March 25, 2009

Money & Career, So You Want My Job

So You Want My Job: Golf Pro Instructor

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It’s once again time for our “So You Want My Job” series, in which we interview men who are employed in desirable man jobs and ask them about the reality of their work and for advice on how men can finally become what they always wanted to be when they grew up.

For this installment, we interviewed Bill Neely. He does for a living what most of us only do on the weekends or on days we call in sick at work: Bill plays golf. More precisely, Bill helps other golfers improve their game as a Golf Pro Instructor. So tee up and let Bill tell you about his job. Thanks Bill!

1. Tell us a little about yourself (Where are you from? Where did you go to school? How old are you? Describe your job and how long you’ve been at it).

I am a 32 year old man originally from Greenwich, Connecticut, but now reside between Pawleys Island and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. I am a Golf Pro Instructor for a couple of different clubs both private and public. I also coach a summer golf camp for kids.

2. Why did you want to become a Golf Pro Instructor? When did you know that it was what you wanted to do?

I realized I wanted to take what began as a passion in both school and college and see if I could make a career out of it somehow. I like to teach people and have a great way of helping people understand the dynamics of golf and how to excel in their game. I decided I wanted to become an instructor knowing I could do something I love and get paid for it too!

3. If man wants to become a Golf Pro Instructor, how should he best prepare? What’s the best route into the job?

It’s best to know and decide that this is a career for you while you are in school or college. Take advantage of any special training, course work, camps and instruction from seasoned golf professionals. Being geographically located where there are great golf clubs and networking is also an added bonus. My real motivation and interest came from my Dad who also used to bring me to the driving range to practice on weekends.

4. How competitive is it to get a job as a Golf Pro Instructor?

It’s pretty competitive to get into this position. I personally believe it’s one’s experience, knowledge, connections and ambition. When I was in high school, I used to work in the golf pro shop, and I really became educated more with the game, the equipment and everything one really needs to know about playing the game of golf. Winning some golf tournaments is a needed credential, too.

5.What sets a candidate apart from others when he’s applying?

Candidacy is determined by one’s experience with golf. How many years of actual hands-on playing and instruction. I also believe having some well written letters of recommendation doesn’t hurt either. And like I said previously, winning some golf tournaments is definitely a bonus!

6. What is the best part of the job?

There are certainly a lot of perks that come with the job! Meeting some really great people, being able to play golf during your free time. Receiving some great discounts at the pro shop and some of the tips are pretty nice too! Being outdoors all the time isn’t bad either!

7. What is the worst part of the job?

Sometimes you have to work with demanding people who have very little patience with themselves. You’re also dealing with the elements of working outdoors and in the summertime it can be quite hot and humid!

8. What is the biggest misconception people have about the job?

Perhaps there’s an assumption that all we do is drive around in golf carts all day. When I am working, I am at work and professional at all times. It’s a necessity to be professional at all times when working at a golf club.

9. What is the work/family balance like?

I really can’t complain. It’s like having the best of both worlds. At one club that I work for, my family is allowed to use the facilities such as the pool, which my kids really love!

10. Any other advice, tips, or anecdotes you’d like to share?

I have met some really great people including celebrities. If you’re an outgoing type and have a lot of patience with a good attitude, this may be an occupation for you. Playing Varsity Golf in school really set the pace for what I wanted to do as a career. Try to learn as much as you can from seasoned players. The social aspect of my job is pretty awesome!


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