After Achieving Your Class "A", What's Next?

by Brian Dobak
April 12, 2010

What’s next after earning your Class “A”? Some or many of you may be asking that or may have asked that. I asked that immediately after I achieved my Class “A” status. Regardless of how long it takes you, the bottom line is it seems like it takes a lot of time and a lot of commitment to pass. And when all is said done, you may ask yourself, “I’ve been working on this for so long and have immersed myself in this for so long, and now it’s over, just like that, so what’s next? Where do I go from here? What do I do?”

First and foremost, don’t stop working hard and committing yourself day in and day out to your job. You no longer have a “process” or goal to commit to, so keep your focus on your job and set a new goal or find a new “process” to commit to. The PGA offers such programs, most notably the Certification Program, which is the only avenue to become a Master Professional. In an increasingly competitive environment that is this business, you should be trying to gain these types of edges.

After you have achieved your Class “A”, you will feel like you have more free time on your hands. What was once time devoted to working on kits and studying for checkpoints, that time is now open. Do something with it. Use the time to develop yourself and your resume further. Attend seminars, read books, enter the PGA Certification Program, practice and work on your golf game, get involved with your community and PGA Section and/or Chapter. All of this, however keep in mind, your number one priority should be your job. The club deserves your undivided attention and service, so never let up.

Right after I achieved my Class “A”, I asked my boss at the time “What’s next?” He told me that patience is next, and a HP job won't just fall on your lap now that you're a Class "A". He said to have one eye on the future, but to stay in the moment and continue to work hard in the moment. Hard work may not pay off right away, but it will when it’s ready to pay off for you. He also told me to start thinking about where I want to go, and what kind of a club I would prefer to go to for a Head Professional job.

It's so easy to interpret your newly achieved PGA membership as a ticket to the next step, but that simply isn't the case. In fact, in many cases, the work has only just begun. Unless you find yourself within fortunate circumstances, you likely won't attain a HP job the first two or three years you're a member. Considering the economy, it can take even longer now. The first step is to just get an interview let alone the job. Getting the interview is difficult enough when the good HP openings field anywhere from 100 to 500 applicants. I heard from a credible source that Atlanta Country Clubs HP opening in January of 2010 brought in 1,100 resumes!

Craig Harmon, Head Professional of Oak Hill Country Club, simplifies what many assistants make too much of an issue of if they don't approach it the right way. "Keep working hard and something will happen. Every year is different in the golf business pertaining to job openings." Mr. Harmon is correct. Be patient and keep working hard. Keep finding ways to enhance your resume and keep pitching your resume out there and eventually someone will bite. Don’t let up on the job and don’t let up on your HP jobs search.