I never really contemplated the full possibilities of a blog and to be honest, my first few felt more like I was writing an article for a golf magazine than expressing what I really felt or thought about the golf business.
However, as I have become a bit more comfortable with writing them, I realized that I was free to air my opinions that I think are important to me and the golf industry, which I love.
I want to continue in that direction and, having talked about my past and playing for a living, I would like to offer some thoughts on our profession, especially with the PACE program coming up for a vote at our Canadian PGA annual general meeting next month.
First and foremost, not all golf professionals earn $200,000 a year, come in at 10 a.m. and tee it up with their members everyday at noon for 18 holes.
The reality within the golf industry is that each club job that opens up these days pays considerably less than the previous person in that position was making and we can have the argument that the person was there a long time; so his/her salary increased every year etc.
I guarantee that if you take inflation into consideration, the person coming into the job is making less than what the person they are replacing started at years ago.
We also work very long hours and there is an inside saying that CPGA really stands for “Can’t Play Golf Anymore.” While that is a bit extreme, I think we all feel at times that golf professionals rarely get the chance to play the game that got us into the business in the first place.
Secondly, we need to acknowledge that all industries change, the golf industry included. We need to be open to change and realize that what was once the definition of a golf professional is different today.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all definition of a golf professional. My own experience over the years includes the National Golf Club’s early days as a men-only private club with 65 members, the ClubLink multiple club model today; to building a golf facility/course, running a large academy and playing for a living.
In all of those different experiences, the one constant was change and we need to embrace it, not be afraid of it.
The Canadian PGA has tried to include everyone who legitimately works within in the golf industry and I think we can do this and have a much stronger and cohesive association, rather than a splintered industry with everyone seemingly rowing in a different direction.
A friend of mine once said that a golf professional should win an Academy Award as he/she needs to play upwards of 120 to 150 different roles a day, depending on what member walks into the golf shop.
I believe that and I think that the ability for us to be that flexible outside of our golf shops will allow the Canadian PGA to flourish.