This month we interview Jared Lambert of Meadow Lakes GC, who received the 2020 PNW PGA Youth Player Development Award. Jared is also the Tournament Director for the Central Oregon Junior Golf Association. Read more about his accomplishments below.

Facility: Meadow Lakes GC

Hometown: Prineville, OR, but moving to Lincoln City, OR in April.

PGA Professional Since: I started the PGM Program in 2017, and was elected to membership in May of 2020.

Tell us about your golf beginnings. How did you get started? Were you a junior golf player?

I started playing golf at 13 years old. A friend of mine lived on a golf course, and he convinced me to go out and try it with him one day. In my third-ever round of golf I hit the luckiest shot of my life and made a hole-in-one (Eagle Crest Challenge Course #12, 141 yards ‒ with a driver), and I was hooked. The first place I received instruction was through a summer junior golf camp run by Greg Hanway at Juniper Golf Course in Redmond, OR, and after those camps I began taking some private lessons from Greg. Later that fall I was in need of some decent equipment, and the other instructor at Juniper at the time, Bob Duncan, was kind enough to give me a set of clubs to use. I played that set of clubs for four years, all the way until I was playing golf for Corban University. I am forever grateful to both Greg and Bob for giving me access to what I needed and the opportunity to get started in this game. Without the generosity shown by those PGA Professionals there is no chance I would be where I am today.

Who are or were your mentors?

There are a few people who I consider my mentors as a PGA Professional. Ron Buerger was my high school golf coach, the first person to hire me at 16 years old, and the first person to hire me as a PGA Associate at Eagle Crest Resort. He taught me so much about the game and the business in my time playing and working for him. Additionally, Kevin Story, Lead Professional at Eagle Crest, pushed me hard to finish my membership, and demonstrated first-hand the kind of work ethic that it takes to succeed in our industry. Tam Bronkey, Director of Instruction at Bend Golf Club,  has been a massive help to me in understanding how to help golfers improve, and has always been incredibly encouraging of me as I try to build my career. He is someone who has pushed me as a player, an instructor and an employee every step of the way. Finally, Zach Lampert has massively influenced my career and growth as a professional for the last three years at Meadow Lakes. He showed me the behind-the-scenes of running a business, demonstrated how to stay calm during the crazy moments of running a golf course, and gave me the freedom and creativity to start and run all of the player development programs I wanted to at Meadow Lakes. Zach truly wants the best for me, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more from him as a boss and mentor.

Last year as the Teaching Professional at Meadow Lakes, you coached a PGA Junior League program, operated summer junior golf camps, introduced a new Golf with the PRO program and reintroduced Meadow Lakes’ Junior Club Championship. Which program are you most proud of, or are you looking forward to growing the most in 2021?

I am definitely most proud Golf with the PRO. I started it because I had too many juniors coming back every week for lessons, but not playing. I fell in love with golf because of the fun of being on the golf course, and I wanted to create something that would push the kids to go out and play more often. The hope was that it would lead to kids creating friendships with one another, and golfing with each other outside of Golf with the PRO. When I started, I thought I might get three or four to show up, and by week two we had over 20. It led to more junior rounds, more junior memberships, and allowed me to get paid to go play golf!

I will be introducing all of the above programs to my new facility in 2021, and hope to continue to develop junior golf in subsequent years. My goal is to become someone who grows the game and introduces golf to juniors, just like my local PGA Professionals did for me fifteen years ago. In many ways, I’m just trying to pay it forward!