WHY Be A Golf Pro?
I decided to be a golf pro 15 years ago because I wanted to share my passion for the game with others. I wanted to show them everything the game did for me and help them discover the joy and happiness the game could bring them. At the time, I really didn’t know what that would look like, so I dove in head first and enrolled at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, MI.
Ferris was known for its Professional Golf Management Program (PGM). It was the first program of its kind anywhere in the world. Ferris State would prove to be my foundation, allowing me to get to where I am today. I passed on other golf scholarship offers to attend Ferris, and while I was able to successfully walk on the golf team there, I didn’t play a whole lot as the competition was fierce. That only made me better. I quickly learned what I needed to do to get better and excel both on the course and in the classroom.
Once I received my diploma, I scored a job at one of the best golf facilities on the planet, Oakland Hills Country Club. If you don’t know about it just google it sometime, the place is simply littered in golf history. There, I learned from some of the greatest minds in the game, and I learned a lot of how’s. I learned how to operate a golf facility. I learned how to be a great instructor. I learned how to create a customer service environment that is first class, and I learned how to communicate with clients. I could go on and on, and the story would remain the same, I learned how to do a lot of valuable things. Safe to say I knew what I was doing.
It wasn’t until I got out on my own, that I started to learn a more valuable lesson. Somewhere along the way through all the what’s and the how’s, I forgot exactly why I was doing all of this. I started to think back to my why. Why did I become a golf pro again? I went back to my why and realized that accomplishing my why (allowing golfers to discover the joy and happiness of golf) meant different things for different people, but it was vital that I understood why I do what I do.
In my very first article, I wrote about a girl named Taylor, an underprivileged young woman in Minneapolis. She had nothing growing up. I would allow her to come to my golf clinic every Saturday. I’m proud to say that I started with her when she was in ninth grade and would barely speak. Golf was an outlet for her, and she played the game because it was fun and offered an escape from day to day life. A few years ago, I received a letter from her mother thanking me for the fact her daughter received a scholarship to play college golf. The letter went on to say that golf changed her daughter’s whole life around. It got her out of drugs, got her to keep her grades up, and now is paying for her school. Needless to say, that letter touched my heart. Taylor knew why she played, knew she wanted to get better, therefore knew what she had to do to get there.
It was then I realized that with everyone I work with, it all needs to start with the why. Why do you want to play golf? Why do you want to get better at golf? When we all operate with the why as the driving force, the what has a greater impact, and usually motivates others to take action. Why do I write these articles? Why am I so passionate about teaching? Why am I a golf pro? I answered all of these 15 years ago. Think about it, you’re what’s and how’s will change and evolve, but you need to know your why. This article goes a bit beyond golf, but it’s something I’ve been challenged to do, and I challenge everyone to do the same; know your why.