Welcome to the Future Champions Golf Academy located at Stadium Golf Center in San Diego, CA.
Our founder Chris Smeal, PGA coaches 4 days a week mostly to elite junior golfers and college players but his schedule is open online first come first serve by appointment to anyone who wants to learn. Chris is an award winning instructor including 2018 Golf Digest Best Young Teacher in America, Golf Digest Top Teacher in California from 2013-2020, FCG Top 25 Elite Junior Coach, US Kids Master Coach, 2019 SCPGA Player Development Award and 2020 SCPGA Youth Player Development Award, and Golf Range Magazine Top 50 Growth of the Game Coach in the USA. Chris is most proud of his ability to connect with students and get them to a level they never even considered possible.
“My passion is to help you play better golf, crush your goals, become a more confident person, and put a blueprint for success in your life that will help you in whatever you choose to do. I look forward to helping you.” – Chris Smeal
- Proud to have over 160 Students Earn College Golf Scholarships
- Coaching Awards and Learn More About Chris and His Coaching Philosophy
- Questions? Call 619.339.2377 or Email Us
NEW!!! – Chris has opened a State of the Art Short Game Facility in Poway for a second facility for short game coaching. Here are some images of the facility. These sessions cannot be booked online and must be scheduled with Chris directly. Follow Smeal Short Game Course on Instagram here.
- Group Programs are not currently being offered. Join Email List
- Coach Now Technology: Chris uses Coach Now Technology to house all student’s videos and lesson notes. An account will be set up for you at your first session.
- Flightscope Technology now available at Coaching Sessions with Chris at both Stadium Golf Center and Smeal Short Game Course.
- ThrivSports is the Academy Technology provider for online lesson bookings.
- Strength and Fitness Training Program with Jake Glaze Fitness – Get Started
- Foresight Technology: Access to 10 Launch Monitors at Stadium Golf Center.
- Stat Tracking: Are you tracking your stats? One of the most important keys to player development is understanding your golf game better and to analyze your game like a PGA/ LPGA Tour Player. The Stat Sheet I use will help you become a better player.
- Award Winning Club Fitting Services – Learn More
- Goal Setting: How do you crush your goals? Fill out this form even if you aren’t my student
How Chris learned how to Coach Golf:
- Played competitive golf first and had great coaches (Deron Johnson, John Darling) to help me go from a beginner at age 15 to a scratch handicap player at age 17. Received a college scholarship to SDSU on June 6th of senior year in high school.
- Failed at college golf but has taken that experience to help his students succeed and understand the process better.
- From age 15 always studied the golf swing, watched a ton of golf on TV, and learned quickly how to recognize the direction the ball would go on TV before the analyst would say anything.
- Read most of Jim McLean’s books in High School and all Bob Rotella Mental Game Books. Really enjoyed Harvey Penick’s books.
- Practiced at age 18 and 19 years old with Keith Sbarbaro the #2 player behind Phil Mickelson at ASU.
- Started coaching in 2001 at Stadium Golf Center and took a lesson from all 9 coaches at Stadium Golf Center
- Looked up the Golf Digest Top Coaches List and went straight to the top and called the Butch Harmon Academy and asked if I could come watch Butch teach. They invited me to watch a 2-day golf school and I learned a lot. Justin Leonard and Natalie Gulbis were there training.
- Traveled to Palm Springs several times to learn from Carl Welty. While there I experienced the indoor/ outdoor lesson format where you film outdoors and come inside to analyze and sit down and chat. I immediately came home and asked Stadium Golf Center owner if I could put a building in and did this in 2005.
- Attended every Coaching Seminar I could find. Very influenced by Jim Flick and his coaching methods. Jim Flick coached Jack Nicklaus.
- While attending a FCG tournament in Nor Cal at Quail Lodge and saw a really crazy looking golf cart and an older gentleman sitting in the cart. I walked over and learned in was Ben Doyle, legendary golf instructor. I spent 6 hours with him over the next two days learning from him and bought his famous mat and his other instructional information.
