Dean Kinney – Coach of the year – Australian Golf Digest
Despite boasting the largest playing numbers and leading junior program in Australia, New South Wales has underperformed in terms of producing world-class golfers.
That’s a concern when NSW makes up 40 per cent of club members in Australia and Jack Newton Junior Golf is widely recognised as the best system for developing young golfers.
A lot of talented NSW amateurs have struggled to make the transition to professional golf. Steve Elkington, Brett Ogle, Peter Lonard, Andre Stolz and Nathan Green are exceptions, having won on the US PGA Tour in the past 30 years.
NSW had been the least receptive state when it came to adopting a holistic approach to golf-specific development of elite amateurs. But it’s now on track following the appointment of Dean Kinney as state coach.
Under Kinney, NSW reclaimed the Australian Men’s Interstate Teams Matches for the first time since 2012. It shared the Boys’ Interstate series with South Australia while NSW won back the Australian Girls’ title for the first time since 2010.
NSW also provided two of the three amateurs – Cameron Davis and Harrison Endycott – that propelled Australia to a resounding victory at the recent World Amateur Teams Championship in Mexico.
Kinney, a former touring pro, has integrated the coaches and service providers into the NSW program. His greatest attributes are communication skills and a desire to see players get better, says Golf Australia’s high-performance director Brad James.
“What Dean brings to the table is the ability to bring the team together and everyone on board trying to accomplish the same goals. He sold that well to the teams, the players, the service providers and golf NSW. I think the fruit of his strength is coming to the fore now.”