Nick Bradley has coached golfers to World No. 1 status and has served as a special consultant for a Ryder Cup team, and his next opportunity will be focusing on developing elite golfers at a younger age with the Traditions Golf Academy.
“I’ve been a golf instructor for 30 years, been successful at kind of like an elite player level anyway at the PGA Tour level and European Tour level,” Bradley said. “At that kind of adult level, I’ve been highly successful, which has been fun. I’ve also had really good successes with juniors; I think I’ve coached three national champions. The opportunity to actually craft and mentor and be fully hands-on with the training here with the juniors, and to train them to really high college standards was the thing that really attracted me to it.”
The one-of-a-kind academy will focus on three pillars on the golf course: massive technical proficiency, strategic development, and the emotional side of the sport.
There will be 20 student golfers in the academy that will receive an education at The O’Neal School, and practice daily with Bradley at neighboring Forest Creek Golf Club. The academy will start in August 2021.
“Nick stood out in a crowded field of talented applicants,” O’Neal Director of Athletics James Franklin said in a press release. “Nick immediately catapults Traditions to the top of junior golf development in the world. His innovative approach to molding elite junior golfers will propel our students to be top collegiate performers. Nick will coalesce our goals of partnering elite academics, using the best golf facilities in Pinehurst at Forest Creek Golf Club, and providing the very best junior golf instruction.”
Bradley’s pillars come as he has seen a shift in how golf instruction is taught from just visual to more of a scientific sense with so much of the sport now quantified.
Some of the newer technology used by professional golfers will be included in the Traditions Golf Academy, but Bradley knows the basics of the sport still need to be focused on while molding the younger golfers.
“There’s also a balance to be made,” he said. “You’re going to have someone who’s technically very, very competent, someone who is absolutely fundamentally fantastic. But if they’re thinking wrong, and their values aren’t in line and they don’t know how to strategically move around a golf course, then you haven’t got much of a student-athlete.”
Born in London, Bradley has lived in the U.S. since 2005, and currently resides at Sunset Beach. His resume includes coaching winners on every major professional tour, as well as several best-selling books on the game. In 2014, he became the second person ever to be an external consultant directly for the captain Paul McGinley for the European Ryder Cup team. McGinley was a former student of Bradley and allowed him to serve as a motivational and inspirational director for the European team in the victory over the U.S.A.
Among the professionals that Bradley has instructed are Justin Rose, Sir Nick Faldo, Brad Faxon, Seamus Power and Matt Ryan.
While also having coached previous junior world champions in the past, Bradley said most of his previous work has been with professionals 25 years and older. The Traditions Golf Academy will be a new experience, but also opens up for a better foundation for the athletes. “To have 13-year-olds up to 18-year-olds and then postgrads gives me the ability to create those habits early and really enforce them and engrain them,” Bradley said. “When you work with older elite players, there’s a certain element of undoing old habits.
“I’ve got the ability to put 30 years of experience into keen, willing, athletic student golfers.”
While the end goal is to prepare the junior golfers for collegiate golf and develop the academy into the premier golf academy in the world, there are other areas of focus Bradley has for Traditions.
“It’s getting those students ready for college golf, and along that journey is picking up some of the major amateur titles in North American and internationally as well,” Bradley said.
“They are going to be Alpha competitors I can tell you. Their thinking is going to be right up there.”
Bradley said that while the program has lofty goals and aspires for rarefied air, that individual instruction won’t be compromised like is such in other top tier golf academies.
“With Traditions Golf Academy and O’Neal, you get what’s on the tin, you get what’s advertised,” he said. “No child is going to be shoveled off to the side with some sort of junior golf instructor. They are going to get their instruction from me.”
Contact Jonathan Bym at (910) 692-7271 or firstname.lastname@example.org.