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Dale Kao Head Instructor of the Junior Golf Program at YMCA

Jan 15, 2013

My name is Dale Kao and this is my story. I wouldn't call it a success story yet because it has just begun.

Back in 2005, in Jamaica Queens New York, I sat in a grey-colored cubical and wondered, "Is the logistics business right for me?" Logistics, in case you don't know, is the world of importing and exporting goods internationally. Exciting right?

After investing ten years of my life into that industry, I decided it was not for me.  Even having my own little logistics consulting company wasn't very satisfying. But it did allow me time to hit more golf balls at the local range.

In 2007, my father (a scratch golfer) won second place in a local tournament. The prize was a set of TaylorMade r7s irons. He threw them at me and told me to find a use for them. My self-taught swing wasn't pretty, but the first swing I ever took at an actual golf course was a 157-yard shot with a 7-iron that landed two feet from the pin. I was immediately hooked, and I have been playing golf non-stop ever since!

In 2010, a buddy of mine told me he was going to attend the Golf Academy of America in San Diego. It piqued my interest. Before I knew it, I was on a flight two days after Christmas to San Diego, about to live out my dreams of possibly becoming a golf professional.

Even though the program only lasted sixteen months I learned a lot more than I thought I would. All the teachers were very good at what they did with Michael Flanagan and Kevin Connale were my favorites.

Before graduation in 2012 I got an entry-level job at Arrowood Golf Course. It didn't take long before I was promoted to the pro shop as the Second Assistant Golf Professional. This is where I really began to learn the ins and outs of the business of golf. Soon I was promoted again to full-time Marketing Coordinator, but I knew my passion was in teaching. While giving many lessons to members and random golfers I began developing my skills as a teacher and continued to look for other teaching opportunities. In July of 2012 I landed a part-time job as the Head Instructor of the Junior Golf Program at the local YMCA.

It's amazing for me to look back and see how much progress I have already made in this business, and I firmly believe this is only the tip of the iceberg. In my opinion, success is driven by passion—never by money. Do what truly makes you happy, and you will be successful in life!