A different green: Funding from golfer, PGA allows professional to teach UK students



The unmistakable clunking sound of golf clubs making contact with gleaning white, dimpled golf balls repeats over and over. And over. And over.

It is a sound Tennye Ohr has gotten used to throughout the years, having dedicated two and a half decades to the sport.

As a PGA teaching professional, Ohr uses her talent and knowledge to hone the potential of students of all ages, and last year she began teaching UK students the tricks of the trade.

Ohr did not originally set out to become a teacher. Her dreams pulled her to UK’s golf program in 1977. Afterwards, she planned on going to the PGA tour, but when that did not work out, she decided to make the most out of her talents. That is when she began apprenticing in the world of the PGA tour.

Beginning last spring, UK started a golfing class with funding from award-winning golfer and Kentucky native JB Holmes. He donated through the Ryder Cup, and the PGA matched the funds to pay for Ohr and her colleague Larry Ward to teach the classes.

Ward, the head professional of Man O’ War Golf, has been in the golf profession for 15 years as general manager and head professional at various golf courses, but since 2002, teaching has taken up about 90 percent of his time.

“The students are great,” Ward said. “Ninety-five percent of the time, the students take the class for all the right reasons. They recognize that most business transactions are done on the golf course. They understand how valuable that’s going to be in their next career.”

Some students who enroll have never even played before, Ward said, but the emphasis on the class is not necessarily on how well someone swings a club.

“Most of what we are trying to accomplish is trying to get them to the golf course and to understand the rules of the game and the etiquette that follows,” Ward said.

“I heard about the class through a friend who took it last year,” said history senior Brian Davidson. “I had always played golf, but I thought this would be a good way to actually make myself come out and play.”

Even with his experience as a golfer on his high school team, Davidson still learned some things from the pros.

“Some of the ones that thought they were playing pretty well, we’ve had to make some adjustments to,” Ohr said. “While the beginners are learning from scratch.

“Some have made big improvements. We cover a lot of full swing and the short game,” she said. “They all have succeeded in their own ways.”