Golf News for Monday, July 22, 2013 | People

11-year-old golf prodigy Latanna Stone enrolls at IMG Academy

BRADENTON, Fla. -- IMG Academy has announced that 11-year-old Latanna Stone of Valrico, Fla. has enrolled at IMG Academy. Stone garnered national attention in 2012 when she qualified for the U.S. Women's Amateur as a 10-year-old, in addition to having captured more than 100 wins in her young career, according to the Florida State Golf Association.

On her decision to enroll at IMG Academy, Stone remarked, "I like it here, and I think it can really help me do more in my golf game. I really want to step up my game…and I like it because I'm around other kids doing the same."

"Seeing Latanna play reminds me of a young Paula Creamer, and it's great to welcome a player with her ability because she has the potential to go as far as she wants to with golf," remarked David Whelan, Director of Golf, IMG Academy. "I'm especially excited about how Latanna, with her confidence and positive attitude, will be able to lead by example and push other players in the program to be their best, while they help bring out the best in her along the way."

Stone is one of the most accomplished junior golfers in the nation. At the time she qualified for the U.S. Women's Amateur, Stone was the third-youngest qualifier in USGA history, following Allisen Corpuz in 2008 and Michelle Wie in 2000. Stone is currently ranked as the No. 1 overall prospect for the Class of 2019 by the National Junior Golf Scoreboard.

"I knew that she needed more than just two hours practicing after school," explained Yuen Stone, Latanna's mother. "We see the raw talent she has, and we want her to go to the next level, and that's what she wants, so IMG Academy was it - it was the answer."

The IMG Academy golf program is under the direction of David Whelan, who possesses nearly 30 years of coaching experience. Whelan is joined by a staff of coaches who average more than a decade of coaching tenure each, and possess extensive collegiate and professional playing experience. Notable students who have been coached by Whelan and his staff since his arrival at IMG Academy in 2003 include: LPGA Tour players Paula Creamer, Mika Miyazato, Jessica Korda, Ginger Howard, Jodi Ewart, and Aree and Naree Song; PGA TOUR and European Tour players like Casey Wittenberg and Emiliano Grillo; and top-ranked NCAA players like Cheng-Tsung Pan and Peter Uihlein. During the 2012-13 season, IMG Academy student-athletes won more than 60 events, and saw three players earn Rolex Junior All-American honors (James Yoon, Rigel Fernandes and Jordan Lippetz).

About IMG Academy
IMG Academy is the world-leading provider of integrated academic, athletic and personal development programs. With expert instruction, a proven training methodology, professional-grade facilities and a challenging and motivating learning environment that brings together individuals of all ages and backgrounds, IMG Academy provides the ultimate foundation for future success.

The Bradenton, Fla.-based campus annually attracts nearly 200,000 athletes, coaches, event participants and spectators from 100 countries. In addition to its boarding preparatory school, IMG Academy offers sports camps and training programs for adult, collegiate and professional athletes. IMG Academy is also the host venue for countless international amateur and professional sporting events.

IMG Academy ( is housed within the IMG Performance ( division of IMG Worldwide (

Johnny Esfeller, IMG Academy,, 941-752-2461