#KSPDMonth Staffer Spotlight Series: Matt Montecucco
Throughout KemperSports Player Development Month, we’re highlighting some of our spectacular staffers who are going above and beyond to inspire a love and passion for golf in others and using the game to positively impact their local communities.
Matt Montecucco, PGA
Chambers Bay (University Place, WA)
Number of years spent at Chambers Bay: 4
Total years worked in the golf industry: 14
How were you introduced to the game of golf?
I was introduced to golf by my grandfather. He took me to the driving range at a little 9-hole course in Spokane, Washington and I fell in love with it! Prior to this experience, I was playing youth soccer.
What motivated you to pursue a career in the golf industry?
I wasn’t the smartest kid in school and didn’t know what I wanted to do in college or after college until I found out I could get a college degree with an emphasis in golf. The closest college that both gave me this opportunity and allowed me to remain close to home was the University of Idaho.
What does Player Development Month mean to you?
Player Development Month means this is the time to shine! I believe you must make it fun for people because that’s what is going to bring them back. During my junior days, there wasn’t much fun and it was “do this” and you’ll do better. But when I would play and I was doing “that,” it wasn’t working and I lost the fun after a while. My major key is to make sure that people find the fun and enjoyment when out they’re out there. It’s always a great feeling when you see their faces and you know something has clicked and that they are confident in their ability.
What makes your property’s player development program successful?
Chambers Bay is successful because we have such a large practice facility to do so many different types of programs and lessons. Just the other day we took a group of golfers to the side of the range on a slope where they could learn and try uneven lies, which is something people are not always comfortable with when on the course. Also, many courses don’t have grass practice areas or slopes to practice on that create real on-course conditions and scenarios.
What’s the one piece of advice you think all beginners (kids and adults alike) can benefit from hearing when first taking up the game or returning to the game after an extended time away?
For me, it’s all about understanding why the ball does what it does. The swing path, or the direction in that you swing and point the club, is the starting direction of the ball. The club face angle at impact is then what causes the turn of the ball. Both points are so important to understand because when you grasp them both, it’ll help you to self-diagnose the problem and make the proper adjustment versus building bad habits and trying a bunch of different things to correct the issue.
Looking to the future of the game, how do you see player development programming and instruction evolving?
The future of the game lies in the hands of juniors and families. I often say and believe that we grow the youth of tomorrow through golf. Without junior golfers and making golf welcoming and fun, they might not golf much in the future, and in turn, miss out on the valuable life lessons and opportunities the game teaches and creates. Getting families to golf together is also great because it’s a way to bond and have fun. At Chambers Bay, we offer adult/junior scramble plays to encourage family golf
What’s your advice to other facilities looking to take their player development programming to the next level?
Make it more fun and encourage family-friendly programs!
See below for other #KSPDMonth features from across the KemperSports family:
- #KSPDMonth Staffer Spotlight Series: Cody Franke
- #KSPDMonth at Reston National Golf Course
- #KSPDMonth at Chambers Bay
To learn more about player development opportunities at a KemperSports course near you, visit kempersports.com/growthegame.
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