Meet the Team

Fox Hills has assembled a team of outstanding PGA Professionals to teach at the Fox Hills Learning Center. These instructors determine and negotiate their own rates and also teach at different locations in the United States. Many compete in local and national tournaments.

Jordan Young

PGA Teaching Professional

jordany@foxhills.com

248.561.0802

Jeff Goble

PGA Teaching Professional / Boys Golf Club Director

jeffg@foxhills.com

734.604.9919

Brian Cairns

PGA Teaching Professional/Short Game Specialist

brianc@foxhills.com

248.320.8510

Joal Harding

Teacher Professional / Active Start Director

joalh@foxhills.com

248.921.7990

Anne Gajda

LPGA Teaching Professional/Women’s Program Director

anneg@foxhills.com

734.347.3219

Dan Thomas

PGA Teaching Professional

dant@foxhills.com

248.321.9109

Will Ellender

PGA Teaching Professional

wille@foxhills.com

734.276.6009

Rikiya Nagakura

PGA Teaching Professional

rikiyan@foxhills.com

734.730.0942

Jordan Brown

Teaching Professional

jordanb@foxhills.com

734.355.7282

Jordan Young

Jordan Young

PGA Teaching Professional

jordany@foxhills.com
248-561-0802

Jordan began his golf career at the age of 7 in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada and earned a full athletic scholarship to attend Eastern Michigan University. While at EMU, Jordan won medalist honors at several NCAA D1 events. He was a two year captain and was named Second Team ALL-MAC in 1994.

Jordan turned professional after college, qualifying to play on the PGA Tour – Canada. He spent three seasons traveling across Canada competing with professionals from around the globe. In the winter months, Jordan spent time in Florida, learning from the legendary great, Moe Norman.

In 1997, Jordan returned to Michigan, married (Kristin), and began work at some of the premier private clubs in SE Michigan; Walnut Creek CC, 97, Grosse Ile CC, 98-05 and Barton Hills CC, 2006. From these valued experiences, Jordan grew as an instructor, learning more about his teaching skills and his passion to help others. In the past several years, Jordan has spent time learning from the following industry leaders; Brian Manzella, Sean Foley, Phil Blackmar, Mike Malaska, Henry Brunton, Dr. Rick Jensen, Rob Houlding, Dr. Jim Suttie and recently passed… Mr. Jim Flick.

Currently, Jordan is entering his 9th season as Director of Instruction at The Fox Hills Learning Center. He leads an impressive team of elite coaches. The impressive group will move into their new home this season, the brand NEW Fox Hills Performance Center, a large addition to the already expansive Fox Hills Learning Center “playground” for development. Jordan has had a dream of building the best facility in the Midwest for some time. You can visit now to see the plan come to life!

Within the Michigan Section PGA, Jordan spent 4 years on the Section Board of Directors and was the President of the Eastern Chapter PGA for the 2012 and 2013 season. He was also the Chairman of the Teaching Committee, 2007-08 and Founder of the inaugural Michigan Teaching and Coaching Summit which was held in the spring of 2009 and is in its 4th season.

Currently, Jordan remains an avid player within the state of Michigan. He participates in many of the Michigan PGA Section events earning many recognitions and titles. In 2008, he was a featured presenter at the 2008 PGA Championships at the PGA Learning Center, Oakland Hills CC. Over the past several seasons, Jordan has won many awards, most recently, the National PGA Award for Player Development and the Michigan PGA Section’s prestigious 2012 Teacher of the Year Award! Jordan has also won the Eastern Chapter PGA Teacher of the year Award for the past 7 seasons.

 

  • 2014 – GRAA – Golf Range Association of America – TOP 50 Instructor Award
  • 2013 – “Player Development” WINNER- National PGA
  • 2013 – GRAA – Golf Range Association of America – TOP 50 Instructor Award
  • 2012 – “Teacher of the Year” WINNER – Michigan PGA
  • 2011 – “Horton Smith Award” WINNER – Michigan PGA
  • 2011 – “Presidents Plaque Award” WINNER – Michigan PGA
  • 2010 – “Top 50 Instructor Award” – US Kids – Honorable Mention
  • 2010 – “Player of the Year” – Eastern Chapter, Michigan PGA
  • 2010 – “Dul Family Player Development Award” WINNER – MGCOA
  • 2009 – “Player Development Award” WINNER – Michigan PGA
  • 2009 – “Player Development Award” NATIONAL RUNNER-UP – PGA of America
  • 2009 – “Top 50 Instructor Award” – US Kids – International Award
  • 2009 – “Player of the Year”– Eastern Chapter, Michigan PGA
  • 2008-2014 – “Teacher of Year” – Eastern Chapter, Michigan PGA
  • 2015 Golf Digest’s list of “Best Teachers in Your State”
Anne Gajda

