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Fall Instructional Update from John Rogers

September 27, 2016


A fall sunset behind my “office” at Lakeview Golf Club.

Thank You
For more than 21 years I have enjoyed being part of the family at Lakeview Golf Club, and for the bulk of that time my focus has been helping people improve at playing the game. I have witnessed several million golf shots (some astounding ones and quite a few duffs!) at Lakeview through the course of some 23,000 golf lessons, and I’ve had the pleasure of working with 4,000 golfers from all walks of life. It’s you, the members and patrons of Lakeview who have made it possible for me to make a living in such an enjoyable way — so, as we head toward the conclusion of another year, I sincerely thank you, and wish you many birdies!  Please continue reading for updates and fall specials on instruction.


Junior Golf Update

It has been another great year for the junior programs at Lakeview. Our young players continue to grow in the game and excel in competition as seen in the recent round by Jaden Harman, who broke the Spotswood High School scoring record with a 65 in her Conference match at Lakeview on September 14; no bogies, and she won the tournament by 10 shots. Not bad for a sophomore!

20160926_174527-640x308Our primary junior program, the Tournament Players Series (TPS) hosted 60 dedicated young golfers this year, meeting weekly for practice throughout most of the year. Lane Bazzle led the annual points race for an unprecedented fourth year in a row! And he was able to carry his success in practice to the golf course, leading the First Citizens Junior Tour in points in 2016 and finishing third in scoring in high school Conference 29.

Bella Weve and Lauren Cross topped the list in the Mini Group of the TPS this year, while Grant Pennybacker and Finn Rhodes set the pace in the Mid Group. The High School Group was led by Darren Lee and Sean Caballero, and the Elite Group was a showcase for the skills of Lane and his long-knocking Broadway High teammate, Seth Smallwood, who also advanced to Regional play in the high school season. All told, juniors from the Lakeview instructional programs took four of the top five spots in Conference 29 this year; this includes Matt Sengul (Spotswood player and one of only four Elite Group members in the TPS), who went on to shoot the second-lowest score among conference players at the regional tournament, only narrowly missing the State Championship as an individual. Christian Michael (Fort Defiance) joined us at Lakeview this year and helped lead his team to regionals as well.

At Lakeview we also hosted four camps this summer for beginner and intermediate players, and we had 18 participants in the annual Prep Week in July, when high school players tune up for the start of their season. The champion of the Lakeview Junior Tour this year was Darien Smith, while Darren Lee, Grant Pennybacker, and Finn Rhodes led their divisions. Alan Dean was recognized as the most-improved player for 2016. Dalton Gibson and Austin Crenshaw also took advantage of our instructional programs this year and led their William Monroe High School team. Stonewall Jackson High advanced this week to their State Championship, led in part by Nick Dotson, Yash Desai, and Kayley Romick. East Rockingham also advanced to the State Championship thanks in large part to the strong play of the Czerwinski brothers, Jake and Alex, and of Meranda Ludholtz, who will also make an appearance at the Girls’ State Championship. Congrats to all these great high school players and their teams!


Jacob Laughlin with some of his new teammates at Virginia Wesleyan.

