Guest Speaker: Leisure World Director of Golf Visits GAA

Short game guru Todd Sones will be making a campus visit next month.
Short game guru Todd Sones will be making a campus visit next month.

One of the benefits of attending the Golf Academy of America is that the school has a great reputation in the golf industry. It’s also extraordinarily well-connected, and it’s not uncommon for GAA instructors to invite industry professionals to speak to different classes on various issues. For example, Todd Sones, who was recently named one of Golf Digest‘s 50 Best Teachers in America, is on the school’s national advisory board and will be making a campus visit next month.

Today, PGA Professional Fred Barr invited Leisure World Director of Golf Travis Fish to talk to our Career Development class about what we can expect in a job interview. Lately, we’ve been discussing resumes and cover letters as well as the questions we can expect and the questions we should ask during an interview.

Travis has been the Director of Golf at the Mesa-based retirement community for several years now, and he’s a straight shooter. He tells it like it is, and his honesty is greatly appreciated. Travis has a way with words, but we’re grown-ups, and at the end of the day, we don’t need someone to come in and blow smoke.

We need someone to prepare us for what we’re really going to face when we graduate and for what we’re going to face in interviews prior.

Jack Nicklaus is hoping 12-hole facilities like the one he's building in Utah will attract more golfers.
Jack Nicklaus is hoping 12-hole facilities, like the one he’s currently building in Utah, will attract more golfers.

I had two big takeaways from Travis’ visit today. At school, we’ve heard that the golf industry is in a period of contraction, but we’ve also heard that it is expanding, albeit at a much slower rate than it was before the 2008 crash. Travis says that, at best, the golf business is stagnant. The industry’s not out of the woods yet! A majority of the new golf course construction happening worldwide is happening overseas.

Rounds are down overall, and courses are looking at alternative revenue streams like footgolf to help them fill-up their tee sheets. In recent months, golf legend Jack Nicklaus has even gone so far as to host a 12-hole event at his Muirfield Village Golf Club as a way to get more people to play golf. That’s a disconcerting trend, but I’m hopeful that with a little creativity, Golf Academy classes like ours can get the industry back on the upswing.

Travis says attitude is the one thing you can't teach.
Travis says attitude is everything. It’s the one thing you can’t teach.

My second takeaway was that your resume is really, really important. Your resume is your first impression. You don’t want to make a bad first impression with spelling mistakes or spacing errors. Your resume also says a lot about who you are before you ever get called for an interview. If and when you are fortunate enough to get that call, your attitude can go a long way toward getting you a job.

Travis says attitude is everything! In fact, he says it’s the one thing you can’t train. And a positive attitude is contagious. It can lift the spirits of your entire team and improve the overall customer service experience for your membership or your patrons.

Oh, and it never hurts to make your boss look good. This is only loosely-related to attitude, but if you come to work with good ideas and can elevate those around you, there will always be a place for you in the golf industry. I can’t wait to put some of these principles into practice when we graduate in April of 2016.

Leave a Reply