The PGA Professionals series of interviews on buffalogolfer shines a light on the tenders of the shops and lesson tees of Buffalo-Niagara. Chances are, you know the starter and the superintendent. Have you met your course or club professional? If not, find out where her/his office is, and make a point of getting to know the person who sets the tee sheet, stocks apparel and equipment, and so much more that you never considered. This week’s interview is David Green of Shelridge Country Club in Medina.
1. Tell us your name and how you got interested/involved in golf as a youth.
1. David Green, PGA Professional at Shelridge CC in Medina, NY. My grandparents were golfers and they took me to Sheridan Park as a young boy. I eventually played with them at Sheridan and Grover Cleveland.
2. Tell us a bit about your competitive golf experience in your younger days.
2. I played in several junior events growing up including BDGA events. I also played four years of high school golf.
3. What epiphany did you have that led you to the PGA of America and a club professional position?
3. I observed Jim Eldridge, Ron Venturini, and Dean Jewart growing up at River Oaks and I wanted to be like them. I had family in San Diego so I chose to attend the San Diego Golf Academy after high school.
4. Give us bit of history on the clubs you have represented as an assistant or head professional.
4. I started at Odessa CC in Odessa, Texas for one year after the golf academy. Then I came back to Buffalo and worked for Chip Clover at Brookfield CC in Clarence. I was an Assistant Pro for 8 years and a Teaching Pro for 6 years.
5. Run down the responsibilities of a club professional, including the tasks that might not be apparent to members and guests.
5. The major duties are running the day to day golf operations, run tournaments & leagues, run the golf shop, provide instruction, run junior golf, fit clubs to golfers and do repairs, and provide great service to all that come to Shelridge.
6. As a teaching professional, what are the most important tenets of your teaching philosophy?
6. I learned the Mac O’Grady swing model from Mike Bender and that is the foundation of every lesson I have given since then. The most important aspect of that model is keeping the club on plain and approaching the ball from the inside.
7. Give us an idea of your recent competitive history. Also, what do you work on to stay sharp
7. Unfortunately I must admit that the area of the golf business that I have neglected the most in recent years is my own golf skills. I guess it is a great irony that I went into the profession because of the love of playing the game and that is what I have worked at the least. I do love teaching the proper swing and watching them enjoy hitting a proper shot. I can say my itch to play more is coming back and I have dreams of playing in local PGA Section events in the future.
8. In competition, on what do you focus to achieve your greatest success? We know that golf and competitive golf are dissimilar, so what does a professional rely on (mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically) to compete his best?
8. I think a great player has a fundamentally sound technique, keeps them self in good shape for strength, flexibility, and stamina, and has mental toughness mixed with competitive desire.
9. What question haven’t we asked, that you wish we would? Ask it and answer it, please.
9. Being a part of the PGA of America and the Western New York Section has been a dream come true. All the members, students, and fellow professionals I have met over 25 years are the best relationships I have in my life.