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East County Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016 3 years ago

Hit or Miss: Jen Blanco

The Golf Academy at Lakewood Ranch's director of instruction takes on new role.
by: Jen Blanco Sports Editor

Jon Bullas is adding another hat to his collection. 

The Lakewood Ranch resident, who is the director of instruction for The Golf Academy at Lakewood Ranch, was named the tour director for the US Kids Tour for Sarasota earlier this summer. And after becoming a US Kids-certified instructor, Bullas hopes to create a local US Kids Golf Tour.

“My goal is to bring the number one Kids Golf Tour in the world to Sarasota-Bradenton,” Bullas said.

Through the tour, junior golfers will have the opportunity to play and compete on some of the area’s best courses while also have the chance to qualify for regional, state, national and international championships. 

Bullas plans to have fall, spring and summer seasons with six to eight events scheduled for each season. The tour also will give local players a chance to play in top notch events in their own backyard rather than traveling across the state to play. 

“There are so many children locally that play golf and don’t have the opportunity to play in quality golf tournaments,” Bullas said. “Now, people will come from other places to play in our events.” 

Bullas hopes to have between 80 and 100 players participating in the tour at any given time. The first tournament of the Sarasota Local Tour will tee off Sept. 3, at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club. Registration for the tournament is now underway and will run through Aug. 31. 

The fall season of the Sarasota Local Tour will run through Dec. 11. 

For more information and a complete schedule of area tournaments visit and search for the Sarasota Local Tour. 


Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates, Inc. announced Meghan Farrell as its new program manager for Nathan Benderson Park Aug. 5. 

In her new role, Farrell will be in charge of all programming at the Sarasota County park, including maintaining the current programming in place and adding more activities to appeal to the community’s fitness and outdoor enthusiasts. 

“We are excited to have Meghan join us to help expand the roster of activities and programs we offer the community,” said Bob Whitford, SANCA’s director of facilities and operations, in a press release. “We are confident she will be able to broaden our programming opportunities to draw more people out to the park on a regular basis.” 

A native of Phoenix, Ariz., Farrell comes to Nathan Benderson Park from the Sarasota Scullers, where she served as the varsity women’s rowing coach. During her time with the Scullers, Farrell helped two teams qualify for the USRowing Youth National Championships. 

A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, Farrell received her bachelor of science and master’s degrees in adult education with an emphasis in intercollegiate athletic administration. As an undergraduate, she rowed with Oklahoma’s women’s varsity team for four years before going on to serve as the school’s rowing director of operations and graduate assistant coach.


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