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    My Golf Passion: Brian Riddle, PGA

You have displayed incredible dedication to the game of golf and to the North Florida PGA Section in general. What is it that motivates you to show such dedication and devotion to the game?

I believe my motivation comes from a natural desire to lead and serve. Since I was a kid, I always wanted to be involved and be in the middle of the action; whether it was being the Point Guard on the basketball court or Shortstop on the baseball field. I wanted to be in a position to lead others and I think that has helped me get to where I am today. I enjoy leading, I want to provide direction and guidance at the club and be a go-to person. In my quest to gain more knowledge in the game and business of golf, I have found myself in positions like the President of the PGM program while at NC State University, Head Professional of TPC Sawgrass, Chapter Chair of the Education Committee and sitting on the Special Awards Committee for the Section. It’s fun to be involved.

Who is it that introduced you to the game and what is the story behind that?

Much like many PGA Professionals today, my father introduced me to the game of golf at a young age. I was too young to play but I was allowed to ride in the cart while he played. Naturally, I wanted to be like dad and couldn’t wait to get a club in my hand. My dad wasn’t the greatest of golfers (and he was a lefty) so when I was old enough to pick up the game, he made sure I saw a PGA Professional before I picked up any bad habits.

We believe that PGA Members are the experts in the game and business of golf. Our Members are passionate about playing, learning, serving, and leading. Out of these 4 passion areas, which is most important to you and why?

If I had to narrow down to just one, I would say I’m most passionate about learning. I’m never the smartest person in the room, but I would like to strive to be. I’ve been fortunate and graduated with a BS degree from UNC Wilmington and also a BS degree from NC State University (PGM). When I started working at TPC Sawgrass, I worked for Bill Hughes (Mater Professional) and Matt Borocz (2 Certifications). I saw the value in furthering my eduation and became certified in Golf Operations and also General Managment. My Golf Operations Capstone Paper was titled “How to Put Yourself in Top Demand” and was was solely focused on how to educate yourself in areas such as golf operations, rules and history of the game.  It was important to share this thirst for knowledge with the Assistants and ecnourage and push them to also be certified. I’m very proud to share that at one point, all 6 of the Assistant Golf Professionals under me were Certified Golf Professionals. We are truly proud of that.

What is something that your fellow PGA Members might not know about you?

Many of the professionals in the Chapter are aware because their support has been overwhelming but I am a new father. Bryce is 3 months old and I now understand what others mean when they talk about how special it is to be a father. It’s been life changing and allowed me to put a whole new perspective on the world.

If your golf ball could speak, what would it say to you or what would it say about you?

If my golf ball could speak, it would probably tell me to find a fairway every once in a while! It would also tell me to spend more time on the course, at home and to not forget to enjoy life. I’m learning more now than I ever imagined how important a work-life balance is to a PGA Professional and to anyone in general.

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