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Hunters Green pro followed his golf dream

Special correspondent
Published:   |   Updated: April 7, 2013 at 11:47 AM
TAMPA -

Ben Chambers loved golf, but he was a realist from the time he learned he had a pretty good game. He knew he was never going to make a living among the millionaires on the PGA Tour, but he took advantage of some breaks along the way and is making a career out of it.

Chambers made those breaks for himself. He started working in the cart barn – unglamorous work – before landing a plum job at the prestigious Lake Nona Golf Club in his hometown of Orlando. That’s when the career path started taking shape. 

“There was no way I could see myself sitting at a desk nine hours a day,” Chambers, the head golf professional at Hunters Creek Golf Club said. “I learned pretty quickly this is what I wanted to do.”

After landing the Lake Nona job, Chambers said his vision started to expand. He started working on being certified to become a PGA professional and moved to Pennsylvania to get some national slugs on his resume.

Florida was always home, but a few years away gave Chambers the skills and the reputation that made it possible to get a job at Isleworth Golf Club just outside of Orlando. You may have heard of it – Tiger Woods is just one of many famous members in a community that is knows as a playground for the stars.

“I knew when I got to Lake Nona that being a professional is all I wanted and I chased after it,” Chambers said. “It just grew from there.”

Golf has had a love affair with Chambers his whole life. He played growing up and stayed with it, and is fortunate to have a family that understands the long hours that go in to being golf pro.

It’s a dusk to dawn existence, but Chambers and his family have been able to adapt. He and his wife have a 5- and a 6-year-old who spend time on the course so they are never far away, even though a typical golf professional has few holidays off.

Chambers heard there was an opening at Hunters Green two years ago with new management taking over, and he decided to fly in and take a chance. A day later, he was Hunters Green’s new head golf professional.

He can add that to starting his own golf club, which he did a few years ago in Mississippi. He’s still learning the business, but he now has experience as a teacher, a head golf pro, at starting a new golf course, and just about all of the minute requirements that most weekend golfers don’t think about.

When he got to Hunters Green, Chambers said the course was in decent shape, but he knew things could be a lot better, so he hit the course running.

“It’s been a real challenge and I liked that part of it,” Chambers said. “I’ve always had great timing with my moves, so this started perfectly with the new management. Once we got things going, the satisfaction of the membership started to go way up. Our customer service is a lot better and we are making better uses of all the resources we have here.”

Chambers enjoys the teaching part of his job. He recently had a person who didn’t even know what the numbers at the bottom of the club meant. After working with Chambers, the man is out every day practicing.

“That’s the reward,” Chambers said. “There’s nothing like it.”

To submit any golf news, coming events, holes-in-one, local tournament results, or anything related to local golf, send all information and a phone number to jeffberlinicke@gmail.com

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