Keeping It Professional On the Green
Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club is an 18-hole championship golf course, designed by Ron Garl, a world-renowned golf course architect. The course offers eight tribute holes, including three from Augusta National, two from St. Andrews in Scotland, one (Postage Stamp hole) from Royal Troon in Scotland, one (number nine) from Muirfield in Scotland, and two (par 3 and 4) from Baltusrol in New Jersey.
The five golf instructors at Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club have a wealth of golf knowledge and experience with diverse styles of teaching, spanning from classical instruction to modern-day teaching methods. The club provides students with world-class practice facilities to hone their game with state-of-the-art technology, such as TrackMan, which measures swing path, swing speed, ball speed, angle of attack and distance.
Golfing Around the World
John Elliott, Jr., a life member of the PGA of America, began his career in the golf business at age 19. John was one of 17 people who traveled the world as an instructor for Golf Digest for 26 years. When he arrived in Ocala in 2003, he was already ranked a top 100 golf instructor by Golf Digest and a top 50 golf instructor by Golf Magazine. Golden Ocala took him on as a director of instruction, largely responsible for up to two-hour, one-on-one lessons. Regardless of how many golf courses John has played, he appreciates Golden Ocala for the great opportunities it provides to improve your game, as well as the two practice holes that allow his students to learn without interfering with other golfers’ progress.
graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University in Estero with degrees in Professional Golf Management and Business Management. Prior to moving to Ocala, he held assistant positions at Olde Florida Golf Club, Copperleaf Golf Club and The Villages at Country Creek. Thomas is an active participant in the North Florida PGA Section Tournaments. His responsibilities at Golden Ocala include merchandising, tournament operations and game improvement, with a focus on building relationships with members and making sure they are having the best experience possible while at Golden Ocala.
Mike Cooney, Director of Golf, is also a PGA golf professional. Mike began playing golf at age four with his father and three brothers in Glastonbury, Connecticut. He graduated from Georgia Southern University before playing competitive golf for eight years in pursuit of his PGA Tour Card. He learned his golf swing from the likes of Davis Love’s dad, as well as Jack Grout and Gardner Dickinson. Mike’s teaching philosophy begins with the fundamentals and an emphasis on alignment, ball position and setup. His goal is to get his students to improve their scores and to enjoy the game. At Golden Ocala, Mike’s responsibilities include coordinating and conducting member tournaments, as well as charity golf tournaments, inventory and golf operations management.
Building on the Fundamentals of Golf
Daren Robinson learned the fundamentals of the game from his dad and uncle who were PGA golf professionals. He started working in the golf business at age 14, going from third to first assistant at Country Club of Ocala. The past few years, Daren has worked with several PGA, LPGA, Nationwide and Canadian tour players on improving their game. Daren is a certified putting instructor with AimPoint and SAM Putting Lab, teaching golfers how to read greens at high levels. He is also certified with TrackMan technology. This past spring, Daren and John taught several onsite golf schools at Golden Ocala.
Nick Montanaro began playing with his best friend at age eight, which led to local, junior, state and regional tournaments by the time he was 14. Nicholas’s high-level finishes earned him a full golf scholarship to Eastern Kentucky University, where he was a three-time winner of the Ohio Valley Conference. After college, he played
on professional golf tours in 20 different countries, including the US, Canada and several countries in Europe. His responsibilities include tournament coordination, inventory control, merchandising, outdoor staff training, golf clinics and private instruction. Nick has a strong passion for the golf swing and teaching proper course management.
To find out more about the golf course wonders of Golden Ocala and how these instructors can help advance your game, call the pro shop at (352) 671-3933.