Shawn Costello, PGA Director of Golf at Kenwood Country Club earned his Master Professional status in Executive Management in March 2022. Growing up, he had a front row view into the daily life of a golf professional as his father, Central New York PGA Hall of Fame Inductee Dick Costello, spent 30 years at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course at Cornell University as the Director of Golf and Men’s Golf Coach. Following in his father’s footsteps, Costello began his career in 2009 as an Associate Assistant Professional at The Old Course at Broken Sound Club in Boca Raton, Fl. He continued to grow as a professional at premier facilities throughout the South Florida Section and was elected to PGA Membership in 2011. Costello’s commitment to continuing his education is evident as he became the first PGA Professional to complete every advanced certification offered by the PGA of America at the time. His journey to becoming a Master Professional in the Executive Management realm has also included expanding his skillset with service to the South Florida PGA in roles such as Chairman of the Southeast Chapter Awards Committee, Chairman of the Southeast Chapter Member Outreach Committee, co-Chair of the Southeast Chapter Education Committee/Chapter University, and a Director on the SFPGA Board of Directors. Costello was awarded the SFPGA Southeast Chapter PGA Professional Development Award in 2020 before accepting the Director of Golf position at Kenwood Country Club in Cincinnati, Ohio the following year.
Learn more about Shawn and his passion for continuing education in the industry below:
Q: What made you want to become a Master Professional?
SC: I have always had a thirst for knowledge and continuing education. I have made every effort to pursue additional educational opportunities whether it was completing every advanced Certification program offered through the PGA of America, to being nominated for and completing a year-long management program with Troon known as their LEADer program. I see immense value in these types of programs and truly enjoy giving back and helping my fellow colleagues increase their skillset and grow their careers.
Q: How do you think/hope this will change your career path?
SC: My hope is that I will continue to have an upward moving career path that allows me to utilize my strengths and abilities to the fullest, while helping to develop future leaders within the industry.
Q: What would you tell other PGA Professionals to encourage them to look at PGA Education opportunities?
SC: I would tell any PGA Professional at any stage in their career that the educational opportunities within the PGA will help elevate their abilities to become a better Professional and add significance to their job, their fellow colleagues, and to the memberships and facilities they serve.
I would also inform any PGA Professional that whatever their goals either personally or professionally may be, they will be enhanced by pursuing additional educational opportunities.
Q: Why is it important to work towards goals like this?
SC: Placing a high distinction on education and knowledge while embracing a growth mindset allows not only for self-improvement and advancement but lays the groundwork to be able to better educate and elevate those around you who are eager to learn and grow.
Q: Mentors are important in this industry. Was there a mentor that guided you or impacted your path in becoming a Master Professional?
SC: I fell in love with the game of golf at a young age and was fortunate to learn the industry while I grew up from my father who spent his career at Cornell University as the Director of Golf and Men’s Golf Coach. Like so many who have had wonderful mentors, I have also been lucky to have some amazing people from whom I have learned so much. I would be remised if I did not mention them:
– Jeff Waber, PGA: Director of Golf at The Old Course at Broken Sound Club
– Jeff Fitzherbert, PGA: Director of Golf at BallenIsles
– Paul Clivio, PGA: Director of Golf at St. Andrews Country Club
– Michael Gibson, CCM: GM/COO at Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club
Costello is one of seven PGA Master Professionals, and the only Executive Management specific, in the Southern Ohio Section. To reach PGA Master Professional Status, PGA Professionals must first pursue specialization and certification in the executive management, golf operations or teaching and coaching tracks. For more information on the PGA Master Professional Program offered through the PGA of America, contact PGA Membership Services or the Education Department to begin your journey today.