I didn’t grow up playing golf. I took it up later (age 20) but fell in love with the game. I started playing at the little par 3 course in Golden Gate Park. I was pretty horrible but the cool thing was I either didn’t notice or didn’t care as I was having fun. I moved to Texas in 1984 and started playing regularly.
I moved back to the SF Bay Area in 1987. I was playing regularly in local money games consistently shooting in the 70s and sometimes breaking par. In 1991 I accepted a position as an apprentice golf professional at Harding Park GC. I earned my PGA Class “A” membership in 1995. One of the requirements to qualify for membership is playing in a 36 hole tournament and scoring approximately 10 over for two rounds or scores of 77 or better. My first attempt was combined with the 36 hole US Open Qualifier at Peninsula CC in 1992. I didn’t make it but I learned a lot!
I tried again two weeks later at Windsor Golf Club which at that time was the site of a PGA Hogan Tour (now Web.com Tour) event. I not only passed the test, I was medalist by 6 shots shooting 68-72. It was the first time I broke 70 in my life and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Earning my PGA credential was a huge accomplishment for me as it is not an easy task requiring multiple schools, tests, written requirements and a final interview process. I learned a great deal through the PGA program and spent 10 years working in the industry at multiple locations in the Bay Area. The one thing I was sure about was my calling or passion in the business was instruction, not being a head professional, tournament director or otherwise.