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Ladies Golf Offered at O’Neal

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July 27, 2016

Ladies Golf Offered at O’Neal
Coaches named

Southern Pines – O’Neal Athletics is pleased to announce the addition of Varsity Girls’ Golf to its fall sports offerings. Girls in grades 7-12 will be allowed to try out for the team starting August 1st.

“We are excited to offer Varsity Girls Golf at O’Neal next year for the first time,” exclaims Director of Athletics James Franklin. “Although our team will be small in its inception, there is growing interest for a girls program. Having our girls play in an environment where they can grow physically, psychologically, cerebrally, and skillfully will provide a fulfilling and enriching athletic experience. We are very excited to grow the sport this year and over future years at O’Neal.”

Richard ‘Buck’ Warren will be serving as head coach for the team. Having recently completed a long and exciting career in technology manufacturing with his last position as president at Meridian Kiosks in Aberdeen, NC, he is returning to his love for golf that began as a young teenager in Plainfield, N.J..  He competed successfully through high school as he garnered first team All-County, All-Area and All-State honors.  Buck received a B.S. degree in public relations from the University of Florida and was a member of the varsity golf team.  A resident of Pinehurst since 2012, Buck has a passion for coaching and mentoring and looks forward to building a girls’ golf program for which the O’Neal School community will be proud.

Jim Hardy will join Coach Warren to work with the team. Coach Hardy is the academy director for Longleaf Golf & Family Club in Southern Pines, NC. He has been a coach for the First Tee and serves as an instructor and board member of the LPGA/USGA Girls Golf program.  Eighty percent of his students are under the age of 18. Presently, a U.S. Kids Golf certified coach and PGA professional, Hardy began his career in the golf business in 1996 after buying a practice range and adjacent land for a 9-hole lighted par-3 course in southwest Houston.  His passion for teaching junior golf was evident immediately, and he became a member of PGA of America. Hardy was the director of instruction at Hearthstone Country Club in Houston for ten years before moving to the Sandhills.

As a teacher, Hardy creates a fun and enjoyable learning experience while bringing students the technical, mental and fitness aspects of the game to meet each individual’s needs. As a player, Jim has played in the PGA Professional National Championship and loves to compete but he gets his biggest thrill when he can say, “Learning has occurred.”  This is a phrase he uses often during golf instruction which, in his words, is a code for making a connection with his students and a positive change in their attitude about golf.
O’Neal is a member of the Eastern Plains Independent Conference, a part of the North Carolina Independent School Association (NCISAA) 2A division. The varsity girls golf schedule this fall includes conference and non-conference matches against Ravenscroft, Durham Academy, Cary Christian School, Cary Academy, St. David’s School, and St. Mary’s School. The team’s home course will be Longleaf Golf and Family Club.

An independent, college preparatory school for pre-kindergarten age 3 through grade 12, The O’Neal School is dedicated to the development of academic excellence, strength of character, and physical well-being of its students. O’Neal prides itself on having 100% of its graduates receive acceptances to colleges and universities throughout the nation.  The School is currently accepting enrollment applications. For more information, contact Oliva Webb, director of Admissions at (910) 692-6920 or go to<>.

Buck Warren Jim Hardy

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