TAMPA – When Joey DiPompo started college, he thought it was a vacation, playing golf nearly every day while studying about it at the Professional Golfers Career College in Orlando.
The Alonso High School graduate knew he wanted his career to be more than just playing golf, but teaching it as well. He had class in the morning and played at some of the best courses in Orlando for free almost every day. After 16 months he had earned his degree in professional golf management and was on his way.
He was living the golfer’s life. Not bad for a guy who didn’t pick up the sport until his teenage years, long after the prodigies that dominate the PGA Tour get their starts.
“We looked at it as more of a long vacation than really going to school,” said DiPompo, now a golf instructor at The Downs. “There was a lot of fun and I learned everything about the game.”
Then came a bad break. DiPompo, who was a soccer and football player at Alonso, was in a car accident that caused problems with his back. It wasn’t his first injury. He still feels soreness from other injuries he’s sustained during his athletic career.
“My back still hurts, but I can get around 18 holes,” DiPompo said. “I’ve had other injuries, my ACL, my meniscus, and a bunch of other things, but I love the game too much to walk away.”
As for aspirations to the big-time money of the professional game, he has none. And it doesn’t bother him a bit.
DiPompo started taking the game seriously as a senior at Alonso. He knew he was never going to be playing golf for big bucks, so he went to school in Orlando to help feed his passion for the game.
After working at The Downs, he decided that teaching was in his blood. He became assistant manager at The Downs pro shop and also started his own golf club repair shop there. He isn’t quite a scratch golfer, but he plays recreationally and also runs a golf clinic for kids at The Downs. He’ll give lessons to anyone and understands that a lot of people come to him looking to go from never having played to shooting under 80.
That probably isn’t going to happen, DiPompo said.
“Players come in and are looking for a quick fix,” DiPompo said. “I can give a quick fix and I can make something right for a little while, but it really doesn’t help. In the long run, anyone coming in for a quick fix has to start over and forget everything they know. It’s a touch game. The professionals play all day and practice all day. It takes a commitment.”
Carrollwood Country Club held its Member-Member event. Winners included: First Flight, Joe McCandrew and Ken Renspie (gross), and Ernie Smith and Mark Heinlein (net); Second Flight, Mark Szabo and Mike Carrier (gross), Third Flight, Joe Carney and Tom Fisher (gross), and Kreg Melton and Tom Roney (net); Fourth Flight, Bob O’Brien and Tim Ryan (gross), and Manny Sanchis and Keith Ellis (net) … The Tampa Bay Senior Golf Association will be hosting coming events at Cove Cay (Dec. 12), East Lake Woodlands North (Dec. 16), The Eagles Lakes Course (Dec. 19), Countryside (Dec. 23), Beacon Woods (Dec. 26), Lansbrook (Dec. 30), and Beacon Woods (Jan. 2). Call (813) 818-9831...The Downs golf instructor Joey DiPompo is teaching a junior golf clinic on Saturdays from 11 – noon and kids aged 6 – 14 are welcome to join. Call (813) 854-4946 … The Eagles will be hosting a junior golf clinic every Saturday from 9 – 10 a.m. at a cost of $15 per junior. The theme is “Instruction Through Competition.” Call (813) 920-6681 … Golfers Grail will also be hosting a junior golf camp at its indoor facility with five camps starting in mid-December at a cost of $22 per day or $100 for all five. Snacks will be provided. Call (813) 969-2100 … Lee Goodin, a local golfer, is selling a set of ladies custom golf clubs. They include a complete set of Zing clones irons and four Big Bertha metals. It also includes a golf bag, head covers, umbrella, glove, ball retriever, and other accessories. Cost is only $150. Call (813) 961-0836 … Lansbrook will also host an event for the Pinellas County Police Athletic League on Dec. 14 to benefit “A Christian Golf Outing” to benefit underprivileged kids. Cost is $25 plus an unwrapped gift. Call (727) 784-7333 … Cheval will also have a busy December with the CMGA Presidents Cup (Dec. 14), and the