KemperSports Golf Professional Feature: Chris Thomson
KemperSports is one of the largest employers of PGA professionals in the country. In conjunction with our ongoing player development initiatives, we will share features on golf professionals within the KemperSports portfolio of properties – experienced individuals dedicated to growing the game and sharing their passion for golf with others.
PGA Director of Golf at Wilderness Ridge Golf Club (Lincoln, NE)
Learn more: https://www.wildernessridgegolf.com/chris-thomson-pga
Q: What motivated you to begin teaching?
A: I have always loved to help people get better and was fortunate to surround myself with some outstanding instructors from an early age that motivated me to learn more about the golf swing and observe how they taught. I especially enjoy player development for adults and juniors and have been able to grow a solid business over my 9 seasons with Wilderness Ridge.
Q: What has been the most impactful moment in your teaching career thus far?
A: I have had lots of impactful moments working with students and not sure I can pinpoint one specific thing. If a kid makes the high school team that is impactful. If a student breaks whatever goal they have that is impactful. I have taught people that have had low scoring averages for their high school career and one that was inducted into their college Hall of Fame. So, each moment is measured by what is going on with that particular student. Bottom line, I love to teach and have formed a great team around me that likes to grow the game as much as I do. THAT’S IMPACTFUL to be able to mentor staff while you are coaching players.
Q: What advice do you have for a beginner picking up the game?
A: Find a facility that embraces new players and juniors to the game and enroll in one of their programs. Wilderness Ridge offers pee wee camps, junior camps, Jr. lesson/leagues, Jr. Team Golf (The Divot Dogs) High School girls only, Ladies Bootcamps & Get Golf Ready. We also offer an instructional program for our Wednesday Night Ladies League for only $10 per person. We also have 5 PGA professionals that are quite busy with private instruction. With a wide variety of programming we can touch many people ready to get into the game or go to the next level.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
A: Being the PGA Director of Golf I get to play a part in the overall golf operations. I absolutely love coming to work every day and trying to make everyone’s experience positive whether they are here to play golf or learn how to play. Every day is different and every day has new challenges and rewards.
Q: In your opinion, what makes golf great and fun?
A: Golf is a game you can play for the rest of your life. I have never witnessed an 80 year old sliding into second base or getting tackled on the football field. Golf teaches you so many lessons about patience, persistence and hard work and it is always a different game each time you tee it up. I have taught 3 year old pee wees who are just beginning their journey into golf and 80 + year old’s who continue to want to work on their game because the journey isn’t over. My tag line on my email is “golf is fun, play more golf”. If you can teach beginners to play more relaxed rules and that there are no “golf police,” they will enjoy the game more and stay with it. I encourage all juniors to continue playing other sports, but when those stop (because they will), golf is there for the rest of their life!
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