Sharing the Story of Golf at Career Exploration Day at the 2022 National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Championship
Students–and even a career change hopeful–learn about a variety of opportunities that the golf industry offers
By Mandy Crow
A career in golf travels many different paths.
That time PGA Secretary Don Rea had to wake up Tiger Woods to get his PGA of America blazer out of his locker.
Dylan Gladney’s journey from the business world and a job at NASA to a career in golf.
And how Laura Frick, PGA, rose the ranks to become a director at PGA of America, leading the charge at this weekend’s National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Championship, at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Saturday was a day full of stories at the Championship’s first-ever Career Exploration Day, with a captured audience of 30 students, their parents and even a career change hopeful taking part.
They all got the chance to learn about new opportunities in the golf industry, along with a special behind-the-ropes tour of the Championship, which included testimonials and insight from golf industry professionals such as Rea, Gladney and Frick.
Citing the $82 billion industry with more than two million jobs, Rea challenged attendees to look even further than the wide variety of jobs available.
“Raise your hand if you like raising money for charity or if you like to conserve the resources of America—water, taking care of the environment,” he said. “Raise your hand if you want to support Veterans.”
He also spoke to how PGA Professionals have one badge but wear many hats, all of which have an impact.
“Seth Waugh, the CEO of the PGA of America, says that ‘golf is the engine of good,’ and I completely agree,” Rea continued. “If you care about these things, golf could be the industry for you.”
The idea behind the event is to introduce participants to different job opportunities in the golf industry.
“We’re trying to educate people about the job opportunities in the industry,” said PGA Career Services Recruiting Specialist Caleb Hung, PGA, one of the event’s organizers.“Whatever your background is—if you’re a tech person, if you’re in finance, if you’re more focused on business—it doesn’t mean you can’t work in the industry. This is an opportunity to use the excitement of one of our events to highlight the variety of different jobs that are available.”
Meanwhile, Gladney, PGA Career Services Recruiting Specialist, had the chance to share a little of his story, something he hopes encourages attendees to seriously consider their future in the golf industry.
“I’m not a traditional golfer in the sense of growing up around the game but I was educated about opportunities available in a program very similar to [today’s event],” Gladney said. “My background is in finance, and I have my MBA, and I never thought golf would be a part of my journey or my career path, but here I am today. I’m a testament of the opportunities in the industry.”
The event was eye-opening for 13-year-old Ashley Shaw who attended the Career Exploration Day with her mother, Sylvia.
“I definitely didn’t realize that there were so many different opportunities in a golf career and that you can be in the golf community, but not play golf,” she said. “ With so many options, you can be part of a golf community, in addition to being a good golfer.”
Brad Clark, 12, was excited to learn about the drones used to get the perfect shot for TV coverage of Championship events. His dad, Matt, hopes the event stirred his son’s imagination for what the future could hold.
“He’s very entrepreneurial; he has a dog walking business, so he’s trying to figure out what he might want to do for work [in the future],” Matt said. “Maybe in high school or college, this might be a path he wants to pursue.”