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Instructor Profile: Bruce Nakamura

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Since 2003, Bruce has been named one of Golf Digest’s top teachers in California. He is a class A PGA professional and a certified PGA Coach. Bruce loves to work with golfers of all abilities on improving their game––from Junior World Champions to players just learning. Bruce’s years of tournament experience and high-level play are incredibly valuable to players of all skill levels. Whether the goal is to break 100 or win a championship, Bruce’s insight into the finer details of the game can help anyone lower their scores. His main philosophy is: keep it simple. The golf swing can be very complicated, and when trying to do everything perfectly, the results can often be poor.

Tournament Experience:

Bruce still loves competing in high-level golf tournaments. Over the course of his career, Bruce won over 30 PGA Events in Southern California, including the San Diego PGA Stroke and Match Play Championship, and was runner-up at the SCPGA Section Championship. He placed 3rd at the 2013 TaylorMade National Championship at Spyglass Hills and Pebble Beach. In addition, Bruce has competed at the tour-level, playing in 3 Senior US Opens and a Senior PGA Championship.


Bruce started golfing at the age of 10 and quickly developed a passion for the sport. His passion for golf led him to UCSD, where Bruce was the number one player on their golf team for four straight years and a Division III All-American three years in a row.

After graduating from UCSD with a Bachelor’s degree in Management Science, Bruce played the mini- tours, winning several events on the Golden State Tour. In 1990, he was hired by the San Diego Golf Academy as the Director of Instruction for the AGT Program. In 1995, Bruce joined the Aviara Golf Academy as a PGA instructor.


A Tip from Bruce

Good distance control is a major problem for most golfers around the greens. A big problem we see with the average golfer is that they do not look at the target and visualize the shot. When chipping and putting try taking your practice stroke looking at your target, then step up and hit the chip or putt. This will give you a better feel for the distance, and you will be able to save valuable strokes.

Golf Digest Best Teachers California 2022-2023
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