Meet the Pros
Matt Lucchesi—Director of Golf
Born and raised in Cumberland, Rhode Island, Matt Lucchesi is the Director of Golf at Colleton River, a Class A PGA Professional and a Titleist Performance Institute-certified Level Two Golf Fitness Instructor.
Matt played his collegiate golf at Middle Tennessee State University, where he captained his team to the 1994 Ohio Valley Conference Championship, and from 1995 to 1999, Matt competed as a professional on numerous mini-tours from New England to South Florida. At the same time, Matt worked, studied, and learned the golf swing from instructor Brian Mogg, a disciple of David Leadbetter. Occasionally he worked as a corporate outing instructor for the David Leadbetter Golf Academy.
Before Colleton River, Matt held the position of Head Assistant Golf Professional at The Loxahatchee Club in Jupiter, Florida, and was honored with numerous awards such as the 2002 South Florida Section Apprentice Champion and the 2004 SFPGA Southeast Chapter "Assistant of the Year;" and in 2005, he received the same honor by the South Florida Section of the PGA of America. Additionally, he served for three years as President of the Southeast Chapter SFPGA Assistants' Association.
David La Pour—Director of Instruction
As a class A PGA Member since 1991, David has worked in several different positions in the golf industry including Assistant Golf Professional, Head Golf Professional (Broken Sound Club), and Director of Instruction (Colleton River). David started teaching exclusively with Dave Pelz in 1996, and after eight years with Pelz, created the WP Golf Institute in St. Paul Minnesota (2003). In 2008 David accepted the position of Director of Instruction for Colleton River in Bluffton, South Carolina, where he developed and now oversees the Colleton River Golf Academy.
Derrick Garrou—Head Golf Professional
Derrick Garrou is the Head Golf professional at the Dye Course at Colleton River, and is a Class A PGA Professional. Derrick was born and raised in Old Fort, North Carolina, and prior to his golf career, worked alongside his father in the family pottery business, Garrou Pottery. Derrick was elected as a member of the PGA in December 2009.
During his career, Derrick has held the position of Assistant Golf Professional at The Grandfather Golf and Country Club, Linville, North Carolina; Assistant Golf Professional at The Old Collier Golf Club, Naples, Florida; First Assistant Golf Professional at The Kittansett Club Marion, Massachusetts. Over that time Derrick studied and learned teaching and club fitting from two Master PGA Professionals and merchandising from a PGA national merchandiser of the year.
Derrick now resides in Bluffton, and when not performing his duties as a golf professional, he can be found working on his golf game, reading, fishing, making pottery, and rooting for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
Taylor Lanning—Assistant Golf Professional
Growing up in Northeastern Ohio, Taylor developed an appreciation for golf at a young age. Her passion for the game led her to Methodist University in North Carolina where she majored in Business with a concentration in Golf Management. After graduation, Taylor moved to Houston, Texas and began working at Royal Oaks Country Club. While at Royal Oaks, Taylor offered lessons to golfers of all skill sets and ages, organized all tournaments and ran the women's league for the club.
When she's not on the course teaching others to love the game or working on her own, she loves watching Buckeye sports and playing with her furry baby Bentley, a rambunctious Labradoodle.
Keith Zabak—Assistant Golf Professional
Assistant Golf Professional, Keith Zabak, discovered his love for the game of golf through caddying in high school. He followed that passion to the Golf Academy of the Carolinas.
In 2011 Keith accepted a teaching position at GolfTec in Cleveland, OH where he taught for the last 5 years. This enabled him to share his love of the game by helping so many others improve and enjoy the game more. During his time with GolfTec Keith gave over 4,000 lessons and helped over 50 golfers achieve all-time low scores. From 2003-2011 Keith was an Assistant Golf Professional at The Pepper Pike Club and Red Tail Golf Club, both located in the Greater Cleveland area. During this time he also earned his Class A membership with the PGA of America.
Keith and his wife Lisa decided it was the perfect time to move their family to Bluffton and pursue the opportunity to work at Colleton River. They are enjoying the area so far and are truly excited for what lies ahead.
AJ Gerlach—Assistant Golf Professional
AJ Gerlach, a native of Northern Virginia, is a Class A PGA Professional with an additional PGA Certification in Teaching and Coaching. AJ attended UNC Greensboro, where he earned a degree in Finance. After graduation he moved back to the DC metro area and accepted a position at Congressional Country Club.
Following two summers at Congressional, AJ moved to Jupiter, Florida. A move that was initially just for the winter, turned out to be his home the next six years. During that time, he played in multiple mini tour events and completed his PGA Certifications. AJ spent his last two years as the 1st Assistant Golf Professional at the Maroon Creek Club in Aspen, Colorado. In 2015, he won the Colorado PGA West Chapter, Assistant Golf Professional of the Year.
Though he enjoyed the Rockies in both summer and winter, he was yearning for a longer golf season. So, in the Spring of 2016, AJ and his wife, Deb, relocated to Bluffton, SC. AJ is very excited to be in the Lowcountry and pleased to join the professional staff at Colleton River.