Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher
The LSU men's golf program has enjoyed a meteoric rise back to the pinnacle of college golf in seven seasons under head coach Chuck Winstead, and the Tigers are certainly poised to contend for SEC and NCAA championships for years to come under his leadership.
Winstead enters his eighth season leading a program that has claimed four NCAA titles and 15 Southeastern Conference titles in its illustrious history. It is a proud program that has also produced three NCAA medalists and 18 SEC medalists since its inaugural season.
During his seven seasons leading the Tigers, Winstead has produced six All-America selections, seven All-SEC selections, four SEC All-Freshman Team selections and a pair of Academic All-Americans as the leader of one of the storied programs in all of college golf.
Winstead's players have also excelled individually while winning such prestigious amateur tournaments as the Jones Cup. In addition, 16 different Tigers have combined for 21 appearances at the United States Amateur Championship during Winstead's tenure. Two Tigers have advanced as far as the Sweet 16 round of match play at the U.S. Amateur with former All-American John Peterson advancing in 2011 and All-SEC performer Andrew Presley advancing in 2012.
Winstead has matched Mike Barbato as the second-winningest coach in program history, amassing 15 tournament championships in just over seven years at the helm. Barbato claimed 15 wins in his tenure from 1948-60 as they trail only the 16 tournament titles accumulated by Britt Harrison from 1988-98 for the all-time wins lead. In addition, Winstead has coached six Tigers to eight medalist honors since the 2005-06 season.
LSU has become a staple in NCAA postseason play while earning an NCAA Regional berth in five-straight seasons and competing at the NCAA Championships in two of the past three seasons.
The Tigers' ascension to the top of college golf was punctuated at the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championships when Peterson claimed LSU's first national championship in 70 years with his title-clinching performance at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla. That's when the three-time All-American and emerging PGA Tour standout fired a 5-under par 211 in three rounds of stroke play to win the national title and join former Tiger champions Fred Haas, Jr. (1937) and Earl Stewart (1941).
Under Winstead's guidance, Peterson is off to a strong start to his professional career that includes a tie for fourth place in his major championship debut at the 2012 United States Open Championship held at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, Calif.
A Ruston, La., native and member of the LSU men's golf program from 1989-91, Winstead believes the foundation of any successful program is built on attracting the best high school athletes the sport has to offer each recruiting season.
Peterson and fellow All-American Andrew Loupe were among Winstead's first recruiting classes and proved to be the tandem sparking LSU's return to national prominence.
Winstead is regarded as one of the strongest recruiters in college golf while attracting some of the nation's most decorated prospects to Baton Rouge. The Tigers have welcomed another outstanding class of recruits for the 2012-13 season featuring Zach Wright of Phoenix, Ariz., Chuck Spears of Pineville, La., and John Jonas of Jacksonville, Fla. Wright signed as the No. 8-ranked recruit nationally for the Class of 2012 in the Polo Junior Golf Rankings. Spears ranked No. 58 and Jonas ranked No. 59 for the Class of 2012 by the National Junior Golf Scoreboard.
Winstead's reputation as one of the top golf teachers in the country has been reflected in LSU's performance on the course over the past seven seasons as the team's scoring average has dropped dramatically since his first season as head coach in 2005-06. After averaging 295.6 shots per round as a team during his inaugural season, the Tigers lowered their scoring average each season at 296.7 in 2006-07, 293.6 in 2007-08, 293.4 in 2008-09, 290.6 in 2009-10 and 290.5 in 2010-11.
His instructional skills have been recognized by many of the leading golf publications nationally during his career, including the honor of being named a Golf Magazine Top 100 Instructor in America since 2005 with the likes of Butch Harmon, Peter Kostis, Jim Flick and former Tiger All-American and LSU Hall of Fame inductee Eddie Merrins.
Golf Digest has also recognized Winstead's instructional prowess as one of the nation's top golf teachers. He has even been featured on The Golf Channel and frequently appears in such publications as Golf Magazine and Golf Tips Magazine, for which he serves as the Senior Instruction Editor.
"We're very proud of the progress that this program has made in just a few short years, but the work is never done," Winstead said. "LSU Golf has a great and storied history on a national level, and there is no doubt the foundation has been laid for us to enjoy that caliber of success year in and year out as one of the nation's elite programs. It's an exciting time to be an LSU Tiger."
While the Tigers have excelled on the course, LSU's student-athletes have also achieved great success in the classroom with a total of 40 selections to the SEC Academic Honor Roll during Winstead's tenure as head coach. In 2011, two Tigers were chosen as Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholars as standouts Austin Gutgsell and Sang Yi were recognized for their academic performance.
"LSU Golf is a nationally-competitive program once again as we have attracted elite high school talent to Baton Rouge, providing an environment for improvement that is second to none," Winstead said. "We provide our players with the opportunity to be the best they can be both on and off the course. We're on the cutting edge in all areas, and as a result, our players will continue to achieve great things in the future."
In support of this effort, Winstead provided the vision and oversight for a multi-million dollar renovation project to The University Club golf course and LSU's Bilyeu Golf Practice Facility in 2010. The course is now recognized as one of the best in the region and has been selected to play host to the 2013 NCAA Baton Rouge Regional being held May 16-18.
Winstead's credentials include a five-year association with Jack Nicklaus' Golden Bear Golf, Inc., in North Palm Beach, Fla., where he served as the Director of Instruction for Golden Beach Golf among other responsibilities. In the mid-to-late 1990s, Winstead served as part of the senior management team developing, managing and initiating the launch of Jack Nicklaus Golf Academies worldwide.
Winstead has been linked with The University Club since 2000, where he has served as the Director of Instruction and owner of the Chuck Winstead Golf Academy. Winstead was named a Director of Instruction at English Turn Golf & Country Club in New Orleans from 1998-2000. In addition, he was a head instructor for the Bob Toski Learning Center in Sunrise, Fla., from 1993-95.
After graduating from LSU in 1991, Winstead embarked on a career as a professional golfer with a stint on the South American tour before launching his teaching career.
He and his wife, Jennifer, are the proud parents of two sons - Trey, 14, and David, 11 - and are active members of First United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge.