by Brian Dobak
Here is why the Sea Island experience sets itself apart from others. When I was there, they expected to have you there for no more than 3 years. Within those three years, they heavily invest in you. It's not a passive investment where they just rely on the day-to-day nuances and activities and call it an "investment". They invest in you with intentionality, honestly assessing you and learning what your strengths and weaknesses are. They take the next step by putting your strengths into play but also giving you the experience needed to improve your weaknesses. They also look at every component of the golf operation and assess how they can intentionally use it to help develop an assistant professional. Intentionality is key. What does this intentionality look like practically?
The leadership at Sea Island Golf Club allowed you to lead people yourself, literally. It's not the kind of passive empowerment where you can only lead with a supervisor by your side and they call it "leadership". They hire the right people, trust them, cut the leash, and let you loose to lead, make mistakes, and learn. At some point, you can expect to be assigned to a particular staff within the operation, including the outside operations staff, the starter/ranger staff, or the pro shop staff. Leading a department of staff will include scheduling, policies and procedures, accountability, running meetings, etc. By nature of your relationship with the particular staff, you will have opportunities to motivate and discipline when necessary. This is invaluable experience for an assistant professional striving to become a Head Professional.
Intentionality. It's not rocket science, but it is rare.