Extra Spin

Social Studies: 13 Questions With @ClubProGuy

Photo: Twitter.com/ClubProGuy

We grabbed some time with one of the most vocal golf club professionals on Twitter, @ClubProGuy. Hailing from Kansas City, Club Pro Guy gives a voice to club professionals all around the world, working sunrise to sunset for their members and golf clubs.

Sure, a lot of the things found on the Twitter account might not directly reflect the profession, but even Club Pro Guy would tell you: "There's a little CPG in every club pro I have ever met."

Why did you create the @ClubProGuy account back in 2013? 

I wasn’t getting a lot of traction with my MySpace page, so I thought I would give Twitter a try.  It’s an attempt to communicate with the members without having to actually speak to them face to face.  

What is the life of ClubProGuy like?

Well, let’s take today for example.  I opened the doors at 6:00 a.m., spent 7:00 to 8:15 in the restroom, conducted a ladies flop shot clinic from 10:00 to noon, took a nap in the bag room, assembled a Top-Flite Magna display until 2:00, met with the Aureus apparel rep until 4:00, then spent the remainder of the afternoon dotting scorecards for tonights 3-Club Mixed Couples Twilight Shamble.  Finally, I hand-picked the range until dark and called it a day.

Did you always want to be a club pro?

CPG: In my final year on tour I missed 26 of 28 cuts while battling vertigo and a paternity suit from a Cabo San Lucas motel maid.  Like most aging professional athletes, something inside me told me it was time to retire.  I knew I wanted to ‘give back’ to the game, so I put the word out that I wanted to be a teacher and club pro. I received offers from several driving ranges as well as the club I am currently at, and the rest is history.  

What is the most difficult part of the club pro life?

The most difficult part of club pro life is trying to find time for a personal life.  Sure, I’m heavily involved in searching for companionship via online dating, Craigslist etc, but it’s difficult in my profession to maintain a long term relationship.

What is your favorite part?

The best part of being a club pro is that I make a great living ($32k/year) and am able to buy Sabona bracelets and Greg Norman Straw Hats at cost.  

Your Twitter bio says you have a history on mini tours in Mexico. The events are impossible to find online. Are these little white lies that you use to give yourself credibility around the members?

I was unaware that the internet did not have a record of those results.  I need to look in to that, but I have dial-up so it may take a while.  But to answer your question, having played golf for a living at the eighth-highest level gives me tremendous credibility with the members and I’m very proud of that.  My biography, along with the fact that we stack our range balls in pyramids makes this club special, and I think the members recognize that.

Is that the extent of your playing career?

I haven’t played competitively in over five years.  Back in 2010 I was suspended indefinitely by the Midwest Section PGA for a regrettable incident that took place at a charity benefit for the First Tee Foundation.  My game has regressed significantly since then.  I’ve struggled with confidence issues and underwent a major equipment change (Lynx to Nickent Golf) that I’m still trying to adapt to.

Do you follow many Tour players?

I follow Tom Gillis (@tcgillis) who lost in a playoff to Jordan Spieth at the John Deere earlier this year.  I follow him because he regularly retweets my swing tips and seems like the type of guy who could hang as my wingman at a Twin Peaks Happy Hour.  

If a healthy Tiger Woods gave Club Pro Guy nine strokes, what is the final score of the match?

If I could get him on my home course it might be closer than you think.  Our greens typically run at a 5 on the stimp meter and our beverage cart girl is a spitting image of Rachel Uchitel. It would not be a conducive environment for Tiger to play well in.

From Twitter, I gather you’re quite the gambler. Have any good gambling stories from the golf course?

My nickname on tour was “tres-a-lado” (three-a-side), because that’s how many pops I needed.  Back in '96 we got in to a game outside Mexico City with a couple guys who were suspected cartel members. Midway through the front side they start complaining about my strokes.  Long story short I hole out a bunker shot on 18 for bogey (net par) to win 17,000 pesos. In a fit of rage, one guy pulls a gun and shoots a hole right through my Lynx staff bag, completely destroying my 9 wood and ball retriever in the process.

One more thing on gambling.  I believe it’s the lifeblood of the sport.  That’s why I put such a strong emphasis on it in my Junior Clinics.  The kids spend an entire day dedicated to gambling.  Not only do they learn the various gambling games (Nassau, Peoria, Vegas, etc) but they also master important concepts such as: stroke negotiation, the art of the press and the subtle nuances of handicap manipulation.  There is a time and a place for swing fundamentals, but first and foremost give me a kid who knows how to win a bet.

According to your blog, lessons with you are pre-paid and year-round. Can you explain this approach?

I tailored my lesson package to that of a health club membership or fractional vacation home ownership. The goal is for me to collect a large sum upfront while locking my students in to a confusing long term committment that has no discernible beginning, end or clear exit strategy.  I don’t even really understand it.

Lastly, what’s the key to hitting it straight?

There are several keys.  Can I interest you in a lesson package? 

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