Golf

Accommodating host

Not content to simply ride the momentum created by hosting the United States Amateur golf championship in August, Chambers Bay will provide the venue for another nationally known commodity.

Starting next summer, the world-class layout in University Place will host a golf academy operated by Brian Mogg, a Lakes High graduate and highly acclaimed instructor headquartered in Orlando, Fla.

A verbal agreement between the two parties was announced late last week.

What Chambers Bay gets is not only a big name in golf circles nationally – Mogg is widely considered one of the top 20 instructors in the country – but he also carries significant pull in the Far East because of his star pupil – South Korea’s Y.E. Yang, winner of the 2009 PGA Championship.

“We’d maybe like to take advantage of some of the co-branding, cross-marketing we could do with his name recognition in Korea, now that he’s got a school developed there since Y.E. Yang’s win,” said Matt Allen, the general manager at Chambers Bay.

What Mogg gets is an opportunity to return to the area where he grew up and pitch a fourth academy tent. Besides having his Brian Mogg Performance Center in Florida, he has other academies in Seoul, South Korea, and at Oviinbyrd Golf Club, a recently built private course two hours north of Toronto.

“(The Northwest) is where I’m from. It’s where my wife and her family are from, I can’t root more for the Huskies, Seahawks and Mariners,” Mogg said. “This is an opportunity for me to get involved there, to give back to Northwest golf. That is a passion I want to see through.”

Mogg graduated from Ohio State in 1985, and played on the PGA and Nationwide Tours.

In 1993, he joined the David Leadbetter Academy as a teacher, and eventually became its director of instruction from 1997 until 2001.

A year later, Mogg broke away to start his own Mogg Performance Center at Keene’s Pointe – a Jack Nicklaus signature venue in Orlando.

Specifics about the start-up Chambers Bay academy, including schedule, costs – even the name of it – are still in the works. What is known is that Mogg, 49, would likely go with a similar model he has used in Korea and Canada.

His hands-on involvement would be occasional – a few one- or multiple-day schools during the summer months. Brent Zepp, the assistant professional at Chambers Bay, would likely operate the academy.

“While an academy hasn’t necessarily been a cornerstone for any master plan of Chambers Bay, this particular concept seems like a natural fit,” Allen said. “We look forward to working with him. His experiences can help us shape the future of what the practice facility at Chambers Bay will be.”

Yearly Chambers pass now offered: Starting in January, an eight-month, all-you-can-play pass for Pierce County residents is available at a cost of $1,300.

The pass would be good for play from January through May and October through December.

A 12-month pass, which can be purchased right now, is $2,400.

Todd Milles: 253-597-8442 todd.milles@thenewstribune.com

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