The new head golf professional at Channels Golf Club has been in the job since early April, but it’s only now that he can finally take stock of his surroundings after one of the busiest periods of his life and find time to think enviously of a £100,000 car that ‘might have been’.
Jason Levermore, 33, joined the club at Little Waltham, Chelmsford, after spending the first 12 years of his career playing on the regional and national PGA tours and the EuroPro and Challenge tours.
But just as he’d settled to his new role as a club professional he had the biggest moment of his professional playing career recently, when he scored a hole-in-one on the second hole at the prestigious BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, won ultimately, in memorable fashion, by the young Italian Matteo Manassero.
What’s more, the European Tour announced he’d won a £100,000 BMW M6 Gran Coupe, put up by the sponsor as a reward for a hole-in-one. But all was not as it seemed …
He explained: “It was a great start, holing out on the second, and I was informed I’d won the £100,000 BMW. Apparently the European Tour put it out as a story and it was picked up by quite a few places – my friends told me it was plastered all over. But when we came off the course at 17, because of lightning, we were told that they had made a mistake and that the car wasn’t on offer at the second hole after all, only on the 14th.
“It was a bit of a disappointment but nobody can ever take away from me the fact I holed-in-one in the PGA Championship at Wentworth. That’s something I’ll have forever.”
Ultimately, Levermore finished 66th, with a five-over-par total of 293. After such a dramatic start on the opening day it would be understandable if the Clacton-born pro was disappointed, but he was sanguine about the whole affair.
“The last nine holes on Sunday were a bit painful to be honest. I think I was getting a bit tired and it started getting to me. I ended up throwing a few shots away. But if somebody had said to me at the beginning of the week that I would play all four days – when people like Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald and Graeme McDowell failed to make the cut – score a hole-in-one on only the second hole and finish 66th, I would have bitten their hand off.”
After 12 years playing full-time on the minor tours, Levermore had decided to ‘settle down’ with a club professional job at Channels and started officially in early April. But he’s had little time to settle in and get to know his surroundings.
“It’s been a really busy time,” he smiled. “We spent five weeks refitting the pro shop – painting and decorating, and giving it a complete overhaul.
“Then I ran the London Marathon for the first time with a couple of friends. I made it round in 4hr40min. I didn’t really set myself any target other than to get round and enjoy the experience. We were raising money for the 999 Club and The Lady Florence Trust – a charity which provides support to the most isolated and lonely people in society. Next year I hope to do the London to Brighton bike ride.
“And a month ago my first son, Raife, was born. Fortunately he’s been really good so far, waking only about twice a night – but I’m told that doesn’t last,” he laughed.
“But I’m really enjoying the new role and now I’ve got that busy period out of the way I want to kick on and immerse myself in the club, its events and its members. I really like the club – my wife and I were married here two years ago so were very familiar with the set-up. It’s a lovely club, run by a really nice family who are only too happy to let me get on with what I have to do providing I’m doing it properly.
“I want to continue playing whenever I can but I’m really looking forward to coaching the members and getting to know them – and I’m also keen to get the juniors more involved here.”
Chances are that members young and old will be only too delighted to be coached by a man who has just scored a hole-in-one at the BMW PGA Championship – just don’t ruin the moment by asking him to show you his new car!
Channels Golf Club www.channelsgolf.co.uk