By Drea Braxmeier
Manager of Media Relations
According to the majority of my family and friends, working in the golf industry is a breeze. Your season is only a few months long, you get to travel to some great golf courses, you only play in nice, warm weather. If this is all true and working in the golf industry is a breeze, someone forgot to forward that memo along to the AJGA.
It’s February, what some would consider the “Off Season.” The first tournament doesn’t begin for another month and a half. Most junior golfers (especially those buried under 10 feet of snow) have their clubs shoved in the back of their closets. After a two-week hiatus for Christmas, the AJGA staff came back swinging and hasn’t caught their collective breath since.
Tournament Directors begin working on their events soon after receiving their assignments.
Tournament Directors received their assignments for the beginning of the season. They quickly began to churn out introductory letters and started taking the necessary steps to arrange site visits. With a few more tournaments needing to be set, the Sponsorship and Tournament Development Departments have continued making trips to golf courses and sponsors across the country. The Finance Department is busy making sure everyone’s budgets for the season are ready to go. Communications quickly were assigned their media regions and began getting in touch with their old contacts. The Regional Directors continue to travel throughout the country and set up seminars for parents and players on how to get involved in junior golf. The Development Department has started sifting through ACE Grant applications for 2007 in addition to organizing all their funds from 2006. Player Services has started accepting applications for tournaments, answering phone calls about anything and everything, and doing all the other wonderful things that Player Services does.
And that’s not counting the other major events that the AJGA hosts during its “Off Season.”
February 15-18 brought about the AJGA’s Annual Meeting. Each year, the AJGA hosts approximately 150 Tournament Chairmen, Sponsors, Golf Course Staff and others who help in ensuring success of the AJGA’s 76 national tournaments. Preparations for this weekend begin in early December and go all the way up to the day of the event. Each staff member is assigned a committee and helps make sure the event goes off without a hitch. From food and decorations to transportation to golf, there is something for everyone.
Candidates from the 2006 Intern Recruiting Weekend work hard on a team building project.
While the end of Annual Meeting brings about a sigh of relief for some, it is just the beginning for others. The next big step during the AJGA “Off Season” is Intern Recruiting Weekend. For three days during March, the AJGA brings in 84 of the best candidates who applied for the Traveling Internship Program. These three days consist of interviews, team building exercises, games, guest speakers and lots of food. It is an extensive interview that will help determine the lucky 45 who will have the summer of their lives (think Road Rules minus the camera). While IRW is only three days, months of preparation and interviews led up to the main event. An event that, again, is held during the “Off Season.”
There are plenty of other “Off Season” activities that AJGA Staffers participate in, both in and out of work. Trips to Orlando for the PGA Show. Trips to New York City to visit various media outlets. Dental plans that need upgrading. Soccer games to play. Marathons to run. Ultimate Fighter Challenge and 24 to watch. Rounds of golf to play. Wait, scratch that last one.
It’s been said if you want to play golf, don’t work in the industry. With so many things going on during the “Off Season” it’s easy to see why. While the AJGA is a great organization that anyone would love to work for, maybe the “Tournament Season” will bring about a much-needed break. Maybe.