October 31, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Sports News
St. Augustine, Fla. – The Palencia Club’s head golf and PGA professional John Upton is one of 29 PGA Members to recently graduate from the PGA’s America Certified Professional Program (CPP).

Upton, who has been with Palencia since 2002 and was an integral part of the golf course and clubhouse’s set up, passed the PGA ProFiciency test for certification in golf operations in late August.

“After 28 years as a member of The PGA of America, I felt the need to further my education,” Upton said. “My pursuit of a PGA Certification in golf operations was one of my goals for 2007. The entire process was fun and very enlightening.”

The seven-month, on-line program is designed to enhance the career of PGA Tour Professionals committed to continuously enhancing their golf-management skills. The program enables PGA Tour pros to participate in a structured educational curriculum designed to stay ahead of the quickly evolving and increasingly demanding world of the golf industry.

Upton’s preparation for the CPP included approximately 100 hours of studying. His courses ranged from business communications and customer relations to assessing performance and managing crisis.

Upton is one of 140 certified PGA professionals to earn their certification this year. Since the program’s inception in 2004, 316 PGA Professionals have earned a total of 521 certifications in related career paths, including general management, golf operations, instruction, retail, executive management and ownership/leasing.

Upton was born in Buffalo, NY and attended Amherst Central High School. Prior to achieving his membership into The Professional Golfers Association of America, Upton served his country in The United States Navy.

Upton’s career began in Jacksonville in 1975 at The Deerwood Club. He has since held director of golf positions at Marsh Landing, Sawgrass and Glen Kernan Golf and Country Clubs.

The Palencia Club offers a championship Arthur Hills-designed golf course. Shaped by the natural beauty of the land, this 7.071-yard masterpiece winds through centuries-old oak trees and along the Intracoastal Waterway and the Tolomato River.

A beautiful, award-winning four-story, 33,000 square foot clubhouse boasts panoramic views overlooking the ninth and eighteenth greens, a fully equipped golf pro shop, as well as men’s and women’s locker rooms. The Leaning Tree Lounge awaits golfers with full-service food and beverage.

Upton is part of a talented trio that heads up The Palencia Club and its new Palencia Putting Institute. The Institute’s director of instruction, Dan Meinert, is also the 2003 Florida State Senior Amateur Champion and assistant golf pro. Paul Rio is the course superintendent.

The Palencia Club Putting Institute offers state-of-the-art putting instruction called Laser Optics Putting Improvement System, which is used my more than 100 players on the PGA Tour to pinpoint players’ strengths and weaknesses.

The cost for Palencia Club members ranges from $149 for a two-hour private lesson and video analysis to a one-day group lesson starting at $995 for a threesome. Couples lessons are also available for $595. Non-member pricing begins at $195.

In addition to ongoing instructional programs and Laser Optics technology resources, the Palencia Putting Institute also offers regular seminars from featured golf instructors.

The Palencia Club Putting Institute is located at 600 Palencia Club Drive. For more information, please call (904) 599-9030 or visit