3 minute read

PGA WORKS Fellow: Hope Warkoczeski

Throughout the 2020 golf season I had the privilege of meeting many PGA Professionals, Junior Golfers, Veterans and Foundation partners, but I want to formally introduce myself.

I grew up in Michigan where I picked up the game of golf in the LPGA Girls’ Golf Program. My mom is a life-long golfer who encouraged me to play the sport she loves, golf. It is because of the LPGA Girls’ Golf program that I went on to play Varsity golf in high school, volunteer to coach junior golf programs (i.e. Junior Golf Camps, Girls and Boys Golf) and work at Fox Hills Golf and Banquet Center for six years. I fell in love with the game.

While exploring my options for after high school, I knew playing college golf was not going to be an option (due to my desire to attend a larger school and my average golf scores). Instead, I studied Sport Management at Central Michigan University (CMU) where I worked in the Athletic Compliance Office. During the Summer, I would do double time working at the golf course and golf related internships. Some of my classmates may have thought I was odd for not choosing the NBA, MLB, NFL or NHL, but I knew golf is the sport for me.

It was after a chance encounter with the Michigan PGA WORKS Fellow that taught me about the opportunity designed to diversify the golf industry, the PGA WORKS Fellowship. The opportunity appealed to me because of my passion for helping to do just that, diversify the golf industry. Through my many golf experiences, I know golf is a male dominated sport and I would like to help change that. Whether it be through junior golf programs or encouraging more women to play. I was fortunate to have women support me early in my golf career like the two women PGA Professionals who coached me and the two women who own the golf course in Michigan. I know it is my turn to support other women in golf.

Following my offer to be the PGA WORKS Fellow in Western NY, I finished my final semester at CMU online and did a virtual graduation with my close family. Next, amid the COVID-19 pandemic I made the move to Buffalo to work in the WNYPGA and was thrown right into the fire.

My experience as the fellow has been incredible. The entry-level position has allowed me to captain the Doubles Golf Program here in the Section, be at almost every WNYPGA Junior Tour event and help promote the large PGA HOPE WNY program. I enjoy the many conversations with juniors about their golf round and with veterans about how golf has saved their lives. Professional events are always fun as I get to see our PGA Professionals succeed.

Part of my love for expanding the game is learning different teaching styles for golf. During PGA HOPE clinics and other events across the section, PGA Professionals have been so kind as to tell me about their teaching styles. It is the little things like this that make the PGA WORKS Fellowship so special.

I continue to learn so much about what happens in a PGA Section and it is such a pleasure to serve the golf community in Western NY. Fire Up Chips!

Submitted by: Hope Warkoczeski WNYPGA & PGA REACH WNY PGA WORKS Fellow hwarkoczeski@pgahq.com