TGA of Southeast Michigan

Meet the Team

Dave Robinson
Owner/Chapter Director

After 32 years as a newspaper editor, including 22 at the Detroit Free Press, Dave Robinson decided to begin a new adventure with TGA Premier Junior Golf in 2008.

TGA was a natural fit for Dave’s lifelong passions for golf and working with kids. He has played the game since age 10, was the No. 1 player on his high school team and played on the freshman team at Stanford University.

Dave coached his son and daughter’s Little League baseball teams for 10 years. At the Free Press, he was one of the founders of the Yak’s Corner program for children and worked closely with high school journalists from Detroit Public Schools whose newspapers were published by the Free Press.

Dave was sports editor of the Free Press from 1985 to 1993 and deputy managing editor from 1993 until he decided to take a buyout at the end of 2007. He coordinated coverage of many major sports events for the Free Press and parent company Knight Ridder, including all the Olympics from 1996 through 2004, the 2004 Ryder Cup at Oakland Hills, the 2006 Super Bowl and many championships by Detroit pro teams, Michigan and Michigan State.

Dave is thoroughly enjoying his second career. He began with TGA of Macomb in Grosse Pointes in July 2008, expanded with TGA of East Oakland County in December 2008, then TGA of West Wayne in January 2012. In March 2013 he consolidated operations under a new name — TGA of Southeast Michigan.

Orie Murray
Assistant Chapter Director

Orie has been a TGA coach since January 2014 and assistant chapter director since September 2015.  She is in charge of our after-school programs in Oakland County,  working with coaches and our partners at individual schools, plus the various Parks and Recreation and Community Education departments.

She also runs our Oakland County summer camps and spring and fall leagues at Somerset Park.

Orie graduated from Rochester College in 2015 with a degree in business administration and sports management. She was a four-year member of Rochester’s varsity golf team.

Orie grew up in Lake Odessa, between Lansing and Grand Rapids. She played golf, tennis and volleyball at Lakewood High School. She has been women’s club champion at three courses — Centennial Acres near her childhood home, Captain’s Club in Grand Blanc and most recently at Boulder Pointe in Oxford. In 2017 she scored her first hole-in-one and also shot a five-under-par 30 in her nine-hole league. So she’s obviously a top-flight golfer, but her real passion is sharing her love for the game with TGA kids.

“I really enjoy getting to know all the kids and watching them improve,” Orie said. “Some are just beginners, but they wind up getting some pars at the end of a camp week. That’s a great feeling.”

In addition to her TGA duties, Orie is now the men’s varsity golf coach at Oakland Community College.

LEAD INSTRUCTORS

Terry Audette started a second career as a golf instructor three years ago. He is certified by the U.S. Golf Teachers Federation and teaches many private lessons in addition to TGA classes.

Al Bialek is retired after 43 years in business leadership roles. He is a passionate golfer who loves sharing that passion with the kids. Al has taught many TGA after-school classes and summer camps.  He also is a proud veteran and conducts seminars about veterans at schools and community centers throughout the metro area. Al is our lead instructor of the year for 2020.

Nick Bruce is a student at Walsh College and former varsity golfer at Anchor Bay High School.  Nick started as an assistant coach while a sophomore at Anchor Bay and has earned more responsibility every year.  He now teaches a full schedule of after-school classes and is director of our Oak Ridge and Glacier summer camps.  He was TGA’s national coach of the year for 2018.

Adam Burghardt is a member of the Wayne State University varsity golf team. He is a former TGA camper and his older brother Jacob was a TGA coach. Adam was team captain and a four-year varsity player for DeLaSalle High School.

Peter Darke is a native of England who moved to Michigan in 2013.  He used to be a professional drummer, performing around the world on cruise ships.  He also played English football semi-professionally and played a lot of tennis, but his biggest athletic passion is golf.  He is a full-time instructor at GolfTec in Troy in addition to teaching TGA classes.

Jeff Dunstan has spent a lifetime around golf, including several years as a caddie on the PGA Tour, plus stints working in pro shops and other golf retail.  He found out about TGA when he saw our summer camps at Somerset Golf Course and now teaches after-school classes, plus summer camps at Somerset and The Myth.

Jim Ellis is the golf coach at Walled Lake Northern High School.  He has been a high school coach for 16 years and played competitively for 25 years in GAM and Michigan Publinx Golf Association.  He has a deep passion for golf  that began when his father taught him the game at age 5.

Rob Fidler spent 11 years in retail golf sales and club-fitting and always has been active in youth sports.  He is an avid golfer and also works part-time during the summer at Glen Oaks Golf Course.

Greg Fisher is a former high school golf coach who began teaching TGA classes in 2017.  He loves playing golf for fun, competition and exercise, getting in tons of rounds in Michigan and occasionally sneaking away to warm climates in the winter.

