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Golf Academy of America Puts Cafferty on Tiger's Tract

Aug 21, 2013

One day, Brett Cafferty was a student working two jobs to pay the bills, one at the local Olive Garden.

The next, he’s working at posh Isleworth Country Club playing occasional rounds with Tiger Woods.

Today, he’s the head professional at Isleworth, a golf showplace near Orlando that’s home to two-dozen top PGA Tour and LPGA Tour professionals. His duties have included handling logistics – even the recruitment of players – for the star-studded Tavistock Cup, which returned to Isleworth in 2013.

How did a golfer with a 7 handicap and an engineering degree from Clarkson University near the Canadian border become the head pro at one of the world’s most prestigious golf hot spots?

Golf Academy of America is a big part of the answer.

Drive, work ethic, dedication and natural skills are no doubt major components of the equation. But Cafferty puts the knowledge and contacts he gained at Golf Academy of America right up there in importance.

“Golf Academy of America prepared me,” said Cafferty, who graduated from Golf Academy of America’s Orlando campus in 2005. “I learned a lot from some great people.”

Choosing Golf Academy of America has also paid quick dividends for 2011 Myrtle Beach campus graduates Lester Poole and Jesse Noelke, who have each moved into head pro positions at prominent public golf facilities after short stints as assistants.

Poole presides at Royal New Kent Golf Club, which has been included in Golf Digest’s “100 Greatest Golf Courses.” Noelke returned home to Springfield, Ill., and holds the reins at The Rail Golf Course, host of a popular LPGA Tour event for three decades.

“At Golf Academy of America, we have several PGA members on campus, and that’s a tremendous advantage in networking,” said Poole, who credited Myrtle Beach campus director of career services Alan Rosensteel, a longtime PGA member, for helping him in his successful job search.

“Golf Academy of America prepared me in every way,” said Noelke, whose small high school didn’t have a golf team. “If I hadn’t gone to Golf Academy of America, I would never be in the position I am in now.”    

Cafferty said he still contacts Golf Academy of America campus director Brad Turner for advice and an occasional golf game.

At Golf Academy of America, Cafferty said he worked hard on business courses and learned different teaching methods from as many playing instructors as he could. Plus, he took advantage of contacts – a fellow student got him a part-time job at Isleworth.

Given the opportunity, Cafferty was prepared and motivated to take advantage of it. Beginning as a summer instructor, he obtained PGA membership and worked his way up to head golf professional. His handicap is down to almost scratch.

It’s been an amazing ride for Cafferty, Poole and Noelke. Each has quickly built a great career in golf from humble beginnings.

What do they have in common?

Golf Academy of America.