Tiger Classic (Dec. 23) … The Legacy Golf Club in Lakewood Ranch is offering 40 percent discounts on golf shoes. Call (941) 907-7067 … The TPC Tampa Bay has had several holes-in-ones recently. Bill Coy aced the 6th hole on Nov. 3, Matt Lozosky aced the 11th on Nov. 8, and Eric Lindquist nailed the 17th on Oct. 20 … Former Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Sam Fuld is hosting a benefit with the National Aviation Academy on Jan. 10 at Belleair Golf Club. Fuld has been diagnosed with Type-A diabetes and this will be his third annual event to help raise awareness for the Check Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Check www.lightforacure.org … The Lansbrook Golf Club Women’s Golf Association is recruiting women golfers of all skill levels to participate in its fall season. It meets Thursdays at 9 a.m. and all women golfers are invited There are no dues. Call (727) 784-7333 … Wentworth Golf Club is offering a Friday quota point and skins game at 1 p.m. Cost is an optional $20 for the quota point and skins game. Call (727) 942-4760 … Crescent Oaks Golf Club is offering a weekly Thursday shootout with nine holes and a 5:30 p.m. shotgun start. Cost is $15. (727) 937-4653 … The Countryway Thursday Golf Club Women’s Association is hosting weekly events throughout the month … Lansbrook Golf Club is busy every day of the week with different events. Monday is Blind Bogey Monday. Tuesday, it’s a gathering of the Insider Plus League with a quota point format. Shotgun time is 9 a.m. Wednesdays are an afternoon men’s and women’s outing at 11:30 a.m. Thursday’s is a doubleheader. At 9 a.m., there will be the morning women’s game and night golf starts at 5:30 p.m. with a $10 fee. Call the pro shop for details … The TPC Tampa Bay is offering a Vantage Membership where golfers can enjoy full use of all golf and clubhouse facilities and a $30 rate for tee times for a year. There are year-round practice privileges with complimentary practice balls and a complimentary subscription to Golf Digest. Call (813) 949-0090 for details … Cambridge Christian School will host its second annual golf tournament on Jan. 11, 2014 at Westchase Golf Club. A 1 p.m. shotgun start will follow lunch. Call (813) 215-6578 … There’s more going on at Rocky Point. It will host the first annual Junior Winter Invitational on Dec. 18 for kids 8-18 with a stroke play format. Tee times begin at 1 p.m. and players will be notified in advance of their tee times. Prizes will be awarded to the top three in each age group and proceeds will benefit Feeding America of Tampa Bay. Call (727) 667-2939 … The Concession in Bradenton will host the 2014 Archie Griffin Celebrity Golf Classic to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County on March 4, 2014. Griffin, who won the Heisman Trophy twice at Ohio State will be bringing along plenty of other former Buckeyes as well as other celebrities … Tampa Bay Golf and Country Club will be having several member events coming soon including the Gaiser Scramble on Mondays at 3:30 p.m., and the Happy Golfers 9-hole event on the Executive Course at 8 a.m.Wednesdays. Any ladies interested in playing nine or 18 holes on Saturday mornings should call (813) 588-2759 … Northdale Golf Club is offering “Weekday Replays,” every day. A second round of golf only costs $18 and that includes a sandwich and a soda … Wentworth Golf Club will be offering a First Responder program with greens fees of $30 on Mondays through Thursdays, and $35 all other times. Guests include retired military, law enforcement officers, EMT, and fire department employees … Westchase Golf Club has started its After School Junior Golf Program on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. There are two age groups, 7 – 9, and 10 – 14. It is an 11-week program with 22 sessions with a cost of $250. Call (813) 854-2331 … Prime Time is offering winter golf memberships where players can play more than 40 courses for six months for only $99. Junior golf memberships go for as low as $19. Corporate memberships are also available. Call 1-800-605-CLUB … Countryway Golf Club is featuring a weekly men’s Tuesday morning scramble starting at 6:45 a.m. Cost is only $5 plus cart fees. Players 80-and-over will play the red tees on