Going Above and Beyond

by Stephanie Brown


I have a tip that can take five strokes off anyone’s game: it’s called an eraser. -Arnold Palmer

Rod Ashman, a Portland native and the owner of the Celina Lynx Golf Club, has invested many years into his love for golf. Starting in high school, Rod worked for the Jay County Golf Club—washing dishes—and quickly moved up to the pro shop the following year.

“Gary Biddinger, who was a four-time, NCAA all-American, a Big 10 champion, Indiana amateur champion, and an open champion, not only taught me about golf, but he ultimately changed my life,” Rod says. “I went to college to become a physical education teacher, since I really enjoyed playing basketball and baseball in high school.

“But after spending all that time with Gary at the golf course, I learned what playing golf was really all about. He taught me how to deal with people, how to teach the game, and all the ins and outs. I finished my college education and my student teaching on a Friday, and on that next Monday, I started as a golf pro in Fort Wayne,” Rod explains.

About fourteen years ago, Rod came back to this area and began working at the Golf Club of the Limberlost in Geneva, Indiana. Throughout the years, Rod has become a well-known face there, as he manages the course and has accumulated some ownership in the business.

It was in Geneva, actually, that Rod learned the financial responsibilities of running a golf course. “You never really know how much it takes until it’s you that is signing the checks. It makes you pay attention to how much is coming in, versus how much is going out,” Rod says.

When the opportunity came along for Rod to purchase the Celina Lynx Golf Club, it proved to be a rather lengthy process that produced many sleepless nights. “My wife would fuss at me and tell me that I needed to get some rest, and I honestly would lose sleep worrying about what would happen.

“But the hardest part of it all was finding a bank that would loan me the money.” Rod chuckes. “I had to pull a rabbit out of the hat for that one, you know? I knew it would be a lot of work and cost a lot of money to get it all going, but I also knew this golf course had loads of potential, and it would be worth it.”

When the golf course was built in 1996, no costs were spared. The world-famous designer Jim Fazio, whose name can be tied to a couple of Trump’s national courses, was contracted to construct the 290 acres, Scottish Lynx-style golf course. “This place was designed to host tournaments and was brilliantly built. We have a massive driving range and lots of practice greens.

“It’s pretty exciting that we are having the ACAC (Allen County Athletic Conference) tournament here. It gives the players neutral ground to play on that is still close to home. The local Celina high school team, as well as Parkway both play here, too, and since Indiana and Ohio golf schedules are different, it works out well.”

Although Rod spends seven days a week between the two golf courses, he still depends quite a bit on his manager, Aaron Daniels to keep things together. “I hired him and showed him around, and just like that, the people over here took to him and noticed that he was sincere in showing his appreciation for them and genuinely wanted to get to know them,” Rod says.

“I couldn’t believe how well he had done and how quickly he had picked up on everything. He has a great personality, and the people over here just love him—and he loves them, too. He is better at all of that than I am, really, and I am lucky to have him on board. He has treated this as if it were his business, and those are the best people to have on your team.”

Hanging around the Celina Lynx Golf Club makes it easy to see why people keep coming back. Not only is the course challenging and fun, but the atmosphere is inviting, and the staff is friendly and helpful. There seems to be an almost playful mood in the air as the regulars hang out, exchanging stories and jokes, while filling the room with laughter. It is sure to be an exciting day meeting new people at the golf course—and an adventure guaranteed to bring smiling faces into your future!

For details on outings and to see about all the latest events happening at Celina Lynx, follow the club’s Facebook page.

Celina Lynx Golf Club
1221 Irmscher Boulevard
Celina, OH 45822
(419) 586-3102

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