Jordan Ropp

East Linn Christian Academy graduate Jordan Ropp is the new head golf pro at Corvallis Country Club.

Jordan Ropp did not take the usual path to become a golf professional.

Growing up, he had limited exposure to golf and didn't begin to play the sport seriously until his senior year of high school. 

"I grew up on a farm. It was mostly farm work in the summer, heavy things," Ropp said.

But when some of his friends joined the East Linn Christian Academy golf team his senior year, he decided to take a break from track and field and give the sport a try.

"I just fell in love with it, kept going after that. Took some advanced golf classes through Oregon State and kept playing as much as I could," Ropp said.

Even still, he had no thoughts of making golf his career. He graduated from Oregon State with a degree in exercise and sport science and entered the workforce. After bouncing around a couple of jobs, he spoke with a family friend who had lived in Hawaii for the past 30 years.

Ropp sent out a number of resumes and quickly had a series of interviews lined up in the state. One of those interviews was at the Waikoloa golf resort on the main island of Hawaii.

Ropp aced the interview and soon found himself helping travelers make tee times. Ropp impressed the resort's management and was quickly promoted to manager on duty.

After working in that capacity for a time, Ropp was asked if would like to enter an apprenticeship program operated by the Professional Golfers' Association.

This program is designed to prepare individuals to serve as golf instructors and to understand the business side of a local golf club. 

There are two different paths through the PGA program. One path is through working with a university. Because Ropp already had a degree from Oregon State, he chose the independent study route. The program allows up to eight years for completion, but Ropp was determined to finish in two years or less.

"I knew that I could get it done within two years if I really worked at it. So I had a goal and was able to do it in just under two years," Ropp said.

As a newly minted PGA Professional, Ropp now had a wide range of options. 

"I could teach, instruct, I could get a job as a head golf professional or an assistant, to run a golf course or a resort," Ropp said.

He and his wife, Seneca, were interested in returning to Oregon so he took a position at the Tetherow Resort in Bend. He spent about two years there before joining the Corvallis Club this spring.

Ropp is the head golf professional at the Corvallis Club. He is in charge of all golf activities, including giving individual and group lessons and running the other golf programs.

As an instructor, Ropp emphasizes helping each person find his or her own best swing, rather than dictating one swing type for everyone. This is partly due to the fact that his own swing in unique and is shaped by the back problems he has suffered going back to high school.

"My swing stems from that and the lack of mobility growing up. Now I'm a lot better as far as mobility and health-wise," Ropp said. "The business side aspect, I've been blessed to be at a couple of clubs - at Waikoloa and at Tetherow - where my mentors were able to push me in every aspect of the golf operations on the business side to prepare me for something like this."

Returning to Oregon proved to be the right move for the Ropps. Their daughter, Emalina, was born in Hawaii. In July 2018, they welcomed a son, Henry, to their family. Tragically, he died at three days old. 

"We are still healing, but our faith pushes us through," Ropp said. "We know he's in heaven with some of his other cousins."

Jordan and Seneca are expecting another child in January.

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