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CONTACT US

Rob Robertson – Director of Golf Club Operations

(941) 739-7417
Robert.Robertson@imgacademy.com

Mark Metzler – Assistant Clubhouse Manager

Mark grew up in the small town of Auburn, Indiana and is the youngest of two boys. At 21 he wanted to see what was out there in the world so he packed up and moved to Florida. He started working in Desoto Square Mall for McDuff’s Electronics part-time at the same time working for World Bazaar. Later on, he worked for a new company that came to Florida called Dollar Tree where he worked for 8 years. At the same time he was approached about coming to work for a local bar. This is where he got the bug to bartend and this career lasted 20 years.

At the age of 40, he decided that he wanted to go back to school and get a degree so he signed up at Keiser College for Computer Graphic Design and got his Associates Degree in that field. Painting and drawing has always been a passion of Mark's so whenever he gets free time to relax this is what he likes to do.

Since coming to work at IMG Academy Golf Club, he has enjoyed the challenges of learning a whole new field of work. He is going on celebrating 13 years here at the club which he has had the privilege of getting to know many of the wonderful members at the club. All of his family slowly has moved to Florida over the years so now he gets to enjoy having them here instead of flying north to see them.

(941) 739-7413
Mark.Metzler@imgacademy.com

Sladjana Lazarevic – Controller

Sladjana has 33 years of Accounting and Finance experience. In 2005, Sladjana joined IMG Academies Golf & Country Club as the Controller overseeing finance and accounting for the Club. Prior to her position at IMG Academies Golf & Country Club, she worked for Chevron Texaco where she gained invaluable experience that has enabled her to establish proper procedures and control to implement at the Club. Further her hands-on experience has provided solid direction for the Club and team. 

In 2004, Sladjana earned her designation of a Certified Public Accountant and holds a bachelor’s degree in both Accounting and Finance. 

In her spare time, you can find her enjoying the beach and going on long walks with her dog. Sladjana enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, a IMG Academies Alumni and former D1 tennis player.

(941) 739-7415
Sladjana.Lazarevic@imgacademy.com
Sydney Weber - Membership & Administrative Coordinator

Sydney is a native to the area as she was born and raised in Bradenton. She attended Manatee High School and obtained her Associate's degree from State College of Florida. She has been with the Golf Club since March of 2022 and enjoys all of the connections she continues to make here.

In her time away from work she enjoys spending time with her dogs, attending concerts, trying new foods and restaurants, and reading. 

(941) 739-7439
Sydney.Weber@imgacademy.com

 
Rocky Fidelibus - Executive Chef

(941) 739-7421
Debbie Arrigall-Watkins - Banquet & Event Manager
(941) 739-7419
Debra.arrigallwatkins@imgacademy.com
Debra joined IMG Academy Golf Club in October 2023
bringing with her years of experience in planning Weddings,
Banquets & Events. Originally from Wales, UK, Debra
emigrated to Florida with her husband and children over
20 years ago, apart from a brief return home to Wales,
Debra has settled here in Sarasota, near her children and
grandchildren. Having worked on both sides of the pond,
Debra brings both cultures together, giving you the best
of both worlds. Debra has been self-employed most of
her working life, she looks on every opportunity as if it is
her own. You are guaranteed to be given 110% when you
work alongside Debra on your special occasion.
"I look forward to working with you and making your
Event memorable"


Sadie Guffey - Assistant Event Manager

(941) 739-7419
Sadie.Guffey@imgacademy.com

Steve Strausbaugh – Head Golf Professional

Steve was born and raised in Venice, FL, where he grew up playing baseball and golf. Baseball became his main sport the first year of high school where played 3 years of Varsity. He played Division 1 baseball at Western Carolina University and studied biology. The New York Yankees organization drafted him in 2007, and Steve played professionally for 3 years before a shoulder injury forced an early retirement.
 
After a father son trip to Ireland, he returned to golf with a renewed passion for the game. Steve attended and graduated from Professional Golfers Career College with an associate’s degree in Golf Course Management. At The Golf College, he fell in love with instructing, growing the game of golf, as well as tournament operations. Steve became a PGA associate while working eight years here at IMG and will become a member of the PGA of America this year.
 
Steve’s full swing Teaching Philosophy gets students envisioning the golf swing as an athletic movement executed by their natural ability. He believes everyone’s swing is unique, and there is more than one way to swing a golf club successfully. His goal is to unite his student’s unique characteristics with simple fundamentals, thus creating a sound, effortless, repeatable golf swing. Steve’s short game philosophy creates standard short game swing using full swing techniques. By making small simple adjustments at setup, you can create a variety of shots only limited by the golfer’s imagination. Steve’s putting philosophy simplifies the mechanics of putting into two major strokes. Matching the setup and the stroke makes putting easier and fun to practice.

Steven.Strausbaugh@imgacademy.com

Jax Buist – Assistant Golf Professional

Growing up in Bethlehem, PA Jax Buist found his love for the game of golf at a noticeably early age and was a natural from the start. Throughout his life he tried his hand at baseball as well, but ultimately found himself enveloped in golf again, enjoying the social aspect of the game. Jax credits his grandfather with teaching him his initial skills as a child, and his high school coaches molding him further. Once decided that he wanted to continue into a career with this sport, he began taking lessons with a PGA Pro thus honing his skills even further.

Jax went on to play golf for DeSales University in Allentown, Pennsylvania. While in school he worked at Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort, taking in every aspect of the sport that he could. Jax graduated with his bachelor’s degree in Management in 2021 and made his way to the sunshine state shortly after graduating. From Jax’s start with IMG Golf Club he has continually shown drive to better himself and those around him, that reflects heavily in his game. When the opportunity to become an Assistant Golf Professional with IMGGC, he simply could not pass it up.

After his career playing college golf, he was very motivated to continue learning and competing. Jax’s focus began surrounding the golf swing and how different people swing the club. When he teaches, he makes sure students come away with an understanding of how different body motions affect the club, and subsequently the ball flight. He teaches his students not only how to swing the club, but also how to make their swing work for them on the course to improve scoring.

Jax.Buist@imgacademy.com


 

Renze Berg – Golf Course Superintendent

Renze Berg has been here at IMG Golf Club since February 21st, 2022.  Prior to accepting this position, he was Golf Course Superintendent at River Strand Golf and Country Club from October 2015-February 2022.  Before that, he was Golf Course Superintendent at Bradenton Country Club from May 1998-Oct 2015.  Renze Graduated from Lake City Community College in 1996 with an A.S. Degree in Golf Course Management. 

Renze was born and raised here in Bradenton and Graduated High School from Bradenton Christian School in 1990.  He enjoys hunting, fishing and golf.   

Renze.Berg@imgacademy.com

Jay Mullen – IMG Academy Director of Grounds

Jay Mullen is the new Director of Grounds for the Academy, and he will also be working closely with Superintendent, Keith Welter, on the golf course.  He started working in the turfgrass industry shortly after moving to Florida from St. Louis, Missouri 20+ years ago.  11 of those years have been spent as Director of Grounds at multi-course facilities including Black Diamond, Palm Aire Country Club, and most recently Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice.  His turf management degree was earned with a combination of credits from the University of Missouri and Penn State University. 
 
Jay has a short commute from north Sarasota where he lives with my wife, Angie, and three children Sydney, Zoey, and Andrew.  He enjoys cheering for his daughters’ volleyball teams and chasing his 2yo around the house when he is not at work.  He is excited to be part of the IMG Academy team and is looking forward to a productive tenure.

Jay.Mullen@imgacademy.com