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Getting Better Now from the Golf Business Network with Dean Kandle, PGA
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Getting Better Now from the Golf Business Network with Dean Kandle, PGA

Author: Dean Kandle

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By Golf Professionals for Golf Professionals. The Golf Business podcast bringing you the best education and information from the top PGA Golf Professionals in the industry as well as leaders from outside the golf business. Presented by the Golf Business Network, the leading network for Golf Professionals that are looking to excel in their careers and make an impact every day. Hosted by PGA Professional, Dean Kandle, Dean brings two decades of experience to the podcast and utilizes his knowledge to dive deep with guests to unpack valuable information and tools that can immediately benefit you as a PGA Professional. Beyond just Best Practices and career profiles, Getting Better Now focuses on the real skills that it takes to build a successful, sustainable career in the golf business.
32 Episodes
If you’re in a leadership role, there’s no doubt the spotlight has been shined on you to respond appropriately for all of the people that you impact.  How should a good leader respond?What if you’re not in a leadership role yet but are hoping to be in one someday soon?  Are there lessons you can learn from this crisis?  Where can you focus so that when it’s your turn to respond, you have the answers?Thanks to our guest, Leadership Expert John Eades, we get the answers to these questions and more.  John has been on the show before.  Back in episode 008, he coached us through the importance of building a positive culture on your staff and the elements of a great culture.  I encourage you to go back and listen if you didn’t hear that one.This time, John encourages us as Golf Professionals to use this time to evaluate where we are in our skill development and capitalize on this unique opportunity to improve.  Because as we’re finding out, the most valuable staff members are being retained in many cases.  So, have you asked yourself, how much value are you bringing to your facility?John is a very accomplished player, actually the reigning North Carolina Amateur Champion, and wants nothing more than to see all the Golf Professionals that make up our industry succeed and thrive.  He’s passionate about his work and passionate about golf and you’ll hear all of that in this episode.If you’ve been wondering if you’re taking advantage of the opportunities that come alongside such a difficult time, let John coach you through it in this
In this episode we're joined by Jason Sutton, aka “The Golf Guru”, who is the Director of Instruction at Carmel Country Club in North Carolina and the host of the appropriately titled podcast, “The Golf Guru” show.  But long before Jason was putting out 90+ episodes of his show, he was building a following online and developing his own brand, which as we talk about, has paid major dividends. He’s a personal development junkie and as we walk through his story, we find out how his commitment to learning and growing inside and outside of golf has led him to the successful spot he’s in right now.  Jason is open about one of lower points of his career and I think all of our listeners should tune into this part of his story.  It’s an invaluable lesson and reminder that many times in order to achieve our goals, we need to experience some failures and learn from those lessons.  Jason loves to mentor young golf coaches and we get into how you would know if you’re meant to be a full time golf coach and what all young coaches should do first, if they want to get better.  So no matter where you are in this industry and what type of Golf Professional you are, this is a great conversation with a lot of insight.  Check out Jason's podcast, The Golf Guru Show, and stay tuned for his new show "Coaching Better Now" which is part of the new Instructor Division of the Golf Business Network.
What’s your story?  If someone asked you that, do you have an answer?  How are you making an impact in the position where you currently serve?  Are you confident that you’re truly making an impact?  What are you doing to stand out from the crowd, so that someone might tell another person about you?  Anything?Some of these may be difficult questions for you to answer.  I know I didn’t have a great answer to all of them.  For Kraig Kann, he’s on a mission to show others the importance of answering these and many more questions, so as he puts it, you can “Stand Out When You Stand Up”.  If you’re in the golf business you most likely recognize Kraig from his 17+ years as an anchor on the Golf Channel.  As one of the originals when the channel launched in 1995, he eventually left for an opportunity to become the Chief Communications Officer at the LPGA.  While there his efforts led to an overhaul of the LPGA brand, which helped transform a once struggling tour.  But these days Kraig spends his time coaching individuals, teams, and companies about the importance of delivering their message, building their story, and generating influence.  Which in this day and age, is easier than ever to get out to the world, but still a monumental challenge for a lot of us.Kraig was the featured speaker at this year’s Golf Business Network Annual Meeting at the 2020 PGA Show.  In this episode, we cut in during Kraig’s presentation where he challenges the audience with a word he says defines him….elevate.  And he asks the question, “what word defines you?”
