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Saturday, Jul 12, 2014
Northwest News

This pro enjoys every aspect of golf, including the business of it


Published:

RIVERVIEW - Jason Blanchard could probably be a really great golfer - if he actually had time to play the game as often as he would like.

Most golf club professionals have enough on their plates. They are golf teachers, they run the pro shop, they take care of all of the logistics that go into running a golf course, and there are many other obligations. That's why most golf pros say they don't play as often as they'd like.

Blanchard does all of those things, but he has one more major item on his plate. The head golf professional at Summerfield Crossings Golf Club in Riverview not only does all this, but also happens to own the club. He is responsible for almost every facet of the operations at Summerfield Crossings and he has no complaints.

"I came here knowing what I was getting into," said Blanchard, who came to Summerfield Crossings after a stint in West Palm Beach. "I was looking for a course that I might like to buy and I saw this and decided that this was the place."

Blanchard has been the owner, general manager, and head golf professional for 10 years and has been around golf even longer. He started playing at the age of 14, and had a knack for business. He combined that with is love for golf and it was just natural that he got into golf management.

"I always liked the business world and I loved golf, so I knew that I wanted to purchase a course some day," Blanchard said. "I was a good golfer and knew I wasn't going to be trying to make it on the pro tour, so it was a natural fit. It just all fit together."

He's made a home for himself at Summerfield Crossings, which plays to 6,903 yards from the tips and is a lot different than most Tampa Bay area courses. It is a links style course with pot bunkers, waste areas and tiny greens. Blanchard said tee boxes at the course are being redesigned and some changes are being made to the clubhouse, but Summerfield Crossings is pretty much the same course that Blanchard fell in love when he purchased the track 10 years ago.

Blanchard said he would like to spend more time out on the two-tiered driving range, teaching like most golf professionals, but he has a lot on his plate. He has a junior camp this summer and he's quite happy doing what he does. Still, he finds a way to get out on the course. He isn't active in any of the local mini-tours, but he gets a game in.

"I love this game, but I love every part of it, not just playing," Blanchard said. "I like teaching, playing, and owning a great course. What could be better?''

CHIP SHOTS

Golf pro Brianne Murphy will be hosting a two-hour "scoring zone clinic'' at Rocky Point on June 8. She will teach confidence around the green and said it is not a simple short game session. Call (727) 667-2939. Cost is $45.Rocky Point is also offering Sunday golf clinics for $10 by teaching pro Cindy Dzuro. Classes run from noon - 12:45 p.m.Westchase Golf Club will host its 6th annual "I Matter Too'' charity golf tournament on June 14 with a 1 p.m. shotgun start followed by dinner and entertainment. Gross and net team prizes will be awarded along with closest to the pin and long drive contests. Local celebrities including Roger Allen, actor Ed James, and several members of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be participating. Call (512) 228-6710 or (813) 545-9440 for details.Rocky Point will host the Sal Squadron 138 Golf Tournament on June 29 with registration sat 7 a.m. and an 8 a.m. shotgun start. Entry fee is $220 per team and includes door prizes and lunch at American Legion Post 138. The event is being held in memory of Larry Patterson. Call (813) 416-1413.Victor Ferguson scored a hole-in-one at Rocky Point on April 1.Innisbrook will host the 21st annual Innisbrook Amatuer on July 5-7. Friday and Sunday rounds will be played at the Copperhead Course and Saturday's will be at the Island Course. Entry fee is $285 and the field will be limited to 8 8players. Practice rounds are available for $60. Call (727) 942-5557.Golfers Grail junior golf camps begin June 17. The indoor academy will feature weekly camps for kids ages 5 - 14. Golfers will learn fundamentals in a cool environment and have their choice of more than 60 courses. Call (813) 969-2100.Seminole Lake is offering annual memberships for as low as $110 per month. There are no initiation fees. Call (727) 391-3318.The annual JCSE Veterans Association Golf Tournament will be held at The Eagles Golf Club on June 13. Registration is at 7:30 a.m. with a shotgun start at 9 a.m. Lunch and awards will follow. Call (813) 777-0703.The Claw at USF is starting its summer golf camps beginning on June 5. 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. Game dates start on June 5 and 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 Senior Golf Association of Tampa Bay will be hosting several events throughout May and June including East Lake Woodlands (June 3), Cove Cay (June 6), Bayou Club (June 10), and Northdale (June 13). More events will be announced. Call (813) 818-9831. Events are open to golfers 50 and older.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.The Joint Communications Support Element VA, one of the longest standing units at MacDill AFB, will host its annual golf tournament at The Eagles on June 13 with registrations at 7:30 a.m. and a shotgun start with awards to follow. Call (813) 777-9703.The Claw at USF is sponsoring "Putterpalooza'' every Friday from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. until July 6. Golfers who sink a 30-foot putt can win a free round of golf. Contestants can sample the latest Odyssey putters.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.Cheval will also host several events including the Cheval Couple Tournament on May 26, and the CMGA Individual Stroke Play event on June 8 at 8 a.m.The TPC of Tampa Bay will host its women's golf tee time during June through August $30 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 Emerald Green (Sept. 8-9); SaraBay (Sept. 28-29), and Lake Jovita (Sept. 28-29).Live Laugh Love Foundation will feature its third annual golf tournament on June 23 at Heritage Harbor to benefit children battling pediatric cancer. Dinner will be provided. Registration is at 11 a.m. for a 1 p.m. shotgun start.Alonso High School will host its annual charity golf event on June 15 at The Eagles. Proceeds will support the Alonso football program. There is a 9 a.m. shotgun start. Call (813) 417-1442.Tony Pasquine at The Downs golf practice facility, is starting a high school golf summer series on June 6 at Belleaire Country Club (West Course). Other events will be played throughout the summer at Belleaire CC East Course, Dunedin Country Club, East Lake Woodlands, Westchase, Feather Sound, TPC Tampa Bay, Bardmoor, and Emerald Greens. Call (727) 776-0450.The Downs is also offering its 2013 junior golf summer camps starting June 10-13. There will be eight camps, all running on Monday - Thursday from 9 a.m. - noon. The last day of camp will include nine holes at Silver Dollar. Call (813) 854-4946.The Tampa-Sarasota sections of the Senior Amatuer Tour will be hosting local events through Sept. 7. June events include: Streamsong Resort (June 8-9), and Grand Cypress (North and South, June 22). Call (863) 514-0176.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.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.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 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 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 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 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 Saturday's 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. 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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