Iowa PGA PROfiles

July 2012 Iowa PGA PROfile-Bradley Sponseller-Sponsored by Harris Golf Cars

Name: Bradley Sponseller
College/University: Golf Academy of America – Orlando
Year Turned Pro: 2000
Facility and Job Title: Westwood Golf Course Head PGA Professional

1. What was your motivation to become a PGA Professional?
As I reached my early twenties I fell in love with the game and became passionate about getting better. A few PGA pros helped me along the way and now I want to give back to others who enjoy the game as much as I do.

2. What is your specialty in the golf business?
Customer service is probably my specialty. I enjoy taking care of the guests and pass holders at my facility.

3. Please list any accomplishments (Awards, Certifications, and Tournaments.)  
2007 Became full member of the PGA of America

4. What was your greatest moment in golf?    
Played in a Pro-Am at Elmwood Country Club with Dr. Tom Davis former Iowa Hawkeye Men’s Basketball coach. Was an honor and privilege to play along with him.

5. What or who has had the greatest impact on your career?
Jerry Johnson PGA Professional at Elmwood Country Club. I worked as an assistant for him for 8 years. He taught me everything I needed to know about the game, the business and life itself.

6. Besides golf, what else do you enjoy?
I enjoy spending time with my 13 year old son and following him around all summer to little league baseball games and when time allows, ride my motorcycle.

7. If you could play any golf course in the world, which one would it be and who would complete your foursome?
Augusta National with Zach Johnson, Emmitt Smith and Michael Jordan.

8. If you could give lessons to anyone in the world who would it be and what advice would you give?
Tiger Woods, we have […]

Iowa PGA
3184 HWY 22 RiversideIA52327 USA 
 • 319-648-0026
By |June 29th, 2012|0 Comments|

June 2012 PGA PROfile-Sponsored by Harris Golf Cars

Nick Goblirsch

College/University: Mount Mercy University

Year Turned Professional: 2001

Facility/Job Title: Head Golf Professional Pinnacle Country Club

What was your motivation to become a PGA Professional?
I always admired the Golf Professionals when I went to play their courses as a Junior Golfer. Thought they were fun, cool guys who do something unique for a living and everybody liked them.

What is your specialty in the golf business?
I am a good coach, I love when people ask me to help. Golfers have more fun if they have someone to talk to about their game, not just their swing mechanics.

Please list any accomplishments (Awards, Certifications, and Tournaments.)
I spend my time in my golf shop and teaching, but I did earn the Acushnet Scholarship as Level 3 South Florida PGA Professional Golf Management Program top scoring apprentice. And, I had a one under 36 hole total when I passed my Players Ability Test.

What was your greatest moment in golf?
Maybe I missed my calling as a caddie, but my greatest moment is caddying in Jack Nicklaus’ group for the grand opening of Verandah Club in Fort Myers, Florida in 2004. I was an Assistant at Verandah and Mr. Nicklaus traveled to our club to do a grand opening since his design firm did the golf course. My fellow golf professionals and I caddied for the Grand Opening foursome and got see Jack play our/his golf course. He hit it great and was a tremendous gentleman to make the other golfers in the group feel good about their game. I learned a lot about how the game of golf is bigger than any one person.

What or who has had the greatest impact on your career?
When I realized how much work this was going […]

By |May 31st, 2012|0 Comments|

May 2012 PGA PROfile-Sponsored by Harris Golf Cars

 

Andrew DeSollar

College/University: Miami University, Oxford Ohio

Year Turned Professional: 1990

Facility/Job Title: Lacoma Golf Club, East Dubuque, IL
General Manager/Head Golf Professional.

What was your motivation to become a PGA Professional?
To be able to pursue a career being around the game of golf. I grew up playing the game in England and developed a great love for the history and traditions of the game.

What is your specialty in the golf business?
Being able to adapt to and manage successful golf operations in both the public and private side of the business.

Please list any accomplishments (Awards, Certifications, and Tournaments.)
PGA Master Professional, Golf Operations – 2004

What was your greatest moment in golf?
Achieving PGA Master Professional status.

