This month we profile Jennifer Parker, PGA, who is one of two cohorts selected for the 2022-2023 class of PGA LEAD. In addition to being TPI Certified, Jennifer has a Master’s degree in Athletic Training (Sports Medicine), a Master’s degree in Sport Management, a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, and an Associate’s degree in Physical Therapy Assistant. A lifelong student, she is currently working on her Doctorate of Education in Health Professions and simultaneously working on the PGA Specialized Professional Program in Executive Management.

Facility: Coquille Valley Elks CC

Hometown: Menifee, CA; currently lives in Coquille, OR

PGA Member Since: 2018

How did you get started in your golf career and who were your mentors?

Ed Winiecki, PGA and Stan Gonzales, PGA were the first golf professionals that I was introduced to when I was young.  After my dad introduced me to the game of golf, Ed and Stan were the ones that gave me my first lessons and developed my game. Years later, I reconnected with Ed. He was generous enough to sit down with me and practice my interviewing skills.  I played on the boys high school golf team and the men’s golf team in college because they didn’t have girls/women’s teams at that time or place. 

Once I decided I wanted to work in the golf industry, I was lucky enough to have several great mentors along the way.  Ken Ferrell, PGA employed me as a golf shop attendant and bar manager at a standalone practice facility and also sat down with me to work on my 1-year, 5-year, and 10-year road map of where I wanted to go with my career.  Buck Page, PGA was another one who took time to help me get where I am today. 

Once I entered the PGA apprentice program, I worked under three great head professionals: Lee Hanley, PGA, Scott Wasco, PGA, and Geoff Hodge, PGA.  Lee worked with me on how to become a good instructor and introduced me to running tournaments.  Scott was instrumental in teaching me how to become a great leader, how to manage staff, and about budgeting.  Geoff helped me by teaching me golf operations, selecting merchandise, and how to provide a successful player development program.  I have learned so much from all of them and can’t thank them enough!

How do your degrees and certifications fit into your total philosophy as a PGA Professional?

After college, I decided I wanted to combine my love of golf with my passion for helping others.  I have taken numerous continuing education classes over the years that combine sports medicine and golf in hopes to keep players and staff healthy and happy out on the course (and at work).  I know we have all seen the group that goes straight from their car, to pay, and directly to the tee box without any proper warmup. My goal as a healthcare professional and as a PGA professional member is to get players to break that habit so they can benefit from a healthier body, thus leading to a longer and more pleasant golf experience.

Anything else you’d like to share about yourself?

I love to travel, play sports (golf, softball, volleyball, bowling), spend time with family and friends, and attend Major League Baseball games (Braves & Angels fan).  I have currently been to half of the major league stadiums and can’t wait to get them all checked off of the bucket list!