George Gandranata moved over to the U.S on his own at age 15 to attend the David Leadbetter Golf Academy at IMG Academy. When he arrived he was new to the game -having only started to hit balls for the first time at the age of 13. He came to the academy knowing little English but had a willingness to learn and was a great student of the game.
He improved tremendously in the 5 years he spent at the academy. In 2003, George was selected as an AJGA Third-Team Rolex Junior All-American. During that year he won the Junior Champions Tour Solana Classic (67-67 - 134), tied for second at the AJGA HP Boys Junior Championship (74-72-70-72 - 288), tied for second at the AJGA Greater Hartford Open Junior Classic (73-71-71 - 215), tied for second at AJGA First American Title Avila Junior Classic (72-71-68 - 211), tied for fifth at the AJGA Buick Junior Classic (73-75-73 - 221) ), tied for 15th at the AJGA Robert Trent Jones Junior (75-73-75 - 223) and tied for 19th at the Doral Publix Junior Classic (73-75-72 - 220).
In his last full year of being at the academy (2004) he was selected to compete in the AJGA Canon Cup, representing the East and was selected as AJGA Honorable Mention Rolex Junior All-American. In 2004 he won Junior Champions Tour National Championship (71-71 - 142), tied for second at the AJGA Thunderbird International (68-72-71 - 211), finished tied for eighth in the AJGA PING Indianapolis Junior (74-72-76 - 222) and tied for 15th at the AJGA Rolex Tournament of Champions (69-76-71-72 - 288).
During his time at IMG Academy golf program, George was twice named DLGA Most Dedicated Player and once named DLGA Most Valuable Player.
He went to Cal Berkeley on a golf scholarship. Where he played all four years and was a valuable member of the Bears golf team.