When Tom Metzger was named the South Florida PGA Section's Southwest Chapter Golf Professional of the Year in 2001, it was a completely different time in both his career and life.
Monday, Metzger won the award again, but it was a different feeling.
"Eleven years ago, it was because I got involved," Metzger said at the chapter's Spring Meeting awards luncheon Monday at his home course, The Vineyards. "Now I've done more in those last 11 years than I ever did in those prior years.
"It makes it more worthwhile because you know that your efforts are rewarded. There a lot of guys that could've got this one."
Metzger's fundraising leadership in such areas as the chapter's Tournament of Charities, the national Folds of Honor (a top 100 supporter), and St. Matthew's House played a role.
Metzger, 54, recommitted himself after a heart attack nine years ago.
"I shouldn't have been here," said Metzger, who is in his 25th year in the PGA and his 16th at Vineyards, "because 60 percent of the people who had the heart attack that I had passed on."
Metzger also is inspired by former Copperleaf pro Danny King, who died of a heart attack in 2004, and Marco Island pro Disco Dave Bierbrauer, who has dealt with ongoing cancer treatments for the past few years, but maintained a positive outlook.
"(Bierbrauer) is an inspiration to me to get my butt out there and do things for people who are less fortunate than we are," Metzger said.
Metzger started in Southwest Florida at Quail Creek, and credited pros Al Nelson, Jeff Heilman and Mark Hale for passing on their knowledge. He moved on to The Island Country Club on Marco Island under Dennis Farrell, then to Quail West with Shawn Ward, before coming to The Vineyards.
"(Nelson) gave me a two-hour dissertation on why I should get into it," Metzger remembered, when he asked Nelson for some advice on becoming a pro.
Metzger credited his staff at Vineyards, and his wife Beth, daughters Chelsea and Brittany, and son Tommy for their support.
Other awards and charity given out Monday:
High school scholarship recipients ($1,000 apiece): Ryder Albright, Cypress Lake; Kaitlyn Cross, Riverdale; Ryan Denish, Fort Myers; Olivia Lynch, Community School; Megan Marone, Charlotte; Kate Myers, St. John Neumann; Austin Schultz, South Fort Myers; Jenah Tracy, Naples
Chapter charity distributions: Southwest Florida Addiction Services, $10,000; FGCU Professional Golf Management program, $10,000; FGCU men's and women's golf programs, $10,000; First Tee of Naples/Collier, $5,000; Southwest Florida Junior Golf Association, $5,000.
Chapter award winners: Henry B. Watkins Award — Joe Stein, Florida State Golf Association; Player of the Year — Chris Trout, Cypress Lake CC; Vince Smith Award (lowest stroke average) — Dan Augustine, Bonita Bay Club East; Merchandiser of the Year, Public — Mark Faulkner, Port Charlotte GC; Merchandiser of the Year, Private — Bill Harley, The Forest; Merchandiser of the Year, Resort — Ed Weber, Raptor Bay; Horton Smith (education) — Jeff Nixon, Stoneybrook; Bill Strausbaugh (club relations) — Karl Bublitz, Grey Oaks; Junior Golf Leader — Paul Celano, Bay Colony; Teacher of the Year — Kevin LaFramboise, Crown Colony; Jeremy New Assistant of the Year — Jon Pazdera, The Sanctuary
State Senior Amateur: Owen Joyner of Naples tied for fourth at Lake Wales Country Club last Thursday. Joyner shot 72-71-72/215 to finish two shots behind winner A.J. Kroeger of Apopka.
Lehigh Acres' John McCreary tied for 30th at 225, and Gary Saft of Fort Myers and Steve Scoville of Naples tied for 37th at 226. Naples' Lee Booker and Fort Myers' Tom Case tied for 41st at 227. Tom Amendola of Naples made the 36-hole cut and finished at 233.
FJT event: Naples' Emma Bradley tied for fourth in the Girls 13-15 age group at Lake Wales Country Club. Bradley shot 79-78/157, nine shots behind the winner.