Jenna Goss is a member of the varsity golf team at Trinity Christian in Chicago. She is a former TGA student and was an assistant coach while playing high school golf at L’Anse Creuse North.

Jeff Hansen is a PGA professional who works at Brookwood Country Club in Rochester Hills and coaches the St. Clair High School golf team.  He still finds time to teach a few TGA classes each year.

Jim Hartnett was captain of the Wayne State University golf team in 1964. He had long business career and is still a part-time marketing consultant. He plays lots of golf, does hot yoga three times a week and shot his age last year for the first time.

Tricia Hayes starting playing golf as a young adult after being a competitive tennis player.  She fell in love with the sport immediately and has been playing for 30 years, including tournaments and casual rounds with family and friends.  She still works full-time at the University of Michigan but finds time to teach an occasional TGA after-school class.

Ben Herteg  is so passionate about the game that his email address includes back9charge. Despite a full-time job at Troy Motor Mall, Ben finds time to teach a few after-school classes.

Sarah Hohensee is a student at Oakland University and former varsity golfer for Lutheran North. She was an assistant coach throughout high school and has worked many after-school classes and summer camps.

Evelyn Kensicki learned about TGA through a former coach. She enthusiastically jumped in as an assistant coach, then quickly volunteered to lead after-school classes and our Rammler summer camp.  She has been playing golf for 30 years and regularly shoots in the high 70s and low 80s.  She also teaches piano and works with her husband’s football and wrestling teams doing photos for fundraisers. Evelyn was TGA’s lead instructor of the year for 2019.

Dennis Kensicki is a long-time school teacher in St. Clair Shores who also coaches middle-school football and wrestling.  He is an avid golfer and plays often with his wife Evelyn (winning a few times a year).  Dennis teaches after-school classes in the spring after his wrestling season ends, and works every summer at our Rammler camps.

Daniel Kleczynski is an enthusiastic golfer who works at Salem Hills Golf Course in the summer.  He has played in many competitive golf events, and spent more than 15 years working with children at before and after-school programs in Livonia.  Daniel teaches many after-school classes and our summer camps at Hilltop.

Lauren Kotzian is a teacher in the Huron Valley School District.  She started playing golf with her grandmother at age 5 and has been passionate about the game ever since.  Her high school team finished fourth in states.

Tom Leone recently retired as food and beverage manager at the downtown Mariott Hotel.  He has been playing golf for 50 years and enjoys many rounds in metro Detroit and Northern Michigan.  Before joining TGA he worked extensively with kids in youth baseball and Boy Scouts.

Jack Light recently retired after a long business career and is staying busy with grandchildren and golf.  In addition to playing as much as he can, he is teaching TGA classes and working in the pro shop at Glen Oaks Golf Course.

Nick Lico is an avid golfer and student of the game who has worked with kids his entire life, teaching golf, roller hockey and soccer. He has taught TGA after-school classes since 2009 and also works occasionally at our Macomb County summer camps.  Nick was TGA’s lead instructor of the year in 2016 and finished second in TGA’s national coach-of-the-year competition.

David Locke is a Michigan native who returned to the metro area after spending several years in Arizona, where he taught for the First Tee. David is a regular instructor at our Oak Ridge and Glacier summer camps.

Mike Mercier is a former TGA student who became an assistant coach while playing varsity golf for Berkley High School.  He is now a member of the varsity golf team at University of Michigan-Dearborn. Mike is a lead instructor for many after-school classes and runs our summer camps and leagues at  Maples Golf Course.  Mike was TGA’s assistant coach of the year for 2017.

Lee Longstreet is the teaching pro at Henriksen’s Driving Range and also teaches in the winter at Indoor Golf Club of Michigan in Fraser. Lee began teaching TGA after-school classes in 2008. He now runs our winter-break camp at Indoor Golf Club.  Lee recently turned 70 and has shot his age seven times.

Heath Morden is a PGA professional who has worked at TPC Dearborn and clubs in Arizona and Tennessee. He grew up in West Michigan, received his golf management degree from Ferris State and now lives in Canton.

Gene Myers succeeded Dave Robinson as sports editor of the Detroit Free Press in 1993 and stayed in that role until he retired at the end of 2015.  That means the Free Press had two sports editors from 1985 to 2015.  During the same period the Lions had 10 head coaches.  Gene’s first year of retirement was incredibly active, filled with hiking, running, cycling, yoga and some book projects.  He added TGA classes in 2017, bringing his enthusiasm and sense of humor to after-school classes in West Wayne.   At the Free Press, Gene was a regular member of the Writers’ Cup team, which beat the Detroit News in a Ryder-Cup style golf event nearly every year.