What or who has had the greatest impact on your career?
My father and my first Head Golf Professional and mentor Tom Sargent at Yorba Linda CC in Southern California.

Besides golf, what else do you enjoy?
Spending time with my four children and traveling.

If you could play any golf course in the world, which one would it be and who would complete your foursome?
Augusta National. My father, Tom Watson, Arnold Palmer.

What is your favorite golf instruction tip?
It would be to all of my kids. My advice would be to have fun and embrace all of the great life lessons that the game of golf provides.

 

 

The Iowa PGA PROfile is proudly sponsored by Terry & Scott Harris of Harris Golf Cars.  CLICK HERE for more information on Harris Golf Cars.

By |May 1st, 2012|0 Comments|

April 2012 PGA PROfile-Gary Louvar-Sponsored by Harris Golf Cars

 
 
Name: Gary Louvar, PGA

College/University:  Upper Iowa University

Year Turned Pro: 1974

Facility and Job Title: Gardner Memorial Golf Course, Head PGA Golf Professional

What was your motivation to become a PGA Professional?
Helping golfer’s make their experience more enjoyable and becoming a part of the best Professional sports organization in the world.

What is your specialty in the golf business?
Tournament management

Please list any accomplishments (Awards, Certifications, and Tournaments.)
Iowa Section Junior Golf Leader 1998
Iowa Section Bill Strausbaugh Award 2007

What was your greatest moment in golf?
Through the years I’ve had many. The most satisfying are seeing how many people enjoy this great game knowing PGA Professionals have played a big role in that enjoyment.

What or who has had the greatest impact on your career?
My father. He gave me the opportunity to experience this business so I could turn it into a wonderful career. He also taught me how to deal with different personalities that we see every day.

Besides golf, what else do you enjoy?
Iowa Hawkeye and Green Bay Packer football. I also enjoy traveling and just looking at other golf courses around the country and how they differ.

If you could play any golf course in the world, which one would it be and who would complete your foursome?
Old St. Andrews. Tom Watson, Zach Johnson and my son, Kyle.

If you could give lessons to anyone in the world who would it be and what advice would you give?
Anyone wanting to learn the game, especially after retirement.It’s OK to play the game for fun and fellowship with those you play with. Give them the “It’s OK” list we promote through Play Golf America.

What is your favorite golf instruction tip?
Make sure you think of following through to your target on every swing.

The Iowa […]

By |April 3rd, 2012|0 Comments|

March 2012 PGA PROfile-Sponsored by Harris Golf Cars

Eric Johnston, PGA

College/University: Central College

Year Turned Pro: 2003

Facility and Job Title: Glen Oaks Country Club, Head Golf Professional

What was your motivation to become a PGA Professional?
My passion for the game of golf and having the ability to help others learn the game.

What is your specialty in the golf business?
Member Relations & Club Fitting – ensuring each member has the correct club to fit their game.

Please list any accomplishments (Awards, Certifications, and Tournaments.)
#1 golf course in the state of Iowa, Golf Digest 2011 Class A PGA Golf Professional.

What was your greatest moment in golf?
Being the captain of the Central College Golf team and playing in the National Championship.

What or who has had the greatest impact on your career?
Mike Moncel had a great impact on me throughout high school as my instructor and mentor for golf. Ken Schall has had an extensive impact on my career as a golf professional.

Besides golf, what else do you enjoy?
I enjoy spending time with my family, friends, and my wife, Megan. I also enjoy bowling and snowmobiling in the off-season.

If you could play any golf course in the world, which one would it be and who would complete your foursome?
Augusta National, my foursome would consist of my father Don, Jack Nicklaus and Dustin Johnson.

If you could give lessons to anyone in the world who would it be and what advice would you give?
Albert Pujols – I admire how great of an athlete/person he is. We would discuss how we were going to incorporate his flawless baseball swing into his golf swing.

