Golf has made an indelible impact on David Roger’s life in many ways, and he feels a responsibility to give back to the game that has given him so much. Here’s the golf story of Roger, an SNGA board member and attorney of record. —By Brian Hurlburt, LasVegasGolfInsider.com
“The Southern Nevada golf community has touched every part of my life, starting from when I was 14 years old and I worked at the Las Vegas Municipal Golf Course with Jerry Foltz (PGA Tour player) and others,” says Roger, the Las Vegas District Attorney from 2003-2012. “And I played high school golf at Gorman with Tommy Armour III (PGA Tour player) and his brother, Sandy, and also worked at The Las Vegas Country Club in the cart room. I paid for college and law school with that job. And my English professor at UNLV was golf writer Jack Sheehan. And then when I graduated from law school, people helped me that I met through golf. Bob Miller was a member at Las Vegas Country Club and he gave me one of my first jobs. Then when I ran for political office, people like Bill Walters, Jack Binion, Irwin Molasky and others helped me. Now I feel like I owe it to the golf community to give back and help out.”
Following his distinguished career as a prosecutor and then as district attorney, Roger is now the general counsel for the Las Vegas Police Protective Association. He works on behalf of the thousands of brave officers who protect and serve.
“For 25 years during my previous career, the last nine of which I was the district attorney, I spent working with police officers and so it is now an honor to be hired by the association to represent Metro officers,” Roger says. “They have a difficult job to do and they are scrutinized by the department and the public for everything they do. They need good representation and I am very happy to help them.”
For sure, his service and job come first, but Roger still finds time to chase the little white ball around when possible. He takes lessons from Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame inductee Kim Dolan, who he has known for about 46 years from those Muni days. The swing work is ongoing, but Roger, a Red Rock Country Club member, carries about a 12 handicap.
Roger also finds time to volunteer for the SNGA and, by extension, the Southern Nevada Junior Golf Association.
“The SNGA is made up of a group of dedicated people who want to grow the game, and with (president) Kenny Ebalo and (executive director) Ann Sunstrum leading the organization over the past couple years, the membership has spiked and they do a nice job,” Roger says. “And they also help support junior golf, which is very important for the future of our game. I have also known Ann’s husband, John, for a very long time because of golf, so that is another tie-in to how the game has impacted me.”
Roger’s Muni days still resonate with him and he is also very impressed with present-day Muni golf instructor Jim Hart, who works with junior golfers at the course, many who don’t have the means to pay for lessons. Roger hopes golf can have the same impact in their lives as it has had on him.
“I love the sport and I love the life lessons that the game teaches,” Roger says. “As I said, the game also creates lifelong friendships. I still have relationships today from Muni and I cherish those memories. Jerry Foltz and I alternated days running the cart room in the afternoon. And then I worked on Saturday and Sunday mornings, pulling out the carts and then picking up the driving range. I remember Louis Redden (Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame inductee), who was such a class guy, and I am still friends with him. Also, there was a group of kids there and we would chip for quarters on the practice green and then play the course, dodging sprinklers in the afternoon when we were allowed to play. That camaraderie meant a lot to me then, and still does today.”