Golf Season Is Upon Us

Joel Sandman
Joel Sandman
Published on April 3, 2018

Masters’ week is here already, the azaleas are beginning to bloom, Jim Nantz will soon welcome us all with “Hello, friends.” and if we are lucky we’ll get to see a few signature Tiger fist pumps over the weekend! 

 

This week signals the unofficial beginning of golf season for many of us.  The perfectly manicured fairways, undulating greens and risk reward holes that always lead to drama on Sunday inspire us all to go out and take one last shot at glory. The 1997 Masters that Tiger won by 12 shots was the first time I had ever watched golf on TV. I was 13 years old and watching a 21 year old completely rewrite history.  Golf was now cool!

After that week, I decided I was going to give golf a shot and I’ll never regret that decision.

 

 

My journey from golf to Real Estate!

 I applied for a work permit the day I turned 14. As soon as I had that piece of paper I went and turned in my application at the local golf course and as fortune had it, they were hiring. My older brother also got a job there and that was lucky for me as he had just turned 16 so he could drive me to work as well.

Whenever I wasn’t dodging golf balls while picking the driving range I was busy working on my own golf game. I was super driven to improve as both my young and older brother had a lot of natural talent and were both All State caliber players in high school. From a young age, I was a natural athlete being the captain of my baseball, basketball and soccer teams. Golf was a completely different story, I was terrible! I couldn’t stand that I was being beat by my brothers (especially my younger bro) so every day when I got off of work I would head to the range and hit balls until my hands would bleed. For those of you who do golf (I’m imagining that is the only way you’ve made it this far in this post), I was able to bring my handicap down from a 19 to a 5 in one year.

The local PGA Professional at the club took an interest in me after seeing my dedication. Its true we live in a small world, we later found out that we are second cousins. The time spent helping me improve my golf game eventually became a true friendship. Joe became my closest friend and mentor. My dad always traveled a lot when I was a kid and I would only see him 3-4 times in a year. In a lot of ways he took on that role of father figure and made sure I was keeping my nose clean away from the golf course. He is still one of my closest friends to this day.

After my junior year of college, I decided to take my PAT (Players Ability Test).  You need to play in a tournament against your peers in order to turn professional. I was able to pass this test on my first attempt and moved back to Western NY from North Carolina to accept my first job as an Assistant Golf Professional, working for my mentor, Joe. 

I always knew that I wanted to have a positive impact on kids and pay it forward the way that Joe did for me growing up. Over my career I was able to coach some of the greatest kids that you will ever meet. One of my first students was Gavin Hall, who received a full scholarship to The University of Texas and is still pursuing his dream of playing on the PGA Tour. The children that I worked with were always my favorite part of the job and what kept me inspired to work the crazy hours that I did.

In the last few years I met my wife and have started a family when we welcomed our young son into the world last year. Once I became a father I realized that I needed a profession with more flexibility. From selling my own homes I was able to learn more about the process of a real estate transaction. I had become very good friends with our realtor and her husband and as fortune would have it, they were starting their own brokerage company, Forsyth Realty Group. All of the soft skills that I had acquired from many years in the golf business (customer service, attention to detail and the ability to multi-task) translated perfectly into real estate. I am now working in a new field but my goal is the same, to deliver the best possible experience to my clients. And thus, a new career was born! 

I still love to hit the links whenever possible, give me a shout and we’ll tee it up! 

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