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Karlene Hadley Trades Corporate Life for a Second Career in the Golf Industry

Oct 11, 2012

Golf Academy of America Student Chooses a New Life on the Links

Phoenix Ariz., October 11, 2012 – After fifteen years in the insurance industry, Karlene Hadley traded her corporate life for a chance at a second career in the golf industry.

Hadley graduated from the University of Minnesota at Mankato where she studied business and finance. After college, she moved to Arizona where she landed a job in commercial insurance and later became a marketing manager for a brokerage firm.

Along the way, in her 20s, she took up golf at the behest of her friends. It was a great way to relax and enjoy the outdoors during precious out-of-office time.

She worked as a multi-line commercial insurance underwriter and production operations manager in Arizona, a decidedly golf-rich state where she kept at the game, enjoying it more and more. When she could ignore the call of golf no longer, she walked away from her successful career for a new challenge in a different industry.

"My family and friends supported me and my dream to start over and attend golf school," said Hadley. "It was a difficult decision to leave my career of fifteen years but I felt that I had tapped into every facet of the business industry and it was time to step out from behind the computer and start a new chapter in my life."

Hadley, at age 43, quit her job and signed up for classes at Golf Academy of America in Phoenix, one of the five locations nationwide for Golf Academy of America (GAA), which offers the largest and longest-running two-year college program designed to place students in the golf industry. It has a placement rate of better than 81 percent.

"My first day of class was scary and it was an adjustment to leave everything I knew," said Hadley. "But my worries quickly diminished. "

Hadley decided that after graduation from Golf Academy of America, she would like to become an instructor. She aims to focus on teaching golf to women pursuing business degrees as well as those already in business fields.

"The game of golf is a wonderful networking sport and playing actually improved my business life," said Hadley. "I didn't expect the opportunities the game brought to me with my career but I quickly learned that golf is the ultimate relationship builder."

Hadley also hopes to one day use her many opportunities and connections through the Golf Academy of America to make custom golf clubs.

"If someone would have told me last year that I'd be in golf school about to make a living teaching on the golf course, I would have told them they were crazy," says Hadley. "But now I wouldn't want it to be any other way."

Hadley will graduate from Golf Academy of America in December 2013.