This month we interview David Kass, who recently participated in the Ironman race in Santa Rose. Learn a little bit about this marathon pro and his interesting career, which has taken him around the country and into PGA governance.

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Facility: Bear Creek CC

PGA Member Since: 2008

Favorite Golfer: Bobby Jones

Tell us a little bit about your career. Who or what inspired you to become a PGA Professional? 

My golf career has taken me from Pennsylvania to south Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Arizona, and now to Washington. The late Master PGA professional Mike Vucinich was my first golf instructor and he and his passion for both teaching golf and the business of golf inspired me greatly. PGA Professionals Bill Davis, Bob Bourne and Craig Murray had the greatest influence on my during my years as an Assistant Golf Professional and taught me so much about taking care of members and guests, teaching, merchandising, tournaments, and the business of golf. I’ll never forget being taught calligraphy and having to change tips and fill the pens with ink along with trying to feed the tape through the circa 1970’s “pricing gun” at Canterbury!

You are the Western Washington Chapter Vice President. Any thoughts or advice for those members interested into getting into chapter governance?

Serving on the WWC and Section Board is an amazing experience that I highly recommend. Giving back is a great feeling and it has allowed me to meet and work with some amazing PGA Professionals. When I moved to the PNW, I found we do a lot of things differently here than in the other sections in which I’ve worked.  I’ll admit I started by complaining (apologies to Mike Coury and Jeff Ellison for that!). Ultimately I decided to get off the sidelines and get involved and managed to win a Chapter election against Stu Aden whose campaign speech was: “I only agreed to run because Mike [Coury] said we needed one more person on the Board. My wife will kill me if I win.” It took a re-vote/runoff for me to beat him by one vote…I sure was popular back then!

Also, please tell us about the Ironman in Santa Rosa! How did it feel to participate in this race?

Somewhere in the back of my mind hearing the words “you are an Ironman” has always been a bucket list item. After a few shorter Sprint and Olympic distance events last year, I decided to try a 70.3 (Half Ironman) but an injury prevented that training and ultimately last fall I just decided I’d go for the full Ironman. During a tough training time, I watched a YouTube video about a Marine, Mike Ergo, who was doing Ironman events in honor of his fallen brethren. I decided that I needed my Ironman journey to be about more than me and the 140.6 miles of swimming, cycling and running.  During the hardest moments of those 12 hours, 6 minutes and 10 seconds out there, I was able to look down at the Folds of Honor logo emblazoned on the chest of my cycling jersey or running shirt and knew that whatever pain and suffering I was going through was nothing compared to what the families of our fallen heroes feel. As great as I felt about becoming an Ironman, I am more proud that I raised enough money to fund one full scholarship. Ironically, Mike Ergo is from the Santa Rosa area and we connected online, then in person at the event and are staying in touch now. I’ll be joining his Ironman Foundation Team to do more events in the future and raise even more money and awareness.