Anne Gajda

LPGA Teaching Professional

anneg@foxhills.com
734-347-3219

Anne has been teaching at Fox Hills since 2003. She joined the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Division in 2006 and achieved her Class A status in 2009. Before becoming a teaching professional she was a highly ranked amateur golfer and played in five USGA national championships. Having played golf for over 60 years, her love for the game is unmatched, and her desire to help others enjoy the game is inspiring.

Anne is a University of Michigan graduate with degrees in piano performance and choral music education and is an Emeritus Professor of Music at Eastern Michigan University where she taught piano from 1979-2015. She began playing golf in the late 1950s through the Detroit Free Press Junior Golf Schools while growing up in Detroit and won four city junior golf championships. In high school (Cass Tech) and college she was a pro shop assistant at Forest Lake Country Club in Bloomfield Hills where her uncle, Bob Gajda, was the head PGA golf professional for over 25 years. In addition to her uncle, her primary teachers have been Rick Smith, Mike Robson, and Ron Gring. She played in four consecutive USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championships before joining the LPGA. Anne lives in Superior Township but winters in Orange Beach, Alabama.

Anne teaches beginning and intermediate level adults and is committed to keeping senior golfers playing. Her teaching style is encouraging and motivating. She is quick to identify learning styles and preferences and uses this information to develop an effective improvement plan for each student. With over 40 years of teaching experience, she enjoys teaching partner and small group lessons and larger clinics in addition to private lessons. After joining the Fox Hills teaching staff in 2003, she developed new programs that included women’s instructional leagues, supervised drop-in practice groups for women and senior golfers, a women’s summer putting league (Short Stix), a quarterly “Ladies Links” newsletter, and Friday happy hour “Wine Women and Wedges” clinics. As the founding Site Director for the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf Club at Fox Hills she won a Michigan Golf Course Owners Association Player Development Award in 2010. She is a 2015 US Kids Top 50 golf instructor international award winner and has been nominated for LPGA Midwest Section Junior Leader and Teacher of the Year awards. In 2015 she was named to Golf Digest’s list of “Best Teachers in Your State”, the only woman from Michigan to be selected. In 2015 Anne also accepted a teaching position at Gulf Shores Golf Club in Gulf Shores, Alabama where her Snowbird golf clinics attract senior golfers from across the country from January through April each winter.

Offerings include:
Private and pair lessons
Short game clinics
Short Stix putting classes
Supervised practice sessions for women and seniors
Wine Women and Wedges happy hour clinics
Winter getaway golf school weekends in Gulf Shores, Alabama

Dan Thomas

Dan Thomas

PGA Teaching Professional

dant@foxhills.com
248-321-9109

Coach Danny Thomas (CDT) was born and raised in Michigan and graduated from Ferris State University in 1988 with a Bachelor’s in Business / Professional Golf Management. He has been a PGA Golf Professional for more than 25 years, and specializes in the development of junior golfers for the past 12 years. Dan was awarded the Michigan PGA Golf Leader Award in 2008 and was asked to speak at the PGA Championship at Oakland Hills Country Club to share his insights on Junior Golf Development.

Dan’s extensive involvement in Junior Golf gives him profound insight and knowledge to assist his students to reach their goals to play college golf. Dan is the president of the National Golf Scholarship Association and the founder of the U.S. Top50 Scholarship Golf Tour. He is also the founder of the Junior Elite Team Training Program (JETT) at Fox Hills. Students who participate in CDT programs have earned in excess of $525,000 in college scholarships.

In addition to Dan’s specialized education and strong golf instructional background, he is also an accomplished player. He has qualified for the PGA Tour’s Buick Open at Warwick Hills Country Club, a member of two Fuller Cup teams, “Player of the Year” at Ferris State University and “Player of the YEar” in the Central Chapter of the Michigan PGA. Having played at the highest level he understands the physical and mental requirements to compete and succeed at the game of golf.

