The life of being a golf teaching pro can be, and often is, the life of a vagabond.
Mike Simmons just found that out.
After 18 years as a mainstay at the Miccosukee Golf and Country Club, Simmons was let go of his duties. Disappointing for him, yes. Can he make everything work out? Also yes.
Simmons almost instantly moved on to a job teaching at International Links in Miami as part of the renowned Charlie DeLucca Golf School.
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International Links is being refurbished and is shut down with new greens and fairways being built, among other renovations.
Simmons took the career change in stride. He’s looking forward to becoming a member of the staff in International Links’ First Tee program.
“Change inevitably brings with it dislocation,” he said, noting that his days at Miccosukee were good ones although his dismissal caught him by surprise. “I am taking with me several happy memories of my many years at Miccosukee,” Simmons said, “and on that note we shook hands and parted company.”
Some 18 years working at a particular place is not easy to leave. “It is time for the next step,” he said.
Carly Ray Goldstein, who played for Coral Glades High in Coral Springs and won the state championship two years ago, has qualified to compete in this year’s U.S. Women’s Amateur in Glen Cove, N.Y., at Nassau Country Club, Aug. 4-10.
Goldstein, who just finished her freshman season at LSU and is the daughter of teaching pro Barry Goldstein, recorded her 102nd career tournament victory by winning the qualifying berth over 103 women in Lexington, N.C.
She was the only woman to break par in the qualifying event.
Before the women’s amateur, she will compete in the USGA Public Links in Seattle. After the Women’s Amateur, she will return to LSU for her sophomore season with the Tigers.
Proud dad Barry — who carries her bag much of the time — knows all too well that the various trips can be expensive.
“I seriously need to rob a bank before she turns pro,” Barry said with a grin. “I am going to be broke, but this girl is so awesome and special.”
FLA. AMATEUR TOUR
Tyler Strafaci, who has won five times on one of the nation’s top junior circuits — the Florida Junior Tour — will be competing this week in the 60th Boys Junior Championship at Belleair Country Club in Belleair, Fla.
Strafaci, who plays for Plantation American Heritage High School in Broward County, is a past champion of the event in the 13-15 age division and will be competing this year in the 16-18 age division.
The tournament ends Thursday.
SVENSSON MISSES CUT
Barry University’s Adam Svensson played in the Web.com tour’s Nova Scotia Open in Halifax, Canada, shooting 74-72—146, and missing the cut after receiving a sponsor’s exemption.
Svensson was the No. 1-ranked Division II college player last season and led Barry to its second consecutive national championship.
At some point this summer, Svensson, who is from Surrey, British Columbia in Canada, will decide whether to return to Barry or turn pro.