What is your favorite golf instruction tip?
The grip is your connection to the golf club. Placing your hands properly on the golf club helps you better control the position of […]

By |March 5th, 2012|0 Comments|

February 2012 PGA PROfile-Zack Vervaecke-Sponsored by Harris Golf Cars

Name: Zack Vervaecke

College/University: Black Hawk Junior College and Southern Illinois University

Year turned Professional: 2008

Facility and Job Title: Jester Park Golf Course PGA Head Professional

Please give a summary of your Background and credentials
I started out as an Assistant for the City of Rock Island at Highland Springs and
Saukie Municipal Golf Courses. Got out of the business for about 3 years before
returning as an Assistant at Davenport Country Club. I was an assistant at DCC for
5 years before becoming the Head Professional at Jester Park Golf Course where I
have been for the past 4 years.

What was your motivation to become a PGA Professional?
I have always loved the game of golf since a very early age. When I left the
business for three years, I worked various jobs from changing oil and fixing tires, to
cleaning industrial ovens and oxidizers, running CNC machines, and finally
construction. It was my last job working construction that I realized how much I
really missed everything that the golf business had to offer. I made a few phone
calls and ended up taking the job at Davenport Country Club nine years ago. I can say
without question that I am glad I got back into the business.

What is your specialty in the golf business?
Jester Park is leased by a small Golf Management group called Green Golf
Partners. I know that I was skeptical going to work for a Golf Management group
but since doing so it has opened my eyes to all aspects of the business. The
amount of resources at my disposal helps me make precise, prompt-to decisions on
marketing, equipment, best practices, and much more.

Please list any accomplishments (Awards, Certifications, and Tournaments.)
2010 Iowa Open Champion

What was your greatest moment in golf?
Winning the 2010 Iowa Open and becoming a Class […]

By |February 3rd, 2012|0 Comments|

January 2012 PGA PROfile – sponsored by Harris Golf Cars

Lisa Miller, PGA
College/University: B.A. in Education from the University of Northern Iowa (first woman to receive an athletic scholarship in golf at UNI); M.A. in Athletic Administration from the University of Iowa
Year Turned Pro:  1994:; first woman to attain PGA membership in the Iowa PGA Section
Facility and Job Title:  City of Cedar Rapids Golf Operations (four courses). Director of Golf Operations; 17 years as an adjunct faculty member for the PGA PGM program; National Education Committee member
What was your motivation to become a PGA Professional? My spouse was my motivating factor to become a PGA Professional. I was looking for a career where I could utilize my talents as a coach, manage a business, work with people who were enjoying a sport and love going to work every day. Golf fit my dream.
What is your specialty in the golf business? Operations management….I fully enjoy golf programming and supervising both golf professionals and turfgrass superintendents.
Please list any accomplishments (Awards, Certifications, and Tournaments.)2005: Master Professional membership (Golf Operations) 2009: Elected to the Athletic Hall of Fame at the University of Northern Iowa2008: Iowa PGA Section, Horton Smith award2006: Iowa PGA Section, Bill Strausbaugh award2005 & 2003: Iowa PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year award for public facilities
What was your greatest moment in golf? Playing against Nancy Lopez several times in college.
What or who has had the greatest impact on your career? Teaching on the adjunct faculty for the PGA PGM program. The apprentices aspiring to become PGA members continue to influence my professional golf career.
Besides golf, what else do you enjoy? I enjoy all kinds of athletic activities: biking, basketball, gardening, and fitness walking. I also enjoy traveling, relaxing and viewing beautiful scenery plus wine tours.
If you […]

