Elevate your game

Headed by Joe Hallett, Director of Instruction and Buddy Harston, Head Teaching Professional, the PGA Professional Staff at Vanderbilt Legends Club Golf Academy is dedicated to developing the premier golf instruction program in the South.

Joe Hallett
Director of Instruction

Joe Hallett, the Director of Instruction at Vanderbilt Legends Club, is the 2018 recipient of the Horton Smith Award, the PGA of America. Presented annually since 1976, the Horton Smith Award recognizes individuals who have developed and enriched education opportunities at the state, sectional and national levels. Hallett is this year’s national award winner. He was the Tennessee section’s Horton Smith Award winner in 2012 and PGA Teacher of the Year in 2013. He has a quarter century of experience as a PGA Professional and has worked closely with a number of high-profile players on the LPGA Tour, including Stacy Lewis, who was ranked No. 1 in the world in 2012, Inbee Park and Lizette Salas. Hallett served as lead instructor at the PGA Center for Learning and Performance in Port St. Lucie, Fla. and was director and chairman of the 2011 PGA Teaching Coaching Summit. He also hosted and produced “The Golf Show” on Sportstalk Radio Network.

Buddy Harston
Head Teaching Professional

Buddy Harston is in his twelfth year as Head Teaching Professional at the Legends Academy.  In addition to giving one-on-one instruction and on-course “playing lessons” to every age group, he conducts the popular weekly clinics during the spring and summer months. He was named Kentucky PGA Teacher of the Year in 1993 and fourth “Best Teacher in the State” of Tennessee by Golf Digest in 2016.  He has had three articles published in Golf Digest and Golf Magazine.  Buddy is also a very accomplished player having played on the PGA Tour, Web.com Tour and the Champions Tour.  In his career, he has competed in nine major championships including a PGA Championship at Hazeltine Golf Club, two Senior British Opens and two United States Senior Opens.

Buddy is an accomplished student of the mental aspects of the game.  He has been a personal client of Dr. Bob Rotella, author of Golf Is Not a Game of Perfect, for more than twenty years.  Along with the knowledge and mental techniques learned from Dr. Rotella, he adds the experience gained competing at golf’s highest level.  Every February he hosts his highly popular “Mental Game of Golf” workshop at the club.

Believing that a player’s golf swing can only be as good as his body allows, Buddy also stresses the importance of golf fitness.  He is a Titleist Performance Institute Level 2 Certified Golf Fitness Instructor and regularly designs workout regimens for members and their guests.

Buddy has also coached both men’s and women’s golf teams on the NCAA Division 1 level and has taught and tutored several college, high school and junior champions.  His college teams broke the school’s low scoring records numerous times.  He is a member of the Lipscomb University Athletics Hall of Fame where he played baseball and earned All-Tournament honors as well as the Bronze Glove Award at the 1972 NAIA College World Series.

Matt Walter
Academy Teaching Professional

Matt Walter joined the staff at Vanderbilt Legends Club in November of 2016 a gradute of Mississippi State University PGA Golf Management program. Matt teaches all skill levels from beginners, through tour professionals and utilizes some of the most advanced technology available, including devices like the ball and club analyzing radar by TrackMan, Smart2Move force plates, Focusband mental training, Blastmotion for swing tempo, and HackMotion wrist sensors.

Matt has a number of elite junior golfers under his tutelage and creates customized training programs based on desired goals. He offers a monthly training regimen spanning from April to August, which allows juniors to maximize their instructional time during peak season. During the winter, Matt offers a 4-month training program specializing in the development of physical and mental strength, as well as proper mechanics so students come to begin their spring season ready to win.

Lessons and Training Programs
  • Private Lessons
  • Sessions on the driving range, practice green and short-game facility
  • On-course instruction
  • Video analysis
  • Lesson packages
  • Custom club fitting
  • Titleist Performance Institute physical body assessments
  • Tailored workout regimen
  • Golf Clinics/SCHOOLS designed to work with groups of players at any skill level
  • Corporate clinics are available upon request.
  • GUEST INSTRUCTORS PROVIDING members with tour- practices and experience

Awards and Certifications
  • 2014 TN PGA Section Youth Player Development Award Winner
  • 2015 & 2016 US Kids Top 50 Instructors
  • BioSwing Dyanmics Level 1 Instructor
  • TrackMan Certified
  • Host of Junior Golf Blueprint Podcast
  • US Kids Nashville Local Tour Director
  • TN PGA Section Junior Committee Chairman
  • Mid-TN PGA Chapter Secretary
  • Mid-TN PGA Assistants and Education Committee Member