He says he feels a bit like a boomerang, and with good reason.
Aussie John Wilkinson started his American career as a golf instructor 23 years ago at Woodland Golf Club, and now he’s back in Champaign County as the director of golf operations at Urbana Country Club.
“Like a boomerang, I just keep coming back here,” said Wilkinson, who started his job at UCC on March 1 along with new head golf professional Christopher Diodoardo.
Over the past two-plus decades, Wilkinson has proven himself to be one of the best golf instructors around, especially with junior players.
By his count, 1,200 of his students have gone on to win junior golf events in Ohio.
For the past eight years, Wilkinson has operated Down Under Par Golf Academy in Springfield, which he hopes to move to UCC if it constructs an indoor practice facility.
He’s coached three high school golf teams to state titles and several individuals who have gone on to win state titles.
At UCC, he says he hopes to change the direction of the club to emphasize more family and youth golf activities.
“There’s a new board (of trustees) here, and that’s the direction they want to go,” he said. “We want to emphasize more juniors and also ladies golf. This a great club with a great golf history.”
Wilkinson has two junior golf clinics scheduled at UCC this summer that will be open to the public for a fee – June 13-15 and July 25-27.
He also hopes to revive the Ohio Junior Golf Classic at UCC, which was a staple at Woodland in the 1980s and ’90s.
“I’m just looking for some sponsors to make that happen,” he said. “It’s really a great event for juniors, and would be a great event here (for UCC).”
For more information, call (937) 303-0916.
Trivia Time – The last time the Cincinnati Reds lost 100 or more games in a season was 1982.
This week’s question – Which Triad graduate once played on the LPGA Tour?
Reach Steve Stout at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @udcstout