SFPGA Pro-Official: Ric Nalyd and Joe Joachim of Bonita Bay Club East won the tournament on April 11 at Weston Hills Country Club. The two finished with a 12-under-par 60 net (64 gross) to win by a stroke.
Karl Bublitz and Jerry Kerr of Grey Oaks were third net with a 63, and Andrew Costa and John Laliberte of Vanderbilt were fourth net with a 64.
Tournament Players Association: Next event is April 21-22 at Fiddler's Creek. Tee times begin at 11 a.m. The entry fee is $120, with the deadline April 18 at 5 p.m. Call 458-0754 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bungartz clinics: Arrowhead instructor Rodney Bungartz has released his schedule for April. After school — Tuesdays, 4 to 5 p.m., $13 per student per session; ages 6 and up; Middle School — Mondays, 5 to 6 p.m., $15 per student per session; ages 12 and up. Call 348-5929.
Rick Smith Golf Academy: Get Golf Ready program costs $125 per person for a five-week program. Call 593-1111.
Free golf clinics at Miromar Outlets: Miromar Outlets is inviting the public to a series of free golf clinics. Brad Maybank from Golf Mania/Golf Outlet will be conducting the clinics at Miromar Outlets in Estero.
Free clinics are April 24 and April 26 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The clinic on April 24 will cover club selection with the flight of the ball, and the clinic on April 26 will cover driving the ball long and accurately. Clinics are sponsored by Golf Mania Proshops and Golf Outlet.
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Fore The Children Tournament
Info: Friday, Old Corkscrew Golf Club. Benefits The Children's Home Society of Florida. Sponsorships, $150 to $7,500. Entry fee for golfers is $150. Registration, noon; 1 p.m. shotgun start.
Contact: Mary Ellen Johnstone at 275-3107 or visit www.chsforethechildren.org.
PGA Tour Superstore tourney
Info: Spring Customer Appreciation Tournament, Thursday, April 26 at TwinEagles. Shotgun start, 9 a.m. Entry fee, $99 per person. Includes a $20 gift card, and 45-minute practice bay session.
Shark Frenzy Tournament
Info: Saturday, April 28, at Vineyards. Benefits Gulf Coast High School girls golf team. Registration, 7:30 a.m. Shotgun start, 8:30 a.m. Entry fee, $100, includes lunch. Sponsorships, $125 to $600.
Contact: Ana Gilliam, 377-1481, Dennis Hemberger 404-0110, Tom Metzger at Vineyards 353-0505
Parkinson Association tournament
Info: Saturday, April 28, at Bonita Bay East. Benefits Parkinson Association of Southwest Florida. Registration, 8 a.m. Helicopter ball drop followed by shotgun start, 9 a.m. Entry fee, $250 per player, $800 for foursomes.
Contact: PASFI 417-3465, 1048 Goodlette-Frank Road No. 201, www.pasfi.org
Children's Advocacy Center tournament
Info: Saturday, April 28, at TwinEagles. Registration/breakfast, 7:30 a.m. Shotgun start, 8:30 a.m. Followed by lunch, awards ceremony. Entry fee, $150. Sponsorships, $500. Preregistration party, April 27 at PGA Tour Superstore, 5:30 p.m.
Contact: Tina Streeter 263-8383, ext. 232, tstreeter@CACcollier.org
Info: Saturday, April 28, at Lely Resort's Flamingo Island Course. Shotgun start, 8:30 a.m. Benefits Redlands Christian Migrant Association, which operates 75 child care centers and two charter schools for rural poor. Entry fee, $225. Sponsorships available.
Contact: Judy Brill 800-282-6540, ext. 242, email@example.com.
TIF Inter-Club Challenge
Info: Monday, April 30, at Old Collier. Golf clubs compete against one another. Proceeds support Immkoalee Foundation programs, including The First Tee of Naples/Collier in Immokalee. Winning team receives entry into Charity Classic Pro-Am on Nov. 12. Registration, 8 a.m. Shotgun start, 9:15 a.m. Awards and lunch, 1:30 p.m.