As PGA Professionals, we’re in the business of “Growing the Game”.  It’s a phrase we hear ad nauseam in our business.  Grow the game at our facilities, in our Sections, and in our communities.  So in order to do our job of growing the game, we develop programs for our members and customers that consist of clinics, lesson packages, golf schools, junior programs, beginner programs, the list goes on and on.  However, we rarely ask the critical question.  In our efforts to “Grow the Game”, are we making a lasting impact on the game by actually creating golfers?  What does it even mean to create a golfer? Ryan Dailey and Matt Reagan have been asking this question, and they’ve come up with an answer.  Who are Ryan and Matt?  There aren’t many of you out there that don’t know, but just in case you’ve missed it, they’re two regular Golf Pros that are revolutionizing how we introduce new players to the game.  Through the development and evolution of Operation 36, they’ve impacted thousands of golfers and helped Golf Professionals all over the world develop successful programs and businesses, all with an idea seemingly so simple you say “why didn’t I think of that?!”.Start from 25 yards and shoot 36 for nine holes and them move back to 50 yards.  Rinse and repeat.But beyond creating a long term development model for junior golfers, they’ve set out on a mission to create one million new golfers by 2025.  As audacious as that goal seems, they have a plan to reach it.  And it begins with a question we should all be asking at our facilities…”How do I create a golfer?”When we ask that question first and then work backward from there, the way we structure and create our player development programs fall into place.If you’re in the planning stages for 2020, this is a fantastic conversation to help you get on the right track and truly make an impact on your facilities this year and beyond.
If you’re a typical Golf Professional that takes on a number of different roles and responsibilities, even if you love to teach, finding time to fit in golf lessons can be a challenge.  Do you come in early? Stay late? Sacrifice time you set aside for other tasks and say yes to the lesson request? It’s a conundrum that we often fall into.And for a lot of Golf Professionals, the opportunity to teach provides one of the few chances to significantly increase their income.  So we squeeze in lessons so we can make our members and customers happy, while telling ourselves “at least I’m making a few extra bucks”.  Then there’s the question of whether or not we’re helping our students actually lower their scores.  Does the traditional range session truly develop a better golfer? Or should we be out on the golf course, practicing in the field of play, coaching our players to get the ball in the hole in fewer strokes?Will Robins has the answers to these questions.For years now, Will has been producing results for players by taking them on the golf course, often in groups and teams, to show them how to shoot lower scores, instead of starting with mechanical fixes and technical training on the range.  His patented “Scoring Method” provides a foundation for his players to grab what amounts to “the low hanging fruit” by tracking simple stats and bringing their opportunities to light.  The results he’s produced, speak for themselves.Will is “Revolutionizing Golf Instruction” and it’s the mission behind his company RGX.  With RGX, Will guides golf coaches all over the world to discover their ability to produce impactful results for their players and their businesses.  Through RGX, there are Golf Professionals that have generated life changing improvements to their business, without standing on the lesson tee from sunup to sundown, day after day.  Will is producing solutions to two major issues for today’s Golf Professionals.  How do we help our players improve so that they play more golf and get value out of the time and money they spend at our facilities?  And personally, how do we make a positive impact on our income without committing to more time spent on the lesson tee?Will’s backstory is unlike any other.  As an aspiring Professional, ready for life on tour, his life changed in an instant as the devastating Indonesian Tsunami swept up his new wife and him on their honeymoon in 2004.  While he and his wife were lucky to survive the disaster that claimed over 200,000 lives, due to injury, Will’s tour aspirations eventually disappeared.  He wasn’t able to play to the level he once did, and began to give lessons as a way to stay around the game. However as Will has said, he doesn’t view this as a negative.  Instead, it created the opportunity for him to uncover his true purpose.  The purpose of improving the games of golfers young and old, while bettering the lives of Golf Professionals all over the world.  While Will’s personal story is inspiring, I hope that you find more motivation in this conversation.  It’s all about how to quickly and easily generate more income in 2020.  There’s the chance that this will be the start of the best season you’ve ever had in lesson income.  Just follow Will’s advice and I certainly think it can be.You can find out more about RGX and Will at and at  
