He was introduced to the world of golf by his uncle Tony at the age of two, started playing nine holes at Silver Lake Country Club when he was just six and played in his first tournament at the age of 12. Despite that early introduction to the sport that would later become his life’s work, Rob Wakeling still thought of himself as a baseball player with a little basketball thrown in during the off-season. As a teenager golf began to take up more of his time. He worked at Fox Den Golf Course making minimum wage and taking advantage of free golf. After winning Walsh’s team qualifier as a freshman, earning a spot on the Varsity, his future was becoming clearer. His game continued to improve and by the time he was a junior it became apparent that golf was going to be his calling.
In 1987, he won the Ohio PGA Junior Championship, the USGA Junior Amateur qualifier and the U.S. Open Sectional qualifier. He followed that up by winning the 1988 U.S. Junior Open qualifier and a solid senior season at Walsh and was all set to accept a scholarship to Ohio State when fate intervened. “I played poorly in the regionals at Windmill Lakes and lost in a playoff,” Wakeling said “Ohio State told me I wasn’t good enough to play there after that and I ended up coming to Kent State.” That decision turned out just fine, both for the Golden Flashes and for Wakeling. He played in all but one tournament during his collegiate career and helped lead the Flashes to an incredible 17 team tournament championships including the 1993 NCCAA Regional Title.
In 1992, following his junior season at Kent State, Wakeling had another big summer. He won the Summit and Portage County Open Tournaments, and was the Champion of the Ohio Public Links and U.S. Public Tournaments, as well as the U.S. Amateur Sectional Tournament. He qualified for the Ben Hogan Fort Wayne Open which is now the WEB.com Tour and turned pro following graduation in 1993. Wakeling earned four Varsity Letters and was twice the runner-up in the NCAA Men’s Golf Long Drive Competition. He helped lead the Golden Flashes to Mid-American Conference Team Championships in 1992 and 1993 and earned first team All-Conference honors in each of those seasons. As a senior and team captain in 1993, he was named to the All-District IV team. Individually he finished tied for 15th at the 1993 Regional Tournament and placed in the Top 50 at the NCAA National Championships.
After competing on the Pro Tour for several seasons he made a career switch and became a Stock Broker. He followed that up with a three-year stint in the golf industry and later as a BMW salesman before returning to the game he loved. He was the Head Boy’s Golf Coach for two seasons at Walsh Jesuit and since 2008 has been the Associate Head Men’s Golf Coach at Kent State. In 2013, also served as the Interim Head Coach of the Kent State Women’s Golf Team and led the Flashes to their 15th consecutive Mid-American Conference Team Championship. He and his wife, Nikole, live in Hudson and are the proud parents of daughters, Alexis and MacKenzie.