- April 12, 2018
HORIZON WEST Of Jason Voigts’ many memories from more than a decade as a golf coach, founder and lead instructor for Foundation Golf Academy at Orange County National, there is one that sums up his mission nicely.
And it wasn’t even with a client.
One day, he walked past a father and son at a driving range, and the son — who was about 6 or 7 years old — was struggling. Without trying to sell the pair a lesson or service, Voigts asked if he could suggest a slight modification to the boy’s swing.
After absorbing the tip, the boy took a swing and hit the ball solid — and then he reacted.
“The dad said, ‘Did you like that?’ and the kid went, ‘I loved it,’” Voigts said. “That’s why I (teach).”
Voigts, who originally came to Florida from Mississippi to work at Golf Academy of America in Apopka, has been running Foundation Golf Academy for four years. Starting with just one client and formerly at Wekiva Golf Club, Voigts has seen his academy grow to include more than 15 clients, and he has partnered with his brother, John Voigts, as well as fellow coach Mike McMillan and operations chief Maria Castellucci to create a full-service product.
The mantra of FGA — based out of Orange County National for the past two years — is to avoid feeling like any other golf academy.
“FGA is a family,” Voigts said. “When I started this, that’s what I wanted. The parents are involved, and the reason why is I’m not with (the clients) seven days a week — the parents are.”
In particular, the Voigts brothers present a dynamic duo of sorts for their clients. While Jason Voigts focuses on the technical side of the equation and has coached several junior competitors to significant success, John Voigts makes sure clients have the strength and conditioning to be successful, using a platform called Edufii to keep students on track between lessons.
“I’m more dialed into the biomechanics,” John Voigts said. “I’m able to assess them and upload exercises and things that they can do at their own gym. They need to learn to use their body more efficiently.”
FGA’s roster of golfers is predominately juniors, currently, and the young golfers have had plenty of success. Competitors such as Shawn Colutoff, Sam and Juliana Camargo, Karoline Tuttle and Izzy Pellot have placed high in or won several events on tours include U.S. Kids Golf and the Florida Junior Golf Association and are climbing up various junior rankings.
“My kids, the juniors, they work hard to get where they are,” Jason Voigts said. “I just provide them the instruction and the means to take it as far as they want to take it.”
Within the next year, Jason Voigts is hoping to expand his offerings, bring in more adult clients and put on some clinics. He talks about growing the game by growing better golfers, adding that someone is more likely to become hooked on golf if they are good.
In the four years since he has started his own academy, Jason Voigts said he hasn’t looked back.
“It’s definitely the best move that I’ve made,” he said.
Contact Steven Ryzewski at [email protected]