Meet the Pro with Go Golf U.S.
Seeing as this is our FIRST edition of the “Meet the Pro” section of our blog, we’ll take a few minutes to explain it. As a goal of Go Golf U.S. is to build a personal connection in the game of golf again, we want to help players get to know the courses, golf shop staff and pros. When we see familiar faces and can add a gracious smile and hello it makes a better experience for all. To gather content for these blogs, I (Alan Liwush) put the pros on the hot seat in an interview to dig down into WHY they got started in the golf business, what they are passionate about, some tips/tricks for readers on the course and some fun questions to get to know their personalities. Stay tuned as we will be featuring your courses pro at some point!
Scott Chambers of Webster Golf Course
Many of you have probably been into Webster Golf Club before and seen an 80 pound blue pit sitting on a bar stool with his head on the bar waiting for a pet on the head (This is not a figment of your imagination or because you had that 5th beer on the front 9). This beauty of a dog is “Vegas” (Scott’s only son and fur baby). The fun loving personality of Scott’s dog comes directly from him. For those who don’t know Scott and his story, it’s a real treat and we will dig in below. Side note, before we get started, be sure to give Vegas a pet when you see him. He is harmless and a big baby! (Vegas shown below)
Scott got into golf like many of us, with a love for the game derived from a passion of his father. Not getting into golf “early” in life, Scott focused much of his younger years on other sports which in turn helped his athletic abilities for golf. Growing up in Webster, NY (Where life is worth living), the course was a big part of his early career in golf. Just after 9th grade, Scott decided to join the golf team and WGC would be his home course. Soon after that, Scott began working at WGC in ’98 as a dishwasher in his Sophomore year of high school and would spend COUNTLESS Spring/Summer/Fall days at the course between practice and work.
After high school, Scott continued his golf journey at Clemson University in the PGA Golf Management school. (GO TIGERS). With Golf Management as a major, he decided to minor in business.His favorite part about the school and the PGA program was in fact not golf at all, but the football games. I have to say I agree with him, it doesn’t get much better than ACC football! During his time at Clemson, he took a Summer internship at the Country Club of Rochester and then at Wade Hampton Golf Club (sister club of Augusta National) in Cashiers, NC in 2003/2004 respectfully. After returning home and continuing to work at WGC, Scott had the opportunity to become head pro/director of golf in 2007. Talk about a true come up story from the bottom to the top, Scott has now been at the course for 17 years to be in the position he is today from starting as a dishwasher.
One question you will hear in many of these interviews moving forward is, “Why golf?”. Scott’s response to this question was, “I love the individualistic aspect, discipline and life skills that come along with it. I grew up playing team sports and loved the comradery, but I liked having no one else to blame but myself with golf. The part I love about the game the most is that it is different EVERY time you step on the course. You can play the same course two days in a row and never hit the same exact shot and mother nature’s conditions will always be different. Finally, I love the self policing aspect of the game, not many other sports does the other player get to be the judge and player.”
Photo above is of Scott with members at Pinehurst.
Rapid Fire Questions and Answers
Q: What’s one thing you offer in your golf shop that you think EVERY golfer needs – has to be $99 and under.
A: “Every golfer needs everything in my golf shop.” This of course was a joke as many of you know that the pros run the golf shop merchandise business. His real answer was simple, “A divot repair tool, ANY divot repair tool.” The reason why, because “NO ONE fixes there ball marks on the green.” He then informed us that not only do they need the tool, but the knowledge on how to properly fix the ball mark is crucial as well. After hearing that, I decided to add this video for better instruction below. This video is SUPER old and you may be seeing an updated one soon by Go Golf U.S. …
Scott’s concern was that, “Most people don’t know when on they are on the green as in if they actually hit a green in regulation and leave a ball mark, which many don’t. But when you do, you don’t go to your ball first, you go to where your ball hit and fix the mark. It’s not just an epidemic at public courses, I have been to plenty private courses that are bad and it’s just out of laziness and it effects EVERYONE.” Issues listed when people do repair them, are they get too aggressive and they get in and pull up and pull up dirt, the whole goal is to leave it as the ball hit before. (see the video above for more details on proper form.
Q: Name 3 things you need in the golf bag – CANNOT be a club.
A: 1. Koozie – “Because golf isn’t golf without a cold beer and laughs” Scott’s recommendation is the Yeti Vacuum Insulated Rambler Colster shown below. “Keeps beers super cold. Have to have a can on the course. Glass is a sin unless in the club house.”
2. Torch Lighter – “Always have to be prepared for a cigar, especially when playing with Mike Maynard” Scott’s recommendation is the Bugatti Windproof Double Flame Lighter (shown below), as it is a “good lasting brand and holds up well against the wind.”
3. Speaker – “Not to be used in every round, but it’s nice to have when you are having a relaxing match with the boys.” Scott’s Recommendation is Beats Pill by Beats for the “great sound quality and long lasting battery.”
Q: What are your views on technology and golf? Two meanings, equipment and mobile/electronic based.
A: In regards to equipment, Scott’s responded with “engineers are engineers. The USGA can change rules as much as they want but they are going to find a way to out develop the rules. There has been a lot of talk about going to one ball and the ball being the technology that stays the same. A lot of it has to do with merchandising, promo and marketing that companies do.”
I’m on staff with Taylormade and they say every time I pick up a new driver, I should add another 10-15 yards. If that were the case, by now I should be hitting it 450 yards, and I’m not, so I don’t get into all the hypeScott Chambers
I wanted to break the quote above out in the middle as we stopped to have a good laugh at this. It is so true and I have to say I feel the SAME way!. His response continues below.