It’s been said that you can’t grow personally or professionally without developing self awareness.  Knowing how you’re perceived by others, what your strengths and weaknesses are, how you handle stress, and how you impact those around you, are just some of the elements of self awareness, that can go a long way in helping all of us reach enjoy success at work, and also at home.For Cameron Doan, the Head Professional at Preston Trail in Dallas, this pursuit of developing self awareness for himself and his staff members, has paid huge dividends.  For Cameron, he’s been able to lead each team member with a higher level of effectiveness, since he knows their individual needs and how they will respond in certain situations.  As he tells us, this has also allowed him to raise his level of self awareness and understand how his staff members perceive his actions.As the 2018 National Bill Strausbaugh award winner and a recent inductee into the Texas Golf Hall of Fame, Cameron has spent his career devoted to getting the most out of staff and helping them achieve their personal goals, no matter what those goals may be.  He's mentored countless PGA Professionals onto successful positions throughout the industry.  You’ll hear him describe the methods he uses to achieve this and plenty more valuable insight. You'll also hear Cameron's thoughts on the most critical skills for PGA Professionals, you'll learn the six types of motivation, and the four areas he focuses on, which he learned from a Hall of Fame basketball coach. This episode is a little longer than normal, but I thought it was too good to split up into two episodes.  This conversation is a wealth of knowledge from an expert in development and mentorship, and contains a lot of great lessons for all of us.  
In this episode, we dig into the ins and outs of the Head Professional interview process. This discussion is going to be a great resource for any of you listening that are either planning on interviewing for a Head Professional position or if you will be helping to coach an aspiring Head Professional through the interview process.  We brought back Patrick Seither (Episode 001 & 003), the President and CEO of the Golf Business Network, to pick his brain about his experience running the Executive Search side of GBN’s business.  Patrick sees this process through from start to finish, working with both the candidate as well as the clubs, so his insight is really unique in this area.  We discuss what clubs are looking for today in their next Head Professional, how you can stand out from the pack in a competitive interview process, the nuts and bolts of the interview including reference letters and portfolios, and how to ask thoughtful questions that can impress a search committee.  Hopefully this helps anyone out there that will be going through this process.  And if you are...good luck!
In Part II of our interview with the President of the PGA of America, Suzy Whaley discusses what’s going to help attract young people to our business and the PGA’s recruiting efforts, while addressing the need for manager’s today to evaluate the hours and days that they require from their staff during the season.  She continues with a discussion about the changes to the PGA education system and whether being able to select a specific career track will funnel too many young professionals toward “Teaching and Coaching” and away from traditional roles.  Suzy finishes with what she hopes she, the Board members and the Association can accomplish by the end of her Presidency.This is another entertaining and insightful conversation with one of the most influential individuals in our game today.  If you missed Part I, go back and hear Suzy talk about how she handles the challenges of managing all of her commitments on a daily basis and what methods she’s used to stay organized while building an incredibly successful career.This episode is sponsored by Golf Genius Golf Shop.  Find out more at
In this episode Clay Scroggins, author of "How to Lead When You're Not in Charge", walks us through the four behaviors that he’s pinpointed to be able to cultivate influence when you don’t have the title, while preparing you to succeed when the time comes and that title is yours.  This truly is one of the most important episodes we’ve done, because this information isn’t really taught in our business, but it can really help aspiring leaders in our industry to improve and make an impact.  Clay’s four behaviors are an outline on how to truly become an “A” player at your club and someone that stands out from the pack.  Follow them, and you'll be on the path to success.  And for those listening that are in a position where we often coach and mentor younger professionals in this business, Clay’s information provides a great framework to help guide us through that process.You can find out more about Clay at and pick up his book “How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge” on his site or on Amazon.
