By Brandon Judeh
Any professional golfer will tell you how important his or her caddie is, but Canadian Tour player and Mahoning Valley native Garrett Frank gushes about his.
Frank loves his caddie so much, he married her.
“Meagan loves being involved in my golf career,” Frank said. “She loves being right there in the middle of the action and that comes from her being such a competitive person.”
The two were married earlier this year and are now expecting their first child, which means Meagan will be away from the course for a while.
“We are so excited about the birth of our first child, but at the same time Meagan is bummed about not being able to carry my golf bag around for me at tournaments and be in the thick of the action,” Frank said.
Meagan, a former basketball player and Boardman High graduate, says she indeed will miss being with her husband on the tour, but will be cheering for him from afar.
“It will be tough for me being away, but I’m his biggest fan and supporter and will be cheering for him as always,” Meagan said.
Frank’s wife is not the only Valley native deeply rooted in his career.
Ted Ossoff — from Valley Golf Course in Columbiana — has been coaching Frank for 10 years.
Though Ossoff has taught Frank — an Austintown Fitch High graduate — many things through the years, he says perhaps the biggest lessons from Ossoff aren’t necessarily about his swing or mechanics.
“Ted has taught me many things, but I think the thing I carry with me the most is how he told me to not be afraid to shoot for lower scores, even when I’m doing well in a tournament,” Frank said. “Basically he told me if I’m shooting a 3-under par, go for a 4- or 5-under. I really take his advice to heart because he was a high quality player when he used to play, and now I consider him a great friend.”
Ossoff says that he noticed right away that Frank — a University of Akron graduate — would be a great golfer.
“The great thing about Garrett is he’s a hard worker,” Ossoff said. “He’s been able to evolve his game over the years and has done what he’s needed to do to take the next step.”
Frank recently participated in the Ohio Open at Westfield Group Country Club in Westfield Center.
After a tough first round Frank bounced back and finished 9-under par, which was good enough for a fourth-place tie.
Despite the top- five finish, Frank says he won’t be satisfied until he can finally have his name engraved on the Ohio Cup.
“I have many top-five finishes in the tournament and even lost in a playoff a few years ago, but I want to have my name etched in the cup so badly,” Frank said. “Just to be on the same trophy as Jack Nicklaus would be amazing.”
Frank shot 70-67-66—203 for the tournament.
He finished 37th on the Canadian Tour money list last season and has had some success in his six years on the tour, but he still says that some of his fondest memories took place here.
“Growing up, my dad [Howard] taught me a lot about the game and I played a lot at Mill Creek Park and also played in a junior league at the old Dogwood Golf Course,” he said. “It’s easy to take for granted all of the great courses we have in the area.