The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 13 No. 11 - December 26, 2012


Legendary golfer Hollis Stacy inspires kids

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Ryan Hogan | submitted
World Hall of Fame LPGA golfer Hollis Stacy and Bud Stokes
Junior Golf LPGA instructor Maryann Modrak, of Pope
Golf School, teach the children the finer points of golf.


World Golf Hall of Fame professional golfer Hollis Stacy shared her passion for golf with the aspiring children of the Anna Maria Island Community Center’s Bud Stokes Junior Golf program. Last week at Key Royale Club, seven lucky children in the program were treated to a surprise visit from Hollis and received two hours of instruction from the legendary golfer.

Hollis Stacy said, “Golf has been such a big part of my life, I really enjoy working with young aspiring golfers to ensure the future of the sport.”

She started playing at a young age and had just turned 15 at the time of her first Junior Girls' win, making her, at that time, the youngest to win the event.

Her golf career started at a young age not far from where the Master’s is played in Georgia. She became a member of the LPGA Tour in 1974, and by the end of her illustrious career, she had won four major championships and 18 LPGA Tour events. From 1977 through 1985, Stacy was one of the top players on the tour. She was elected into the World Golf Hall of Fame in November 2011 and was inducted in May 2012. She is also a member of the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame and played on the U.S. Curtis Cup team in 1972.

Hollis joined in on the instruction with the programs LPGA instructor Maryann Modrak, of Pope Golf School. They taught the kids the finer points of grip, approach and follow though before playing a few holes on the course. Other skills the program is currently working on are putting, reading greens, chipping and driving. Emphasis is given every day to rules and proper golf etiquette as well.

Having the children’s Bud Stokes Junior Golf program facilitated at Key Royale has been very worthwhile. Golf can be played for a liftime. The professionals and members of the Club are now giving back to the aspiring younger generation to ensure the future of the sport. The Key Royale members are excited to have the youngsters there and the intergenerational cooperation between much different age groups has been very meaningful and fulfilling.

For more information on the remainder of the first session and session two that begins in April, contact Ryan Hogan of the Community Center at 941-778-1908, ext. 9219.


Good news at Senior Games

As I write this, yet another tragedy is breaking about someone murdering children at an elementary school. Oddly enough, I didn’t even know about it until I posted a shopping-on-a-budget video on my book’s Facebook page and a commenter wrote, “How can we talk about shopping with this insanity going on?”

I had intended to write about my experience at the Florida International Senior Games last weekend. (Yes, there were athletes from outside the U.S.) I figure the media will be filled with stories about this horrible shooting and others from the past. But I only get about 200 words here, so I’m going to try and write a positive story about a positive experience I recently had.

I really believe that we must return to some kind of back to basics – working in gardens as families, connecting with the earth and animals, eating healthy foods, exercising and pulling away from the distractions that keep us from connecting to our basic, good core values.

As I wrote last week, I stressed a little over competing in the state Florida International Senior Games. I qualified for the state games held in Winter Haven at local games held in the Sarasota/Bradenton area. My times were :06 slower than NCAA girls in 100 meters. Although I trained exclusively for the 100 meters, I signed up for three more races, the 200-, 400- and 1500-meter races, just hoping I might qualify for nationals in at least one of them.

In Winter Haven, on a beautiful rubber track, unlike any of the injury-inducing asphalt tracks in our area, the 100 meter race was the first event. I ran it in the same qualifying time I clocked six months ago: 20 seconds. We were paired in the various heats with competitors of all ages whose qualifying times were close to each others.’ That was to make it more competitive. So I had no idea until I went to the results table whether I placed or not.

Then I ran the 400 meters, then the 1500, which was almost a mile or thre and a half laps around the track. I had given myself permission to not run my final event if I felt spent. But even though it was hot and humid, I thought, “200 meters is only another half lap. I’ve run marathons. This is nothing.” So I did the 200 too. Not many other women ran as many events.

Much to my delight, I found that I placed third in state in my age group in the 200, 400 and 1500. The irony is that I placed higher in events I didn’t even train for. But it was all fun.

I received the most beautiful laser-engraved medals I’ve ever received at a race. I’ve placed in my five-year age group 28 times since 2008. I joke that at my age, 60, it is often about just showing up. The Senior Games is known in the serious endurance running community as not being competitive, at least at the local level. When I’ve competed in the local Sarasota/Bradenton games, I’ve often been the only woman in my age group. But that was definitely not the case at the state and national level. There were more than 300 athletes at Winter Haven.

I also placed fourth in state in the 100 meters. Placing in the top four spots in the state makes me eligible to compete in the National Senior Games in Cleveland this summer.

One of my private hire personal training clients, a wonderfully in shape senior, asked that I bring all of my medals so she could take a picture. She sweetly said she’s going to plaster my business cards all over her condominium complex. If this doesn’t get more clients, I don’t know what will. Gotta run!

You can follow Island resident Ellen Jaffe Jones on her Facebook page and keep up with her just released book:,"Eat Vegan on $4 a Day," or her website: She is also a nationally certified personal trainer and running coach. For training in a gym or private hire, contact Ellen at or 941-704-1025.

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