Kevin Connole describes himself as a golf “traditionalist.” That background seemingly wouldn’t translate well to a facility where music is playing, food is being served and golf balls are being launched into an area surrounded by giant netting.
Yet the longtime PGA Professional loves his job at Topgolf Salt Lake City, developing golfers in a venue that clearly has a role in growing the game. Connole’s 2022 Player Development Award is both a tribute to his teaching efforts and an acknowledgment of Topgolf’s place in a changing industry.
Having once thought of Topgolf as “not really golf,” Connole said, “my views have changed.”
He discovered that there are multiple ways of bringing new golfers into the game, and he’s thriving in Midvale. Connole gives as many as 35 lessons per week during the peak season and teaches about 150 junior golfers in summer camps. While some students just want to have more success hitting balls to Topgolf targets, many of them progress to golf courses. “They come here, and they get interested in the game,” Connole said.
Having worked as a pro at courses in Arizona and California, the BYU alumnus moved to Utah and was out of the golf business for five years before the Topgolf opportunity developed in February 2021. Connole quickly embraced his role. “My job is to teach golf, period,” he said.
And in less than two years, he has made a big impact. “We went from very few people knowing that Topgolf had an instructor to Kevin having lessons nonstop,” said Jordan Reese, the facility’s golf services manager. “His approach to each lesson is a testament to his desire to grow the game.”
Connole also uses Fore Lakes Golf Course as a way to helping golfers transition to playing the traditional game, and he conducts playing lessons with high school golfers.
Written by Fairways Media senior writer, Kurt Kragthorpe
Add a Comment
You must be logged in to post a comment