WESLEY CHAPEL – David Creighton didn’t grow up playing the palm tree-lined courses of Florida. He grew up on the ice rinks of Canada, following his father on the way to a potential career as an NHL player.
Today, Creighton is the general manager and a PGA Class A teaching professional at Lexington Oaks Golf Club. Everybody who follows golf closely knows that hockey players tend to make good golfers. The swings have a lot in common and it isn’t a coincidence that most NHL players who play golf are pretty good.
Creighton’s father, Dave Sr., played professional hockey for more than 20 years including 10 in the NHL. He played in the organizations of each of the “Original Six” NHL hockey teams – Montreal, Detroit, Toronto, Boston, New York, and Chicago – and played in the minors for plenty of other teams. As the edler Creighton’s father hockey career was coming to an end, he decided to pursue a career in golf.
That led to Creighton’s father buying a golf course in Canada, where his son grew to love the game. The Creightons moved to Florida, partly to get out of the cold, and became owners of Northdale Golf Club. While that was happening, the younger Creighton was playing golf at Hillsborough Community College, knowing that he would be around golf his whole life.
“I am close with my father and knew that once I got into golf and the business that this would be my life,” Creighton said. “It became all I wanted.”
Creighton got his PGA card in 1993, and started to progress through the long road that leads to actually making money as a player, rather than a teacher. He tried Q-School and missed out on the first stage in his only attempt, but that was nothing to deter him. Q-School is arguably the hardest test in golf.
He qualified for the Ben Hogan Tour, now known as the Web.com Tour – the highest level of golf below the PGA Tour – and fared reasonably well. But not well enough.
It’s a tough game.
“I did my best,” Creighton said. “I had good weeks and bad weeks. I worked hard and I was happy, but I wasn’t getting where I wanted.”
Creighton joined his dad at Northdale and then moved on to Lexington Oaks. Like most people in the golf business, the people involved simply don’t have a lot of time to actually play golf. While Creighton tries to play as often as he can, that usually means once a week.
Still, he has big dreams. There is always the Champions Tour, the PGA Tour for players who turn 50. Almost every weekend duffer thinks he can make it if he works hard enough, but Creighton isn’t ready to give it up. He recently turned 50 and would have tried for Champions Tour Q-School last year if he hadn’t missed the age cut by a couple of weeks.
He has advice for players who think they can play on a professional level.
“I don’t think people realize how hard this game is,” Creighton said. “The courses are harder, the greens are tougher than the way they are set up. It’s such a tough game. At Lexington Oaks, we try to make it easy for the regular player and make it a fun place to play golf, but the guys out on Tour aren’t playing the same types of courses.”
Heritage Harbor Golf Club is hosting a Hope for Mattie Charity Golf Tournament on Oct. 5. All proceeds will benefit Mattingly Hope Spinner, a 2-year-old girl with cerebral palsy. Golf begins with a 1 p.m. shotgun start. Check www.hopeformattie.com for information … TPC Tampa Bay will host the first annual Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome Association Golf Tournament on Sept. 14 with a 1 p.m. shotgun start. There will be plenty of contests along with unlimited access to the practice range, a box lunch and thank-you bag. Call (813) 382-2122 … Lexington Oaks Golf Club will host the 28th annual Tampa East Sertoma Club Golf Classic on Oct. 4 with a 12:30 p.m. shotgun start. Call (813) 220-4244 … Edwin Watts Golf shops are offering free video tips from more than 100 of the top teaching pros in golf. The videos will be delivered to email boxes once every week with drills and tips to use at the range. Go to wattstips.com to register and create your own account. It is a $60 value … Quail Hollow Golf Club has a Friday evening scramble every week featuring two-man/two-women teams or one-man/one woman teams starting at 5:30 p.m. Cost is $15 per person with a $4 skins game. Call (813) 333-0033 … The AAU Junior Golf Club of Tampa Bay, located at Lexington Oaks Golf Club and the Jan Johnson Golf Academy in Hudson, is offering membership that includes an eight-week training program for various age groups. Call (727) 856-5585 or (813)949-GOLF … TPC Tampa Bay is offering a Vantage Membership program where players will receive free use of all golf and clubhouse facilities for one year, practice privileges all year with complimentary range balls, and more. Call (813) 949-0090 … Quail Hollow Golf Club is offering Civil Service Appreciation Mondays with $20 greens fees. Golfers must present ID cards … TPC Tampa Bay, in conjunction with Birdies for the Brave, is offering Callaway club fitting on Sept. 14 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m ... PGA member Tom Shea has been named the new golf coach at Berkeley Prep. He is the area Tour Director for U.S. Kids Golf … Golfer’s Grail will begin hosting its Shelter from the Swelter Tournaments featuring three nine-hole rounds of individual stroke play on three unique courses. There is a $45 entrance