The Director of the Jekyll Island Golf Club has been named one of the top golf professionals in the state, winning prestigious recognition from the Georgia Section of the PGA. Rob Ellis, PGA Director of Golf and Tennis for the Jekyll Island Golf Club, was recently awarded the Junior Golf Leader Award for the East Chapter of the Georgia Section of the PGA. Statewide, only three PGA professionals are presented with this honor.
“This is very exciting for me,” Ellis said. “My team here onJekyllIslandand I devote a substantial amount of our time to our junior golfers. Being recognized as doing a great job is certainly an honor.”
Currently, Ellis, along with his PGA Apprentices Kevin Tuerff and Spencer Bookman, regularly coach approximately 40 junior golfers, who are categorized as players under the age 18. Additionally, the Jekyll Island Golf Club hosts three week-long camps each summer to introduce young players to the game. During the camps, golfers ages 6 to 14 are instructed by the Club’s PGA professionals on all aspects of the game, from chipping and putting lessons, to on-course instruction and proper golf etiquette.
There is a strong foundation at the Jekyll Island Golf Club for the development of junior golf. The Club’s Pine Lakes course was renovated in 2002 to now include two sets of junior tee boxes, and was recognized by U.S Kids Golf as one of the few courses in the country to set this standard. Every spring, U.S. Kids Golf hosts a regional championship on the Jekyll Island Pine Lakes course, with more than 300 junior golfers from around the world attending the two-day event. In 2011, Ellis’ leadership with youth was likewise recognized, as he was named a 2011 U.S. Kids Golf Top 50 Instructor Honorable Mention.
“When teaching junior golf, I am setting the groundwork for the golfers of tomorrow,” Ellis said. “I strongly believe in developing solid golf skill sets in younger players. Learning to play golf is more than tackling a new sport. It is opening the door for an entire set of important life skills.”
Ellis’ passion for junior golf is a direct reflection on his own youth. He first picked up a golf club at the age of 13, and then began playing competitively shortly after college. As an active member in the golf business for eight years, Ellis has been an instructor withJekyllIslandfor two years, and was named Director of Golf and Tennis in summer 2012.
About the Junior Golf Leader Award: Established in 1988, the Junior Golf Leader Award recognizes the PGA Professional who is a leader in junior golf and who likewise reflects the ideals of those who work with youth. Work by this PGA professional includes the promotion and development of junior golf at the club level, and support for national junior golf programs.
About Golf on Jekyll Island: Since its first course was laid out in 1898 for members of the infamous Jekyll Island Club, Jekyll Island has proudly hosted some of the sports’ greatest players and golf course designers. As Georgia’s largest public golf resort, Jekyll Island offers players 63 holes on four acclaimed golf courses: Pine Lake, Indian Mound, Oleander, and Great Dunes. For more information about golf on Jekyll Island, visit www.jekyllisland.com.