Carrying on a PGA Professional Legacy
A passion for sport is often passed down from generation to generation. In the chase of Jillian Miles, golf is in her blood.
Jillian, who also plays soccer, hockey and tennis, will be competing in the NHSGA High School Golf National Invitational at Pinehurst June 23-25, one of her first tournaments since the pandemic. But she is no stranger to the game. Jillian’s grandfather and uncle were both PGA Professionals who left a lasting legacy on the club they called home for over 60 years.
Jillian’s grandfather, John Lombardy, worked at Ekwanok Country Club for nearly 54 years. He started as a caddie and worked his way through the ranks over the years. He also ran a teaching school out of his basement, where his students ranged from family members to Abraham Lincoln’s great-great grandson. His main claim to fame was his exhibition match victory over Masters and US Open Champion Craig Wood during his prime.
Following in his footsteps, Jillian’s uncle John Lombardy Jr., also worked at Ekwanok for over 30 years. Her mother is also a very good golfer. Safe to say that growing up, Jillian had no shortage of golf knowledge and exposure.
“My mom would always tell me stories about her going down to the golf range with her dad at the country club,” Miles said. “It’s really nice to have that connection with my family."
Unfortunately, John Sr. passed away in 2007 before Jillian could really get to know him, but she does remember the impact that his passion for the game left on her.
“I didn’t know my grandfather really well, but I can remember that we would go down to his house and I would putt on the putting green in his basement, and it would just be really cool,” Miles shared.
Furthermore, she’s been able to get some important knowledge from her uncle.
“My uncle has been able to help me as a teacher and I’d go down to his driving range and he would give me tips and help me out there,” Miles said. “It was really nice to grow up surrounded by golf because it was a great way to spend time with my family as it’s something that we can all do together.”
As for her future in golf? Jillian is not opposed to carrying on the family legacy. Though her hope is to go to play golf collegiately, her ultimate goal is to become a CEO. That being said, she would be happy to become a PGA Professional herself and carry on her family’s legacy.
“I just love golf in general, I love being out on the course,” Miles said. “If I could play and be around golf every day, I absolutely would.”
Only time will tell, but for now Jillian will continue to carry on the legacy left behind by her relatives through her joy for and love of the game.