Faculty Spotlight: Eddie Brown, PGA Professional and Instructor at Golf Academy of America in Myrtle Beach
Oct 8, 2018
Eddie Brown wasn’t particularly interested in majoring in any of his classes in college. But the more he learned about the golf industry, the more it appealed to him. He began his journey into the golf industry working at a golf merchandise location in Hilton Head, South Carolina in the late 1980s. He soon met a PGA Tour player who was starting a golf management company, and that friend offered him a position as the first assistant with the Hampton Club on St. Simons Island, Georgia.
Brown took the position and found himself doing much more than an average assistant. While he was waiting for the new course to be completed, Brown began working first-hand on the final stages of golf course construction.
This process was delayed by the infamous Hurricane Hugo, which devastated the area and significantly set back construction of the course. However, the delay resulted in an opportunity for Brown to step in at a higher level once the course finally opened. He was given an immediate crash course on golf operations and was running the club just a few months after the new course opened.
Brown’s Golf Course Management Career
Over the next couple of years, Brown handled operations at the Hampton Club. He earned his PGA membership in October 1993 and became head professional at several different courses in the Myrtle Beach area that his management company had acquired. As the company continued to expand, Brown gradually moved into a corporate role, taking on the title of vice president. In this capacity, Brown oversaw daily operations for all facilities and helped with some aspects of new course construction.
In addition to managing day-to-day operations for the courses, as vice president, Brown was also involved in acquisitions of new courses, analyzing logistics, negotiating business costs and a myriad of other executive duties. He continued to work in this capacity for about 10 years, until 2001 when he decided to branch out into his own solo venture.
Using all of his hard-earned experience and knowledge, he leased a course near Savannah, Georgia and started his own small golf management company. He hired someone to run it day-to-day, which allowed him time to do other things — like join Golf Academy of America in Myrtle Beach as an instructor in 2005.
Becoming a Golf Instructor at Golf Academy of America
The course Brown leased was eventually sold to the city for water rights and developmental purposes, and what started as a temporary association with Golf Academy of America has developed into a full-time passion.
“The campus director at the time asked me if I wanted the job, and initially I was only interested in a temporary position. That was June of 2005, and here I am,” Brown says.
Brown’s extensive experience makes him an effective instructor. When asked whether there is a side of the industry where he hasn’t worked, Brown says, “At some point, I’ve worked in just about every aspect of golf, outside of owning a course.”
He appreciates the atmosphere at Golf Academy of America, as well as the comradery, the lingo, the culture and, of course, the game itself. He values the opportunity to help guide students into an ever-changing industry.
“I’d like to think this is what I’ll be doing for the foreseeable future,” Brown says.
Brown teaches a progressive series of courses on golf operations. Using a hands-on approach, he covers all the components of running a golf course. He also teaches the capstone and golf course maintenance classes. He finds that his years of working in various aspects of the golf world are essential to his success in the classroom.
“I personally don’t think an instructor can be effective unless they have an extensive working knowledge of the topic at hand, and that only comes with experience,” he says.
Brown recommends that Golf Academy of America students take advantage of the opportunities offered to them on campus, such as access to advanced equipment, skilled instructors and PGA professionals, local courses and hands-on experience that could lead to a life of fulfillment on the greens.
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