Greens for Teens Celebrity Pro-Am
Info; Thursday, May 3-Friday, May 4. Celebrity player auction, May 3 at Hyatt Regency Coconut Point. Pro-am, May 4 at West Bay. Benefits New Start Vision, to build a residential facility for teenage girls that are homeless or runaways.
Contact: Lori Cook North, 287-0780, firstname.lastname@example.org
Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce Tournament
Info; Friday, May 4, at Grey Oaks' Estuary Course. Lunch, 11:30 a.m. Shotgun start, 1 p.m. Awards/dinner, 5 p.m. Entry fee, $150 per golfer or $550 per foursome. Non-golfers, $20 for awards/dinner.
Titan Gridiron Club Tournament
Info; Saturday, May 5, at Naples Lakes. Shotgun start, 8 a.m. Entry fee, $125 per person, $400 per foursome. Includes continental breakfast, lunch. Sponsorships available.
Contact: Barb Anderson, email@example.com, 564-9440
Three Sticks for Kicks Tournament
Info: Saturday, May 5, at Bentley Village. Benefits Charity for Change's "Giver" program at local elementary schools. Golfers play with putter and two other clubs of choice on the par-3 course. Registration/continental breakfast, 8 a.m. Shotgun start, 9 a.m. Entry fee, $100 per golfer. Hole sponsorships, $125.
Contact: www.charityforchange.org, 592-6787.
J. Neil Birch Memorial Tournament
Info: Saturday, May 5, at Quail West. Benefits Literacy Volunteers of Collier County, whose mission is to teach illiterate, non-English speaking adults. Registration, $600 per foursome, $150 for individuals. Hole sponsorships, $150. Limited to 100 golfers. Shotgun start, 9 a.m., followed by scoreboard party and awards.
Contact: Sandra Barreto 262-4448, ext. 301, firstname.lastname@example.org
Harry Chapin Food Bank
Info: Wednesday, May 9, at Grandezza. Entry fee, $125 per golfer. Includes awards and dinner. Registration, 12:30 p.m. Shotgun start, 1:30 p.m. Every dollar raised enables $6 worth of food to those in need.
Naples-Pelican Bay Rotary Tournament
Info: Friday, May 11, at Pelican Bay. Entry fee, $150 per golfer or $600 per foursome. Sponsorships, $500 to $1,000. Benefits charitable contributions that include college scholarships, Quest for Kids scholarships, Kids-Against-Hunger, and more.
Contact: Mike Richardson, 498-4500, email@example.com
First Tee of Naples/Collier
Info: Applications are posted on www.thefirstteenaplescollier.org under Programs.
Contact: 825-4851, www.thefirstteenaplescollier.org
Rick Smith Golf Academy
Info: Afterschool programs — Elementary school: Mondays, 4 to 5:30 p.m., $190 for four-week session; Middle school: Wednesdays, 4:30 to 6 p.m., $190 per four-week session; Junior Champions Golf Program: Thursday, 4:30 to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 3 to 6 p.m.; $200 twice a week; $150 once a week per four-week session; Player development class: Tuesdays from 4:30 to 6 p.m., $75, instructor Kathy Padgett
Rodney Bungartz clinics
Info: At Arrowhead. Afterschool junior clinic — 4 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, $13 per student per session, ages 6 and up; Middle school junior clinic — 5 to 6 p.m. Mondays, $15 per student per session, ages 12 and up.
Lessons for charity
Info: Arrowhead Golf Club and teaching pro Wes Smith are inviting the public to take a lesson from Smith every Saturday, and write a check for a donation directly to a designated charity. There will be a charge of $6 for range balls.
Info: Jim Mapother of RJM Golf is providing free clinics Friday afternoons from 3 to 4:30 p.m., through May at Lely Resort's Flamingo Island and Mustang driving ranges. Short-game work, then full swing. Registration limited to eight.
