Fran James

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Fran James - Director of Instruction


Fran has 27 years of experience in the golf business; she joined the LPGA in 1993 and became a Class A Member in 1999. A native of Durham, Fran started playing golf at the age of 6 at Willowhaven Country Club. She graduated from Northern High School where she was the first female to play on the boy’s golf team. Fran received a scholarship to play golf at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia where she went on to be the Team Captain. In 1992 she played on the LPGA Futures Tour. She worked at a local driving range for 9 years and was Head Golf Professional for 7 of those 9 years. From 1995-2010, she was an instructor for the renowned Peggy Kirk Bell “Golfari” at Pine Needles Resort in Southern Pines. Fran was part of the pilot program for the PGA’s Link up to Golf, which introduced beginners to the game of golf. Fran joined the staff of Hillandale in April 2004 as a Teaching Professional. Fran continues to grow the game of golf by participating in Play Golf America, Women’s Week, and Bring Your Daughter to the course. Since 2006 she has worked with the Special Olympics of Durham and teaches beginner and intermediate classes for Durham Tech. Fran has also been a USKids certified coach since 2015.

Fran’s Passion

In 2012 she was promoted to Hillandale’s Director of Instruction. Fran is passionate about teaching golfers at all skill levels, especially beginners and junior golfers.

She was instrumental in starting the LPGA Girls Golf Program for girls 5-17 years old.

She maintains a significant lesson book while creating a relaxed atmosphere assuring that you will have fun as you improve your game. Her enthusiasm has created a loyalty from her students that is beyond compare.

Fran is very charitable with her time helping create our H.E.A.R.T.S. Program, our Adaptive Golf Program as well as our other community outreach initiatives.

Fran currently serves as a consultant for Ping Golf.

Fran’s role at Hillandale

She oversees all of our middle and high school golf teams that utilize Hillandale to play and practice along with all of our league play and tournaments.

In the fall of 2011 she became the Golf Coach of the North Carolina School of Science and Math’s (NCSSM) first ever Women’s Golf Team and in January 2012 was named Golf Coach of the NCSSM Men’s Golf Team.

Spring 2012 and 2013 she was named Coach of the Year for the men’s golf team and fall 2012 and 2013 named Coach of the Year for the women’s golf team.

2016 Fran was inducted into Northern High School’s Hall of Fame