Kevin Rooney ‘02, owner of TGA Premier Golf and Tennis of Bergen and Westchester County, turned his love of golf into a successful career and returns for a second year as the SJR golf coach. We sat with him to learn about his plans for the team and his outlook on the golfing industry.
After graduating magna cum laude from the University of Tampa with a double major in marketing and sport management, Rooney returned to the northern New Jersey area with the goal finding a job that combined his love of golf with his recently-earned degree.
It did not take long for him to achieve that goal.
At the age of twenty-two, he became a franchise owner of TGA Premier Golf in Bergen County and the youngest franchise owner in the organization’s history. TGA allowed him to use his marketing major, to continue being involved with golf on a professional basis and to introduce the sport he loved to youth in the area.
TGA, short for Total Golf Adventure, provides after-school opportunities for elementary school children to learn the sport of golf right in their own school. It was the perfect fit for Rooney. He could use his degree and share his love of golf.
“I liked the idea of having an impact on local children and communities where I grew up," Rooney explained.
Since then, his business has evolved into a multi-sport company, offering a total of eight sports, including golf, tennis, flag football, ultimate Frisbee, lacrosse, volleyball, floor hockey and cheerleading.
Rooney was on the golf and bowling teams while at SJR. Reflecting on the people he met while in school, he remarked, “I developed some great relationships that I still value to this day. I learned what it meant to be hardworking and dedicated to whatever I set out to do. Those values have stuck with me and helped me be successful in my professional and personal life.”
As the SJR golf coach, he has a lot of plans in store for the team. There is a large amount of interest this year with 28 students, mostly underclassmen, attending the initial meeting. The final team will be down to about 12-16 players.
Rooney was pleased to see such enthusiasm for the sport and would like to form a club team and instructional clinics to foster the interest and give those who cannot play on the team a chance to flourish.
His goal is for the golf team to make the state tournament, which he admits is a lofty goal that will require a 60% winning percentage.
"We will work on each player’s score and I plan to show them how to navigate a golf course in order to give them the best chance to shoot the lowest score they can,” he explained.
Rooney advised that you need to have a short memory with golf so “you forget about the bad shot or bad round and focus on what’s ahead.”
His enthusiasm and love of the sport he has played since ten years of age are palpable. He’s eager to share his knowledge and proficiency with the SJR students. And it’s not just a high school sport.
He emphasized that golf is a great sport to play in high school and beyond. “It can be played the rest of your life - competitively, recreationally or in business careers.”
Rooney is committed to “do what I can to help each individual excel and achieve his goals.”
The Green Knight golfers are truly fortunate to have access to his experience, enthusiasm, and expertise.