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Meet the Team

Meet Gold Creek Golf Academy's professional golf instructors below

Craig Smith

GC Academy Director & Head Instructor

Craig is a Certified Member of the PGA of Australia having completed his traineeship at Royal Canberra in 2011. Throughout his traineeship he had a passion for Coaching, Club Fitting and Club Building that continued to grow and evolve after completing his qualifications.

This passion has seen him work in the areas of golf that only a limited few get a chance to. From designing wedges and putters at PNP golf to completing club fitting courses through a variety of different manufactures. These manufacturers include the likes of Titleist, PING and Miura and therefore gives him a wealth of knowledge on a wide range of products to best fit you.

Coaching experience is well diverse from running adult beginner clinics, junior programs, to elite amateurs and PGA Professionals. Through these different areas Craig has been able to work with and see his students reach their goals. Whether this be playing at an elite level or playing to their handicap for the first time. This has also led to Craig being involved with the Jack Newton Junior Golf Foundation and South East Sports Association program as a coach for talented juniors across the ACT and Far South Coast regions.

Craig has made it his passion to help golfers of all standards enjoy the equipment they are playing with by ensuring they are best suited for them.

Craig Smith

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GC Academy Director & Head Instructor

Craig is a Certified Member of the PGA of Australia having completed his traineeship at Royal Canberra in 2011. Throughout his traineeship he had a passion for Coaching, Club Fitting and Club Building that continued to grow and evolve after completing his qualifications.

This passion has seen him work in the areas of golf that only a limited few get a chance to. From designing wedges and putters at PNP golf to completing club fitting courses through a variety of different manufactures. These manufacturers include the likes of Titleist, PING and Miura and therefore gives him a wealth of knowledge on a wide range of products to best fit you.

Coaching experience is well diverse from running adult beginner clinics, junior programs, to elite amateurs and PGA Professionals. Through these different areas Craig has been able to work with and see his students reach their goals. Whether this be playing at an elite level or playing to their handicap for the first time. This has also led to Craig being involved with the Jack Newton Junior Golf Foundation and South East Sports Association program as a coach for talented juniors across the ACT and Far South Coast regions.

Craig has made it his passion to help golfers of all standards enjoy the equipment they are playing with by ensuring they are best suited for them.


Brendan Higgins

PGA Instructor

Brendan completed his PGA Traineeship in 2019 at Royal Canberra Golf Club under the guidance of Craig Smith while also spending time at Federal Golf Club during his traineeship.

Brendan has a background in health and is a Registered Nurse. He has spent many years working in various Emergency Departments around the country and was fortunate enough to have played and experience different golf courses throughout Australia.

Brendan has recently returned to Canberra from living overseas where he enjoyed coaching all levels of golfers. During this time, Brendan’s focus was on bringing enjoyment to the game of golf and ensuring everyone, no matter their level or ability, found enjoyment in their game and the game of golf.

Brendan’s coaching style reflects his philosophy where golf is a game of patience, understanding and enjoyment.

Brendan Higgins

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PGA Instructor

Brendan completed his PGA Traineeship in 2019 at Royal Canberra Golf Club under the guidance of Craig Smith while also spending time at Federal Golf Club during his traineeship.

Brendan has a background in health and is a Registered Nurse. He has spent many years working in various Emergency Departments around the country and was fortunate enough to have played and experience different golf courses throughout Australia.

Brendan has recently returned to Canberra from living overseas where he enjoyed coaching all levels of golfers. During this time, Brendan’s focus was on bringing enjoyment to the game of golf and ensuring everyone, no matter their level or ability, found enjoyment in their game and the game of golf.

Brendan’s coaching style reflects his philosophy where golf is a game of patience, understanding and enjoyment.


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Robbie Taylor

GCGA Community Coach

Robert was introduced to the game of golf at age 11, as a junior member at Belconnen Golf Club. Whilst attending St Edmund’s College, Robert would spend his weekends either on the cricket field representing St Edmund’s College or on the golf course playing pennant for Belconnen or
practicing.

In 2014, he moved from Belconnen and joined as a junior member at Gold Creek Country Club. Shortly afterwards, he began working as a Golf Operations assistant whilst completing Year 12 and kept up his golf and working at Gold Creek while at University.

In 2019, he obtained a Bachelor of Commerce from ANU, a degree that he is keen to combine with his passion for golf.

Robert is passionate about growing the game, with a particular interest in working with junior golfers and getting youngsters involved at school level. While attending St Edmund’s College Robert also coached some junior cricket teams for the school as well as having a leadership role in his school House. These experiences have enabled him to develop a positive way of coaching and interacting with juniors.

Robert’s ultimate goal is to undertake and complete a PGA traineeship and improve his skill base as a coach and player.

He is extremely excited to be a part of the Gold Creek Golf Academy and introduce golf to the next generation.

Robbie Taylor

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GCGA Community Coach

Robert was introduced to the game of golf at age 11, as a junior member at Belconnen Golf Club. Whilst attending St Edmund’s College, Robert would spend his weekends either on the cricket field representing St Edmund’s College or on the golf course playing pennant for Belconnen or
practicing.

