Resident Golf Professionals
If you come to Kiawah Island Golf Resort to improve your golf game, you won’t be disappointed. Our staff consists of 18 PGA Certified Class A Professionals with 25 certifications between them. Each certified professional has had extensive training to receive this prestigious certification. Many programs are offered on the resort that is offered in a private or semi-private environment.
The Tommy Cuthbert Golf Learning center offers state-of-the-art video instruction technology designed to improve your swing, as well as current golf fitting systems. A private teaching area including driving range, practice green and sand bunker is available. Packages can be built for your training needs. Let one of our reservation agents put a package together for you. (800) 571-1570.
Brian Gerard, PGA
Director of Golf
Brian Gerard began his role as Kiawah Island Golf Resort Director of Golf and Activities in 2006. A Western Illinois University graduate, he joined the Kiawah team in 1986. He previously served as the head golf professional at both The Ocean Course (1996 – 2005) and Turtle Point (1990 – 1995). He has been a PGA member since 1989 and is a certified Master Professional in General Management. He was named the National PGA Merchandiser of the Year in 2006, and received the 2020 Carolinas PGA Bill Strausbaugh Award. Brian served on the Carolinas PGA Board of Directors from 2006 – 2013. He currently serves on the PGA Carolinas Section Governance Committee and the Charleston Golf Course Owners Association Board of Directors.
Stephen Youngner, PGA
Head Professional, The Ocean Course
Stephen has been with Kiawah for over 20 years, starting as an assistant golf professional at Osprey Point. He was the head professional at Oak Point for three years prior to starting his current role in 2006 as the head professional at The Ocean Course. A class A PGA professional, he is also certified in golf operations and general management. Stephen served on the Carolinas PGA section Board of Directors from 2009 to 2013, was a member of the national PGA Apprentice Committee, a member of the PGA Performance Trak task force, a member of the Carolinas PGA Section Awards and Honors Committee from 2010 until 2016, and a part of Team CPP, a mentoring program for the PGA certified professional program. Stephen was named the Carolinas PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year in both 2009 and 2012. He was also recognized as the Carolinas PGA Section Horton Smith award winner in 2010 for contributions to PGA professional education. He was the PGA Head Professional during the 2007 Senior PGA Championship and the 2012 PGA Championship. He was also member of the Executive Committee for the 2012 PGA Championship at The Ocean Course.
Deron Lee, PGA
Head Professional, Oak Point
Deron Lee was born in Louisville, Kentucky and raised in Canton, Ohio. After graduating from Coastal Carolina University in 2010, Deron’s golf career began as an Assistant Professional with the TPC Network. After spending time at facilities in Atlanta and Las Vegas, Deron landed at Kiawah in February of 2013. He was promoted to the First Assistant Professional position at The Ocean Course in March of 2014. In November of 2016, Deron was named Head Golf Professional at Oak Point. Deron serves on the PGA Carolinas Board of Directors as Chair of the Lowcountry Chapter.
Mark Schaffer, PGA
Head Professional, Turtle Point
While Schaffer came to Turtle Point from The Ocean Course where he has served as first assistant professional since 2003. However, he’s no stranger to this stellar Jack Nicklaus design as it is where he started his employment with Kiawah Island Golf Resort in 1997. He served as first assistant from 1999 to 2003 prior to his move to The Ocean Course. Schaffer earned his PGA membership in 2004 and is certified in General Management and Golf Operations. He was named as one of the “Top 25 Assistant Golf Professionals” by Golf Shop magazine earlier this year. Schaffer attended Southwestern Oklahoma State University on a golf scholarship. He and his wife, Lisa, have been married since 1997 and have one son.
