Playing & Traveling with Your Members

by Brian Dobak
October 10, 2011

There may not be a better way to warm up to your members or guests than to play golf with them. This concept is nothing new, but as assistant professionals, we often struggle to find the time to get out there with our members and guests. One way or another, we need to. It's one of our best networking tools as golf professionals. Spend four hours on the golf course with a member and you catch a glimpse into them as a person, and vice versa. When you leave the 18th green, you leave feeling like you know them.

And you can take it one step further, by traveling with them! Thousands of golf professionals every year take advantage of travel opportunities, whether it’s for a golf school, or for a Pro-Am event. It doesn’t matter if you’re an assistant professional or a Head Professional; there are very few Pro-Am opportunities that are exclusive to any one kind. If you’re invited to a Pro-Member, do everything you can to participate. Pro-Members are another great opportunity to socialize with your member or with members from another club. The following are some things to remember regarding playing with your members and traveling with them.


How many people do you play golf with in a year? Each time is an opportunity to represent your self well. Hold yourself to a high standard and make them think that this kid is the real deal and they’ll remember you. You never know, down the road you could get a phone call to interview for a HP job because the member was so impressed with you.

Give Them Something to Remember

Ask yourself one question: How do you want others to remember you? Figure it out for yourself and act accordingly. Too often, golf can get the best of us and it’s easy to get into a tirade over an out-of-bounds ball. Handle your emotions well and your members won’t remember the out of bounds ball for very long, rather they’ll remember the way you handled yourself in the midst of adversity.

Make Yourself Known to the Membership

Playing with the members and traveling with them makes your known to the them. When you first arrive at a club, nobody knows who you are and you know very few people. You can introduce yourself to the members in the golf shop and it amounts to some small talk, but it doesn’t give you an opportunity to really show who you are. Getting out and playing with the members is where the difference is made.

Club Ambassador

Playing with the members gives you an opportunity to represent the club as an ambassador. For 4+ hours, you’re the only golf professional in front of them, take advantage of it. Your Head Professional probably brought you in for several reasons, and one of those underlying reasons is that he probably thought you would make a good ambassador of the club.

To solidify these concepts, Tom Byrne and Eric McNamee, founders of MB Golf Events and both PGA Professionals, build upon the importance of playing and traveling with the members.

Travelling with your members gives PGA Professionals the opportunity to build important relationships that will last for years. PGA Professionals are different than other professions, we are fixtures in our members lives. Taking them on trips is an intimate experience that builds bonds that members treasure because they are golf lovers and we are the experts in the game.

As assistant professionals, we have a lot of responsibilities and we can often get caught in the whirlwind of it all. Before you know, you may have gone a month without playing with your members or guests. When we asked Tom and Eric how assistant professionals might be able to better manage their time and find opportunities to get out on the golf course, they had this to say:

The best advice we can give is to stress how important this is to you to your Head Professional. Assistant Golf Professional’s job descriptions should include playing with the membership. We are the experts in the game and giving that experience to our members builds positive good will.

It’s no secret that nothing reveals our personality and professionalism like a round of golf. Through its challenges, the game strips us bare and shows us who we are both personally and professionally. A 4+ hour round of golf or a 4-day trip gives us plenty of time for a lot of conversation. Playing with the members and traveling with them gives us an opportunity to get to know the members on a deeper level and create lasting memories. Think about taking a group of members on a trip this off-season, it will pay dividends for you in both tangible and intangible ways. Check out this link to see how MB Golf Events can help you in this process: MB GOLF EVENTS & PIFG