Don Thames, a longtime Rancho Murieta resident and the former golf pro at the Rancho Murieta Country Club, qualified last month for the PGA Senior Professional National Championship to be held Oct. 15-18 in Port St. Lucie, Fla. at the PGA Club. This event will advance the top 35 club professionals to the Senior PGA next May at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Okla.
Qualifying for the Senior PGA would be a milestone in Thames’ competitive golf career. He has played in four other major championships, including the 2008 and 2013 Senior US Open, 2010 US Amateur and the 2017 Senior Open in Wales. The Senior PGA would complete his personal slam. Thames is not a stranger to this competition as he played in the National Qualifier back in 2018 at the same location.
About his personal quest for a grand slam, Thames joked, “The games greatest players – Nicklaus, Woods, Palmer – counted wins for their majors. As a club pro, I’m counting participation.”
Thames, a PGA Class A professional, is currently coaching and teaching golf at Emerald Lakes Golf Course in Elk Grove. He joined the staff at Emerald Lakes this year after 10 years of employment as the director of golf at Rancho Murieta Country Club.
Thames said he is excited to be working with the Head Professional, Katie Hamilton, and the other staff at Emerald Lakes.
“The programs that are available at Emerald Lakes benefit all levels of players in the game of golf,” Thames said. “It’s a refreshing place to learn the game, and it’s a gem of a golf course with the best greens in the area.”
Thames welcomes students at all levels. Students may visit www.donthamespga.com for contact information. Or they may call Emerald Lakes directly at (916) 685-4653.