Blog 172, 10/28/11 - Luke Bennett to Replace Phil Gaggero at Lake Padden

Luke Bennett
Director of Golf Mel Fish could not be more excited about his appointment of Luke Bennett as Lake Padden's new Director of Instruction, a position made vacant by Phil Gaggero's September move to Shuksan GC.
"Luke is a person of high quality, integrity, morals, ethics and values," says Fish. "I gave him his first ever golf lesson 20 years ago and have watched him grow as a student at Western, professionally in golf management, and as a player. He's a genuinely good person from a good family, and has a strong local connection. He will be a great asset to Lake Padden, and from the moment I interviewed him I knew he was the right man for the job."
Since graduating from Western where he was named a third-team All-American in 2005 (honorable mention in 2006), and Golf Coachs' Association of America (GCAA) Ping West Region All-Star in '05 and '06, Bennett has worked in golf operations at both Homestead and Semiahmoo where he developed a love for teaching.
"Luke has become a very fine instructor/coach," says Fish. "And because he's also fast becoming one of the best players in the region, and has worked up at Semiahmoo, I'm confident he can develop a large clientele of students among local golfers and also those from across the border."
Bennett, who became a father ten weeks ago when daughter Ferrigan Christine (Ferrigan is his mother-in-law's maiden name) was born, leaves Semiahmoo officially on January 31st but will be making appearances at Lake Padden between now and then. BellinghamGolfer congratulates Luke on his two new roles - Director of Instruction, and DAD! We asked him about the first:

How does it feel to be going back to Lake Padden?
I'm very excited because it's where I fell in love with golf. It's always had a special place in my heart. To this day I still go back there in the evenings to get some of my best practice done. Over the past several years, I've witnessed a wonderful transformation at the course, and look forward to being part of the continued success there. I was honored to be thought of by Mel and Barry Kramer as a candidate for the position.

What will you bring to the job?
I have over 15 years of golf experience. I've been heavily involved in golf management for the past five years, working at both Semiahmoo GCC and Homestead GCC. Through my experiences there, I found that the one area I am most passionate about is teaching golf. I am very enthusiastic about it. Like other golfers, I'm constantly trying to push myself to learn more about the game. Whether it's through literature, professional clinics, or researching the newest teaching technologies, I'm always trying to grow as a golfer.

What will life at Lake Padden look like?
I'll be doing my best to continue the amazing work Phil Gaggero started. He developed an outstanding junior program which I will try to maintain and grow. And I hope to increase others' excitement for golf through private lessons, clinics and camps.

Luke Bennett's Playing Record
Western Washington University (four years as a player, one as the Men's Assistant Coach).
Four-time NCAA Regional participant.
Three-time NCAA National Championship participant.
Two-time NCAA All-American.
One individual collegiate tournament win - 2005 Cal State Bakersfield Men's Golf Spring Invitational.

2011 Hudson Cup team member.
2011 Western Washington Chapter North Team member.
T3 at the PNWPGA Club Professional Championship in September at Illahi Hills in Salem, OR. thus qualifying for next year's PGA Professional National Championship at Bayonet and Black Horse Golf Clubs on the Monterey Peninsula in California (if he finishes in the top 25 there, Luke will qualify for the PGA Championship).


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