- Attended several PGA Tour and LPGA Tour events on Tuesdays to film players and study their practice habits.
- Annually attend coaching events and meets up with Coaches to learn. Attended the Golf Magazine Top 100 Summit at Pinehurst in 2019.
- Caddied for my students at big events including LPGA Q School, European PGA Tour Q School, US Amateur (2017 and 2018), US Women’s Amateur 2019, and several Farmers PGA Tour Qualifying.
- Spent time with Derek Uyeda and the Quintic Putting Machine to help my players putt at the highest level.
More Ways To Get Involved and Start Playing Better Golf:
- Podcasts with Chris
- Instagram Live Chats to make you a better player and a better golf parent.
- San Diego not convenient? – Online Coaching and Face Time Lessons Available
- Order Chris’s Tournament Players Manual
- 5 Free Tips for Junior Golfers
- Watch Chris’s Students on Instagram
- Visit www.chrissmeal.com
- Connect on Linked In
TRAIN YOUR GAME – TRAIN YOUR MIND – A PROVEN FORMULA FOR SUCCESS
Recent News and Headlines:
- 2/16: Phillip Yturralde signs with Central Michigan to play Collegiate Golf
- 1/15/22: Chris Smeal recognized again as Golf Range Magazine Growth of the Game Elite Member Status Professional
- 1/10/22: Kaila Higgins transfers to Cal State San Marcos to play on the Women’s Team
- 12/2: Chris Smeal recognized by Golf Digest as Top Teacher in CA for 9th Time
- 11/9: Isabella Ranches commits to Long Beach State University
- 11/9: Carissa Freeman commits to Cal State Los Angeles
- 9/25: Zihao Jin shoots 67-65-68-72 for -16 and qualifies to the 2nd Stage of Korn Ferry Q School
- 9/14: Hannah Jugar wins her 8th College Tournament at Olivas Links with final round 67!
- 9/14: Kaila Higgins shoots 69 in College Tournament. Her first competitive round in the 60’s!
- 9/11: Chris Smeal wins 19th Annual Smeal Invitational with 70-73.
- 9/11: Mikayla Fitzpatrick wins her first Professional Tournament on the Cactus Tour
- 8/27: Zihao Jin shoots -7 at Korn Ferry Pre Qualifying to Advance to 1st Stage
- 8/26: Annika Yturralde commits to play college golf at Creighton University
- 7/13: Daniel Lyne shoots 68 at Encinitas Ranch in FCG Global Cup Championship
- 7/1: Melanie Reyes commits to play at Biola University this Fall
- 6/30: Sofia Torres wins the Sombrero Open and Qualifies for the IMG Junior World Championship
- 5/15: Hannah Jugar wins her 4th, 5th. 6th. and 7th College Event this Spring
- 5/1: Kaila Higgins qualifies for the D3 National Championship
- 1/27: Zihao Jin fires 70 in final round of Southwestern Invitational Collegiate Event featured on Golf Channel and helps his team with the Win in the first event of the 2021 season. Joey Vrzich finishes T9th with an impressive 67 in round 2 for Pepperdine.
- 1/4: Zihao Jin finishes 4th place at Saguaro Amateur Championship at -8. He had a bogey free 66 in round 2.
- 12/17: Easton Phillips wins the 2020 San Diego Amateur presented by AmateurGolf.com at Aviara Golf Club
- 12/15: FCG Academy to add New State of the Art Short Game Training Facility in Poway, CA for additional coaching opportunities. Stay tuned for more information.
- 12/12: Chris Smeal receives SCPGA Youth Player Development Award Video
- 11/15: Zihao Jin wins the Coronado City Amateur Championship with 68-73
- 10/18: Crista Izuzquiza wins AJGA Utah Championship in record fashion. -14 for two days (-9 round 1 and followed up with a -5)
- 10/18: Melanie Reyes shoots final round -2 at SDJGA Event at Rancho Bernardo Inn for the low round of the day
- 10/15: Justin Vrzich and partner Danny Kim qualify for the USGA Four-Ball Championship
- 10/10: Joey Vrzich finishes in 3rd place in first collegiate event of the Pepperdine Fall Season on Golden State Tour
- 8/31: Chris Smeal named 2020 SCPGA Youth Player Development Award Winner
- 8/30: Santiago Ulloa winning multiple events on FCG and US Kids Tours and won the Grand Golf Club Championship.
