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Sunday, September 15, 2013

A New Role

Golf Instructor.  Merchandiser.  Tournament Administrator.  Business Analyst.  Golf Car Fleet Manager.  Junior Golf Leader.  Player.  Food & Beverage Manager.  Golf Club Cleaner.  Membership Sales.  Public Relations.  Range Ball Picker.  Caddy Master.  Rules Official.

These are only a few of the many different roles PGA Professionals take on each and every day.  I kept the list short as it could go on for pages.  Many people do not realize the varied job duties that are required from every professional on staff to efficiently operate a golf course every day.  If you ask most people what PGA Professionals do every day they will reply "play golf and give lessons."  Unfortunately nothing could be further from the truth for most of us!  During our 12 or 14 hour days we have to assume roles that at times aren't exactly glamorous in order to provide the best possible experience for each of the golfers on the course every day.

Upon entering the golf business most professionals know they are going to work long hours, play very little golf, and give fewer lessons than what they would like.  That is the direction our industry has turned in recent years with no sign of going back anytime soon.  My personal opinion is that many decision makers in the golf business have lost sight of what drives the industry:  the game.  They have forgotten that if people do not enjoy playing and have fun while on the course that they will stop playing, or at the very least play less.  The reason we all entered this profession is because of an inherent love for the game and too often we spend more time in board rooms than on the course interacting with our players.

Times like this are when it is essential that PGA Professionals step up and show that we are the experts in the game.  Yes we can also handle the business but most importantly we are experts in the game of golf.  How do we do this?  One way is to find new areas to introduce potential players to the game and show people just how fun golf can be.  Isn't that why you play a game, to have fun?  You know what happens in every pediatric hospital I walk into and teach the kids how to play golf?  Every one of the kids has fun.  They laugh.  They smile.  They get to know other people who they may have never interacted with if it wasn't for golf.  And while they're at it they get in a little bit of therapy without realizing it is happening.

The kids aren't the only ones having fun.  The PGA Professionals are having fun.  The therapists, doctors, and nurses are having fun, also.  All of us are getting back to the root reason for why we play.  Along the way we are also developing relationship with some of the kids that prove to be very special.  We are providing mentoring without knowing it.  We are giving them hope and something to look forward to when they leave the hospital.  Maybe focusing on the fun is too simplistic of an approach for many in the golf industry to understand.  There are no fancy presentations with colorful graphs and year-to-year comparisons.  All we have is a bunch of kids having fun.  I have had mothers of kids in our program tell me that what we are doing is "magic" and that we have "made dreams come true."  Trying to have fun could be the way to show the child in all of us the magic this game possesses and allow us to see our dreams come true.


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  2. It IS simply magical....seeing a child's eyes sparkle when they realize their body can do cool things, like swing a golf club, hit a's priceless and it is FUN...a simplistic fun that few people take the time to know. There are champions in this world and there are heroes...but mostly there are memory making moments that champions and heroes make possible. Thank you Kevin, for making so many special memory making golf moments possible!

    1. Thank you very much, Stephanie! And thank you for all you are doing and continue to do for medically complex children!