fee with one domestic beer per player. Call (813) 969-2100 … 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 … Carrollwood Country Club will host its Member-Member event on Oct. 4 – 6. Cost is $140 per team and the first 30 teams to register will receive free admission to the club’s OctoberFest on Oct. 5. The format is six holes alternate shot, six holes cumulative scramble, and six hole scramble … Celebrate Labor Day weekend at the Silver Dollar Golf Club for its sixth annual event on Aug. 31. There is a 9 a.m. shotgun start with a $40 entry fee that includes golf, lunch, drink tickets and range balls … The Florida State Golf Association will host a one-day tournament at Pasadena Country Club (Aug. 29). Check www.fsga.org for details … Westchase Golf Club will host parent-child golf events every Saturday during August starting at 3:45 p.m. It includes parents and juniors aged 8 and under, and parents and juniors age 9 and over. Call (813) 854-2331 … Countryway will host its fourth annual LCOS Golf Tournament on Sept. 21 to benefit the Church of Lutheran Our Savior. There will be a 1 p.m. shotgun start. Call (813) 829-6485 … Rocky Point Golf Club will host the Stumps R Us Scramble on Oct. 26 with all proceeds going to the National Amputee Golf Association. There will be a meal at the American Legion Post 152 following golf … Heritage Harbor will host a tournament for the American Legion on Sept. 28 with an 8 a.m. shotgun start and a four-person scramble format. Benefits will go to provide tables and chairs for the Post hall. There will also be a longest drive and closest to the pin contest … The Pinellas County Men’s Interclub Golf Association will be hosting its monthly events at Clearwater Country Club (Sept. 2), Crescent Oaks (Oct. 21), East Lake (Nov. 14), and the Bayou Club (Dec. 16). There are 12 clubs involved. Call (727) 365-6418 … Golfer’s Grail will begin its five-week indoor league on Aug. 26 with two-player teams. Play is weekly for five weeks with flexible scheduling and prizes. Cost is $95 per player with a two-man best ball format. Call (813) 969-2100 … Countryway Golf Club will host a Labor Day scramble on Sept. 2 at 8:30 a.m. with a shotgun start. Cost is $5 for members and $30 for guests. The event will be followed by a buffet … The Eagles will host its Par 3 Challenge Cup on Aug. 31. It features 18 holes on the Forest Course featuring each of its par 3s played three times each. Format is a four-person scramble. Cost is $35. Call (813) 920-6681 … Throughout August, The Eagles will charge women $25 to play and that includes a sleeve of pink Pinnacle golf balls with a pink ribbon … The New Tampa Lacrosse Association and Marco’s Pizza are hosting the first annual New Tampa Lacrosse Outing on Sept. 14 at Pebble Creek Golf Club. There is an 8 a.m. shotgun start with a charge of $380 per foursome and $95 per player. It includes golf and cart fees, lunch, a gift bag, and free Marco’s pizza. All proceeds will go to the start up costs for Freedom and Wharton High School’s lacrosse programs. Check the NTLA website … The GolfWeek Amateur Tour will close down with three local events to end the summer with an event at Lake Jovita (Sept. 7). Call (863) 514-0176 … Tampa Bay women can join Diva Golf, which has reduced cost to $99 per year. It includes “Nine and Wine” events and local clubs and there are no obligations. Call (813) 477-6224 … Carrollwood Country Club will host “Beer & Birdies” on Sept. 14 with a 3 p.m. shotgun start. It is a $30 nine-hole scramble that includes golf and dinner. There’s a twist. Birdies can be added by correctly guessing the beer served on each hole … The Early Childhood Council will have its first annual golf classic on Oct. 28 at Hunter’s Green Golf Club. It’s a four-person scramble with a 9 a.m. shotgun start and boxed lunches at the turn. Check www.ecctampabay.org … The New Zion Missionary Baptist Church will present its first annual charity event on Aug. 31 at East Lake Golf Club. Events include a longest drive contest and closest to the pin. Call (727) 678-3222 …Oliver Horowitz, who graduated from Harvard and went to St. Andrews University in Scotland and wrote about his experience as a caddie at The Old Course, will publicize his book about the experience, “Caddie at St. Andrews,” at Carrollwood Country Club on Sept. 12. There will be scotch tasting from 6 – 7 p.m. and a question and answer book signing from 7 – 8 p.m. Call (813) 961-1381 … The Landings Golf Club will host its Ladies Golf Clinic on Tuesdays at 6 p.m. Cost includes $20 and includes range balls and a glass of wine. The Landings will also host the Clearwater Hackers Golf League every Sunday at 9 a.m. for men, ladies, singles, and couples. Call (727) 447-5272 … 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 … The Special Olympics is looking for a golf coach to work for two hours, one night a week. Call Sid Altner at (727) 944-4248…Tarpon Woods Golf Club is offering its Golf Plus card which costs $34.95 per month and offers unlimited golf … Ace Golf is offering U.S. Kids Golf group sessions every Saturday at 3 p.m. for $20 per session at its Riverview location. All instruction will use U.S. Kids golf instructional materials and there will be monthly sessions where juniors can test for pins. Instructor Matt Primrose is the only U.S. Kids certified instructor in the Tampa Bay area. Call (813) 672-7750 ... Lansbrook Golf Club is offering its Insider Plus membership that includes 20 percent off golf at all times. It includes golf privileges at 41 local clubs and bonus rounds at private clubs. Call (727) 784-7333 … The TPC Tampa Bay will start its second season of match play tournaments starting Sept. 9 and running until Nov. 17. Cost is $60 per player with a $1,600 purse based on a 32-player field. Jonathan Shapiro is the defending champion …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 Early Childhood Council of Hillsborough County is hosting its first annual Early Childhood Council Golf Classic on Oct. 28 at Hunter’s Green County Club. There will be a four-person scramble with a 9 a.m. shotgun start. Check www.huntersgreencc.com … The Cross Bay Club is offering limited golfing privileges at four of its tennis/athletic membership clubs. Golf clubs include East Lake Woodlands, Hunters Green, Tampa Palms, and Countryside. Initiation fee is $50 with a 12-month agreement. Call (727) 784-8576 … East Lake Woodlands is offering complimentary golf and tennis clinics each Saturday. Call (727) 784-8576 … Ace Golf is offering free buckets of range balls to kids 15 and under at its driving range locations in Brandon and Riverview as well as Crescent Oaks, Pebble Creek, and Wentworth Golf Clubs … Seminole Lake Golf Club is offering its Member for the Day program where players can golf for $42. It includes free lunch and free range balls … The Babe Zaharias Ladies Golf League meets on Wednesdays at 7:30 a.m. for an 8 a.m. tee time. There are about 24 members right now and the league is looking for more. The league is not too serious and is a great way to make friends and have fun. Call (813) 624-3029 … Lansbrook Golf Club is offering its Insider Plus membership that includes 20 percent off golf at all times. It includes golf privileges at 41 local clubs and bonus rounds at private clubs. Call (727) 784-7333 … Northdale Golf Club is offering a two-man “money game” on Mondays at 2 p.m. There is a two-man blind draw with a FedEx style point system. There will be a $2,500 grand prize. Call (813) 962-0428 … Lansbrook Golf Club is offering its Player Development Program, featuring unlimited range balls and unlimited golf starting at 3 p.m. Juniors play for free and there is no long-term commitment. Call (727) 784-7333 … Julie Ashlock, owner of BFIT4Golf is a Level Two certified medical professional and is offering an 11-point physical screening analysis, which can provide a unique golf workout session. She promises to modify workout routines as the golfer’s game progresses. Call (813) 373-8312 for more … The Continental Golf League takes place at Bloomingdale Golfers Club every Thursday with a 5:30 p.m. shotgun start. Groups will play alternate nines each week. Call (813) 689-2985…Silver Dollar Golf Club is offering regripping while you wait for just $5…Seminole Lake is offering annual memberships for as low as $110 per month. There are no initiation fees. Call (727) 391-3311…The Claw at USF is starting its summer golf camps. Half-day camps from 8 a.m. – noon or noon – 4 p.m. at $100 per junior golfer. Full-day camps are also offered from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. for $200 per golfer. Camp dates run through mid August. Sessions a four days each. Call (813) 632-6893…Golfers Grail is offering lessons with its PGA professionals and apprentices. Lessons are 30 or 60 minutes starting at $35. The simulators provide a detailed analysis of every swing so adjustments can be made immediately. Call (813) 969-2100…The First Tee of Tampa Bay is looking to sign up golfers who want to play rounds of golf in an organized setting. Teams will meet once a week for 15 weeks on Saturdays from 2:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. at Rogers Park, Terrace Hills, Rocky Point, Magnolia Valley, and Countryway. Call (813) 238-7320…Countryway Golf Course is holding bi-weekly tournaments on the first and third Sunday of each month starting at 9 a.m. Call (727) 593-3726…The TPC of Tampa Bay will host its women’s golf tee time during August $30 with cart fees with a four-day advance notice…The TPC Tampa Bay is also offering its junior golf camp for one to three weekly sessions at a cost of $150. The sessions run from 9 a.m. – noon...The Florida Junior Tour Championships are starting and will be held at Emerald Green (Sept. 8-9); SaraBay (Sept. 28-29), and Lake Jovita (Sept. 28-29)…Paradise Golf is offering seven-month memberships at more than 65 Tampa Bay courses for $199. Members can receive more than 40 percent off regular rates. Call (800) 605-2582… Black Diamond is featuring Stay & Play packages at its 45-hole resort, including a one-night Pure Golf Getaway featuring two round of golf on its Quarry, Ranch, and Highlands courses. Call (352) 746-3446…For re-gripping services, you can call Cindy Dzuro at Rocky Point Golf Course at (813) 673-4317…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 are also 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 Pebble Creek lessons, call (813) 973-3870…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… 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…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, and 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.
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