Local Golfer Making a Name for Himself

4/12/2011

Story written by Ben Clarke of myKawartha.com
Peterborough This Week~Kawartha This Week~Brock Citizen


Many professional athletes begin honing their skills at a young age. Professional golfer John Rushnell started at 28.

Now 56, Mr. Rushnell, a resident of Manilla, started playing golf with friends and before long was playing competitively.

After turning pro in 1996, Mr. Rushnell worked in the pro shop at Oliver's Nest Golf and Country Club in Oakwood. He is now club professional and instructor at Oshawa Golf and Curling Club.

With the golf season just starting in Canada, Mr. Rushnell has spent the winter travelling south to keep up his competitive edge.

He spent time in Bermuda, the Dominican Republic and Florida where he recently returned from a Florida Professional Golf Tour event in Daytona Beach.

Mr. Rushnell, who is currently ranked 23rd on the Canadian Professional Golfers Association (CPGA) list, says the highlight of his career was participating in the U.S Senior Open last season.

"It was off the charts, pretty surreal," he says.

With his busy schedule, Mr. Rushnell still makes time to play 20 or 25 tournaments a summer, while getting in a round of golf daily on top of his regular instructing sessions.

With all the playing time, Mr. Rushnell has played on his fair share of golf courses but says his favourites are TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Verde Beach, Fla. and St. George's Golf and Country Club in Toronto.

"It's classic and traditional."

He says his favourite golfer is Tiger Woods, who he has followed throughout his career.

"I'm still a fan of Tiger; I hope he makes a comeback. Golf still needs a Tiger."

Away from golf, Mr. Rushnell enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter and dogs. He also spends two to three hours daily exercising on top of his golf work out.

He will be reunited with his daughter, who lives in Calgary, during her birthday when he plays a Top 64 CPGA match play event there June 13-18.

Although he played sports like hockey and baseball growing up, he describes golf as "the best sport in the world."

"You learn so much on a golf course. Who wouldn't want to drop their kids off there for the day?"

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