Matt Powell2021 Southern Ohio PGA Associate of the Year
Matt Powell, Assistant Professional at Brookside Golf & Country Club, is the 2021 Southern Ohio PGA Associate of the Year. Brought into this industry through his passion for the game, Powell consistently provides exceptional service while working hard each day to improve as a professional. He leads colleagues and employees by exemplifying the hard work one puts in each day should be rewarding when you love the game. In the short time since beginning the PGA Associate Program, Powell has made great strides learning the inner workings of the golf industry including merchandising, teaching, operations and tournament management. He continues to excel daily in member experience and introducing new golfers to the game. Powell looks forward to growing as a PGA Professional. The 2021 Associate of the Year award is Powell’s first recognition for industry success in Southern Ohio.
Read below to hear Matt’s thoughts on being a successful PGA Associate.
SOPGA: What made you want to be a PGA Golf Professional?
MP: I’ve just always loved golf, loved being around it. It started when I was 12 years old and picking the driving range at Galion Country Club in Northern Ohio working for Mark Barrier who was the Head Professional at the time. He had a pretty big impact early on in my life. He gave me an opportunity to work there and work on my game and then I finally made the high school team. Once I graduated high school, I went to Cincinnati for a year and worked in health care but didn’t care for it and realized that golf was a much better calling for me. I ended up coming up to Columbus and fortunately worked inside the golf shop for my first year with Brad Zeitner, PGA at Brookside Golf & Country Club. And I said, you know, I could definitely do this. I enjoy it. I like being around the membership. I like being around the game and helping people get better. It’s about as good as it gets.
SOPGA: Is there a specific trait that you’ve seen your mentors in the business exemplify that you try to emulate now in your career?
MP: It’s a combination, I think, of hard work ethic and selflessness. If you can combine those two things, all the really good golf professionals that I’ve seen have those two traits. They don’t mind coming in before the sun comes up and they don’t mind staying until after the sun goes down; but they’re also very selfless in how they interact with their membership and their staff in allowing them to do certain things and helping when needed.
SOPGA: Is there any advice you would give to someone thinking about getting into the industry?
MP: Find a good Pro and work on your game, that’s it. Getting into the golf industry, you may not need to know exactly that this business is what you want to do. Work on your game first, because that’s the first step – you need to be able to pass that PAT. You can be great at all the education, but if you can’t pass that PAT, good luck. So work on your game.
And find somewhere that is just looking for help, under someone who is willing to teach you and allow you to do everything. You need to be able to find a Professional or a manager that will allow you to run tournaments, teach, help with every aspect of the operation, because that’s how you’re going to learn and that’s how you’re going to get better moving through your PGA coursework when you’re running through those portfolios.
SOPGA: What does it mean to you to be named the 2021 Southern Ohio PGA Associate of the Year?
MP: It means a lot. It was awesome when they called me and told me that I had won it because the people that vote on this award are your peers and mentors. They’re people you work alongside in the industry, who you see in the Southern Ohio PGA events, or that you just look up to and ask advice every now and then. To have them nominate me and then select me, it felt good. It felt really good. And hopefully one day as I continue to do this, I can have the opportunity to nominate one of my Assistants or someone else that comes in and excels in the industry.
About the Award: The SOPGA recognizes the PGA Member and Associate Assistant of the Year for their growth in their development as a golf professional as well as commitment to a career in the PGA. Criteria for these awards are based on: 1) overall performance as an Assistant golf professional; 2) services to the Section, Chapter or Association; 3) leadership ability and; 4) promotion of golf.