08 Jan 2024 | Amateur golf |

Bishop, Speechley to coach WA squads

by Golf WA

Jessica Speechley image
Jessica Speechley will be the first woman to coach a state squad in WA since the 1990s.

GolfWA has appointed Craig Bishop and Jessica Speechley as its new state coaching line-up for 2024.

The duo replace Andrew MacAuslan and Alex McKay, who have stepped back from their GolfWA roles due to business and family commitments.

Bishop will coach the boys’ and men’s squads, with Speechley to oversee the women and girls.

Bishop brings a pedigree of developing high-performance athletes in both Australia and Japan, with established tour professionals Haydn Barron, Curtis Luck and Kirsten Rudgeley amongst those to have benefitted from his insights.

Speechley, meanwhile, is a teaching professional at Joondalup Resort who represented WA at amateur level, was the No.1 women’s amateur in Australia for two years, and a two-time recipient of the Karrie Webb Scholarship.

After turning pro, she competed on the Japanese LPGA circuit between 2013-15 before injury curtailed her career.

The two have a long-standing working relationship, with Bishop having coached Speechley early in her pro career – something Speechley attributes to her claiming her first JLPGA title in 2014.

“It is with honour that I take up the role of state men’s and boy’s golf coach,” Bishop told GolfWA. “Along with Jess, I look forward to navigating the development of WA’s finest players in the ever-changing landscape of our sport.”

Speechley added: “I am very privileged to be taking on the role. I look forward to nurturing and developing the female players and I aim to focus on the long-term development of high-performance players for WA, while bringing my skills and knowledge from playing and competing on various tours.”

Speechley becomes the first woman to coach a WA state squad since Dale Wharton in the 1990s, which she believes could play a key role in unlocking the potential within the women’s and girls’ squads.

“It’s so important for women to work with other women,” Speechley told GolfWA. “For me personally, I feel more comfortable working with women because we can relate more and I can read them better emotionally. That can make a big difference.”

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