Todd J. Heydel - Assistant Golf Professional at Chateau Élan, The Legends Golf Course, Braselton, Ga.
May 27, 2014
Heydel was introduced to golf by his father and grandparents at an early age, but team sports were more of his forte at the time. It wasn't until he served as a Culinary Specialist in the US Navy that he fell in love with the game of golf. While serving in the Navy, Heydel was able to play Emirates in Dubai and several other courses around the world. He says golf provided him with peace of mind during those stressful years, until he suffered service-related injuries.
When Heydel was honorably discharged, he immediately re-enrolled at Georgia State University to complete his BA in Accounting. He says he was doing well academically, but knew deep down there was a better career path out there. While finishing a summer semester in his junior year, he awoke from a dream one morning with one word on his mind: "California." He felt a calling to pick up and move without fully understanding why.
Shortly after the move, Heydel learned about Golf Academy of America and immediately realized, "Eureka, I found it!" He started from scratch with his playing ability, shooting 120s in his first semester. Now he is a 13.9, with a low round of 84, and still working hard to bring it down.
Heydel graduated with the spring 2014 class and returned home to Georgia to begin his career at the Legends Golf Course at Chateau Élan. A non-equity private club, the Legends Golf Course is part of Chateau Élan's Resort and award-winning winery and vineyard. The Legends course was designed by Gene Sarazen, Kathy Whitworth and Sam Snead. They each took six of their favorite holes from around the world and put them all onto one glorious course. Holes include replications of Augusta and Merion.
Heydel is working to achieve PGA certification within two years, finish his BA in Accounting within three years, and become General Manager at a prestigious facility within five years. He can attest that Golf Academy of America truly was his path to a golf career.