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Thursday, Jul 24, 2014
Carrollwood News

Lakeland pro takes pride in students’ improvement

Special correspondent
Published:
LAKELAND -

Success in golf can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. To some, shooting even par is all that matters. Others want the elusive hole in one.

Brian Moran, head golf professional at Lone Palm Golf Club, has a different view. As golf pro, he spends much of his time teaching. Sure, he said, it would be great to have one of his students break 80 on a regular basis, but he gets his biggest kicks out of something else.

“I am at my happiest when I see a player go from shooting 120 to shooting 90,” Moran said. “That’s what means the most, to see them working hard, practicing, focusing on getting better without being perfect. That makes it all worthwhile.”

Moran has quite a teaching pedigree. He’s been into sports his whole life. Growing up in Connecticut, he played all sports, but he was height deprived.

Golf doesn’t require its players to be tall, so Moran started taking golf seriously. He played high school golf and moved to Florida for college where he walked on at two schools. He knew his game wasn’t going to make him a fortune, but he was a realist.

“I was good, but I wasn’t too good,” Moran said. “I always liked numbers and everyone thought I would be good at business. I also like traveling, so being in the golf business and traveling was great. I am fortunate. I get to do both.”

There were some great breaks along the way. His first assistant job was at the world-famous Butler National Golf Club in Illinois. From there he had his first shot as head professional at The Wilds in Minnesota, then at stint at Kemper Lakes in Illinois. Moran’s wife had family in Florida, so it was down to Tampa Bay for a stint at Innisbrook before taking over at Lone Palm five years ago.

At Lone Palm, he runs the entire operation. He puts on the tournaments, which include FSGA events and the North Florida PGA circuit. He likes dealing with the adults and the professional circuit, but he said he gets his biggest happiness out of working with kids.

“It’s really easy,” Moran said. “With kids, if you force them to play, it doesn’t work. Too many parents push the kids too hard and it leads to them getting a bad taste for the game. The kids love it so you have to make it happy for them.”

Moran said the key is to give the kids some incentive. Bring some ice cream or some soda to the course, he said. Give the kids something to do besides hitting golf balls all day. If they know there’s more to it than just golf, it makes it more fun.

Moran also said that he isn’t afraid to talk to pushy parents about going too far.

“I’ve talked to some parents about it,” Moran said. “Some of them take the advice and some of them don’t, but the parents that do take the advice are more likely to see their kids having fun and wanting to come back.”

He also said that golf is about more than just a lesson or two. He tells the students that shooting 80 isn’t going to happen right from the start. He has his students pre-pay for a year so they will be committed to the game. From that point, it’s a step-by-step game. It isn’t something Moran takes lightly.

“If you want to learn to play, you have to do it the right way,” Moran said. “Every student I have ever had who has made the commitment has gotten better. My reputation is on the line.”

