Club pro looking to give something back

By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer

Like most passionate golfers, former Clovis resident Eddie Ainsworth has aspirations in his youth of the PGA Tour.

Ainsworth, though, said he’s comfortable with his station in life — serving as the head pro at the Air Force Academy’s Eisenhower Golf Club in Colorado Springs and teaching the game to youngsters.

“My forte is managing golf operations,” said Ainsworth, 42, who lived in Clovis from 1980-88 and whose parents and a brother still reside here. “My area of expertise, teaching-wise, is in junior golf. That’s my passion.”

Ainsworth will be in Clovis later this week, working a free junior golf clinic at Chaparral Country Club on Friday. The clinic will be for ages 8-10 from 9 a.m. to noon and for ages 11-13 from 1:30-4:30 p.m.

“I do clinics in conjunction with the Colorado PGA,” he said. “This is my first one outside Colorado Springs.”

The idea for the clinic, which Ainsworth said he hopes to make an annual event, came up when he met Chaparral owners Norman and Dana Kelley on a trip to Clovis earlier this year.

“I said to them, ‘What if I got together with some friends and we sponsored a free clinic?’” Ainsworth said. “They’re busting their tails trying to make (Chaparral) a showplace for Clovis, and I’m just trying to help them out.

“Our goal is to get 45 kids in the morning and 45 in the afternoon.”

Clovis resident Bill Kinyon said he’s known Ainsworth for many years and played with him on a scrambles team when he lived in Clovis.

“He’s a dandy guy,” Kinyon said. “He’ll be good with those kids, if we can get them out there.

Kinyon said he usually sees Ainsworth on his trips to Clovis, and is hoping for a good turnout for him at Friday’s clinic.

“It’ll be a treat for the kids,” Kinyon said. “He’s a fun person to be around.”

Ainsworth graduated from high school just before his family moved to Clovis. He attended Eastern New Mexico University, playing collegiate golf for one year, and has been a golf pro since 1986.

He was the head pro at Whispering Winds at Cannon AFB for two years, and held other positions as a golf pro in California and Florida before moving to Colorado Springs in 1998.

His wife of 17 years, the former Kynda Cogdill, is a Clovis native.

Ainsworth’s younger brothers, Brian and John, played football at Clovis High. Brian was the Wildcats’ quarterback on two state championship teams in the late 1980s and was a two-time All-American at New Mexico Highlands.

“I’m back pretty much every year, but this year it’s my fourth or fifth time back because my dad has some health issues,” he said.