- 8/1: Joey Vrzich wins the 109th California Amateur Championship
- 7/26: Mikayla Fitzpatrick wins FCG Collegiate Series Championship at Arrowood GC
- 2/25: Hannah Jugar wins 2nd Collegiate Event as a Freshman
- 2/20: Justin Vrzich finishes T1st in Collegiate Event
- 2/20: Joey Vrzich finishes 6th in Prestige Collegiate Event
- 1/20: Inigo Izuzquiza shoots 68 to qualify for the Monday Farmers Insurance Open Qualifier as a 15 Year Old
- 11/26: Chris Smeal recognized as Top Teacher in California by Golf Digest and will receive 2019 SCPGA Player Development Award on Sunday December 8
- 11/24: Yuki Moriyama makes 11 birdies and shoots 63 in final round of FCG Las Vegas Tournament
- 11/15: 11 Students sign National Letter of Intents to Play Collegiate Golf
- 11/14: Crista Izuzquiza finishes 3rd place in California State High School Championship at Poppy Hills after 2nd place finish at Southern California Regional
- 11/10: Inigo Izuzquiza wins FCG La Costa
“I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else to caddy for me. Coach Chris and I were a perfect team and will continue to be a perfect team throughout my golfing career. He taught me how to deal with pressure and to think and execute in the moment not in the past or future. So I am thankful for coach Chris!” – Joey Vrzich
How can Rida and I thank you and Antrone and Future Champions Golf for being one of the main ingredients in helping Carissa get a scholarship to play golf in college. It was around 2010 when someone told me that you had started a golf program for Juniors. At that time, both Erica and Carissa were involved in softball, and I wanted them to get involved in golf as well. So, I found out where you were located at Stadium Golf and went down there to pay you a visit one night. Carissa was eight and Erica was seven. I told you I didn’t know if they would like golf and was worried about spending money on clubs for them both. I don’t know if you recall, but you said “let me see if I can find some clubs somewhere”. The very next day you sent me an email informing me you had found some. So, I scheduled lessons with you for the girls and when we showed up you gave each one of them a set of what looked like brand-new junior golf clubs and bags. And then they started lessons.
So, they would get lessons with you individually and have fun with group lessons with Antrone playing goofy games down on the putting green. Then they started playing in tournaments.
As time went on and the girls got a little better you suggested that we go to the Las Vegas tournament because it was a lot of fun. And you were right. We stayed at the Casino, went to a show, ate a nice steak one night, and made a short family vacation out of it. From then on, we have gone to Phoenix, Santa Barbara, Palm Desert, and Temecula. We made these tournaments short family vacations, more than just playing golf. Without Future Champions Golf Tournaments, these vacations would have never happened.
As you know, both girls were outstanding softball players and Carissa actually won Defensive Player of the Year as a freshman playing shortstop. However, she seemed to be improving all the time at golf and getting better little by little with your teaching and encouragement. I’ve always told people how I am impressed that you can give a lesson and take just one or two things from that lesson and fix her swing. You make it simple and understanding which is one of your strongest attributes.
With your help she made CIF all four years and this year won Player of the Year for the Grossmont High School School District. She missed going to Pasadena this year as one of the 12 individuals by one stroke. The one course she played on she had never played before, it being a private course, but many of the other school districts got to play that course and were familiar with it because that course is designated course that those leagues play on.
The coach from Cal State Los Angeles, Rida and I are impressed with, and I think she will find their schedule exciting as well as traveling to hotels and playing with a new group of girls. Again, because of you, Antrone and Future Champions Golf you made this possible.
Carissa will be seeing you shortly for more lessons after Thanksgiving.
As John Wooden said, “The coach is first of all a teacher” and a GREAT teacher you are.
Mitch and Rida