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TEACHING HER LOVE OF GOLF

Jan Johnson's pupils learn from her passion for the game.

Jan Johnson's life is situated around the game of golf.

She spends most days working at the Groves Golf and Country Club. And when she goes home, she returns to her house near the Jan Johnson Golf Academy at Golden Run Ranch.

For her, it's perfect.

After all, she has been hooked on the game since she was 10 years old, living in Kentucky. Then, she joined her dad on a trip to the country club. She went on to win the city championship and eventually the high school state championship.

The thing Johnson probably finds the most appealing about golf is its technical nature. The intricate details are enough to keep the 56-year-old coming back for more. That's just how her brain works.

After attending and playing golf at Western Kentucky, Johnson especially took advantage of her mechanical skills. Then, she just did whatever needed doing around her parents' house. Sometimes that meant working on the ceiling, other times painting, other times building walls. She was never bored and her motivation was simple.

"I used to do it to support my amateur golf habit," Johnson said.

While she honed her mechanical capabilities, she also improved her golfing skills.

She played in some qualifiers for amateur women tournaments and turned pro by the time she was 25 years old.

Then she moved to Florida. Her game plan was to move down here and go back to tour school.

So in 1978, she started working at Beacon Woods. She joined the PGA in 1981, becoming one of the first five women to do so. And by 1983, she had qualified twice for the Women's Open.

But eventually she got a bit sidetracked by the business.

"I tried to qualify maybe two more times, but I've played so little because I've gotten involved in the business side," Johnson said. "I play in Pro-Ams, and I can still hit it, but it's a different ball game. You have to get that competitive mind-set."

And Johnson is perfectly happy teaching the game. That's why she started her golf academy, which is devoted to young golfers and named after her golden retrievers.

And that's why she spends her Saturdays working with clients at the Groves.

But for all her success, she doesn't attribute it to natural ability.

"Anything I've learned, I learned from hard work," Johnson said.

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