CHIP SHOTS

The Steinbrenner High School football team will be holding its Fourth Annual Golf Tournament on May 11 at the Heritage Harbor Golf Club. There will be a 1:30 p.m. shotgun start with a silent auction to follow. Call (813) 504-7440 … Lone Palm Golf Club will host its 48th annual Men’s Member-Guest Tournament on April 26-28. Call (863) 499-5480 … Several Bradenton clubs have come together to form Partners Golf Card for the Summer Season. This new card will offer more benefits and value than have been available in the past and can be purchased in the Legacy Golf Club pro shop. It costs only $39. Participating clubs include: Legacy Golf Club, River Strand, River Wilderness, Misty Creek, Serenoa, Rolling Green, Bent Tree, Manatee, and Buffalo Creek. Call (941) 907-7067 … The Claw at USF is offering specials including weekday tee times for $22 before 8 a.m. and $27 after 2 p.m. Weekend specials are $29 before 8 a.m. and $34 after 2 p.m. Call (813) 632-6893 … Anna Newell and Emmy Martin, both from Tampa, finished in a tie for second at the Florida Junior Tour event at Rio Pinar in Orlando … Paradise Tee Times is offering free membership to join and there is golf available at most of the finest courses in the Tampa Bay area. Check www.paradiseteetimes.com for details …The Tampa Bay Senior Amateur Golf Tour is hosting several local events including May 4 at Black Diamond, and May 18 at The Eagles (Lakes). Check tampa@senioramatuergolftour.net … The Downs will host ladies golf clinics on Tuesdays from 7-8 p.m. running through the end of April featuring basics, putting, chipping, bunker shots, and full swing. One clinic costs $20. Call (813) 854-4946 … The Downs also will host junior clinics on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to noon with PGA instructors Matt Mitchell and Joey DiPompo. Call (813) 854-4946 … The Abe Brown Ministry Foundation will host its second annual golf tournament on May 31-June 1 at Innisbrook Golf Resort. There will be a four-person shotgun scramble and a banquet. Call (813) 247-3285 … The American Legion Post 152 will host its annual Boys State Golf Tournament at Heritage Harbor Golf Club on May 11 at 8 a.m. There will be long drive, closest to the pin, and putting contests … East Lake Woodlands will host its annual member-member championship on April 27-28. Players will tee off on the South Course with an alternate shot format on holes 1-9 and a scramble on holes 10-18. On the second day the format will be best-ball on the North Course … The FSGA will be hosting one-day competitions throughout the west coast of Florida in the coming weeks. Events include: May 2, Innisbrook South; May 7, Champions Gate International Course; May 8, Champions Gate National Course; May 18, Sara Bay; May 16, Vinoy; May 21, TPC Tampa Bay; May 23, Cypress Run. Check www.fsga.org for information on these and future events … The Golf Channel AM Tour, the largest amateur golf tour in the nation, is looking for new members. Call (877) 465-5094. Golfers of nearly any handicap are invited and play is held at some of the top courses in the country, including many in Florida … The Eagles will host a tournament April 28 for the American Tinnitus Association. It will serve as a send-off for Sal Gentile’s bike ride to Washington, D.C., that will raise awareness of tinnitus. It will feature an 18-hole scramble. Call (813) 920-6681 … The Big Ten Alumni Clubs of Tampa Bay will host its annual 2013 charity golf tournament at Pasadena Yacht and Country Club April 27 with registration at 11:30 a.m. and a shotgun start at 1 p.m. The event will support the Special Ops Wounded Warriors Foundation of Tampa. Call (727) 415-5185 … The West Florida Golf Tour is about to announce its summer golf schedule. There will be 10 weeks of 54-hole events with no cut. Courses include The Founders Club, Laurel Oak, and several others. Call (941) 735-4428 … For re-gripping services, you can call Cindy Dzuro at Rocky Point Golf Course at (813) 673-4317 … Rocky Point Golf Course will host the annual charity tournament for the Knights of Columbus Incarnation Council 8612 on May 4. Cost is $65 per player with a four-person scramble and an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start. Putting contests will start at 7:30 a.m. Call (813) 541-7161 … SaraBay Country Club will host the LPGA Guardian Retirement Championship from April 26-28. Slots are available in the Crab & Fin Pro-Am on April 24. Check www.guardianretirementchampionship.com for details …. Westchase Golf Club will host the 2013 "Charlie" Garren Memorial Golf Scholarship Golf Tournament on May 18 with a four-person scramble format. There will be net and gross prizes. Call (813) 854-2331 … Pebble Creek Golf Club is hosting private lessons for adults with a certified PGA instructor. Fees for a one-hour lesson start at $60. Juniors and seniors can get a half-hour lesson for $30, and semi-private lessons also are available. Also, Pebble Creek is offering adult group clinics on Saturdays at 10 a.m., and junior clinics every Saturday from 9-10 a.m. for ages 3-9, and 11 a.m.-noon for kids ages 10-18. For lessons, call (813) 973-3870 … Westchase Golf Club will host the second annual Tampa Jewish Community Center & Federation Second Annual Golf Tournament on May 19. Registration is at noon with a 1:30 p.m. shotgun start … Westchase Golf Club also will host the RVR Horse Rescue Charity Golf Event on May 11 with a 1:30 p.m. start. Check RVRHorseRescue.com for details … The Tides Golf Club in Seminole is offering memberships to its Loyalty Club. For a $10 membership fee, members can receive a dozen free golf balls after six visits and free weekly clinics for members and their families … Rogers Park Golf Course will host the Tour Golf Legends Giving Back event on April 28 with a 1:30 p.m. shotgun start. Cost is $75 per golfer and will feature contests and signed drawing of tour legends. The event will feature several African Americans who were at the forefront of golf history … The Morning Star School will present the 28th annual Morning Star School Golf Classic at the TPC of Tampa Bay on Oct. 25. Call (813) 935-0202 … The Pinecrest Golf Club is looking for new members for its Women’s Golf Association. Tee time is every Wednesday at 9 a.m. Call (727) 584-6497 for information … The Rocky Point Men’s Golf Association is looking for players at all levels to compete on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It starts at 7:30 a.m. Call (813) 205-6828 for information … Lansbrook Golf Club will host Thursday clinics from 10-11 a.m. at its Shriver Golf Academy. Cost is only $15 … The Florida Junior Tour will host its Tampa Bay area tournament from May 26-28 at the Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club. Registration for boys 16-18 is due by April 18 … Rocky Point Golf Club has a Friday 3-hole course clinic from 5-6 p.m. and supervised practices on Saturdays from 10-11 a.m. coordinated by leading golf instructor Brianne Murphy. Cindy Dzuro will teach a golf clinic at the range every Sunday from noon-12:45 p.m … Rogers Park Golf Course, Babe Zaharias Golf Course and Rocky Point Golf Course are offering a group membership plan that includes all three courses. Golf costs $12 for 18 holes with a membership … Silver Dollar Golf Club is now offering a Thursday Ladies Day with half-off all rates. Players can walk or ride nine or 18 holes. Call (813) 920-3884.


 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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