It’s particularly enjoyable to watch former Lakeview Juniors who move on to great things in golf after their formative years here. Parker See has moved from Fort Defiance to Belmont Abbey College, near Charlotte, where he is already among the scoring leaders. Jacob Laughlin made the jump from East Rock to Virginia Wesleyan College (Virginia Beach) where he had a Top-30 finish in his first collegiate event, and climbed to 11th-place in his second tournament. Alyssa Morahan played for the club team at JMU before landing a spot at Western Carolina University this year — and so far she’s leading the team there! Shelby Estes (Turner Ashby) is in her final year of college golf at Hollins University. Connor Jones (Spotswood) finished up his career at Randolph-Macon College, where he medaled in a collegiate event, and he has joined the professional staff at Massanutten. Kemper King finished up at Turner Ashby this year, shadowed me during several of our camps and junior programs this summer, and has started his PGM (professional golf management) training at Campbell University. Stewart Surratt (HHS, Longwood, New Mexico State) is a club professional in Cabo San Lucas. Former 4-time District Player of the Year at Spotswood, Robbie Failes is in his final year of the PGM program at Clemson University where he has diligently prepared himself to become a full-time teaching professional. Former Stonewall High standout, Andrew Good is in his second year in the PGM program at Methodist University and did a great job at his internship at Swan Point in Maryland this summer. Former Spotswood player, Jordan Hardy, has become a teacher, and took over his own golf team at Strasburg High in recent years. Timmy Driver (Spotswood and JMU) continues to play at an elite level, qualifying for high-level events like the 2015 US Mid-Am. Grady Ruckman (Fort Defiance, Bridgewater, Hooters Tour) and Luke Long (Turner Ashby) also find time to escape from the “real world” long enough to dominate some of the top local events like the Lakeview Amateur, and the Shenandoah Valley Open. Ryan Hite (Turner Ashby) now has his own indoor golf teaching center outside of Raleigh, North Carolina. Kandace (Dean) Clatterbaugh (Spotswood and Radford) is a General Manager for Billy Casper Golf in Florida.

All of us at Lakeview are proud of what our juniors, past and present, are achieving in the world of golf!


Fall Lesson Specials & Events

If you want to keep working on your game as we head into fall and winter, please check out the following specials, good for lessons through the end of the year:
  • spring-1-november-2014-640x382Half-Hour Special Days  On Friday October 14 (10 AM – 4 PM), Wednesday October 19 (10 AM – 5 PM), and Thursday November 3 (10 AM – 6 PM) I will offer 1/2- hour lessons for $25. Contact me to sign up!
  • Lunch-time Special For lessons booked between 11 AM and 2-PM during the week. Just $33 per lesson (45-minutes) from October 13 through the end of the year.
  • 3-Lesson Package Three lessons for $110 ($25 discount). Lessons can be scheduled just about any time.
  • Free Fitting Check On Thursday, October 27 I will offer  a free 1/2-hour check of your clubs to see how well they fit you.


Bridgewater College Golf

Hard to believe four years have passed since we started the women’s team at Bridgewater College. It has been fun to be part of a meteoric rise for our young program — in the 2015-2016 season we won the ODAC Championship and finished the season ranked #14 nationally among Division III teams! We also sent Christina Herbert and Marin Warring (both from Williamsburg) to the National Championship in Houston in May. This was quite an honor because only six individuals from the whole nation are invited! Our first graduating class this spring took

The 2016 ODAC Champs from Bridgewater College!

away the two players who started the program in 2012, Marin and Andrea Walker, and I will miss them as I figure out what it means to be a college coach without their leadership.

I keep referring to the 2016-2017 season, just underway, as a “rebuilding year” but so far we have already won two tournaments (including our home event in September by 42 strokes!) and our team scoring average is currently the same as last year — so hopefully we will continue to be competitive at the national level and will make a strong run at defending our conference title in the spring.
It’s an honor and blessing to work with such a great bunch of young ladies from Bridgewater. Not only do they excel on the golf course, but they also have the highest GPA of any team on campus (team average GPA of about 3.7)!

Social Media

Please join me at the following locations:
Facebook The Facebook version of Golf Things Considered. Stories, pics, instruction, and so forth.
Twitter Golf tweets.
Bridgewater Women’s Golf on Facebook Updates on the Lady Eagles.
Final Notes
Thanks again for your support. Please contact me if there is anything I can do to help you get more enjoyment out of your game. Call or text me at 540-421-4270, or shoot me an email: john.rogers.golf@gmail.com .
I hope you are able to enjoy some beautiful autumn golf. Best wishes to you and your family as we head toward the holiday season, and I look forward to seeing you again soon at Lakeview Golf Club!

Hard to beat fall in the Shenandoah Valley.