In many ways Suzy Whaley is just another Golf Professional.  She struggles with many of the same challenges that PGA Professionals face every day.  Parts of her story sound the same as many, many others.  But on the other hand….Suzy is the head of the largest organization in sports, and not to mention, the first woman to ever do that.  She holds one of the most powerful and influential positions in the game of golf.  She’s a trail blazer.  Not only has she played in LPGA tour events, but she played in a PGA Tour event. She’s probably done more media interviews than any PGA Professional in history.  In part one of our conversation, we tackle a couple of age old issues with PGA Professionals.  Time management and work-life balance.  If you’ve been following along, you’ve heard about these topics on this podcast before.  Partly because these issues are nearly universal in our business.  And because they’re probably not addressed with practical solutions often enough.  So what do you do if you get 600 emails a day?  How do you handle the stresses of raising a family and succeeding in this industry?  Suzy shares her methods and what’s helped her over the course of her career along with plenty of other great insights.  
When times are toughest, we feel like work is controlling our lives. We feel it’s the only thing we have time for (and sometimes don’t even have enough time for) while everything else (family, friends, health, finances) sits on the back-burner until things “slow down”.It’s why most PGA Professionals will tell you either directly or indirectly that finding “balance” in this industry is elusive, if not impossible, but something they wish they had.If you've ever struggled with the challenges of this business and feeling like you're being pulled in too many directions, this episode will help.  Based on data from experts, you'll learn where you can place your attention to help reduce the stress of being a busy Golf Professional and how success doesn't have to come at the expense of living a happy and fulfilled life.You can learn more by reading "The Balance Series" at learn more about the Golf Business Network, head to
One of the most beneficial aspects of the Getting Better Now podcast has been the ability to hear unique insights from leaders both inside and outside of the industry.  In this episode, we highlight some of our most popular guests and their advice for Golf Professionals as it pertains to furthering their careers.  We learn from Jim Smith of the Philadelphia Cricket Club, Tony Pancake from Crooked Stick, Sports Performance Psychologist Bhrett McCabe, Cary Cozby of Southern Hills, and Kevin Muldoon from Jupiter Hills.  If you haven't already, go back and listen to the full episode to hear everything these guests taught us during their appearances on the show.  
Jay LeDuc is a PGA Professional who’s spent over two decades in the golf industry and held positions running the gamut from Outside Services to Head Golf Professional.  Now from his spot outside the industry running strategy and innovation for a luxury travel club, he’s giving back to his fellow PGA Professionals through his podcast, the PGA Jay Show, and wealth of content on multiple social media channels.  Through this work, Jay’s been helping promote the usage of social media for Golf Professionals, showing how when used properly, social media can help you add value to your facility and advance your career.  In this episode, we get specific with his experience and share some tactics you can use right away to improve the results you get from social media.  Whether you’re an everyday user or you try to avoid social media like the plague, there’s something for you in this episode.  Follow Jay on Instagram @pgajay and subscribe to his podcast “The PGA Jay Show” on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or Spotify.
