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Krista Dunton

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GOLF TEACHER IS AT THE TOP OF HER GAME

Krista Dunton

Question. What is your biggest accomplishment?

Answer. When I first moved to the Lowountry in the early 2000s, as director of instruction at Belfair I had a huge opportunity to make an impact on the community. The learning center had cobwebs in it from being underutilized. I created and developed a comprehensive instructional program at Belfair, bringing in what was leading technology at the time — high-end video and the “K Vest,” which is biofeedback 3-D software.

It was an exciting time to see programs expand and people improving and getting more enjoyment from their golf game. I get a great sense of accomplishment from the day-to-day successes of my students. Seeing them make breakthroughs in their game is awesome. I also co-founded the Hilton Head Island chapter of the LPGA Girls Golf Club with Jean Harris. We are now in our 10th year and have introduced the game of golf to more than 1,000 girls in the Hilton Head and Bluffton area.

Q. You’ve won several awards and achieved many certifications. Which ones mean the most to you?

A. I was recently named to Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Teacher list, which is a very significant recognition in the golf industry. And I achieved a Level 3 Certification in Jim Hardy’s Plane Truth Teaching Certification. I was the first person in North America to achieve that level.

Q. How have things changed since you started out?

A. I started in the golf business when there would be 250 men and about four to five women in a PGA education class. But I grew up with three older brothers and learned how to hold my own with guys. But thankfully times have changed — in fact, Suzy Whaley is the PGA’s president-elect.  

Q. What do you do when you’re not working? How to you balance work with fun?

A. I am enjoying coaching my kids’ baseball, soccer, basketball and golf teams. It’s such a thrill for me to be out there teaching young boys and girls how to throw, bat, dribble, shoot and swing. I love seeing the teamwork and team bonds. I have less time for myself right now, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Of course, I have a very supportive wife and that makes all the difference.

Q. Who has influenced you in your career and helped you succeed?

A. My parents were both coaches, and they were always supportive for all the sports I played growing up. I learned work ethic, communication and passion from them. Jim Hardy and Mike Adams have been the biggest influencers in my teaching, along with Pia and Lynn from Vision 54. Libby Cherrington of Cherrington-Brotsky has taught me the most with regard to marketing and growing a business. She’s one of the top financial advisers in the country and knows what it takes to be successful in any industry.

Q. How long have you lived in the Lowcountry?

A. I moved here in 2003 from New Jersey; I was born and rased in the San Francisco Bay Area and attended the University of Michigan.