Jason Allred is once again a rookie.
With that comes challenges one might expect: a learning curve, a schedule change, new relationships, new responsibilities.
The professional golfer from Ashland will no longer regularly tour the country — and other parts of the world — chasing victories and earning paychecks.
“Since college, that’s all I’ve ever known, vocationally,” said the 37-year-old, who lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. “This is brand new. Competing is all I’ve ever done.”
“This” is his new job as a full-time staff member with College Golf Fellowship, a nonprofit ministry aimed at college players and trickling into the professional ranks.
Allred has been a fan of CGF since his days at Pepperdine, when the Waves attended retreats at the home of PGA stars. Staff members at the ministry have become good friends of his over nearly 20 years.
He didn’t expect to ever be working for the organization, but it seems a perfect fit. His unwavering faith, interest in mentoring, educational background and 15 years as a tour player all align well with CGF and its mission.
“As much as I love golf,” said Allred, “what I’m discovering I might love more is a chance to leave golf and make a positive impact on young guys’ lives.”
The path to this new venture was dictated by his play over the last year and a half or so. He played in 19 Web.com Tour events last year and made the cut only six times, earning $12,876.
He attended Web.com Q school last fall and got off to a rousing start in the first stage, going 20 under through four rounds and finishing second by one stroke.
In the second stage in November, Allred tied for 49th. The top 19 and ties advanced to the final stage for a chance to make the tour.
With no status on the Web.com, he tried Monday qualifying in a few PGA Tour events, but didn’t make it into the field. His best showing was in January at the Sony Open in Hawaii, where he lost in a playoff to get into the tournament.
The following month, he joined CGF.
He will still have chances to get in Monday qualifiers for PGA events, particularly in the fall when the tour swings through the West.
“They’ve (CGF) really encouraged me to feel the freedom to go out and play occasionally,” said Allred.
But he’s intent first on immersing himself in his new job and his growing family. He and his wife, Kimberly, had their fourth child, a boy they named Boden, three weeks ago.
There are 19 CGF staff members who work three regions of the country. Allred is in the West.
In the winter and spring, he hosted breakfast and Bible study on Fridays, then the participants went out and teed it up.
He also visited college teams.
Until Allred came aboard, CGF didn’t have anyone based in the golf-rich Scottsdale area, nor does it have anyone in the Northwest.
“There’s a ton of exciting work to be done here,” he said.
A number of top professionals host CGF retreats at their homes. Among them, Davis Love III, Zach Johnson, Justin Leonard, Ben Crane and Webb Simpson.
“They open their homes and have up to 100 college golfers sleeping everywhere in their house,” said Allred.
Other times, they might bring in popular speakers to teach the Bible and God’s life for them, he said.
It’s a melding of life and Christianity and building community, said Allred.
“It’s a cool thing to get to mentor them during crucial years in their lives,” he said.
Allred will host a retreat of his own at his family’s whitewater rafting camp near Happy Valley, California, July 18-21.
Allred didn’t win on the PGA or Web.com tours like he thought he could, he said.
But the young players he mentors seem happy to spend time with someone who’s had two full seasons on the PGA Tour, many more on the Web.com and nearly played his way to the PGA with a storybook 2014 that included a tie for third at the Northern Trust Open.
"That credibility," he said, "has provided me a great opportunity and platform to initiate relationships with the young guys.
“They probably wouldn’t want to hear about life or golf from someone just hacking it around.”
As for stepping away from competitive golf on a regular basis?
“I don’t feel like I’m giving up something as much as I’m gaining something,” said Allred. “I’m not necessarily sad about it, but excited about it.”
HAMMER TIME: Medford’s Baylee Hammericksen won the Intermediate Girls Division (ages 12-14) in the 87th Bob Norquist Junior Amateur Friday at Bandon Dunes.
Hammericksen defeated Franca Polla, of Portland, 2-up, in the title match. Hammericksen opened the tournament with a 76 in stroke-play qualifying, beating Polla by one shot.
In her three matches leading up to the finals, Hammericksen won twice by 8 and 6 and once by 4 and 2.
DAKOTAS TOUR: Someone with ties to the Rogue Valley has taken the Dakotas Tour by storm, but it’s not former Rogue River standout Kevin Murphy, who turned pro recently and joined the mini circuit.
Murphy, the subject of this column prior to venturing forth, has missed the cut in his two events as he gets his feet wet.
Doug Quinones, meanwhile, in his fifth year on the tour, has won its first three events.
The latest was the one-day GreatLIFE Willow Run pro-am Thursday. He shot a 5-under 66 and earned $1,735.
His other two wins came in the South Dakota Open Pro-Am and the Fox Run Pro-Am, bringing in $10,000 and $11,000, respectively.
Quinones was raised in Northern California but spent his summers in the Rogue Valley after his father took a winemaking job here.
Quinones worked at Centennial Golf Club for a time and had the course record of 63 before it was matched in the American Junior Golf Association tournament.
SOLD! H. Chandler Egan’s medals from the 1904 St. Louis Olympics were sold at auction recently.
Egan, revered both as a golfer and a course architect when he lived in Medford from 1911 until his death in 1936, earned a gold medal in team competition and a silver in individual play.
The gold medal — one of only three from the Olympics known to exist — went for $120,000, and the silver sold for $42,517. The silver is the lone individual medal whose whereabouts are known.
The medals were put up by Egan’s family and sold at the Lelands.com Invitational Auction, which closed June 30.
— Have a local golf story idea? Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4479 or firstname.lastname@example.org