Pebble Creek pro tries again for seniors tour
TAMPA - Most PGA professionals are not golf course a lot unless they are teaching players who have time to burn. Being a pro, means spending your time teaching, putting together club events, and catering to members while giving up dreams of major golf success. Stacy Keisler isn’t like that. The director of golf at Pebble Creek Golf Club has kept the fires burning. He’s 52 and showed a lot of promise during his younger days, and is still trying to make it. He has big dreams such as making it into the U.S. Senior Open, which is missed qualifying for by four shots last year and blames his short game. He’s out on the Pebble Creek course now from sunup to sundown, hitting it 159 yards, not aiming for the greens, gearing up for this year’s qualifying at the Dunedin Country Club. Can he make it? He has no doubt.“This is my third try and I plan to make it this year,” Keisler said. “I’ve got the game and I can do it.” Keisler has had the game since he was a kid and the most valuable player on his high school golf team, just outside of Columbia, S.C. That’s when his dreams took a detour. He didn’t have a lot of encouragement, so he joined the Navy. “I didn’t have the support and I really didn’t have a lot of money,” Keisler said. “People don’t realize how expensive this game can be.” But while he left behind his golf dreams, he took his clubs. When his ship would hit a port of call, he was the first one off, lugging his clubs to a course. His commanding officer also played and Keisler did something regularly that no one should do to their commanding officer. Beat them. “I never lost to him,” Keisler said. “You know, when you get on the golf course, it is never about beating someone, it is about beating the golf course. He respected me for it. I never looked for preferential treatment.” Still, Keisler thought about playing with the big boys on the PGA Tour. He was never a long hitter, but he hit it straight and had the game figured out from the tee to the green – except for those pesky 150 yards to the hole. “I could have been another Andy Bean or Corey Pavin,” said Keisler, referring to two PGA winners. “I just couldn’t hit the greens. I practiced all the time and could never stick my approach shots.” But he keeps grinding away and teaches when he can. His philosophy is easy. “Golf made simple,” Keisler describes it in three words. “It’s not an easy game. A perfect round is one that ends up at 18-under and no one in history has ever done that. Keep it simple and keep it fun.”
Bay Palms Golf Course at MacDill Air Force Base will host its Military Officers Association of America Charity Golf event on March 18 to benefit Operation Helping Hand. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. with a 1:15 shotgun start. The four-person teams are flighted by individual handicaps. Call (813) 785-0552. … Pebble Creek Golf Club is hosting private lessons for adults with a certified PGA instructor. Fees for a one-hour lesson start at $60. Juniors and seniors can get a half-hour lesson for $30, and semi-private lessons are also available. Also, Pebble Creek is offering adult group clinics on Saturdays at 10 a.m., and junior clinics every Saturday from 9 to 10 a.m. for ages 3 to 9, and 11 a.m. to noon for kids ages 10 to 18. For Pebble Creek lessons, call (813) 973-3870. … Westchase Golf Club will host the second annual Tampa Jewish Community Center & Federation Second Annual Golf Tournament on May 19. Registration is at noon with a 1:30 p.m. shotgun start. … Westchase Golf Club will also host the 1st Annual RVR Horse Rescue Charity Golf Event on May 11 with a 1:30 p.m. start. Check RVRHorseRescue.com for details. … Pinecrest Golf Club in Largo saw a rarity recently as Joseph Sgroi scored his second hole-in-one in the past six months. Other recent holes-in-one at Pinecrest included David Stinson, Pete Peterson, Pat Collins, Ron Britton, Mike Green, Roz Bogoslowski, Larry Daly, Esther LaFontaine, and Larry Daum. … Emerald Greens Country Club is hosting its Women’s Member-Guest event on March 21 at 8:45 a.m. The format is a two best-ball net followed by lunch. (813) Call 961-13831. The theme for the event is “The Egg Cup Goes Country.” … The Tides Golf Club in Seminole is offering memberships to its Loyalty Club. For a $10 membership fee, members can receive a dozen free golf balls after six visits and free weekly clinics for members and their families. … Rogers Park Golf Course will host the Tour Golf Legends Giving Back event on April 28 with a 1:30 p.m. shotgun start. Cost is $75 per golfer and will feature contests and singed drawing of Tour legends. The event will feature several African-Americans who were at the forefront of golf history. … The Morning Star School will present the 28th Annual Morning Star School Golf Classic at the TPC of Tampa Bay on Oct. 25. Call (813) 935-0202. … The Pinecrest Golf Club is looking for new members for its Women’s Golf Association. Tee off is every Wednesday at 9 a.m. Call (727) 584-6497 for information. … The Rocky Point Men’s Golf Association is looking for players at all levels to compete on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. It starts at 7:30 a.m. Call (813) 205-6828 for information. … The Golfer’s Grail indoor golf league is taking signups for its golf league, which starts on March 11. Two player teams play once a week for five weeks in a scramble format and new courses are available each week. Cost is $95 per player. Call (813) 969-2100. … Lansbrook Golf Club will host Thursday clinics from 10 to 11 a.m. at their Shriver Golf Academy. Cost is only $15. … Cleveland Heights Golf Club in Lakeland is holding its annual Charles R. Rubado Memorial Golf Scramble along with the Army ROTC and Florida Southern College. It’s on March 22 with a 1 p.m. shotgun start. There will also be a chance to win $10,000 win a hole-in-one. Call (863) 680-4273. … The Florida Junior Tour will host its Tampa Bay area tournament from May 26-28 at the Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club. Registration for boys 16 to 18 is due by April 18. … Rocky Point Golf Club has a Friday 3-hole course clinic from 5 to 6 p.m. and supervised practices on Saturday’s from 10 to 11 a.m. coordinated by leading golf instructor Brianne Murphy, and Cindy Dzuro will teach a golf clinic at the range every Sunday from noon – 12:45 p.m… River Hills Country Club hosted its MGA custom foursomes event. Winners of the golf flight net were Claude Portin, Ron Penpraze, Jim Reed, and Paul Fornier. Gary Clark, Randy Peterson, Ken Stateler, and Bob Mitchell took the golf flight gross; Logan Kittinger, Christian Yockey, Bob Delaney, and Fred Byeman won the white flight net; and Bubba Park, Lou Laurito, Tom Savino, and Dana Olds won the white flight gross. … Lexington Oaks Golf Club will start hosting a 9 a.m. golf league on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Call (813) 902-7270. … Quail Hollow Golf Course will be hosting a couples scramble on the second and fourth Sunday of each month. There will be a $10 entry fee and a $20 golf fee with a 2:30 shotgun start. The Ladies of Quail Hollow Golf League is starting with a $25 annual fee. Call (813) 333-0033… Rogers Park Golf Course, Babe Zaharias Golf Course, and Rocky Point Golf Course are offering a group membership plan that includes all three courses. Golf costs $12 for 18 holes with a membership. … Silver Dollar Golf Club is now offering a Thursday Ladies Day with half-off all rates. Players can walk or ride nine or 18 holes. Call (813) 920-3884. … Crescent Oaks Country Club is offering a kids club for kids 6 to 13. Benefits include a kid’s 9-iron with a training grip, membership card, a personal bag tag, a monthly golf clinic, and free greens fees with parents after 2 p.m. Call (727) 937-4653. … Westchase Golf Club will host the First Annual 2013 TMHDS Golf Classic to benefit the Montessori House Day School on April 25. There will be a four-player scramble format with on course contests. Call (813) 961-9295 for details.