all par-4s plus the long par-3 17th. Plays 75-and-over will play off four red tees, and players 70-and-over will play off of two red tees. Check www.tuesdaygolfers.com … Edwin Watts Golf shops are offering free video tips from more than 100 of the top teaching pros in golf. The videos will be delivered to email boxes once every week with drills and tips to use at the range. Go to wattstips.com to register and create your own account. It is a $60 value … Quail Hollow Golf Club has a Friday evening scramble every week featuring two-man/two-women teams or one-man/one woman teams starting at 5:30 p.m. Cost is $15 per person with a $4 skins game. Call (813) 333-0033 … Quail Hollow Golf Club is offering Civil Service Appreciation Mondays with $20 greens fees. Golfers must present ID cards … Golfsmith on Dale Mabry is offering low minimums and quick turnarounds on golf ball logos, including more than 100 different designs. Check golfsmith.com/business … The Pinellas County Men’s Interclub Golf Association will be hosting its monthly event at the Bayou Club (Dec. 16). There are 12 clubs involved. Call (727) 365-6418 … Tampa Bay women can join Diva Golf, which has reduced cost to $99 per year. It includes “Nine and Wine” events and local clubs and there are no obligations. Call (813) 477-6224 … The Landings Golf Club will host its Ladies Golf Clinic on Tuesdays at 6 p.m. Cost includes $20 and includes range balls and a glass of wine. The Landings will also host the Clearwater Hackers Golf League every Sunday at 9 a.m. for men, ladies, singles, and couples. Call (727) 447-5272 … The Claw at USF is offering specials including weekday tee times for $22 before 8 a.m. and $27 after 2 p.m. Weekend specials are $29 before 8 a.m. and $34 after 2 p.m … The Special Olympics is looking for a golf coach to work for two hours, one night a week. Call Sid Altner at (727) 944-4248 … Tarpon Woods Golf Club is offering its Golf Plus card which costs $34.95 per month and offers unlimited golf … Ace Golf is offering U.S. Kids Golf group sessions every Saturday at 3 p.m. for $20 per session at its Riverview location. All instruction will use U.S. Kids golf instructional materials and there will be monthly sessions where juniors can test for pins. Instructor Matt Primrose is the only U.S. Kids certified instructor in the Tampa Bay area. Call (813) 672-7750...Lansbrook Golf Club is offering its Insider Plus membership that includes 20 percent off golf at all times. It includes golf privileges at 41 local clubs and bonus rounds at private clubs. Call (727) 784-7333 … Northdale Golf Club is offering a two-man “money game” on Mondays at 2 p.m. There is a two-man blind draw with a FedEx style point system. There will be a $2,500 grand prize. Call 962-0428 … The Golf Channel AM Tour, the largest amateur golf tour in the nation, is looking for new members. Call (877) 465-5094. Golfers of nearly any handicap are invited and play is held at some of the top courses in the country, including many in Florida … Lansbrook Golf Club is offering its Player Development Program, featuring unlimited range balls and unlimited golf starting at 3 p.m. Juniors play for free and there is no long-term commitment. Call (727) 784-7333 … The Continental Golf League takes place at Bloomingdale Golfers Club every Thursday with a 5:30 p.m. shotgun start. Groups will play alternate nines each week. Call (813) 689-2985 … Silver Dollar Golf Club is offering regripping while you wait for just $5 … Seminole Lake is offering annual memberships for as low as $110 per month. There are no initiation fees. Call (727) 391-3311 … Golfers Grail is offering lessons with its PGA professionals and apprentices. Lessons are 30 or 60 minutes starting at $35. The simulators provide a detailed analysis of every swing so adjustments can be made immediately. Call 969-2100 … For re-gripping services, you can call Cindy Dzuro at Rocky Point Golf Course at (813) 673-4317 … 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 … 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 … The Pinecrest Golf Club is looking for new members for its Women’s Golf Association. Tee time is every Wednesday at 9 a.m. Call (727) 584-6497 for information.
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