Game Changers

Winning the Same Tournament Decades Apart, Greg & Tommi Avant Now Work in Golf Together

By Abby Parsons, PGA
Published on

In the summer of 1997, Greg Avant, PGA, won the Southwest PGA Match Play Championship.
That same year his son, Tommi, was born.

Flash forward to the summer of 2022, and Tommi, now a PGA Associate, continues on the family legacy with a win at the same Match Play Championship.

“At the time, I didn’t know he had won the Match Play,” says Tommi, who's an Assistant Professional at Lone Tree Golf Club in Chandler, Arizona. “I knew he had won some majors in the Section, but I didn’t know which ones. I was just focused and motivated to win on my own. Once I found out he won this in ‘97, I thought it was so cool that we are the only father-son to win the same event in Section history.”

“Before he went into the final match, I just told him ‘Hey man, this would be pretty cool, but go do your thing,’” remembers Greg, Lone Tree's PGA Director of Golf and Owner, .

Tommi ended up beating 2022 PGA Professional Champion Jesse Mueller in the final match to claim the title. Mueller played in two major championships in 2022, has participated in 13 PGA Tour events and 19 Korn Ferry Tour events, so it was a big moment for the younger Avant.
But dad knew he had it in him.

“When Tommi is on, he is hard to beat. He will be a force for a long time,” Greg proudly says.

For a better part of two decades, Greg Avant has been at the helm of Lone Tree . . . but so has Tommi.

“He grew up coming to work with me,” Greg remembers. “When he wasn’t practicing or playing, he would be picking the range, cleaning carts, and even helping with tournaments. He started this when he was 10-years-old.”

Adds Tommi: “Growing up there, watching him manage a business, and seeing what he does day in and day out influenced me to be heading down a path toward PGA Membership.”
Young Tommi on the Lone Tree range.
Young Tommi on the Lone Tree range.
Tommi played collegiate golf at Iowa's Drake University, where he had an impressive four years. After graduation, it was up in the air what he would do next. Tommi then told his dad he got a job in New Jersey and Greg asked, “Doing what?” Tommi answered with, “I’m going to be an Assistant Professional at Arcola Country Club.”
Greg was surprised, but proud.

“I never told him what to do, all I told him was to do what he’s passionate about, and it ended up being a PGA Professional,” Greg adds. “I told him to know your priorities, and you can turn the job into whatever you want, but not to forget that it's important to make time for yourself. Always.”

After a few years getting great experience at quality golf clubs, Tommi was ready for a move back west.

“He wanted to play golf more, and I knew the opportunities to play out here in Arizona were better for him, so I offered him a job,” Greg recalls.
The Avants with Lone Tree staff during the holidays.
The Avants with Lone Tree staff during the holidays.
And now, the Avants are running it back at Lone Tree, with Tommi working alongside his father.

“Lone Tree has always been considered home for me,” Tommi says. “We both love to compete, so having an option to work and compete full time was a no brainer for me.”
Adds Greg: “We have a unique opportunity now, I never thought Lone Tree would turn into a ‘family business,’ but it's cool to have Tommi there learning what I do day-to-day and helping along the way.”

Greg looks forward to working alongside his son, and welcoming him as a fellow PGA Professional by the end of the year, as Tommi is almost completed with the PGA PGM Associate Program.

“The best part about being a PGA Professional is the relationships you create along the way. That’s what I want Tommi to enjoy, and it is pretty special that I get to watch it happen, too.”

Greg Avant, PGA