April 7, 2006
Athletics director Dr. Steve Potts has announced that Robert Allen "Buddy" Harston has been named as the new golf coach at Lipscomb University.
Harston, a former member of the Bisons baseball team from 1970 to 1974 and an assistant baseball coach for the Bisons from 1974 to 1977 , is looking forward to returning to his alma mater after more than 29 years as a golf professional.
"We have been gone from Nashville for 20 years now," said Harston. "We are excited to be back in Nashville, but we just as excited to be back at Lipscomb. Being the coach of the golf teams is a perfect fit right now.
"There is a great athletic tradition at Lipscomb especially in baseball, basketball and golf. People who go to Lipscomb love athletics. That is enough tradition right there."
Harston, 53, replaces Dr. Ralph Samples, who is retiring effective at the end of the 2005-2006 academic year after 39 years as the golf coach. Harston will be responsible for both the men's and women's teams.
"We are so pleased and excited to welcome Buddy Harston back to Lipscomb University," said Potts. "Buddy is a man of great character and integrity and shares a strong commitment to the Christian mission of our institution.
" For almost 30 years, he has immersed himself in the game of golf as a competitor, teacher and student. His expertise and experience will enable us to build on the 39-year legacy left by Coach Ralph Samples."
Harston served as director of golf/head golf professional at Lexington Country Club from 1986 to December of 2005.
Prior to that position he was the assistant golf professional in Nashville at Belle Meade Country Club from 1984 to 1986.
Harston has also spent time in the Florida serving as director of personnel for FAF, Inc., and as an assistant golf professional at The Deerwood Club in Jacksonville, Fla., and Costa Del Sol in Miami.
Harston has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Lipscomb. He also spent one year in the graduate program at the Peabody School at Vanderbilt studying physical education.
He has been rated as a Class "A" member of the PGA of America since 1984. He has competed in 10 PGA and Senior PGA events.
Harston has not coached a college team, but he has assisted members of the University of Kentucky men's and women's teams in his role as a golf pro in Lexington.
"A college player is more committed than the people you would coach at a club," said Harston. "To me golf on the college level is not a team sport, it is an individual sport. For me to make the team better I have to make the individuals better."
Harston plans to emphasize two areas of the game with his Lipscomb teams as they compete in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
"No. 1 is the mental approach," said Harston. "The next thing would be the short game. I want to make them the best putters, chippers and pitchers of the ball in the conference. Seventy-five percent of our time will be working on the mental aspects of the game and the short game.
"You cannot win golf tournaments without putting well or without a short game," said Harston. "I have never won a golf tournament when I didn't chip and putt well. Hitting the ball well (off the tee) only gets you in position to score. You can lose by hitting poorly, but you can't win by hitting it great. You win tournaments at any level because your short game is great."
Harston was an assistant coach under the late Ken Dugan when the Bisons won the 1977 NAIA National Championship in baseball. He credits his past coaches for helping him develop his coaching philosophy.
"We were state champs in baseball when I played for Lynn Alexander at Glencliff High School my senior year," said Harston. "I learned a lot from him. I also learned a lot from coach Dugan in seven years with him."
His honors include: • Kentucky Senior Open Champions, 2005
• Senior PGA Championship competitor; 2003, 2004, 2005
• U.S. Senior Open Championship competitor, 2003
• PGA Championship competitor, 2002
• Kentucky Open Champion, 2000
• Kentucky PGA Player of the Year; 1989, 1999, 2000
• Kentucky PGA Teacher of the Year, 1993
• National PGA Teacher of the Year nominee, 1993
• Tennessee PGA Championship Runner-up, 1985
• All-Tournament Team, 1972 NAIA World Series (baseball)
• NAIA Bronze Glove Award , 1972, NAIA World Series (baseball)
Harston and his wife, Julie, have two daughters. Palmer, 19, is a sophomore at Vanderbilt University. Taylor, 17, is a senior at Lexington Christian Academy.