Personal Mission Statement: To make the world a better place by helping others to pursue and be successful in careers that they love.
A Quick bio...
I am a Class "A" PGA Member from Lincoln, Nebraska. I grew up in Michigan where I attended Ferris State University and received my Bachelor's of Science in Marketing and PGA Golf Management. I started playing the game fairly late, picking it up in earnest as a Freshman in high school. I was hooked instantly, playing every day. By the time I was a sophomore, I knew that I wanted to work in the industry. My Father was the one who told me that there was a program that was focused on preparing people for careers within the golf industry. I never bothered to explore any other option.
While in the program, I engaged in internship experiences in Michigan, Colorado, and Florida. I came to the early conclusion that I wanted to work in the private club sector. When I graduated, life took me to a private club in Waco, Texas called Ridgewood Country Club. This was a fantastic spot to start my career for two reasons. First, as a small member equity private club, it was exactly what I was looking for at that time. Second, it was located in Waco, TX. My wife was working on her Master's Degree at Baylor University, so I really wanted to be in that area.
When my wife graduated, life brought us to Nebraska. We knew we wanted to go somewhere closer to family and her Mother had moved to Omaha while we were in Texas. It seemed like a great place to live, so we made the leap. My first contact in Nebraska was Bruce Lubach, the career consultant at that time. There wasn't a lot of movement among professionals at that time, so opportunities were limited. However, Bruce was instrumental in keeping me connected with the local industry and ready to pounce when an opportunity presented itself.
While awaiting a position within the industry, I made ends meet by selling cars at a local Ford dealership. It was in this experience that I learned the value of pursuit of a career that I loved. I loathed this job. The stress was killing me and my relationships. I was saved by the opportunity to join the PGA Golf Management Program at the University of Nebraska.
The position with the program at UNL was a perfect fit for me at that time and the position has morphed with me as I've progressed in my career. I've remained eternally grateful for the opportunities that the program has afforded me.
During this timeline, life has taken me from a home in Cedar Bluffs, NE to Gretna, NE and more recently to Lincoln. Our family has grown as well. I have two kids, Logan (age 8) and Lillian (age 6) who keep me very active.
My work history
A complete and "traditional" listing of my accomplishments and work at each facility can be found on my résumé.
University of nebraska pga golf management program, lincoln, ne
Assistant Professor of Practice & Instruction Coordinator
May, 2011 – Present
My position at UNL has me primarily focused on instruction and student advising. While I can teach the full breadth of the program materials, I spend most of my time on the Teaching & Coaching, and Player Development modules.
I am extremely fortunate in my position as it has afforded me the opportunity to travel across the United States and the World. I have led groups of students on education abroad trips to Scotland on a number of occasions and built a program in China as well.
In my eleven years, I have taught more than 300 credit hours worth of courses across the entire curriculum.
Mizuno golf, ne
March 2018 – Present
Starting in the Spring of 2018, I have been able to work with Mizuno Golf conducting golf club fittings for members at clubs and the general public at official demo days for the company. Being engaged in the sales process as well as the technical fitting process on a regular basis has been a great opportunity for me to keep my skills sharp and my in-class stories from getting stale.
The relationship that came as a result of this connection has also led to the opportunity to finally add an updated fitting cart to our PGA Golf Management lab space.
More recently, Tyler Schaaf, the sales representative that I do this work for was awarded our Section's "Sales Rep of the Year" award.
Nebraska section pga - volunteer, lincoln, Ne
October 2010 – Present
I have always made it a point to help my section whenever possible. In addition to service as the chair of two committees (Jr. Golf and Education) I have also put in time with our YMCA Jr. golf clinics, coaching a TEAM Golf team, and volunteer work at countless Summer Junior Tour events across the state.
Woodhouse Ford, Blair, NE
November 2010 – May 2011
To put it plainly, this was the job where I learned the value of a career that I would actually love and enjoy. It was the driving force behind my current personal mission to help others achieve success in careers they actually enjoy.
This is not to say that I didn't learn a lot about the sales process, both good and bad, as I did learn a lot about how to build relationships in a somewhat hostile environment. It was the overall stress level of this position that I didn't want to be part of my life.
Ridgewood country club, WAco, tx
Assistant Golf Professional
February 2009 – October 2010
Ridgewood was my first home club as a PGA Professional and will always hold a special place in my heart. It was very typical of an Assistant Professional Position. The membership was great and it was my first real opportunity to build and manage a team. Many of the friendships I built there have persisted long after leaving.
my educational history
Ph.d. Candidate: Human Sciences & Leadership Research (ongoing)
University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Lincoln, NE
Master's of science in leadership Education and communication (2017)
University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Lincoln, NE
Thesis: “A History of the PGA Golf Management Program at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln” (link to the publication on Digital Commons at UNL)
bachelor's of science in Marketing and pga golf management (2008)
Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI
PGA Golf Club, Port. St. Lucie, FL (Fall 2007 - Spring 2008)
The Club at Cordillera, Edwards, CO (Summer/Fall 2006)
Thoroughbred Golf Club, Rothbury, MI (Summer, 2005)
American Development Model (ADM)
K-Vest (3D Motion Capture)
Flightscope Launch Monitor
Pro-Fit Performance Clubfitting (PXIII)
Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile (EMP) Certified Practitioner
pga professional development (2019 & 2017)
"For outstanding and continued contributions to developing and enhancing educational opportunities for the PGA Golf Professional." This award is special to me because it is a confirmation of my intended efforts. Now officially called "The PGA Professional Development Award," I was the last recipient of the section award bearing the name "Horton Smith." I am supportive of the name change on this award given the problematic stance that Horton Smith had on issues of equity and diversity.
Student's choice award (2018)
This was for one of my education abroad trips to Scotland. Selected by the staff from the Education Abroad Department at UNL based purely on student feedback received across all programs in 2018.
Omtvedt innovation award (2020)
This award is given annually by the Nebraska Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. The award recognizes outstanding achievements in innovative teaching.
Herb Graffis award (NE PGA, 2020)
So, this one technically belongs to all of the members of the Nebraska Section of the PGA. I'm proud to be part of this great section and of the combined accomplishments of my fellow members.
*note: I'm in this video twice, 0:13 and 1:29 :).