Alex Parry is a student at Oakland Community College who has worked in a variety of roles at Fieldstone Golf Course in Auburn Hills, including running the Fieldstone junior program.  He is a former varsity golfer at Lake Orion High School.

Ann Parvin is a long-time LPGA professional who has taught many juniors and adults in private lessons, camps and clinics.  Ann joined TGA in 2014 and teaches many after-school classes and summer sessions.

Pamela Panagos recently retired from the Livonia School District, where she worked in before- and after-care programs. She has been playing golf with family and friends for 40 years and loves introducing children to a life-long game.

Brett Pawlowski is a student at Michigan State University and has been a fixture at our Macomb County summer camps and many after-school classes. He is a former TGA student and played golf at Dakota High School.

James Robinson is a retired science teacher in Detroit and Southfield Public Schools.  He discovered TGA while working as a golf course ranger during one of our summer camps.  James plays lots of golf in leagues and is always working on his game.

Benjamin Rush is a freshman at Oakland University and was recently promoted to lead instructor after being named assistant coach of the year for 2020. He is a former TGA student and was an assistant throughout his years on the Troy High golf team.

Barb Rupas has tons of experience working with children as a recreation supervisor, camp counselor, golf instructor and coach of baseball, softball and soccer teams.  She is currently involved in Michigan Women’s Golf Association and LPGA Amateur Golf Association and plays in several golf leagues.

Karen Sharp is retired after working as a journalist for Automotive News and the Oakland Press. She is an avid golfer and also enjoys biking, hiking and kayaking.  Karen  started working with children as a volunteer for the First Tee.  She recently joined TGA for the last two sessions of summer camp and is now a lead instructor for after-school classes.

Mariella Simoncini is a varsity golfer at Oakland University.  She worked as an assistant coach throughout her years at Northville High School and has recruited many of her friends and teammates for the TGA team.

Dylan Sokol is a varsity golfer at Cleary University. He is a former TGA student and was an assistant coach throughout his time on the golf team at Walled Lake Northern High School.

Lynne Thompson recently retired after 38 years as a teacher in Northville Public Schools, teaching all subjects Grade 6-8, including special education.  She is a lifelong golfer, swimmer, skier and basketball player.  She found out about TGA from friends in her golf league.

Adam Wagenknecht first learned about TGA in the fall of 2016 when he signed up his kindergarten son for the after-school class at Great Oaks Elementary.  Adam sells advertising for C&G Newspapers and has a flexible schedule some afternoons, so he immediately inquired about coaching opportunities. He started as an assistant coach for two classes, then subbed as a lead instructor when we had an emergency, then became a full-fledged lead instructor. Adam has a long background in golf, as a caddy at Country Club of Detroit and varsity player at Roseville High.

Laura Winch is retired after 40-plus years in medical sales.  She is former president of the metro Detroit Chapter of LPGA Amateur Golf Association.  She was previously active in Campfire Girls.

Robyn Wind is the mother of two TGA students and  daughter of Hall of Fame high school coach Lori Gill, who coached for 31 years at Lutheran North. Robyn played for Lutheran North and now plays many multi-generational family rounds.

ADULT ASSISTANT COACHES

Conor Barry

Ann Batory

Myra Cartwright

Jennifer Kowalczyk

Grace Leone

Randi Miller

Kevin Northup

Susan Rubin

Carol Thompson

Joanna Vaghy

Bruce Williams

COLLEGE ASSISTANT COACHES
Albion — Emily Abramczyk

Arizona — Rebekah Drake

Clemson — Luke Babington

Detroit Mercy — Ariel Chang

Grand Valley State — Sarah Himmelsbaugh

Hope — Parker McClure

Kalamazoo — Ella Szczublewski

Lawrence Tech — Jaden Denyes

Miami (Ohio) — Mia Sooch

Macomb Community College — Joey Jecks

Michigan — Audrey Becker, Jennifer Liu, Emma Ni, Mikaela Schulz

Michigan State —  Liam Anderson, Paul Didio, Teagan Fuqua, Emily Hassinger, Emily Lin, Carly Ortwine,  Colin Segasser,  Owen Vanderweele

Oakland Community College — Mackenzie Kotsonas

Oakland University — Emily Hohensee, Andrew Lack, Seth Waters.

