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“What Do You Do in the Winter?”

February 5, 2013

Comments from Bryan Skavnak

I get two questions more than any other.

“Whoa, how big are your feet?”


“You’re a golf pro…what do you do in the winter?”

Since I’ve been teaching golf in Minnesota for 15 years, the answer to that question has been different at various times in my life.

Early on, I did data entry and reconciled accounts for hot dog stands in NYC.  Then, I took a few winters off from what my dad would call “real work.”  Then I got bored, so I did some financial reporting for Allianz.  This winter I’m Mr. Mom.  (Side note: if you ever need someone to build a lego spaceship, name every Star Wars character, or catch vomit, I’m your guy).

But there’s been one glaring similarity.

I continue to communicate with my students.

See, a golf pro in Minnesota has its advantages.  We get to work our butts off for 7-8 months (sometimes longer depending what El Nino is up to that year), and then relax with our families for a few months during our “off season.”

But I don’t really have an “off season.”  Because I want to know what’s going on with my students, whether it has to do with golf or not.

In fact, I would argue that I actually work harder in the winter than in the summer (don’t everyone attack me at once…let me explain).

The “off season” is more of a planning season.  I review what classes worked out and which ones really never took off.  I do my books, plan my marketing, and I write, write, write.  Because writing is my marketing.

The most work I do is in regards to my list.  The list of students I’ve taught throughout the years.  It’s from this list that I plan for my following year.

I can’t do the same thing every year.  Because my students’ expectations change, they get older (or sometimes younger), and they have different priorities.

So, I look at this list and see what sort of class would best fit the group I have.  What class can I create that would make students have the most fun?  What class can I create to have a lasting impact on people?

To be a golf pro in Minnesota in the winter, you have to be able to adapt.  But at the same time, you have to focus on what is coming the next season.  You need to focus on the people.  Because that’s the reason I teach this sport.  The people.

No matter what happens during the winters here in Minnesota, I always look forward to seeing the people that I get to have an impact on…and hear those same two questions again.

Size 14, by the way.


Bryan Skavnak is a guest blogger for the Minnesota PGA. Owner of Bryan Skavnak Golf Academy, Author of The Happiest Golfer, Founder of The Daddy Caddy. Learn more…or check out Buffalo Wild Wings.  He’s probably there.

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