PGA of Ontario Profile: Brad Larente
Brad Larente named PGA of Ontario Futures Series Player of the Year for 2015

Whether it’s counting strokes or bills, Brad Larente has decided he’d prefer to do it on the golf course rather than in a bank.

That might sound strange for a 28-year-old who spent four years at university earning a degree in economics, but when you learn that Larente attended Eastern Michigan University on a golf scholarship, you can see the other side of the coin.

For a while it looked like the Cambridge resident might be headed into the banking world after taking a position with CIBC as a customer service representative after graduating in the spring of 2010, but his passion for golf has drawn him back into the game.

“Financially it would be easier for me to make a living working at a bank, but money isn’t everything. You need to be happy where you’re working and I really missed being part of the golf world,” says Larente, an assistant professional at Galt Country Club, who was named PGA of Ontario Futures Series Player of the Year for 2015.

Brad spent four years living and breathing golf, 24/7 at Eastern Michigan University with teammates including fellow Canadians; Graham Hill, Cam Burke and Chris Ross to name a few. Then Larente spent three years at CIBC working his way up to being a top performing financial services representative, but in the spring of 2014 decided to follow his heart and apply for a job in the golf shop at the private club in his hometown.

“Whether you’re in the bank trying to assist clients with mortgages or financial planning, or whether I’m behind the counter at Galt helping someone make a purchase or book a tee time, it’s essentially all about providing excellence in customer service,” Larente says. “I just figured out that I prefer doing it at a golf club and I really did miss being out on the course and playing.”

Speaking of playing, well that’s what earned Larente recognition among his peers this past year. With the encouragement of Galt CC Head Professional Rob Moore, Larente made time in his second season at Galt to tee it up in eight PGA of Ontario events and made money in seven of the tournaments. Among his highlights, Larente finished second in the Future Spring Open, third in the PGA of Ontario Futures Championship, and T3 in the Futures Fall Classic and Futures Summer Challenge.

“I came close to winning last year, so for 2016 I’d like to finally get a win under my belt. I played pretty consistently throughout the summer, you just have to get hot and go really low,” he says. Larente also put up some impressive numbers at the PGA of Ontario Assistants Championship where he finished T6 and at the PGA of Ontario Championship finishing T14. “I was in the hunt with nine holes to play in the PGA of Ontario Championship but I had a 40 on the back nine and fell back into the pack. It was a good learning experience and I’ll be looking to improve this year now that I have been down that road.”

“It was great to come back and play some competitive golf. While I was at university I knew I didn’t have the game to play on the PGA Tour, but for me there’s still nothing like getting out there and trying to improve upon your game, while competing against the field,” says Larente who started playing golf at the age of 10 with his dad at Cambridge Golf Club. He quickly moved up the ranks playing the local Ian Leggatt Junior Tour, the Canadian Junior Golf Association, as well as Golf Association of Ontario and Golf Canada tournaments to earn the scholarship at Eastern Michigan.

Today at Galt CC, he is busy re-establishing the club’s junior golf program with Associate Professional, Mike Switzer after starting a junior performance team at the club in 2015. “These youngsters remind me of the time I was just getting into golf and developing a passion for the game, so it has been a terrific experience and we want to build on that for them in 2016,” he says.

Five years from now, Larente hopes not to be back in the banking business. He’d prefer to be counting his money as both a player and a golf teacher and maybe even as a head professional where he can inspire youngsters to play out their dreams.

By Brent Long

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