Golf pro job is stroke of good fortune

Things happened quickly for Fletcher Sharp of Melbourne Beach.

In early August he celebrated his 28th birthday, soon after graduating from Florida Tech with a master’s degree in business administration. Now he’s stepping up with a new job, heading the golf program at Aquarina Beach and Country Club, where he worked as the assistant golf pro for 15 months.

Sharp was born in Maryland but spent 1995-2008 in Kuwait, where both his parents took jobs. Then he moved to Melbourne Beach and attended Melbourne High School for two years, before heading to Florida Tech.

Sports seemed to come naturally to Sharp. He was the MVP on his Little League baseball team in Kuwait.

“I’ve always played a lot of sports,’’ he said. “My grandfather introduced me to (golf).’’

Bill Teasley, his grandfather who did 25 years of active service in the Navy and oversaw six ships in the Korean War, passed away close to two years ago.

Sharp’s sophomore year in college is when he fell in love with golf. Through hard work Sharp has gone from an 11 to a 3.6 handicap and wants to keep improving. “I really have been playing a lot (during and since college),’’ he said. “I’m not sure what title they want to give me at the moment, but I’m running the program.’’

He feels prepared after being the top club assistant for over a year.

“I feel like I’m ready to run things,’’ he said. “I’m taking my time to prepare myself. I think Aquarina has a reputation as a nice, small course but we really made a lot of improvement.’’

The bunkers, for example, have all been redone. “It’s really turning into a course that Brevard can be proud of,’’ Sharp said.

A semi-private 18-hole course located within the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, Aquarina opened in 1996. Named for a legendary Florida conservationist, this important barrier island sanctuary is home to sea turtles, osprey, wading birds, otters, gopher tortoises, bobcats, manatee and dozens of other exotic subtropical species. Designed by Charles Ankrom, the contoured layout incorporates lots of twists, turns, sand, woods and water as it extends to 4,313 yards from the longest tees. This length is a true test for advanced golfers, yet three shorter tee boxes present an ideal range of challenges for novices, ladies, seniors, youngsters and families.

Aquarina is also a host facility for the game-changing PGA/USGA “Tee It Forward” program, which promotes faster play, enhanced learning and better scoring.

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