A Geneva high school graduate will participate in the PGA Professionals event


The golf pro at your local course or country club is probably an excellent player, but a common complaint among those men and women who specialize in running the golf business is that they don’t play as often as they they would like it.

Nathan Desens, a former Geneva high school standout, thinks he’s landed in the right place to avoid this problem by working as an assistant pro on two courses that emphasize their managers’ playing ability and encourage them to try to qualify for the annual national championship. PGA Professional Tournament.

It is a mission accomplished for Desens. The 2014 Geneva High graduate is preparing to compete in his first PGA Professionals National Championship April 17-20 at Barton Creek Resort in Austin, Texas. This gives club pros a chance to qualify for a regular PGA Tour event, but more importantly hones their golf skills for competition.

Desens shaped his golf game during his high school career with the help of Geneva coaches and private instructor Rich Flores. He attended Clemson University for its golf management program and eventually landed professional assistant jobs in 2019 at Red Stick Golf Club in Vero Beach, Florida during the winter and at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. , during summer.

“Fortunately for me, the golf courses I work at pride themselves on having professionals on the course who are accomplished golfers, so you get to play with the members a lot,” Desens said. “The focus is on practice and attending events because they want golf pros to be good so members can see them succeed.”

Desens knows a bit about how to pull it off, having won Upstate Eight Conference Player of the Year honors during his senior season in 2014, the final year of longtime head coach Bill Koehn.


His family still lives in Mill Creek in Geneva. And his home away from home during his high school years was the Mill Creek Golf Club.

“I probably played this course almost every day when I was in high school,” Desens said. “It was a big advantage on the home course for Geneva because there are a ton of out of bounds on almost every hole and there are some weird angles that you discover after lots of trial and error.”

Desens was unable to hone his golf skills regularly at Clemson. As a student in the golf management program, he didn’t have as much time to play and was not drafted for the college team.

“It was a closed team program,” Desens noted. “Only the players recruited by the coach made the squad, so there were no tries or visits.”

At this point, it doesn’t matter. Desens is playing pretty well, thank you. He shot over par for three rounds at the PGA Qualifying Round last August at Beechmont Country Club in Beechwood, Ohio, just two shots behind the winner. He then survived a three-man playoff to earn the only other qualifying spot for his PGA Zone’s Championship event.

It’s kind of a reward for all the time he spent with Instructor Flores from the seventh to the last year of high school.

“The thing about Nate, when he was young, was he was a good thinker and he planned things out,” Flores said. “He’s always been methodical on the golf course, that’s why he’s such a good player. And he’s got a good entrepreneurial spirit about himself, and that’s why he loves all the business aspects of it. be a chief pro or a general manager.”

Flores, who was sidelined for months by a blood disease during part of Desens’ high school career, said Nathan was the first student he saw again after being released from the hospital. .

“He was a special kid and I wanted to help him,” Flores said. “He’s one of my all-time favorites because he was a really good lad and worked golf and school and as a team manager.”

And Desens didn’t forget the golf lessons or the inspiration to pursue a career in golf.

“Rich was definitely a big reason I became a golf pro because he introduced me and told me about golf programs and what it’s like to be a pro,” noted Desens. “He helped me get some of my first jobs in the area, as a caddy and eventually working in the pro shop at Eagle Brook Golf Course (in Geneva).”

Can we see Nathan Desens in the standings at a PGA Tour event in the future?

“It’s not something that worries me now,” he said. “But the top 20 (from the PGA Professionals Championship) qualify for the PGA Championship in May, so that’s something to aim for.”

For now, Desens is happy with reaching his first professional PGA event – and with the quality of his game.

“I’ve been a really good ball striker the last two years and hit a lot of greens,” Desens said. “I’ve also worked a lot on my putting and that’s becoming a strong point in my game.”

And any golfer at any level knows Nathan Desens is on to something if he heads into a tournament with those two skills working in his favor.

Tee-it for Old Glory

The Fox Valley Patriotic Organization and the Batavia Flag Day Committee make a key point about their important fundraiser on Sunday, April 24 at Topgolf in Naperville: You don’t have to be a golfer or own golf clubs to have fun with the games available. at Topgolf.

With this in mind, fundraising “Swinging for the Stars & Stripes” for the construction of a Flag Day monument on Batavia’s river walk is essential to the organizations goal of establishing this monument recognizing the role of Batavia in the creation of Flag Day, as well as a tribute to the American flag.

The cost of the fundraiser, which will take place from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., is $100 for a single player and $500 for a six-person bay.

The groundbreaking for the memorial will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. on Flag Day, June 14.

Tickets are available at flagdaymonument.com website. One ticket covers food, one adult drink, raffles and Topgolf games.

Open these golf courses

After being closed for a few golf seasons, the Mill Creek Golf Club in Geneva is preparing to reopen for the 2022 season.

Course owner Shodeen Inc. has hired Golf Visions Management Inc. to manage both Tanna Farms and Mill Creek, two courses located in the far west of Geneva.

The last thing Golf Visions told me last week was that they were waiting for golf cart delivery to Mill Creek. Some supply chain issues were causing a delay, but it looked like once those carts were delivered and the weather warmed up, Mill Creek would be back in business.

Many local players are eager to add Mill Creek to their course options and use it as a practice location as well. The Mill Creek complex has always offered one of the finest putting green and driving range layouts.

Barbecue and open space

Supporters of the Campton Township Open Space Foundation are urged to mark Friday, May 6 on their calendars as a day for an important barbecue.

The foundation’s spring barbecue takes place from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. at Luau Coffee, 40W450 Route 64 in St. Charles.

Four D’s Barbecue offers the meat options – $25 for a quarter chicken meal or a half pound pork loin meal, while a $40 ticket offers a combination of those two choices.

Attendees can dine at Luau Coffee, which offers lemonade or iced tea, or order take-out.

Information is available from Joe Garbarski at (630) 584-9775 or camptonopenspacefoundation@gmail.com.



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