Bill Knodle has been a teaching professional at WinStar Golf Academy since 2012. He competed collegiately at Division II Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania where he also received a bachelor’s degree in Sports Management. After college, Bill played professionally on the Golden Bear Tour, Grey Goose Gateway Tour and on the South Florida Golf Tour.
Bill has worked in the golf industry for 12 years at such prestigious clubs as PGA National Resort and Spa and the Floridian Golf Club, both in Florida. He enjoys working with beginning golfers as well as with high-level accomplished players. In the past, he has worked with Jan Stephenson on the LPGA Tour, Wes Short, Jr., a current winner on the Champions Tour and Gavin Coles, five-time winner on the Web.Com Tour. Bill developed his teaching knowledge and ability by learning and spending time with Australia’s No. 1 ranked teacher Gary Edwin.
Bill’s goal is to use simple and understandable swing thoughts that allow trainees to understand their own unique swings and to achieve their desired results.
Eric Gaston is the first assistant golf professional at WinStar Golf Club. He has called WinStar Golf Club his work home since August 2014. Prior to WinStar, Eric spent a decade as a golf professional at Lake Texoma Golf Course and Chickasaw Pointe Golf Club.
Eric studied political science at the University of Oklahoma and Southeastern Oklahoma State University.
Eric considers the short game the strongest part of his game. When it comes to chipping, pitching and putting, WinStar golf patrons can consider him the pro. Those are also the areas of the game he enjoys teaching the most.
Jeff Leatherman is a United States Army Veteran and graduate of the University of North Texas. He is the assistant golf professional at WinStar Golf Club and has been at WinStar since 2012.
Prior to working at WinStar Golf Club, he worked as a professional counselor in Texas.
His favorite part of golf is the psychological challenge. Keeping a mental edge is paramount to playing a good game. He teaches golfers of all skills and backgrounds they can improve their game by paying close attention to their mindset while on the golf course.
Jon Stephenson is the Director of Fitting at WinStar Golf Academy. He implemented a PGA tour quality fitting system at the Academy and the new 3D motion capture system, G.E.A.R.S.
Jon has been in the golf business for more than 15 years and has a wide range of experience, including playing professionally on the Dakotas Tour and competing in the RE/MAX Long Drive Regional finals. Before coming to WinStar he worked for Taylormade as the head brand ambassador conducting club fittings and training across the country. Jon has been a master club fitter for more than ten years and has worked with some of the greats in the industry, including Hank Haney.
Born and raised in California, Jon has been playing golf since he was two-years-old.
Most recently, he was rated as one of the Top 100 club fitters and is a Level Two Trackman Certified Professional. He is also proud of his longest drive of 416 yards. This happened during the regional finals for the 2016 World Long Drive championship held at WinStar.
Michael Ferguson is the General Manager at WinStar Golf Course and Golf Academy. He stepped into the position in 2014.
His love for golf formed at an early age while playing golf at Lincoln Park. That is where his grandfather was the Director of Golf for 61 years, until his retirement in 1988.
Michael has worked at two top 100 golf facilities which include Karsten Creek in Stillwater, Oklahoma as the pro shop manager and PGA West in La Quinta, California as director of golf at the TPC Stadium and Jack Nicklaus Tournament Courses, both resort properties. Michael’s first Director of Golf position was in Scottsdale, Arizona for legendary Hall of Fame member, Roger Maxwell. While at Scottsdale Country Club, he held numerous positions from 2004 through 2008, including director of outside services, director of tournament sales and director of golf. Shortly after his stay in Scottsdale, he was hired by Hilton Worldwide to run the resort properties at PGA West. Michael was also a Jim McLean Certified lead master instructor during his stint at PGA West.
Michael is enjoying the transition back to his home state of Oklahoma. He has a passion for the state in which his grandfather is known as “Mr. Golf.” Michael enjoys hosting large events such as the World Long Drive Championships and has aspirations of bringing a PGA Tour event to WinStar.
Scott Bishop joined the WinStar Golf Club team, where he serves as head Golf Professional, in 2014.
He spent most of his early golfing years in Palm Spring, California. He turned professional in 1993 and has worked at renowned golf properties in California, Arizona, Utah and Montana. A majority of his experience comes from resort properties such as La Quinta Resort and PGA West.
His favorite part of golf is the short game – chipping, putting and the imagination needed to be great at that facet of the game.
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