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Country club introduces new pro

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By Chris Cannon

ccannon@lafollettepress.com

 

The LaFollette Country Club has a new pro in the pro shop.

Richard Comer took over the position in late September, which is a move he couldn’t be happier about.

“It’s a dream come true,” Comer said. “It’s a dream job. I worked up here for five years before mowing and in the pro shop. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. My dad did it years ago, and then my Uncle Bobby (Heatherly) did it. It’s kind of like following in their footsteps.”

With a new man taking over the shop, new ideas are being tossed about. Comer hopes to implement a ladies program that will promote the course to women golfers.

Next season, he also looks to have more tournaments, as well as an interesting twist for a county tournament.

 “Jodi and I, out at Deerfield, have talked about doing a Ryder Cup deal between LaFollette and Deerfield,” Comer mentioned. “That’ll be in the fall. It will be fun and different.”

Along with keeping the Club Championship and Invitational, Comer says he’s looking at a match-play tournament as well.

However, for Comer, playing on the LaFollette Country Club course since middle school has given him a different perspective about how the course should be run.

With the experience of playing there for those years, he’s grown to understand that it’s not just about keeping the course nice.

“It’s knowing what the members want and trying to accommodate their needs and wants,” he said. “You have to take care of your course, obviously, but you’ve got to take care of your members too. Being a player here for years, it’s kind of knowing how the course should be set up and what needs to be done to keep it clean and growing.”

That doesn’t mean changes won’t be seen on the course. Comer plans to present plans to the board about changing some of the roughs and a few bunkers.

“We’ll do that in house to save money,” Comer said. “That’s something Jeff (Johnston) and I can do this winter. That’s about it right now. We’re trying to work on our tee boxes and get them leveled out. More or less, we’re just trying to take care of some of the odds and ends stuff that we can take care of this winter.

“The guys on the course are great. Jeff and Booney (Roger Fort) do a great job. I couldn’t ask for two better guys out there, so that helps a lot.”

Comer says there is one big program that he hopes to keep and grow. The youth program started by Jeremy Cox is something that Comer says needs to stay.

According to him, the program is a great way to help the youth of Campbell County excel, while giving them hopes of playing in college.

Also, don’t expect to see Comer going anywhere soon. For him, this is the job he wants to retire from.

“This is my retire job,” Comer said. “This is what I plan on doing until my retirement age or until my little 3-year old grows up to become a professional golfer, and I can go with her. This is where I’ll be for a while. My uncle retired from here, and that’s where I want to be.”