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….
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.