“The new tech is certainly better, but to a point our course is 7100 yards and it doesn’t feel like it used to. Take a look at the tour courses and they are stretching them out 7500-7700 yards, which is ridiculous! But you have to because you see guys like Justin Thomas who’s hitting it 350 and he weighs 148 lbs!. Thankfully, you still have to chip and putt and that’s where the scoring happens”
In an extension of the question for technology with mobile and electronic base, Scott “Thinks its cool”. He is more of a laser guy on the course for finding ranges. Of course he doesn’t really need one at Webster anymore. One of the reasons for this is he trusts the laser range finder number more and doesn’t have to worry about have the pesky phone out all the time distracting him or others. His views on the watches and phones are “they cause more distractions and NO ONE likes the guy who’s on his phone taking a call, looking at social media, texting their wife, girlfriend or sending selfies to last night’s one night stand… Put it on silent and you can chill for a little while.” I couldn’t agree more with this statement. I of course take my course selfies before and after rounds as you may have seen in our marketing.
Scott’s recommended brand is the Bushnell tour V3 (shown below) with the blue case. You HAVE to have the blue case. This of course Scott can also get you in the golf shop. Call him!
Q: What are your views on golf and fitness? This has become an increasingly hot topic and will be something I will ask ALL golf pros.
A: “I think it has a large reason as to why they are hitting it so much farther. Guys are not only stronger, they are more flexible and are taking more aggressive moves at the ball. I feel as though this is why we are seeing more injuries as well. The way the pros torque themselves these days is nothing near what it used to be.” I personally love the factor of golf and fitness. Scott did shed some light on me in regards to the injuries though that I never thought about before. We then took the topic from mobility to weight lifting. His views were “Not as much injury from it, but they are lifting heavy after tiger brought it around.”
Q: What do you think golf is lacking right now on the pro level? Same question with the amateur level.
A: “Younger talent to consistently takeover and provide that “Tiger” roar to the crowd. We are starting to see it again with guys like Day, Fowler, Spieth and Rory but none of them can seem to hang on to it. I love the colorful and energetic vibes of guys like Fowler and Kaufman. They are really utilizing social media as a way to bring some fun back into the game and create a personal feel to the players.” After that comment we went on a 20 minute sidenote talking about #SBK2016 and the recent “fishing” escapade of Spieth and Kaufmann. Chambers said, “I love it, it’s actually getting people to watch! Its becoming more main stream with is. The spring break stuff is hilarious and I think they do it on a daily basis, they just don’t advertise it. People think golf is too uptight, it’s a fun sport that people need to start earlier rather than later in life. You can enjoy the game more when you know when you are doing.”
Check out the videos below that we were referring to. If you can’t have a laugh at these, go find another blog to read…
A: (same question on amateur level) – “The price points of the clubs and golf in general has increased dramatically. Obviously you have the factor of inflation, but NYS also makes it hard for businesses to run on lower costs. The courses have to relay the increased taxes and such on to the players. Golf is now $50, $60, $70 in rochester for a round, and thats a good chunk of change! Now throw in a $500 driver. The barrier to entry is high for some people as its a very expensive sport.” I have to agree with Scott here and this is one of the reasons we developed the Go Golf U.S. app. To help younger players get out and play more golf!
About Webster Golf Course From Chambers
We wanted a place for the pro’s to talk about there course, so here is Scott’s views below.
“It is a 36 hole facility. The West Course is a little bit shorter, but my no means an executive. It holds both par 4’s and 5’s and is a little tighter than the East Course. If you spray it, you can get in trouble. The greens are all push up, smaller and more target golf involved on the West.”
“The East Course is our championship style course complete with bunkers and water hazards. It stretches to 7150 yards and is a par of 71. You can hit it a little off track here and still be OK. Outside of the front 9, if you hit it left, your OB. The greens are a bit bigger and all slide back to front.”
I wanted to put the pro’s on the hot seat and asked them, “What is your favorite and least favorite hole on the golf course?”
In regards to Scott’s favorite, he said, “No favorite hole. We rotate the starting holes between 1 and 10 and we always play match play. So, if I have to choose, I like 9 or 18 because it’s usually tight at the end of the match and you can go double or nothing or double up on the last hole. The money holes can swing you up or down on the match. I birdie 9 or 18 more than any other holes on the course because it means a lot more. I wish every hole meant as much as those in my mind.”
His answer for his favorite hole on the course was pretty vague, but his least favorite were nailed down to two holes. His reply was, ” a tie between 4 or 12. More 4 because its ridiculous. They are both like hitting down a bowling alley with no bail out. 4 has OB and 12 more water. The greens are tough and thery’re both long! They are both like 440-460 from the tips. Both are consistently in the top 10 hardest holes in Rochester. Bottom line, they are very difficult and NO ONE likes them! If their is a slow up on the course, its on those two holes.”
Membership and Contact Info for WGC
Membership rates at WGC for 2017 include access to both East and West courses PLUS range. This is a 3 year deal, 1st year is a discount for walking membership at $500, year 2 and 3 is single walker is $1725 to a family riding at $3250. All rates are on the site at www.webstergolf.com Chambers says, “What we do different than other semi-private clubs is Men’s/Women’s associations, tournaments, reciprocals, sweeps, skins and anything you see at a private club but for a discounted rate.
Public rates are 18 riding week day $44 and senior $36. Weekend peak rate riding morning is $49 on the East.
You can find the club online at www.webstergolf.com , www.webstergolfweddings.com , on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/webstergc/ https://www.facebook.com/WebsterGolfClub/ and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/webster_golf_weddings/
We hope you enjoyed this month’s edition of “Meet The Pro” with Scott Chambers. Tune in next month as we interview Chris Devincentis of Eagle Vale.
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