Contact: 208-755-7644, firstname.lastname@example.org
Info: Every Wednesday starting today through Oct. 10 at 5:30 p.m. Four-person, mixed 9-hole blind draw scramble. Teams made by pro shop at 3 p.m. day of event. Entry fee, $25. Open to the public.
Arrowhead New to Golf League
Info: Thursdays from April 19 to Oct. 25. Cost, $15. Open to men and women, 18 years and older. Open to public.
Executive Women's Golf Association
Gulf Coast Gold Senior Tour
Info: For golfers 50 and over. Tee times will begin each week in midmorning. The entry deadline is Mondays at 11 a.m. Entry fee, $20 per event, including the rate for golf at each club. Stableford scoring system.
Contact: email@example.com, 458-0754
Southwest Amateur Series
Info: Men's circuit through the Florida State Golf Association features 36-hole individual competitions, with $130 entry fees.
Info: 18-hole Men's League on Saturdays at 8 a.m.
Contact: 352-0777, www.ValenciaGolfandCountryClub.com
World Golfers Amateur Tour-Southwest Florida
Info: Cost for tour, $189 per year.
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■ APEX Golf — State-of-the-art training studio combining the skills of a golf pro and a physical therapist to improve the body and golf swing. The studio has a high-definition golf simulator, a K-Vest golf swing analyzer, video, and strength and flexibility testing software. APEX offers a free 30-minute analysis of the body and swing. Call 337-2739.
■ Arrowhead Golf Academy — PGA professional Mike Dopslaff, a four-time Southwest Florida PGA Player of the Year, provides instruction. Individual, group lessons. Call 596-1000.
■ Rodney Bungartz Lessons — Rodney Bungartz of Arrowhead Golf Club will have a Get Golf Ready series starting April 3 on Tuesdays from 5 to 6 p.m. The cost is $99 for six 60-minute sessions. Call 348-5929.
■ Jon Butler Golf at West Bay Beach and Golf Club — Offering 2 and 4 day Golf schools, short game schools, clinics, private lessons and on-course playing lessons. Call 239-821-8447, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.jonbutlergolf.com
■ Mike Calbot International Golf Studio & Triad Golf Schools — At Old Corkscrew Golf Club in Estero. Full and half-day schools are offered. Instructional packages are one, two or three days. All instruction is by appointment only. Private instruction and playing lessons also available. Thirty-five years of instructional experience. Call 482-0900 or visit www.golfdoctorusa.com.
■ John Carroll Lessons — Former Club Pelican Bay professional John Carroll is at Tuscany Reserve Golf Club in North Naples. Carroll was at Pelican Bay for 29 years. He is available for instruction Tuesdays through Saturdays. To make an appointment, call 597-3561 or 860-8470.
■ Concierge Service of Naples — An off-site service free of charge to the customer. The service can make tee times year-round at private country clubs in Southwest Florida up to 60 days in advance. The fee is the normal guest rate, and golfers are not required to play with a member. Call 285-7457.
■ Coral Isle Golf Center — Ladies clinics each Tuesday and Wednesday, men’s clinics each Thursday, a mixed clinic each Wednesday at 2 p.m., and a mixed clinic each Saturday. All clinics are at 10 a.m., other than the Wednesday mixed clinic. Junior clinics also are offered from 3:45 p.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays and 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. on Saturdays. Call 732-6900 for more information.
■ The Golf Institute — Club fitting program includes evaluation based on series of tests, including frequency check and lie and loft angle. Putting evaluations also are available. Call 643-5895.
■ Phil Grear instruction — Forest Glen’s Phil Grear is offering the Get Golf Ready program sponsored by the World Golf Foundation. Sessions Tuesday through Friday, 8:30 to 10:15 a.m. Each weekly program is $99 per person. Call 354-1898 or 595-1120.
■ Kim Hilbert Lessons — Windstar on Naples Bay assistant pro Hilbert earned honorable mention as a U.S. Kids Golf Top Kids Teacher. Hilbert is an LPGA teaching professional, and also teaches at Able’s Golf Facility in Dublin, Ohio. Hilbert offers numerous youth programs, including multi-day schools, camps, clinics, private lessons, tournament coaching, and afterschool golf programs. Her programs can be found at www.teachingu2golf.com.