Ric Ferguson, PGA
Head Professional, Osprey Point
Ferguson started at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in 1988. In that time he served as the First Assistant at each Osprey Point, Turtle Point, and Cougar Point. Since becoming a Class A PGA Member in 1996, Ferguson has held the position of Head Professional at four of the Resort’s five golf courses; Turtle Point (11⁄2 years), Oak Point (11⁄2 years), and Cougar Point (14 years) and Osprey since March 2014. In 2006, Ferguson earned PGA Certification in General Management. Before coming to Kiawah, he worked at two Charleston area golf courses. Ferguson is married, and the father of a son and daughter.
Josh Wagaman, PGA
Head Professional, Cougar Point
Josh Wagaman was born and raised in Lewisburg, West Virginia and came to Kiawah in 2008 after graduating with a B.S. in Business Administration from Methodist University. Josh served as First Assistant at The Ocean Course (2 ½ years) and at Turtle Point (1 ½ years) prior to joining Cougar Point. Josh is one of only 64 PGA Professionals to have earned certification in all six areas of the PGA certification program. While an assistant at The Ocean Course, Josh was awarded the Carolinas PGA Assistant of the Year in 2011. Josh currently serves as Vice President of the PGA Carolinas Section Board of Directors.
Jeff Stone, GCSAA
Golf Course Superintendent, The Ocean Course
A Graduate with honors of Lake City Community College Turf Program, Stone joined the Kiawah team in 1989. He served as Head Golf Course Superintendent at Cougar Point from 1990 until 1992 and Turtle Point from 1992 until 2003 before assuming his role as Head Golf Course Superintendent of The Ocean Course in 2003. Stone worked with Jack Nicklaus on Turtle Point course renovations in 2000 and with Pete Dye on his 2004 course renovations at The Ocean Course. Stone has been a Class A GCSAA member for 16 years. He and his wife, Ashley, have two children.
Lance Stone, GCSAA
Head Golf Course Superintendent, Turtle Point
After graduating from the Lake City Community College Turf Program in 1996, Lance took the Assistant Superintendent job at the Mountain View Golf Course in Pine Mountain, GA. While there the course hosted the PGA Buick Challenge and worked with Clyde Johnston on two golf course renovations projects. In 2002, he joined the Kiawah Island team and became the Assistant Superintendent at Osprey Point until becoming the Head Golf Course Superintendent at Oak Point in March 2013. He has been a member of the GCSAA for 13 years. Lance was named Head Golf Course Superintendent at Turtle Point in 2018. He and his wife Amy have a daughter.
Steve Miller, GCSAA
Golf Course Superintendent, Osprey Point
Miller is a 1986 graduate of The Pennsylvania State University turfgrass program. He has been at Kiawah since 1987, were he has served as Superintendent at The Ocean Course, Cougar Point, Turtle Point and Osprey Point. Miller has been a Class A GCSAA member for over 20 years. Miller and his wife, Carolyn, have a son and two daughters.
Brad French, GCSAA, CGCS
Golf Course Superintendent, Cougar Point
A graduate of The Ohio State University, French earned a Bachelors Degree in Agriculture and worked for the Athletic Department at OSU before joining the Kiawah team in 1995 as Assistant Superintendent at Marsh Point (Cougar Point). French served as Superintendent at Oak Point for 3 years before moving to Cougar Point in 2003. French has been a Class A member of CGCAA since 2001 and is CGCS Certified since 2004 (one of only four CGCS Certified superintendents in the Charleston area and one of only 1,500 nationwide). French and his wife, Bridget, have a son and a daughter.
Lee Painter, GCSAA
Golf Course Superintendent, Oak Point
After graduating from Catawba Valley Community College Turf Program in 2005, Lee accepted an Assistant Superintendent position at Seabrook Island. In 2008, Lee joined Kiawah Island Golf Resort as 2nd Assistant Superintendent at The Ocean Course. While there, he helped host the 2012 PGA Championship. In 2014, he became the First Assistant at Osprey Point until 2018 when he was named Head Golf Course Superintendent at Oak Point. Lee has been a member of the GCSAA for 12 years, and is a Board Member of the Coastal Plains Carolinas Golf Association. He and his wife, Elizabeth, have two sons.