In this episode, we’re back with part two of our conversation with the GM/COO at Medinah Country Club, Robert Sereci.  Robert has profiled his “Top 10 Lessons They Didn’t Teach You in School” and in part one we covered 1-5.  In lessons 6-10, we continue to discuss these critical success skills that can make or break your career.We get into the difference between coaching and mentoring, and why you need to stop just being a coach, as well as how putting the success of others first will put you on the path to success.  If you haven’t done it yet, follow Robert on LinkedIn where he’s taken the time to write many pieces and articles that will benefit anyone working in the club industry, whether you’re on the golf side or food and beverage."The 10 Lessons They Didn’t Teach You in School" by Robert SereciThe difference between passion and purpose.You don’t know what you don’t knowUnderstand that your success is determined by others.How to manage and lead in a world of greyUnderstand how your club keeps scoreUnderstand that your success is determined by othersYour technical skills will become less important as you climb the ladderStop Coaching and start mentoringYour club governance model is more important then you realizeIt’s not about you. It never was.Episode 019 is brought to you by Golf Genius Software and their new product "Golf Shop".  To learn more, go to
Welcome back to part two of our conversation with Cary Cozby, the Director of Golf at Southern Hills Country Club.  If you missed part one, be sure to head back to episode sixteen and take a listen.  We talked about his mindset when he heard his dream job was open and what steps he took during the interview process, and after landing the job how he’s managed to maintain his operation at the highest levels on a daily basis.In part two we discuss, among other things the Oklahoma Sooners prospects of a national championship in 2019, what he looks for when filling Assistant Professional positions on his team, and how he handles the eternal question of the illusive work-life balance  Find out Cary’s opinion on that topic and more.Subscribe in Apple Podcasts here
As young professionals working in the golf business, often times our focus is on developing the set of what I call “vocational skills” that are specific to our industry...the teaching, playing, merchandising and event administration skills, among many others that our jobs require from us.But as our careers continue to evolve, success or failure can hinge on a new and different skill set.  Often referred to as soft skills, they should more properly be referred to as success skills.  These success skills include the ability to build and sustain relationships, developing emotional intelligence or EQ, learning how to lead and why that matters, becoming a mentor to your team, and many others.  I feel these are so important, it’s what motivated me to develop to dig deeper into how to develop these skills.Our guest in this episode has summarized these skills so well, I had to have him on to discuss this further.  Robert Sereci is the GM/COO at the renowned Medinah Country Club. You know Medinah from it’s storied history in major championship and Ryder Cup golf, but ironically Robert came to Medinah with little to no knowledge of that history.  And he’s used that to his advantage.  You’ll hear how being a “non-golf” guy has allowed him to view Medinah through a different lens that allows him to lead and strategize without any bias.  Robert is known as an intelligent businessman, a calculated risk taker and a mentor to many in our business.  The result for Medinah has been a thriving club atmosphere which is now a leader and innovator in the industry.  In part one, Robert walks us through the first five of his “Top 10 Lessons They Didn’t Teach you in School”.  These lessons are universally applicable to golf professionals and general managers alike...and even if you’re not in a leadership or management position yet, you’ll want to take notes and know where you can begin to develop the critical success skills that will help you down the road.Robert's Top 10 Lessons:The difference between passion and purpose.You don’t know what you don’t knowUnderstand that your success is determined by others.How to manage and lead in a world of greyUnderstand how your club keeps scoreUnderstand that your success is determined by othersYour technical skills will become less important as you climb the ladderStop Coaching and start mentoringYour club governance model is more important then you realizeIt’s not about you. It never was.
