* * *
SG, 21 years old, born and raised in Richmond, Kentucky, has just finished her Professional Golf Management course at the Eastern Kentucky University. She told me about her future in golf and how to she plans to stick to her passion doing what she loves. Here’s the transcript of my face to face interview with her.
Heart: Are you in high school?
SG: I get that a lot. I am not I just finished my college education. People think I’m 18 or something.
Heart: That’s great, you’ve got good genes then, huh?
SG: (Laughs) I will enjoy what I’ve and worry about myself when I get old I guess.
Heart: I interview people and post their interviews anonymously on my website. Can we talk about a little about your life, or college or something?
SG: Sure. Ask me what you want to know.
Heart: Are from around here? I mean, did you go to school here?
SG: I am from Kentucky where I also went to college at. I was born and raised in the same town I went to college at. I’m doing a double major in Professional Golf Management. So, I’m getting a marketing degree as well as a degree in PGM (Professional Golf Management). As part of getting the degree, we’ve to finish 16 months of internship. You’ve to pass a background check and then finish the 36 hole playing ability test. Then I will even be eligible for the PGA membership.
Heart: What can be after graduation, what are the career choices?
SG: I can be a professional grand master, or a program director or a teacher or sell merchandise.
Heart: I have no idea about golf and the only place I’ve been to “golf” is Top Golf. Do you think that’s funny?
SG: No, not at all. I go there with my friends sometimes. There’s beer, food and you can hang out with friends. Its a fun place.
Heart: Do you want to stay within continental America for work?
SG: You mean the States?
Heart: Yes, or do you want to go out to work in other countries and their golf courses?
SG: Oh yeah, OK, I have’nt thought of that, but there’s a friend of mine who was the President of our program. He has a very high GPA and all and he is now in Scotland for his internship. And the pictures he posts are awesome, who knows, I might find something I like right here or somewhere else. I am still searching for my niche, you know. But I do know that I love working with the juniors. This summer, my goal is to grow the count of ladies who come and play at the place I am interning. There’s a league that we had a couple of weeks ago and that had 25 ladies. And in last week’s league we had 30 ladies. By the end of summer, I want to keep the count steady at 40. That’s my goal. To encourage participation, I am coming up with different themed ideas. For example, in my last club, every week we would do a different theme. So, we had gold and black theme. And everyone comes with matching outfits from the theme, and decorate their golf carts in the theme. Its a lot of fun planning, its a lot of work, but its fun. One time I did an international theme, and people would dress up with outfits from their countries. Across the pond, on the water boats, I had to go plant flags from the countries and the one from Italy looked beautiful. The Tee box was filled with animals from Africa by someone from Africa.
(From Thoughtco.com: In common usage, “tee box” is just another term for teeing ground. The teeing ground is the starting point on each hole of a golf course. It’s the area covered by the space in-between two tee markers and two-club-lengths back from the tee markers.)
Heart: If you’ve more time tell me more.
SG: I’ve to go to my job now, but I’ve some more time. So, I’m doing a course called Management 370. And it teaches me the operations plus the supply chain aspect of golf. And I like to use all these different things I learn out there on the course. Depending on how busy we are; a few of us in the crew get to play with members. So when I’ve any time during an event. I like playing with juniors. I even stay back after a long day to play with them after 6pm. So this one time, the boys were being boys you know and were riding in the back of the cart standing and my head coach spotted us and said that he might have to write me up. And the boys were like, “No, no, don’t get her fired. Zucchini is very good, they call me by that nickname, don’t get her into trouble. She told us its OK, but its not her fault.” (Laughs)
Heart: Funny. What were you saying about juniors? Does it mean people that fall in a certain age range, like under 18?
SG: PGA junior is like kids from 7 to 13 years old. Or is it under 12, I don’t know. Gosh, I should be knowing this stuff. (Laughs)
Heart: We can’t all know everything. So whatever you are saying, about Tee boxes, or T shots, I’ve no idea what you’re talking about. So, what’s in the future?
SG: I have done a lot of internships all over the States, in Delaware, Ohio, Virginia and back home in Kentucky. But I like the east coast a lot. I like my job here in Georgia too. There’s still a lot to learn in the industry. Especially since I am fresh out of college, there’s a lot to learn to become a professional. But if I have a great crew to help me out, then I can build my portfolio.
In all the places I’ve worked so far, people have been like family. Very friendly in general. But, I am learning what it means to be a girl in a man’s industry. When you constantly have to deal with old perverts, you automatically become strong. My head coach keeps telling me, you know if an old fart is messing with you, let me know and I’ll take care of it. They all give me a hard time and at the same time protect me.
Heart: Can we go back to the beginning? How did you get into this? Did either of your parents play golf?
SG: I was born and raised in Richmond, Kentucky and early on when I heard about PGM (Professional Golf Management), I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I got a lot of offers to play golf in a lot of colleges. Really small colleges, but I didn’t want to go there. I am glad I took this up. I’ve been blessed with a lot of guys and a few girls too who might be my life long friends. PGM (Professional Golf Management) our program was like a sorority slash fraternity (sorority / fraternity). We all have one passion and that’s golf. There are three PGA staff who help us and support us. They even have an internship coordinator, who will help you get a job. And she is a lady, so having a female mentor to help you find one of your first jobs is really lucky. She can think and help you with what she thinks would be best for you. And you can ask all the questions you have about the industry that you can’t ask a guy. My player development manager, was this guy who would ask me, “Why haven’t you passed the 36 Hole Ability test yet?” And I would tell me, its in my mind, and I’m unable to get my mind to do it. Golf is 90% mind and 10% shots. Of course, in the end, I did pass the test with 4 shots. I knew in my mind, I should do it and so I did. I hit a great T shot in the middle of the green and one of the caddies who is also my buddy came running to me and said, “You did it, don’t stress! Look at the awesome shot you just made!” And the feeling when I walked off the 18 and handed off my score board was so exciting.
Heart: Is there a lesson here?
SG: Having a passion and having an awesome crew of people who help you along the way helps a lot. When I was a kid, like 8 or 9, I would ask my dad if I could go the range with my dad and he always took me whenever he went. So now, I just have to keep striving, be sweet and hardships will be there but I should keep going.
I don’t have a niche yet, but I am letting God take over and lead me into whatever its going to be.
Note: Before you rate this episode, please consider if you would’ve been so open and authentic about your own life. Earlier episodes available at The Anonymous Manifesto™.