Last fall, I made a decision to hire Coach Pierce in an effort to provide some specific skill instruction for our team," said head coach Bruce Heppler. "At that time, he was also working closely with several PGA Tour professionals. With Coach Pierce moving to the volunteer role, he can still be involved in skill instruction with our team and work with players who stay behind when we are competing in tournaments as well as serve his professional clients, some of whom are former Tech players."
Pierce's list of pupils at Butch Harmon Floridian included winners in the PGA Tour, the Web.com Tour, the European Tour and the LPGA Tour. He has traveled 12-15 weeks a year to work directly with players such as former Florida State All-American Brooks Koepka, who finished 24th in the 2015 FedEx Cup standings and won the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and former Louisville All-American Derek Fathauer, who won the 2014 Web.com Tour championship.
"The structure of our staff is new and something we're all excited about," said Pierce. "It will enable us to provide the best instruction possible to our players going forward. Thus blueprint will be something other programs may follow in the future. I've been instructing players at the highest level for a long time, and part of that is developing players. I've been doing the job with guys that have been fresh out of college or late in college. In the college environment, I can have a deeper relationship with our players as we work with them to develop their games."
Prior to working at Butch Harmon Floridian, Pierce was an assistant golf professional at The Virginian Golf Club in Bristol, Va. (March 2011-Oct. 2012), and begin his career as an assistant golf professional at Elizabethtown (Ky.) Country Club from 2006-09 while a student-athlete at Morehead State University.
A native of Glasgow, Ky., Pierce earned All-Ohio Valley Conference honors in golf at Morehead State in the 2008-09 academic year. He earned OVC academic honors (3.5-plus GPA) and made the MSU Dean's List all four years at Morehead State, where he studied industrial engineering technology. He played professionally for a year before diving into instruction full-time.