By Kurt Kragthorpe
Michael Garrison spent a big chunk of his golf career working at private clubs, helping members improve their games and encouraging them to play more golf for the sake of their enjoyment.
As the head professional at Glen Eagle Golf Course in Syracuse, Garrison’s job description is much the same, yet different. Like any public course, Glen Eagle needs to generate play, by attracting new golfers or getting the regulars to play more frequently (or both).
And that’s where Garrison’s background at clubs such as Hidden Valley CC, Promontory and Logan CC has an impact.
“From the start of my career as a PGA Professional, my overall focus has been on player development,” Garrison said. “Whether trying to institute new programs to increase participation at private clubs or developing creative ideas at Glen Eagle to engage all levels of players, I have always had a focus on providing development programs that welcome everyone to participate.”
Garrison has succeeded in creating loyalty, in multiple ways. Play in Glen Eagle’s Men’s, Senior, Ladies and Team Associations has grown by more than 400% since 2015, stemming from his personal involvement. And in one day in 2020, via social media campaigns and soliciting association members, he raised $9,000 to support Youth on Course – yet another way of developing golfers.