Grew Up in Rochester NY, and attended the PGA Golf Management program at Penn State University. PGA Head Professional at Ridgewood for 17 years.
THE REASONER STORY —
It is truly and honor to be the 2019 Bill Strausbaugh award winner. Early on in my career as a 23-year-old head professional at Ridgewood Country Club, I would at times search for purpose and reward in what I was doing as a PGA Professional. We have such a broad range of responsibilities as a PGA professional that sometimes our view of the “big picture” can be skewed. It wasn’t until I placed my first head professional that I realized the true reward and impact you can have on someone’s life. From that point forward I have made it my mission to mentor and coach PGA professionals and associates.
You wake up in the morning — what’s the driving passion?
It is our duty as PGA Professionals to represent our brand and association. At Ridgewood, I ask my PGA assistants two questions each day — did we exceed their expectation and how can we make the experience better?
These two questions can be asked of everything we do in life — both professionally and personally. I tell every assistant that works for me, regardless of the answer to question number one, question two must be asked. We must always be committed to improving and growing. If you ask yourself these two questions everyday and are committed to improve — you will be successful.
What separates the top tier club professional from those simply going through the daily motions?
Looking to improve everyday — a lot of small changes add up to a big one.
You were recently named the 2019 Bill Strausbaugh recipient by the PGA of America. What does winning the award mean to you?
It’s an honor to be recognized by your peers. Watching the growth of my assistant professionals and others that I have
helped is truly rewarding. I’m so proud of all they have accomplished in their careers and to help the PGA as an association.
How has the profession evolved since you first joined the ranks?
The skill set needed to be a successful PGA Professional has been expanding since the moment I got in to the business. Technology and customers service levels have changed the professional.
The single most important career defining lesson you learned was what?
Always look to improve both yourself and the operation around you.
As head golf professional at Ridgewood CC you interact with a wide variety of people throughout your daily work day. How do you handle time management and what steps have you taken to ensure a most productive day?
This is one of the toughest parts of a PGA professionals job. Where to be and when? Visibility and the number of personal interactions through each day can be tough when wearing so many hats. Looking at each day as a whole and prioritizing your time is the best way to make the most out of everyday.
If you could change one thing in golf unilaterally — what would it be and why?
Give direct benefits and create a pension program for PGA members. We need to encourage the next generation to get into the business and show how great it can be. If we can provide financial security to our PGA members through our association, we would be an extremely sought after career choice.
The major golf organizations — USGA, R&A, PGA of America, PGA Tour, LPGA — are all seeking ways to attract new players into the game. This is especially so with Millennials, women and minorities. If you were counseling them what would you advise they be doing?
Keep promoting the fun of the game and adapt to the desires of the next generation. Tradition and history of the game is second to none, don’t let tradition get in the way of evolution.
A young man or woman comes to you and says they want to be a PGA club professional. What would you say to them immediately?
It is an incredible journey. The game and the business of golf will take you to places you never dreamed of.
Best advice you ever received — what was it and who from?
Surround yourself with good people — create your own circle- my father.