■ John Jacobs Golf School — at Lely Resort. Staffed by local PGA and LPGA professionals. School offers 5-day week and 2-day weekend sessions, plus corporate days and private instruction. Discounted rates for junior golfers. For more information, call 1-800-472-5007 or visit www.jacobsgolf.com.
■ KISS Golf For Women Golf Schools — At Royal Poinciana Country Club. LPGA teaching professionals Lorie McCabe and her staff offer two- and three-day golf schools for women. Private instruction also is available. Call 1-888-451-KISS or 354-3633. The school’s Web site is www.kissgolfforwomen.com.
■ David Leadbetter Golf Academy — At LaPlaya Beach & Golf Club. Leadbetter is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher. Academy programs include three-day golf schools and players’ schools, and a one-day mini-school. Private instruction and playing lessons also are available. Call 592-1444.
■ Jim Mapother instruction — Call 431-5315 or email email@example.com.
■ Mediterra Golf School — Clinic on Friday, March 16 with stack-and-tilt method teachers Andy Plummer and Mike Bennett. The clinic will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and costs $550, which includes lunch in the clubhouse, and will be limited to 10 students; Contact director of instruction Adam Bazalgette at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.adambgolf.com.
■ Dennis Meyer’s Golf School — at Quality Inn Suites & Golf Resort in Golden Gate offers two-, three- , and four-day schools. Playing lessons included in full-day golf schools. Half-day options are available as well. Private lessons available. Call 1-800-445-4554 or 267-4652.
■ Naples Golf Academy — Located at the Hibiscus Golf Club. Lauri Travers leads a team of instructors that offers private lessons, golf schools, clinics and playing lessons. Specialty programs geared toward women and beginner golfers are available year-round. Visit us at LearningGolf.com or call 239-732-9944 for more information.
■ Naples Grande Golf Schools — Christina Ricci, the author of the Golf Survival Guides, will be making an appearance at Naples Grande Golf Club on Wednesday, March 7 from 2 to 6 p.m. Ricci and teaching professional Mark Durland will share tips and techniques on the range and on the course. To sign up, contact Durland at 784-2208 or email@example.com.
■ Tom Patri Golf School — Tom Patri back at The Quarry from Dec. 1 through April 15. Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher in America. South Florida Teacher of the Year. Met (NY) PGA Teacher of the Year. Available to all skill levels, and juniors. Private instruction by the hour, half and full day sessions also. Short game specialist. Visit www.tompatri.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 239-404-7790.
■ Patri/Mapother clinic — Instructors Tom Patri and Jim Mapother will hold a one-day golf school on Monday, April 9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lely Resort. Instruction will consist of a full swing and short game, as well as a discussion on equipment and its effect on ball flight. Class size is limited to 10 people, and costs $225 per person, or $400 for twosomes. Lunch is included. Contact Mapother at (208) 755-7644 or email@example.com.
■ Bob Prange Lessons — Estero Country Club at The Vines is the winter home of Prange, who is a teaching professional at The Bridgewater Club in Carmel, Ind. Prange previously has been a head instructor, staff member and golf school coordinator for John Jacobs Golf Schools. He has been 2004 Teacher of the Year in the Indiana PGA Section, and a Top PGA Instructor by Golf Digest and Golf Magazine. Call 267-7003 for appointments and schedules.
■ Rick Smith Golf Academy — Offering weekly 90-minute clinics Saturdays at 3 p.m. for $90 per person with a 6:1 student-to-teacher ratio. Clinics alternate between full swing and short game with the first being a full swing clinic. Call 593-1111 for more information.
■ The Rookery at Marco Golf Academy — Includes a 14-acre practice facility. Director of instruction Jan Wivestad. For more information, call 642-2747
To submit an item for the golf column, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or a fax to 263-4816.