CDT continues to be a leader in the development of junior golfers. He understands the developmental phases of the golf swing and the various mental capabilities of junior golfers. This has allowed him to create innovative programs to accelerate and enhance the playing ability of his talented students. Dan’s Junior Elite Team Training Program (JETT) at Fox Hills has a phenomenal rate of success. Most recently 14 of 21 (67%) of the eligible girls in his JETT program qualified for the 2014 high school state championship.

 

To learn more about CDT and his Junior Golf Development Programs please go to www.coachdannythomas.com

 

Jeff Goble

Jeff Goble

PGA Teaching Professional

jeffg@foxhills.com
734-604-9919

Jeff has over 25 years of teaching experience being named in Golf Digest’s Best Teachers in Michigan for ten years (2005-2014). Jeff has worked at some of the best facilities in the country including the Rick Smith Golf Academy in Gaylord, MI and Naples, FL. Since 2006, Jeff has worked with the Kendall Academy as the Director of Instruction and most recently opened and operated the Kendal Academy in Auburn Hills. Jeff has worked with a range of players competing in Major Championships, Professional Tours, as well as College and High School Championships. As much as he enjoys working with competitive player’s, he also loves developing new players of all ages.

Jeff is certified with the Titleist Performance Institute as a Level 3 Junior Coach and Level 2 Golf Professional, K-vest 3D Biomechanics Level 2, and Sports Psychology through the PGA.

In addition to teaching, Jeff has 20 years of club fitting experience with certifications from The Ben Hogan Precision fitting system, TaylorMade Golf, Titleist, and Mizuno.

Jeff’s well-rounded education and extensive teaching experience enables his students to reach their full potential.

 

  • 2015 Michigan PGA Teacher of the Year
  • 2015 Golf Digest’s list of “Best Teachers in Your State”
Brian Cairns

Brian Cairns

PGA Teaching Professional

brianc@foxhills.com
248-320-8510 

Brian was born and raised in Metro Detroit and attended Bishop Foley High School. While is high school, he lettered in wrestling and golf for 4 years. Brian was an accomplished junior player and developed his skills playing at Red Run Golf Club. He earned a scholarship and played 4 years Division II college golf at Barry University in Miami, Florida.

After college, Brian worked in Florida and mentored a few years under Mr. Ed Furgol; but soon returned to Michigan and worked at clubs such as Orchard Lake CC, Country Club of Detroit and Dearborn CC. In the late 90’s, he played full time achieving conditional status on the currently named Web.Com Tour

Brian believes golf should be addressed from the green back to the teeing ground. The short game and putting are the areas that require the most time, energy and finesse creating better imagery. Having played at a high level for a few years, he has noticed that the best players in the world ALL have a great short game. They always have a way to get the ball in the hole. No matter what level, every player should know his or her limits. Having a good short game will allow individuals to stretch those limitations.

Brian states that through simple techniques, drills and practice time, better short games are developed. Playing golf with students not only allows him to see how students apply skills and handle pressure but also enables him to watch a student’s confidence grow from real golf situations.

Having learned at a very early age to play golf, it became very obvious to Brian that there are many ways to get the ball in the hole. The game is divided into 5 main areas; Driving, Iron play, Wedge play, Mental play and Putting.

Since every topic is so vast, careful attention and detail must be given to the “whole” to become a complete golfer. Once general knowledge of every area is gained, playing the game becomes the focus. When watching the great players on TV, there is one common denominator; they all have their own way to get it done. Students can play better golf through better knowledge of their game. Brian has adopted the overall philosophy that adding to a student’s ability, he can achieve success at playing better golf faster.

 

  • 2015 OMEGA Senior PGA Professional Player of the Year
  • Michigan PGA Junior Golf Leader 2011
  • Michigan PGA Player of the Year 2000,2011,2012,2013
  • Michigan PGA Champion 1996, 2000, 2013
  • Michigan PGA Match Play Champion 1997 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014
  • National Club Professional Championships 1997, 1999, 2001 2003-2008, 2010-2015
  • PGA Championship (Atlanta Athletic Club 2012, Kiawah Island 2013)
  • National PGA of America Top Ten Player of the Year 2000 2012, 2013
  • Champions Tour Member 2014
  • Maxfli National Player of the Year 2000
Joal Harding

Joal Harding

Teaching Professional

joalh@foxhills.com
248-921-7990

Joal started her golf experience at the age of 13 at River Hills C.C. in Lake Wylie, S.C. She competed in many AJGA tournaments as a junior as well as the Junior World in San Diego, Ca. She played on the all men’s golf team at Charlotte Catholic High School in Charlotte, N.C. She then went on to receive a full scholarship to Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama where she made All-SEC and was a 2- time All- American. She also represented the United States in the 1990 World Cup Championship in France.

