I’m Proud to Be a Full PGA Member Again!

Ten months ago, I registered for my first college class since 1997. I spent the summer taking a Psychology course at a local college. I had several ideas in place about “where” I wanted to go and was in the beginning phases of taking care of the “how” part of it. By the end of July, I scored an “A” in the class and 12 credits towards my goal of full PGA Membership. I was on my way, somehow….

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When I left my position as PGA Head Professional at Bucks County Country Club in 2005, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever get back to doing what I loved and was really good at……not only being a good golf pro/instructor/business person, but being around the game, having the privilege of inspiring people to want to improve, to enjoy the game more and pass along their passion to others. From junior players to my regular members to the public players, I had the opportunity to make an impact every day.

Seven years of living in the corporate sales world taught me a lot. I learned how to “sell” better and to run a multi-million dollar territory. I also drove 158,000 miles over the past 5 1/2 years. And I found that, while successful by corporate measurements, I was lost. And I felt that a big part of me was missing. The work ethic was there, but the “meaning” was absent. So, through a bunch of factors, I gradually began to make changes.

I had let my PGA credentials lapse. There are a certain number of credits the PGA requires every 3 years you need to acquire through attending seminars, meetings or authorized course work. I had 108 “Member Service Requirements” and 60 “Continuing Education” credits to catch up on. My Psych class was the beginning of my push to find “meaning” in my career and put some balance back into my life. I finally beat down feelings of uncertainty and fear of perceived “risk” in many areas of my life and decided that using my sales & marketing background, coupled with my PGA experience, may just be the path I needed to find balance and let me breathe a bit.

As of yesterday, I am officially “above the line” of needed credits for the PGA. Ten months of effort, perseverance and support from my family has enabled me to get back to the status of “Class A PGA Professional”. Now, I’m back in the game I love. And now, I feel like I can breathe a lot better.

I’ve always felt that for the amount of time all of us work, that effort should be in an arena that gives you energy, purpose and a feeling that you can make an impact. For me, golf has always been that arena. I am very stoked to once again be a full Member of the PGA. And I am so ready and willing to make an impact, to help grow this game we love.

Alan Watts wrote “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” I mentioned this quote in a post on January 1st and stand by it. I’m trying to live my life like this every day. Life, like golf, is difficult, frustrating, hard, glorious, joyful and fulfilling all at once. I’m back in the game, in many different ways.

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6 Comments

  1. Wow, Rick. That was the most inspirational blog post I’ve read in a very long time. Congratulations to you for following your passion and doing whatever it took to get there. It sounds like you have the support of a loving family and they must be very proud of you as they watched you make it happen.

    Two people in the past week asked me what my passion is and I said “writing and dancing”. Lately I’ve been thinking about really and truly following those passions instead of wasting time doing other things that don’t bring me as much happiness. It’s all about making the time for the things that matter the most. You are truly inspirational. Thanks for that great post.
    Leslie

    1. You’re very kind, Leslie. Thank you. I agree with your feelings on doing what makes you happy. All I’m trying to do is stay curious and interested in something every day. If I can do that, I can learn something.

      Go find your writing and dancing river and see what happens! I started to really all about it last summer, what I wanted to do. That made it much more real and put a bit of responsibility on me to keep it going. Now I’ve got to do something with it!

      BTW, I’m still a bit scared each day, it’s hard to describe. But I recognize it and move past it somehow. What “it” is I don’t actually know. Perhaps it’s just beginning to recognize that life in general is hard sometimes. Each days challenge brings great opportunity or something like that……but we just live, don’t we? Might as well enjoy the present as fully as possible.

      1. Hi, Rick! I’m sorry! It appears as though I never responded to this comment. I’m still fumbling around wordpress trying to figure out if I’ll get notifications when there’s a comment without getting e mail notifications. The e mails start piling up because if says anything on someone’s blog, you get every single email notification, but you probably already know that.

        I like going to this notification page, but do you know if you get notified if you don’t get e mails, too? Sorry, but you seem to know what you’re doing, so I’m picking your brain!

        I get the being scared each day part. I feel like something has happened to me in the past few months that has made me want to concentrate my time, effort, and happiness on doing what I’m passionate about.Sounds like you, and a lot of other people I know, are at the same place in life right now. I’m really glad I decided to stop working after this session so I “work” on blogging, etc.

        You’re always so inspirational to me. I always look forward to reading your blog.
        Take care,
        Leslie

      2. Aw, thanks Leslie. I always appreciate your comments.

        As for the notifications, I’m kind of with you….it seems that if you don’t opt in for email notifications (lie when leaving a comment), you can get lost in the shuffle. I work primarily off my iPad and the WordPress app, so it’s the “notifications” I check.

        I think to answer your question…if you opt to NOT get email notifications, you need to look through your “reader” and manually look at the blogs you commented on & see there are responses, etc.

        Make sense? I think that answers your question.

  2. Rick

    Well Done! Following your passion is a true blessing in life. Napoleon Hill said: Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. This fits your story to a tee! Additionally, FEAR is false evidence appearing real…..so I am impressed that everyday you step outside your comfort zone and achieve what you want. Create yourself the day you want….everyday! Congrats on regaining your PGA membership.

    Cheers
    Jim

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