There hasn’t been a Frederick area PGA Tour winner since Donnie Hammond’s 1989 Texas Open triumph.
A master teacher arriving at just the right place to optimize a rising wave of young talent hopes to help end the 28-year drought one day.
Steve Bosdosh, a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher in America since 2001, was so inspired by the area’s junior pipeline, the Clarksburg resident moved his Steve Bosdosh Golf Academy this offseason from private Members Club at Four Streams in Beallsville to Ijamsville’s daily fee, The Club at P.B. Dye.
Bosdosh is one of three Maryland Top 100 Teachers but he is the state’s only Top 100 public-course golf guru.
The wizardry of Boz includes fixing current PGA, LPGA and Champions Tour pros such as local hero Fred Funk and garnering 300-plus college golf scholarships for his students, including two sons and two daughters, across 34 years of instruction.
It’s possible the next PGA winner from this area might even prove to be Bosdosh’s youngest son, Sean, 24, who qualified for the 2016 U.S. Open as first on-site alternate at Oakmont. Though no one withdrew, a week spent with the world’s best players propelled Sean to earn his PGA/Latin Tour card this winter.
“There’s no doubt with Steve here, there will be another PGA winner from Frederick County,” Urbana High golf coach Frank Ferrari said. “It’s just a matter of time.
“I’m so excited Steve’s in Frederick County. He’s only going to make our youth golf better.”
Bosdosh and his wife, Debbie, a certified personal trainer specializing in golf fitness, bring a one-stop shop approach to customized game, strength improvement.
Plans include an all-weather training center complemented by high-tech tools, including a FlightScope X3 launch monitor, a BodiTrack pressure mat capturing balance patterns and a brain-wave Focus Band worn to train the brain into calmer focus.
“My niche in this marketplace has always been juniors, partly because I’ve had four of my own,” Bosdosh said.
Bosdosh re-connected last year with newly-appointed P.B. Dye general manager/head pro Jon LeSage, a friend from their 1980s tenure at TPC Avenel in Potomac, where Bosdosh taught 12 years.
LeSage convinced Bosdosh to meet with senior vice president Michael Kim, who sold Bosdosh on leaving Four Streams.
“Michael wanted to make this the premier learning facility in the area,” Bosdosh said. “There’s a Top 100 teacher at Caves Valley and Elkridge (near Baltimore). Both are private.
“The ability to be a Top 100 at a daily-fee facility where there’s no limit to access, then, creating this academy was something we couldn’t turn down.
“They’re very kid-friendly here. Course access has always been one of the issues with junior golf.”
Bosdosh teaches all ages, but offers a finishing school for promising juniors hoping to earn a college golf scholarship.
“My vision is to have an academy for the elite juniors in this region,” Bosdosh said.
“The plan is to have from 70 to 100 junior golfers here over the next 12 months; and have a place for at least introducing golf to juniors 6 to 8. Then, use that as a feeder system for developing better players.”
Bosdosh is akin to a surfer paddling out to meet a primo set of incoming breakers.
“You’re going to see some really strong players from this area the next four, five years. We’re already seeing it,” Bosdosh said.
“Urbana has one of the state’s top programs (2009, ‘10, ‘11 state titles).”
Ferrari’s son, Jacob, 15, is a highly-competitive freshman and a Bosdosh protégé of three years.
“We wouldn’t send Jacob anywhere else,” Ferrari said.
“People ask me all the time, ‘Who’s the best teaching coach?’ Steve is.”
Worthington Manor pro Ed Coyle does a great job honing prodigies from Urbana, headlined by Faith Choi.
While Coyle has attracted 20-something newcomers — and with similar youth programs at Holly Hills County Club and Sabre Golf and Rec — Bosdosh is the go-to guru.
Junior camps are scheduled for June, July and August with sign-ups available on SteveBosdosh.com.
A former Tour dream chaser born in golf holy land, 10 miles from Arnold Palmer’s Latrobe, Pennsylvania, hometown, Bosdosh, 55, has wise eyes and an easy-going manner. He knows what it’s like “to be so nervous you feel like you’re going to throw up on the first tee.” Having played in three PGA events, he can spot and perfect the fearless soul of the gifted.
With his uncanny ability to analyze, Bosdosh lifted Funk from his own funk.
Funk was laser accurate on the range. But when Bosdosh caddied for him during a tournament, he saw six scattered pre-shot routines. Funk now uses one.
“That’s why following players on the course is invaluable,” Bosdosh said.
Bosdosh gets the biggest hazard derailing young golfers.
“I just got an email from a father struggling with video games and where to draw the line,” Bosdosh said. “His kid is 8 and phenomenal.
“I really want to give kids a reason to get outside, walk, play nine holes, have fun.”