Rick Stewart, Teaching & Coaching
PGA Professional Rick Stewart took some time to discover that his passion was teaching & coaching. It took some time out of the country, and away from the golf business, for him to find the right career opportunity.
Stewart grew up in golf and graduated from New Mexico State University’s PGA Golf University Program with his Class A PGA Membership and a business marketing degree. He moved to Singapore to try tournament golf in Asia, and then migrated to Australia, where his PGA of America membership helped him secure jobs at The Australian Golf Club and Moore Park Golf Course.
Unsure if golf was the right path for him, Stewart took a step back from the game and put his business marketing degree to work as a project manager for church ministry organizations in Singapore, then Washington D.C.
“I worked on the National Prayer Breakfast, which was a great experience – I met congressmen and world leaders,” Stewart says. “Then my contract was up, and I started thinking about golf again.”
Visiting friends in Dallas, Stewart paid a visit to Topgolf and fell in love with the concept. He was hired as a PGA Director of Instruction at the Topgolf in Allen, Texas, in July 2015, then moved to the new Topgolf Orlando location last August in the same role.
Stewart says that without having gone abroad, he might not have been prepared for his current job at Topgolf.
“Having lived and worked as a golf coach overseas, I was exposed to people from all walks of life, and I learned how to connect with people quickly,” Stewart says. “That helps so much at Topgolf, because I encounter a mix of new customers every day, and from a really wide variety of income levels and backgrounds. Plus, I got used to some outside the box situations. So when I’m teaching a lesson at Topgolf and there’s music playing, I think it’s really fun.”
Stewart encourages other PGA Professionals to give global golf a try, or at least try teaching in some non-traditional locations to expand your experience.
“You know, golf in the U.S. is always going to be here – if you want to come back, you can,” Stewart says. “If you try something different, you’re going to grow, and you’ll learn what you really love the most.”
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