ENID, Okla. — Dave Rogers, after a year as Northwestern Oklahoma State’s golf coach, is back in Enid as the new professional at Meadowlake Municipal Golf Course.
Rogers, a 2010 Oklahoma Bible Academy and 2014 NWOSU graduate, had commuted from Enid to Alva while coaching.
“The timing was good for me,” Rogers said. “It’s a good fit for me being back in Enid. Momma Bear (wife Haleigh) enjoys me being home and not on the road.”
He said Haleigh is understanding about the long hours of the business.
Rogers, who had worked at Oakwood Country Club from 2012-20, had left the profession in 2020 to become an insurance agent. He found his heart was on the golf course.
“The whole key is finding out what you love and do everything you can do to pass it on,” he said. “Insight is always 20-20. It gave me time to reflect that golf was my calling. I’m very blessed and very humbled to be the head pro at Meadowlake.”
Rogers’ path was much different from most club pros. He had not played the game when he applied for a job in the Oakwood bag room while an OBA student.
“I was just looking forward to doing something different,” he said. “I talked with Tim (Oakwood pro Mendenhall). I owe it all to him taking a chance on me.”
A summer stint at Oakwood National in Edmond would sell him on golf as a profession.
“I knew I wanted to be around golf,” he said.
He enrolled in a PGA certification program in 2014-15. He went to seminars where he learned the fundamentals of giving lessons, as well as the business end.
Rogers estimated he was a 19 to 20 handicapper when he started, but with hard work, was able to pass the player certification test (154 over 36 holes) on his first try. He is a Class A level PGA professional.
He took a special pride when Mendenhall told him he had other assistants in the past that didn’t pass it the first time.
“I put in the work,” he said. “Like Tiger (Woods) says, I earned it. I was lucky enough to have a great PGA pro in my backyard.”
Rogers said he owes everything to Mendenhall, who he said was responsible for not only making him a golfer but a good human being and father as well.
“People don’t know how lucky Enid is to have someone like Tim at Oakwood,” Rogers said. “He was a father figure to me.”
Rogers, after going into insurance, played on Meadowlake’s Enid Ryder Cup team. He sometimes would play at Meadowlake when Oakwood was closed on Mondays.
Rogers has a long relationship with Michael League, Meadowlake’s director of golf.
He sees his job as not only giving lessons and running the pro shop but to assist League with tournaments and developing junior golf. League, Mendenhall and Rogers overlooked a junior team competition between Meadowlake and Oakwood this summer.
“That was very successful,” Rogers said. “It was a great opportunity to get back to the old days. For any golf course to be successful, it has to have a good junior program. Ours is good. It can only get better.”
He had close relationships with predecessors Cody Lack and Steve Darnold.
“I’m still getting used to the course,” Rogers said. “It’s a little different from Oakwood to Meadowlake for sure.”
Rogers considers himself a teacher first. He points out club pros don’t have the time to work on their own game because of helping others with their games.
He will miss coaching at NWOSU.
“Coaching was great,” he said. “It’s something that I knew I always wanted to do. I was basically their caddie looking for information. Going around the course with them was a blast.”
But with daughter Collins just turning 1, it was important to spend more time at home.
“Being around the family was important,” Rogers said. “I was having to travel back and forth a lot. I was fortunate this job opened up.”