By |January 9th, 2012|0 Comments|

December 2011 PROfile – Jay Giannetto – Sponsored by Harris Golf Cars

Jay Giannetto, PGA
College/University:  Mississippi State University
Year Turned Pro:  2004
Facility and Job Title: Ames Golf & Country Club, Head Golf Professional
What was your motivation to become a PGA Professional? The love that I have for the game of golf was the only motivation that I needed in order to take the steps to become a PGA Professional.
What is your specialty in the golf business? I would say my specialty in the golf business is member relations. Being at a private club, it is important to make sure you always go above and beyond to make sure you take care of people.
Please list any accomplishments (Awards, Certifications, and Tournaments.) Class A PGA Member (2010), Won the 2011 Pro Superintendent.
What was your greatest moment in golf? Winning the 1998 Iowa High School State Golf Championship with my dad as a coach.
What or who has had the greatest impact on your career? My dad has had the greatest impact on my golf career. He was the one who introduced me to the game. He has always encouraged me throughout my playing days and he continues to support me now in my journey as a PGA Professional.
Besides golf, what else do you enjoy? I enjoy spending time with my family. I also love playing and watching basketball.
If you could play any golf course in the world, which one would it be and who would complete your foursome? I would love to play Augusta National. My foursome would be my dad, son Carter and Jack Nicklaus.
If you could give lessons to anyone in the world who would it be and what advice would you give? I would like to give a lesson to Barak Obama. The advice given would […]

By |December 2nd, 2011|0 Comments|

November 2011 PROfile – Kris Kuhnel – Sponsored by Harris Golf Cars

College/University: University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Year Turned Pro:  2011
Facility and Job Title:  Elmcrest Country Club, Assistant Golf Professional

What was your motivation to become a PGA Professional?

I started thinking about what I wanted my career to be when I was a young kid, much like most people. I went through the normal Pro Athlete phase, which was then followed by the doctor phase. I was actually pretty set on being a doctor until the summer before my Senior year of high school when I heard about the PGA Golf Management Program at Nebraska. Being from a small town, I had no idea what the golf business was about. We had a 9 hole course in town, but it was far from being PGA Certified, and we didn’t have any golf professionals. As soon as I found out I could have a career in golf, it was a no brainer for me. I loved golf and quickly realized I wanted to be around it every day. Naturally, being a golf pro was the perfect fit for that. That idea was quickly confirmed once I started the program and I haven’t looked back since!

What is your specialty in the golf business?

I wouldn’t really say I have a specialty yet, as I am still very young in the business. I am trying to learn as much as I can right now, and may choose a specialty in the future. I do enjoy club repair and teaching, especially beginners!

What was your greatest moment in golf?

My greatest moment was actually two moments in one. On Fathers Day 4 years ago, I got my hole-in-one at my home course in our annual father-son golf tournament. My father, grandpa, brother, and cousins were all […]

By |November 7th, 2011|1 Comment|

October 2011 PROfile-Bill Fetty-Sponsored by Harris Golf Cars

College/University:  Harper College
Year Turned Pro:  1975
Facility and Job Title:  Manager of Golf Services

What was your motivation to become a PGA Professional?
Love of the game, competition and dissatisfaction with life as a manager in a large manufacturer (International Harvester) assembly line floor.

What is your specialty in the golf business?
Taking non performing public/ municipal operations and making them profitable and an asset to the community by upgrading staff, amenities, conditions, tournaments and outings, and other programs like Junior Golf.

What was your greatest moment in golf?
Not sure it has happened yet- otherwise too many to count, but has to be connected to Junior Golf and the Sticks for Kids Program.

What are your accomplishments or awards?
Certified Golf Manager/ Oglebay NGF Program Founder
Quad City Sticks for Kids Pilot Program

What or who has had the greatest impact on you career?
The young Assistant Professionals I came into the business with back in the 1970’s and 1980’s. We were going to change the industry- and we did!

Besides golf, what else do you enjoy?
Travel, Cruising, Fishing, Bowling and Fantasy Football.

If you could play any golf course in the world, which one would it be and who would complete your foursome?
Augusta National with my regular Wednesday group at home.

If you could give lessons to anyone in the world who would it be and what advice would you give?
Bill Murray- Don’t give up your day job.

What is your favorite golf instruction tip?
It has evolved over the years from Hogan tips to currently I borrow a lot from Jeff Ritter- especially his power drill.

 

This Iowa PGA PROfile proudly sponsored by Terry & Scott Harris of Harris Golf Cars.  Click Here for more information on Harris Golf Cars

By |October 3rd, 2011|0 Comments|