Current Residence: Naples, Fla.
Hometown: Waynesburg, Pa.
College: Penn State University
Home Golf Course: Rohanna’s Golf Course, Waynesburg, Pa.
Profession: Professional Golfer
- Conditional status on the Web.com Tour in 2015
- Two-time All Big Ten Conference at Penn State
- Academic All-American at Penn State
- Competed full time on PGA TOUR LatinoAmerica in 2014
- 2010 Pennsylvania Open Champion
Robert Rohanna often jokes that he was “born into loving the game of golf.”
His family owns and operates Rohanna’s Golf Course in Waynesburg, Pa. Golf always has been his first love and his passion. He knew he wanted to be a professional golfer after winning his first tournament at age eight – his first tournament he entered.
“Golf has been my life ever since I was a kid,” said Rohanna. “My family taught me about hard work and what it takes to succeed. I take that with me to the golf course and they are the reason why I am so passionate about the game.”
Rohanna was recruited by several Division I and Division II schools in the Northeast and enrolled at Penn State University, where he was a four-year letterman and an Academic All-American. Following graduation in 2009, he turned professional. He discovered quickly, much like his fellow competitors on Big Break, that funding a professional golf career is not easy.
“Dealing with all of the finances and the non-stop traveling is very stressful once you are out on your own,” said Rohanna. “It can really push you and test you mentally.”
In 2010, he recorded his greatest achievement in his professional career by winning the Pennsylvania Open – his first win as a professional – highlighted by a career-low round of 9-under-par 63 in the second round. His career was blossoming, and he was on the right track for success.
Then he discovered the “Yips.”
One of the most dreaded words to a competitive golfer – Rohanna lost his swing. For almost two years, he was engaged in a mental battle in returning to his old form. It took its toll on him off the course just as much as on the course.
“I was frustrated, stressed,” commented Rohanna. “I knew I needed to press the reset button, I just couldn’t figure out how.”
Longtime family friend and PGA Professional Joe Nieporte and swing coach Dennis Clark took Rohanna under their wing in 2013. Rohanna credits Clark and Nieporte with not only resurrecting his golf swing, but also instilling outlook on life through a simple philosophy: “You’re just playing golf.”
“They returned the fun aspect to the game,” Rohanna continued. “It’s just golf, not life.” That is what I needed to hear and that is what I missed.”
In November, 2013, Rohanna put the philosophy to action and won his first tournament in three years. He entered 2014 with a sense of renewed confidence. He qualified for and competed full time on the PGA TOUR Latino America Tour, and concluded 2014 by earning conditional status on the Web.com Tour for 2015.
“I’m making strides to the PGA TOUR,” said Rohanna. “I’m going to get there.”
Big Break The Palm Beaches, FL might be that next step he needs to realize his ultimate goal.