A lot of players are getting ready to play in next week’s PGA of Canada Assistants’ Championship at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge in Jasper, Alta.
It’s such a beautiful place in the world, so a lot of guys are jacked to go play. The other side of it is that September is a busy month they’ll be gone for about five days and some may be getting the stink eye for being away.
For a lot of the players, particularly the young ones, going to Jasper os great because you get a few days away in such a beautiful part of the world and it’s supposed to be an outstanding golf course.
They’ll see friends and meet new people and there are a lot of positives to it. The only downside is the expense. I know quite a few guys who aren’t going just because they know how well they’ll have to play to justify the expense.
If you’re a new person in the business and you’re only making $2,500 a month and you’ve got student loans to pay off and car payments to go along with the usual monthly bills, it tough to justify such an expense.
So, a lot of players will miss out on it, either because they can’t afford to pay for the trip, or they can’t get time off work. These days, you get two kinds of golf professionals — the ones who play and the ones who don’t.
There are different types of golf professionals these days and it astounds me when you see people who have been golf professionals for three years, but you never see them playing a tournament.
You ask, `Why did you become a golf pro?’
They’ll reply, `Because I love golf.’
`But you don’t play golf anymore.’
`I can’t. I’m too busy working.’
In the PGA of British Columbia, we used to be close to 750 members, but now we’re about 650. You get people who realize they’re not world-class golfers and they’re not going to get rich, so it becomes an office job.
They might do an outstanding job, but if you ask them where their golf clubs are, they won’t know.
It all comes down to the question of what is a golf professional?
I think if you ask 20 different golf professionals who have been in the business for 10 years or more, you’ll get 20 different answers.
I’ve had the discussion with some friends who don’t really play much anymore, but run their businesses extremely well. You don’t have to be a golf professional to run a business, but should you be playing as part of being a golf professional. What does being a golf pro mean?
The profession, like many others, is changing and evolving so quickly that there is no definitive answer to that question.