After watching my dad play golf for years, he finally gave me a chance to play with him and I was hooked. We lived close to a 9 hole golf course back in Iowa which I practically lived at when I was 10 years old. I was hitting over 150 balls a day and playing 18 to 36 holes each day. With some lessons and guidance, it was not long before I became one of the top junior players in the region shooting my 1st under par round at age 13.
In the midwest, the golf season is only around 6 months long, so during the winter months, my house became my own personal country club. I would practice putting, chipping, picthing, lob shots over chairs and couches. I had a golf net in the back yard with a driving range mat that I would shovel the snow off and hit balls for hours sometimes in 10 degree weather. The balls would freeze and often break in half. But I was obsessed and loved the game.
I was the top golfer on my high school team all 4 years and had success at local amateur tournaments, until my life took a sudden and unexpected turn. My girlfriend and I found out we were going to be parents, and with the help of my great siblings through this time, on June 30th, 1984 we were married and our boy Blake was born August 30, 1984, golf became a distant memory.
I followed in my fathers foot steps and opened a small contracting company spraying dairy barns for farmers who sell grade A milk. The next 4 years there was no golf, but fortunately my business was a success. When my wife graduated from college, I was able to start sneaking out to the golf course again and my passion for the game resurfaced.
In 1988 I sold the business and moved to Eugene, Oregon to pursue a career as a Professional Golfer. Working at the world’s largest pro shop I was able to play a lot, I began playing on the mini tours from southern California to Seattle. Even with 12 wins, life on the mini-tours was tough and it wasn’t uncommon to have to sleep in the car. But the real toll was all of the traveling and being away from my family. I was beginning to realize just how tough the road is, but with the support of my wife we kept trying.
We decided to move to Boca Raton, Florida because it was a place where there are a lot of professional events in a small area. I got a job as an assistant golf pro for the city of Boca Raton. I was able to play in the PGA sectional events and the mini tours winning multiple events, but knowing how tough the playing part of this business is I continued to work towards my class A PGA status. After 3 years going through PGA business schools 1,2, and 3 graduating in the top 10% in all 3 schools and passing my playing ability test I earned my class A certificate in 1994 ,and my mind was starting to lean towards the teaching end of the business. This ended up being the right decision.
I was fortunate enough to start giving lessons to my golf pro friends as well as beginners so I had the best of both worlds. The money was better and I was able to be with my family. Playing in tournaments is fun, but being able to see my son win the Palm Beach Jr. at age 13, is better.
Then in 1995 I was offered the Director of teaching position at the Las Vegas Hilton Golf Club. So off to Vegas we went. After 2 years we missed Florida and moved back. I had taken a job at Deer Creek where I spent 2 years before getting offered the Head Golf Professional for the city of Boca Raton where I continued to teach a lot. After 6 years I took a job back at Deer Creek where I've been for 3 years teaching full time.
As I look back at my career playing and teaching with the best in the world I couldn't be luckier. I love my job, and can’t wait to get to my next lesson.