Clark A. Peterson, PGA, TPI-CGFI
Clark Peterson is the founder and Lead Instructor for the Golf Performance Academy (GPA).
Prior to founding GPA in 2009, Clark spent six years as GM/Director of Golf at The Moors Golf Club and nine years as the Head Golf Professional at the Country Club of Peoria (IL). Originally from Champaign, he graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 1988, where he played on the Panther Golf Team.
Clark, a Certified Golf Instructor through the Titleist Performance Institute and Impact Zone Golf, has studied the golf swing and trained thousands of students, including several professionals and elite amateur golfers, over the past 30 years. His junior programs at Peoria, The Moors and now GPA have produced over 25 collegiate golfers and countless high school golfers.
Clark, a PGA Member since 1992, trained under some of the finest golf professionals in the country including Master Professional and PGA Golf Professional of the Year (1993), Don Kotnik (Toledo CC), Bill Ogden (Bermuda Dunes CC & North Shore CC), Tim O’Neal (North Shore CC), and Robert Powers (Skokie CC). His teaching background was formulated by working with the before mentioned professionals and his uncle Mike Peterson, former Director of Instruction at the PGA Learning Center in Port St. Lucie, FL.
During his time in Peoria, Clark was the recipient of the CIPGA Golf Professional of the Year Award (1998 & 2001), CIPGA Merchandiser of the Year (1994 & 2002), and CIPGA Bill Strausbaugh Award (2000). He served on the Illinois PGA Board of Directors (1997-98), CIPGA Executive Committee (1996-2002) and as CIPGA President (1997-98).
As a competitive player in the Illinois PGA, Clark set the CC of Peoria course record (65) in 1999, qualified for the National Club Professional Championship (1998), finished runner-up for CIPGA Player of the Year three times, and played on five Heartland Cup Teams (1999-2003). In 2007, Clark set the course record at The Moors with a score of 64. In 2015, Clark qualified for and played in the Senior Club Professional Championship in Seaside, CA. He continues to play competitively in regional and national PGA Events.
Besides golf, Clark also enjoys playing/coaching baseball and physical fitness. He has finished 14 marathons. Clark has four children, Hannah (26), Craig (23), Kalli (11) and William (10). He served as the Assistant Golf Coach for the Western Michigan University Golf Team for four years and is married to former Lady Bronco golfer Kimberly Stafford, who is a Financial Advisor with Wells Fargo Advisors.
Josh Burt comes to GPA with over 10 years of teaching experience. Josh has trained hundreds of students over the past 10 years including mini tour players, collegiate players and many high school players. As well as running junior golf programs at each of his stops. Outside of instructing, Josh is the Director of Golf at Kalamazoo College. Where he is in his first year coaching both the Men’s and Women’s Golf Teams.
Prior to coming to GPA, Josh was an Assistant Golf Professional at Gull Lake Country Club for the past 6 years. Before his time at GLCC, Josh spent the prior 4 years learning under the tutelage of Gary Robinson (Foundation Learning Center), Greg Webber and Jason Guss (Eagle Eye/Hawk Hollow Golf Properties).
Josh played collegiately at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Georgia before transferring and graduating from Grand Valley State University with a degree in Sports Management. He took part in winning a Conference Championship and competed in the 2007-2008 D-II National Championship in his time on the GVSU golf team. Josh still competes professionally through the Michigan PGA Section.
Outside of golf, Josh is an avid sports fan and likes to travel. Josh has been happily married for 2 ½ years to his wife Codie, who is finishing her law degree at Michigan State University this spring. They reside here in Kalamazoo with their dog Dante.
Michael Prior, PGA comes to Golf Performance Academy with over 10 years of teaching experience. He has spent his career as a golf professional all over the country and has trained many high school and collegiate athletes during that time. It’s clear that he has a true passion for teaching the great game of golf! Michael’s previous work experience includes Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon, Midlothian Country Club in Chicago and most recently as the Head Golf Professional at Gull Lake Country Club in Richland.
His father, Joe Prior, the head golf professional at Milham Park Golf Course, started Michael’s passion for the game at a very young age. He grew up playing in the KJGA tournaments around the Kalamazoo area and attended many JGA golf camps growing up. After graduating from Schoolcraft High School in 2009, Michael attended Holy Cross College where he graduated with a Major in Business Management and a Minor in Sports Management. He was the captain of the golf team and helped lead the team to many victories and even improved their overall standings as HCC became ranked 14th in the country. During his junior year at Holy Cross, he captured the Chicagoland Athletic Conference Championship, not only as a team but also as the individual medalist for the event. That season he was also named the conference player of the year, as well as the Male Athlete of the Year at Holy Cross College. After graduation, Michael was an assistant coach for the Men’s and Women’s golf teams at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, helping lead the teams to many wins during his tenure. He is a very active member of the Michigan Section of the PGA as an at-large Director of the Western Chapter and enjoys playing in many professional events throughout the year.
Outside of golf, Michael has been married to his wife Andrea for 5 years and they have a beautiful daughter Presley, who is 2 years old. He is a sports fanatic, and enjoys playing golf with Andrea and Presley, traveling and time spent with family by their pool in the summer months.