Cary Cozby, the Director of Golf at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is likely the most decorated PGA Professional you will ever find.  As a winner of 13 section awards plus the national Merchandiser of the Year award, his most unique and special recognition came in 2016 when he was named the PGA Professional of the Year, joining his father Jerry, the 1985 winner and the two became the only father/son duo ever to receive this national recognition from the PGA of America.  But as you’ll hear, this humble Oklahoman isn’t in it for the awards.  His love of his job and the opportunity to call Southern Hills his home, where he walked the fairways as a kid at major championships and spent five years as an Assistant, are what drives him everyday.  We talk about how to maintain your motivation each time you show up for work by using our natural competitive nature, and the mantra of “interviewing every day”.  Also, in part one, we cover how Cary manages to stay on top of the sizable and active golf operation without letting anything slip through the cracks.Cary Cozby's Awards and Accomplishments:Director of Golf, Southern Hills Country Club: 2015- PresentHead Professional/CEO, Wichita Country Club: 2000-20152002 PGA Merchandiser of the Year2003, 2009, 2010 Golf Professional of the Year, South Central Section2009, 2011, 2014 Bill Strausbaugh Award, South Central Section2002, 2007, 2010, 2014 Merchandiser of the Year, South Central Section2016 PGA Golf Professional of the Year2012 South Central Section Champion
In this episode of the Getting Better Now podcast, we have the opportunity to learn from one of the most highly regarded sports and performance psychologists in golf today.  Dr. Bhrett McCabe is the founder of The Mindside and works with numerous athletes from the PGA and LPGA Tours, NFL, NBA, MMA, and also serves as the sports and performance psychologist for The University of Alabama Athletic Department.In addition, he’s a golfer himself, a long time member at a private club in Alabama, a student of the game, and a former pitcher on a National Championship winning baseball team at LSU.  In a nutshell, he knows what we do at our clubs everyday and understands the challenges that we face as PGA Professionals at clubs when balancing our jobs with playing the game as well.He offers some terrific insight into how your mindset and self image will drive how you feel about yourself and your game, and is at the center of the results you’re able to produce on the course.  We also cover why it’s difficult to stay committed to doing all of the little things at work and in your game that can make the difference over time.  His knowledge and insight can be applied not only in golf and not only in sports, but can transform how you perform in your job and the results you produce in your everyday life.I definitely recommend that you check out his book, The Mindside Manifesto, and listen to his weekly podcast called Exploring the Mindside.  Be sure to listen at the end when Dr. McCabe lets us know how you can work with him personally and how you can bring him to your facility to work with your members and students.
Most of us in this business are in agreement that when working at a club, it’s important to place a special focus on your ladies program and for the ladies that are playing golf at your facility.  We also know that based on statistics, female golfers serve as a huge opportunity to bring players into the game both as beginners and as those that are interested in returning to golf after a long lay off. With this said, it can be a challenge to run new and innovative programs for your ladies that create interest, that develop their golf skills, and nurture their specific needs.  Our guest in this episode is an expert in this area and will help all of generate some new ideas to make our ladies programs stand out and be unique.Gia Bocra Liwski is a Class A LPGA Professional that’s been teaching the game for over 20 years and for the last 10 years has been teaching at Hamilton Farm Golf Club in Gladstone, NJ..Gia has been selected as one of Golf Digest’s Best Young Teachers in America as well as, a Golf Digest Best Teachers by State. One of Gia’s most unique experiences is that she was able to be the host of two separate golf, lifestyle and travel shows that only served to increase her love for the all of these areas and how things like travel, food, wine, and fashion integrate so perfectly with golf.  Gia recently launched Golf Experiences For Her, where she personally creates a very special & sophisticated day for women centered around getting better at golf while enjoying some of the finer things in life.  She’s going to detail what goes into planning such a fantastic day for women and let us know some of the details we can all add into our ladies programs, to improve what we’re offering in 2019.Gia’s available to visit your club and host a Golf Experiences for Her event for your members, or as a way to showcase your facility to potential members.  She could also be a great resource for you on a consultant basis, so if you have questions, you can find out more at or find her on Instagram at trywithgia.
Ever feel like you can't get away from your computer or phone during the day, because you're tied to an endless flow of email into your inbox?  In this day and age, communicating with our members, customers, students, and vendors frequently takes place over email.  Because of that fact, email can bog us down and keep us from getting other important tasks done throughout the day.  In this episode, we detail six methods that productivity experts agree can reduce the strain...and stress... that email can have on you, while letting you break away and get back to doing what most important for you in your daily work.
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