Wayne State — Nathan Alcantara, Bryn Duncan, Max O’Rourke

HIGH SCHOOL ASSISTANT COACHES
Almont — Olivia Kotelnicki

Avondale — Ria Narang

Berkley — Marley DeRoven

Birmingham Groves — Riley Sauter

Birmingham Seaholm — Parker Salciccioli

Bloomfield Hills — Brooke Bugajewski, Lauren Kupelian, Krista Studier

Divine Child — Erin McCormick, Mary Ronayne

Dakota — Helen Buk, Ryan Denyes

DeLaSalle — Luke Smith, Collin Urbas

Grosse Pointe South — Alex Blyth, Cate Hampton, Sabel Imesch, Skip Moody, Tenley Stiyer

Grosse Pointe North — Morgan McIntyre, Jadon Oberg

International Academy Bloomfield Hills — Jessica Finney, Kevin Lai, Amelia Lin

International Academy Macomb — Nick Kozierowski

L’Anse Creuse — Carson Butt, Mason Morris-Krause, Taylor Pickett, Samantha Raedel

L’Anse Creuse North — Morgan Jones

Lake Orion — Olivia DeVries

Lakeland — Bryn Dubin

Livonia Franklin — Sandreea Cueva

Lutheran North — Sarah Doletzky, Adam Mohr, Landon Nilson, Saige Rothey, Lauren Timpf

Northville — Samantha Coleman, Meghana Lanka, Megha Vallabhaneni

Plymouth — Brooke Morris, Sydney Mazur

Renaissance — Nyla Copeland

Rochester Adams — Nalin Gupta, Daniel Lee, Grace Wang

Rochester High — Brooke Haney, Trina Mollicone

Rochester Stoney Creek — Addie Delcamp

Romeo — Dominic DeLaura, Matthew Himmelsbaugh

Royal Oak — Kalli Roelofs

Salem — Ian Miller, Isaac Rej

Troy — Uday Jalf, Zach Penoza, Leo Penoza, Theresa Wei

University of Detroit Jesuit — Luke Floyd

Utica High — Grant Freestone, Chase Nardi

Utica Stevenson — Megan Luke

Walled Lake Central — Ethan Oblak

Walled Lake Northern — Ryan O’Rourke, Jack Holland, Andy O’Keefe

 

Company History

2003

TGA launched its first Golf Enrichment Programs at six Los Angeles schools. TGA’s focus was to provide PK – 8th grade students with an opportunity to learn golf through an innovate 5 level after-school program. This program made golf affordable and accessible for children, and received an overwhelmingly positive response from schools, parents and students. TGA expanded its programs within Los Angeles area schools to accommodate the demands from students and parents who wanted a golf program within the safe, convenient environment of their schools. The curriculum also provided transition for students to go from their schools to programs at the golf course.

2004

TGA’s first camps and clinics were offered at golf courses. TGA also incorporated the expansion of physical fitness and education components as well as adding a character development initiative within its school programs.

2006

Golf professionals along with entrepreneurs began expressing their interest in the unique sustainable and scalable model of TGA. By the end of 2006, after three years of honing and improving the TGA business model and curriculums, TGA began offering geographically exclusive franchisees which became the TGA Premier Junior Golf Program now running throughout the United States.

2008

The USGA approved TGA’s curriculum under the rules of amateur status and TGA became National Partners with the After School Alliance and the President’s Council on Physical Fitness.

2009

TGA achieved its first ranking in Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500, and won two industry awards for Business Achievement and Player Development.

2010

Golf Magazine named TGA’s CEO, Joshua Jacobs to Golf’s 40 Under 40 list. TGA was named as one of 10 Best Franchise Deals around the world by Entrepreneur, along with jumping 131 spots in Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 ranking from #450 to #319. TGA was also termed the 4th best youth fitness franchise. TGA also formed the 501c3 TGA Sports Foundation, to be able to apply for grants and funding to serve under-resourced areas as well as mentally and physically disabled youth.

2011

TGA gained its 50th franchise along with having seven multiple franchise owners across the country. TGA also branched out into the sport of tennis, signing a National Partnership with the United States Tennis Association (USTA). TGA’s model is now being offered in both the golf and tennis industries and is known as a leading initiative to grow both sports while providing small business ownership and job opportunities. The TGA / USTA proprietary Enrichment Curriculum is solely used by TGA Franchises within schools. TGA works with USTA National along with USTA Sections, Districts and CTA’s to complete the Player Pathway and help feed the USTA’s adult and junior initiatives to grow the sport.

2012

TGA signs its first tennis franchise. TGA’s Youth Sports Franchise model is now one of the fastest at growing junior golf and youth tennis participation amongst 3-13 year olds. TGA’s motto is to Keep Swinging!® and we strive to provide all American youth with the opportunity to learn golf and tennis in a fun and educational environment.

2017

TGA launches a third franchise opportunity that includes 6 team-based sports: cheerleading, flag football, floor hockey, lacrosse, ultimate, and volleyball.

2018

TGA celebrates its 15th anniversary and impacting over 775,000 children through sports programs across the U.S. and Canada.

2019

TGA debuts enhanced franchise structure to stay in line with the latest market trends and industry standards.

2020

TGA launches a virtual sports program to help our youth to Keep Playing!® at home.

Partners