Joal qualified and played the LPGA Tour from 1992-1994. She has a ‘natural swing’ which her teaching professional, Gene Thompson cultivated. She has also received instruction from David Leadbetter, Rick Smith, Dana Rader, Jim McLean, and Mike Bender. Unfortunately, her playing career was cut short due to golf injuries. Since her departure from the LPGA Tour, Joal decided it was time to share her passion and knowledge of the game with others and get involved with golf instruction. Helping others learn the game has been an incredibly rewarding adventure, and she enjoys every single lesson.

“During a lesson, it is delightful to watch the progression of someone getting closer to performing to the best of their abilities. I can see it coming with each and every swing and enjoy cultivating that!”

Joal has a degree in Kinesiology, which is the study of human movement and physiology. Everyone’s body is built differently and we cannot all swing alike. There are some basic fundamentals, but beyond that, she chooses to work with the student to fine tune their strengths and improve their weaknesses. Joal enjoys teaching the beginner to the professional. She also likes to focus on every part of the game; from the full swing, to the short game and playing lessons and most importantly, the mental side.

Joal is also a certified Stack and Tilt swing instructor, a US KIDS certified instructor and a member of the Postive Coaching Alliance.

“There is always something to be learned by all!”

Will Ellender

Will Ellender

PGA Teaching Professional

wille@foxhills.com
734-276-6009

Will’s mission in coaching golf is to create an environment where the context of improvement is based upon the foundation that awareness is curative, and that at the end of a lesson you will become more empowered to coach yourself. Will believes that we are far more capable than we imagine ourselves to be, and his coaching results prove this.

In 1990, after graduating from Rollins College where he was a member of the golf team for four years, Will joined world renowned golf instructor Carl Welty as a teaching professional at the La Costa Golf School. Under Welty’s guidance Will worked with some of the top touring professionals in the world and also coached NCAA Champion Todd Demsey , Pat Perez and other future All-Americans. Will also traveled with students coaching at U.S. Opens and numerous PGA Tour and Champion Tour events.

Will has also served as Director of Instruction at the prestigious Piping Rock Club in Locust Valley, NY. In 1995 he became one of the youngest professionals ever nominated to the listing of Golf Magazine’s Top 100 instructors.

Today will is the Director of Instruction at the #1 rated community in the United States, Miromar Lakes Beach and Golf Club near Naples, FL and teaches in the summer months at Fox Hills.

 

  • PGA Class A member since 1994
  • TPI level 3
  • Stack and Tilt Network Instructor
  • US Kids Certified Golf Coach
  • K-Vest Level 2 Golf Biomechanics expert
  • Conducted golf schools with top instructors including, Dr. Jim Suttie, Johnny Myers, Fred Shoemaker and Extraordinary Golf, Phil Ritson, Brian Manzella, Carl Welty, Jeff Warne, Corey Puyear and others.
Rikiya Nagakura

Rikiya Nagakura

PGA Teaching Professional

rikiyan@foxhills.com
734-730-0942

Rikiya was born in Tokyo, Japan and grew up in African countries from age of 3 (Malawi and Ghana)

Rikiya started playing golf at age of 10 when in Ghana. Rikiya went to high school in Tokyo, and move to Jamaica after graduation.

Rikiya went to University of North Carolina at Charlotte studying business management. His golf career started in 2006 at TPC Piper Glen and transfered to TPC Michigan in 2007. Elected as PGA Member, and served as Golf Professional for 8 years at TPC Michigan.

Jordan Brown

Jordan Brown

Teaching Professional

jordanb@foxhills.com
734-355-7282

Jordan started playing golf at the age of 8, growing up in Plymouth Michigan. His passion continued to grow as he played through high school and college. As a graduate from Calvin College in 2009, Jordan pursued his career in golf and has spent over 10 years as the Assistant Director of Golf at Fox Hills.
Jordan’s passion is coaching golf. His mission in coaching golf is to get the student to be more aware of what they are doing and why they are doing it, so they can become more knowledgeable on how to coach themselves.

Jordan believes firmly in providing the appropriate level of instruction based on the student’s desired outcome and willingness to invest. He works to help players of all ages and skill levels build a repeatable swing that produces measurable and desirable results on the golf course.