Golf job: Heyrman spends summer with Wisconsin PGA

I acquired my current golf job with the Wisconsin PGA Junior Foundation two years ago. Initially I applied for an internship with the Wisconsin State Golf Association but am thankful that I was hired to work as a Tournament Director for the Junior Foundation instead. Since then, I haven't looked back and I've truly enjoyed my time at the Wisconsin PGA Junior Foundation.

My responsibilities are to run tournaments for kids aged 11-18 in what is called our Junior Tour. Out of our 43 Junior Tour events, I will help run approximately 30 of them. Our tournaments have anywhere from 40-120 juniors in every tournament, and the tournaments are hosted at courses all across the state.

A Day in the Life of Nick

On tournament days I leave my house around 5 or 5:30 am and drive to the course. If the tournament is more than an hour and a half from my house I get to stay in a hotel the night before and if lucky, I play golf before the tournament at a course in the area. The tournaments that we host are played at some of the nicest tracks in the state including Whistling Straits, Blackwolf Run, and Erin Hills. Additionally, our Junior Tour tournaments are very affordable (most events cost $40 per player).

golf job wisconsin pga nick nextgengolf nccga

Nick Heyrman (far right) and fellow interns at a junior tournament in Wisconsin.

Typically, I get to the course at 6:30 am for an 8 am shotgun start. I handle registration for all of the players, go over the details of the tournament with the course's PGA Professional, and try to get walk-ons into the event. At 7:45, I gather the players around the practice putting green and act as the starter, going over important details. Once everyone is clear on the tees they are playing, the local rules, and concept of keeping each other’s scores, I send them off to their starting holes. Once the players are on the course, it is my responsibility to drive around and monitor pace of play, similar to my role at NCCGA Nationals.

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As the juniors come in after play, I collect their scorecards by group and enter their scores into the system and post them on the scoreboard. Once all of the scores are in, I present 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place awards to the juniors for the three age divisions: Girls 12-13, Girls 14-15, Girls 16-18, Boys 12-13, Boys 14-15, Boys 16-18. Our awards ceremonies traditionally include the course PGA Professional, and we make sure to thank all course staff members and the Superintendent for allowing us to play their course.

IMG_2885After the awards ceremony, I like to get post-round pictures of the competitors on social media and share the results with everyone. Then it’s time to pack up, head back to the office to store the paperwork, respond to some emails, and begin the process all over again for the next tournament.

Some weeks I will only stop by the office for 2-3 hours because I am so busy travelling. In a typical week, I will log about 300-500 miles, 60-70 hours and run 3-5 tournaments. When I'm not running tournaments, I get the paperwork and pairings ready for the upcoming tournaments. I do this administrative work at our office, which is located just outside of Milwaukee.

 Carrying on the Tradition

Despite all of the early mornings, long drives, and challenges of the golf job, it is a very rewarding position. When I was a junior, I played in the same tournaments that I am now running. If it wasn't for the interns back then, I would not have had as pleasant an experience with golf and may not still be playing competitively.

Additionally, my internship allows me to meet many people from all around the state who I can always learn from. I have already received a few internship offers for next summer from the parents of juniors who play in my tournaments. Furthermore, I get to play golf at some of the nicest courses in the state because I work for the PGA's Wisconsin Section.

**Nicholas Heyrman is the NCCGA Director of Tournament Operations in 2015. Follow him on twitter @NCCGATourneyOps.