Importance of Getting Involved

by Brian Dobak
April 25, 2011

"Why should I get involved?"

"What can I possibly contribute?"

Do you have an opportunity to be involved in some way with your PGM University Program, PGA chapter or section, but you're intimidated by being involved? Or hesitant to put yourself out there? Maybe we just need to do a better job of asking different questions:

"Why shouldn't I get involved?"

"What will I contribute?"

The fact is that HP's and/or hiring committees will hire you based on your performance in your job. Any credentials from involvement with the section/chapter are icing on the cake. However, getting involved is extremely important, especially in this day and age. The more icing on the cake, the better. The job market is increasingly competitive and we have to give ourselves an opportunity to stand out as much as possible and get our resumes towards the top of the stack. But that might be somewhat selfish if we did it for our own personal gain.

The most important reason for getting involved is this. We all have our beefs with the PGA and probably our sections. But complaining and not doing anything is aimless and accomplishes nothing. An old boss of mine once said, "If you are going to approach me with complaints, you better have some solutions to discuss, if not then quit complaining."

We can all voice our opinions, but it's harder to be heard if you're not involved in some way. Being involved with your chapter/section allows your voice to be better heard and better yet, be a part of the solution. Being involved also grows your sphere of influence and puts you in a position to make change. Serving your fellow golf professionals is one of the most effective ways to do that.

On top of that, by being involved you can gain an incredible amount of perspective as a golf professional. Regardless of whether you're an assistant professional or head professional, we are all a part of something much, much bigger than ourselves or our daily roles as golf professionals. Does the PGA have its issues? Probably. Every organization does. But the fact is that it's not going anywhere, it's here to stay. So it is in our best interest to be a part of it and not against it. Besides, don't forget that the PGA gives you a distinction that is a big reason why you have your job. In most cases, no Class "A" = no HP job. Get involved. There is nothing to lose and so much to gain. To be immersed in how the Association and your Section functions WILL make you a better golf professional, and who doesn't want to be a better golf professional?

Believe it or not, but there was a time (a long time ago) when Sections did not have paid staff. On the Section level, everything was done by the golf professionals themselves. They volunteered their time because they cared. They ran the tournaments, participated in each others events, and ran the job bulletins. Although this doesn't exist any longer, volunteering our time and effort and being involved are still there. The opportunities increase our leadership skills and they give us a peak into how the Association was once run and still is to some extent. Being involved also gives you many opportunities to meet some great people and do a lot of networking, both pivotal pieces of the puzzle in improving ourselves as golf professionals and advancing in our business. Get involved because all of us can contribute something.