In 2014, he moved from Belconnen and joined as a junior member at Gold Creek Country Club. Shortly afterwards, he began working as a Golf Operations assistant whilst completing Year 12 and kept up his golf and working at Gold Creek while at University.

In 2019, he obtained a Bachelor of Commerce from ANU, a degree that he is keen to combine with his passion for golf.

Robert is passionate about growing the game, with a particular interest in working with junior golfers and getting youngsters involved at school level. While attending St Edmund’s College Robert also coached some junior cricket teams for the school as well as having a leadership role in his school House. These experiences have enabled him to develop a positive way of coaching and interacting with juniors.

Robert’s ultimate goal is to undertake and complete a PGA traineeship and improve his skill base as a coach and player.

He is extremely excited to be a part of the Gold Creek Golf Academy and introduce golf to the next generation.


Joanne Mills

PGA/ALPG Instructor

Born in Sydney, Joanne represented NSW five times and also Australia three times, as an amateur.

In 1993 Joanne turned professional and went to compete on the Ladies European Tour in 1994. In 1997 she won her first tour title at the Ladies German Open and later that year was runner up at the Women’s Australian Open.

After several years on the Ladies European Tour Joanne qualified for the US LPGA in 2002. Her best finish was 3rd place at the Williams Championship in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2002 as well as a 6th place finish at the 2003 McDonald’s LPGA Championship which is one of the 5 major tournaments held in women’s professional golf.

In 2006, Joanne went back to competing full time in Europe. She then came home to Australia and won the inaugural NSW Women’s Open which was held at her home club, Oatlands Golf Club in Sydney. In 2007, Joanne had her best year on Tour with her second career win at the Wales Ladies Championship of Europe and five top ten finishes that season. Joanne has also won 7 events in Australia.

Since retiring in 2010 from full time competing on the Ladies European Tour, Joanne has worked in golf operations and has been coaching all levels of golfers. Joanne specialises in short game, course management and mentoring. Joanne is also the ACT Special Olympics Golf Coach.

Joanne has a passion for getting more women and girls into golf.

Joanne Mills

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PGA/ALPG Instructor

Born in Sydney, Joanne represented NSW five times and also Australia three times, as an amateur.

In 1993 Joanne turned professional and went to compete on the Ladies European Tour in 1994. In 1997 she won her first tour title at the Ladies German Open and later that year was runner up at the Women’s Australian Open.

After several years on the Ladies European Tour Joanne qualified for the US LPGA in 2002. Her best finish was 3rd place at the Williams Championship in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2002 as well as a 6th place finish at the 2003 McDonald’s LPGA Championship which is one of the 5 major tournaments held in women’s professional golf.

In 2006, Joanne went back to competing full time in Europe. She then came home to Australia and won the inaugural NSW Women’s Open which was held at her home club, Oatlands Golf Club in Sydney. In 2007, Joanne had her best year on Tour with her second career win at the Wales Ladies Championship of Europe and five top ten finishes that season. Joanne has also won 7 events in Australia.

Since retiring in 2010 from full time competing on the Ladies European Tour, Joanne has worked in golf operations and has been coaching all levels of golfers. Joanne specialises in short game, course management and mentoring. Joanne is also the ACT Special Olympics Golf Coach.

Joanne has a passion for getting more women and girls into golf.


Craig Cox

PGA Instructor

I have been coaching golf since 2015 and has become my passion after working previously in automotive finance where one of my roles was sales-based training.

My philosophy of the golf swing is that there are numerous ways the golf club can be swung. It is my role to find the way that is most efficient for the individual. No two people are the same, so why should their golf swings be!

I like to use conversation during my sessions and avoid golf jargon which can lead to confusion and misinterpretation when the client plays golf or practices on their own.

I attain a real sense of satisfaction working with all levels of golfers. This may vary from people new to golf, players wanting to lower their handicaps or chasing elite performance. Together we can set achievable targets and work towards them.

The real enjoyment in golf is challenging yourself to be the best that you can be.

Certifications

  • Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) Certified Instructor – Level 1
  • BodiTrak Certification – Level 1
  • Focus Band Accreditation

Craig Cox

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PGA Instructor

I have been coaching golf since 2015 and has become my passion after working previously in automotive finance where one of my roles was sales-based training.

My philosophy of the golf swing is that there are numerous ways the golf club can be swung. It is my role to find the way that is most efficient for the individual. No two people are the same, so why should their golf swings be!

I like to use conversation during my sessions and avoid golf jargon which can lead to confusion and misinterpretation when the client plays golf or practices on their own.

I attain a real sense of satisfaction working with all levels of golfers. This may vary from people new to golf, players wanting to lower their handicaps or chasing elite performance. Together we can set achievable targets and work towards them.

The real enjoyment in golf is challenging yourself to be the best that you can be.

Certifications

  • Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) Certified Instructor – Level 1
  • BodiTrak Certification – Level 1
  • Focus Band Accreditation