The Women in Golf Series: Sara Bush
Apr 2, 2014
Sara Bush, PGA Head Professional at the Country Club of Landfall in Wilmington, N.C., started playing golf early, at 8-years-old. She came from a large Canadian family and would often head to the course with her father and brothers. It was around the age of 14 that she started playing more sports and got serious about golf. “While I was in it for the social side, the hope was that I could get a golf scholarship at a school in the states,” said Bush. That’s just what she did.
Bush played for two years at Mercer University in Macon, Ga., before realizing that the business side of golf was her primary career interest. After researching the best education avenues, she found herself at Golf Academy of America in Orlando. “I had a lot of playing experience but didn’t belong to a traditional country club,” said Bush. “GAA gave me the practical knowledge I was lacking. From tournament administration to rules of golf and teaching, my education prepared me to go into the business.”
Upon graduation, Alan Flashner, Director of Career Services and a PGA Master Professional, helped her find a job at Innisbrook Golf Resort, where Bush worked for several years. She advanced from Assistant to First Assistant to Associate Head Pro before accepting a job at the Country Club of Landfall as Head Professional.
Here, Bush has made great strides, getting more women involved in golf. “I’m very fortunate to work at a club that’s accepting of non-traditional methods,” said Bush. She calls Landfall “very social,” and has taken advantage of that dynamic by developing a strong beginner women’s golf program. Her goal is to create a fun, relaxed atmosphere where even women who have had no exposure to the game feel comfortable in the golf area of the club. “For Golf 101, we start in the parking lot. I show them how the bag drop works, where to check in and give a tour of the golf shop. We introduce ourselves and get to know each other. Because of that, I’m seeing women having lunch together after clinics and growing relationships.”
In terms of involvement, it probably doesn’t hurt that Landfall’s Head Professional is female. “I feel like having a woman in this role gives a softer touch to a traditional sport and lifestyle,” said Bush. “As more women start playing the game, they might feel comfortable with a female teacher. I think it’s really an opportunity.”
Bush has applied that softer side to a fundraising effort called Folds of Honor Foundation via a fundraising effort called Patriot Golf Day. Each year, Bush and her fellow pros take pledges from club members, then head out to a closed course from sun up to sun down, playing as many holes as possible. Last year they raised more than $56,000, which will be used to help children and family members of wounded or deceased service people with post-secondary education scholarships.
“As a club, we are close to Camp Lejeune,” said Bush. “Many of our members have been in the service at some point. There is more awareness in the community.” Bush’s efforts for Folds of Honor were recently featured in PGA Magazine.
Bush offered this advice for women exploring the idea of a career in golf: “The nature of society is changing. Traditional roles are being broken down. To be successful, make sure that you have exposure to all areas of the golf business. If you are going to be well-rounded, and someone people want to hire, you have to know how to do everything.” Bush is providing a solid example.