Goodbye And Thank You For Your Friendship
By Troy Christensen, Executive Director, Iowa PGA
It is with sadness and joy that I write my last article for Iowa Golf Magazine. I have accepted a new position within the technology industry, which will provide my family and me with some exciting opportunities and flexibility.
I have been employed by the Iowa PGA since 1998, when I was hired as junior golf Intern. This was my first job out of college and fortunately for me, I was hired full time following my Internship.
Back in 1998, our office was responsible for managing both the Iowa PGA and Iowa Golf Association. The Iowa Golf Association oversees amateur golf within the state of Iowa and now operates independently out of Ankeny, Iowa.
My Internship was funded by the USGA and Iowa Golf Association back at that time and if it weren’t for those two organizations, who knows where I would be now. I would like to thank the USGA and Iowa Golf Association for offering the P.J. Boatwright Internship. It is very difficult to break into the golf administration business and this Internship has helped people like me over the years get the necessary experience to start a career in golf.
I would like to thank longtime friends, Kirk Stanzel (past executive director) and Geoff Lofstead (past tournament director) for hiring me back at that time. Kirk is now retired in Hot Springs Arkansas and Geoff serves as the executive director in the South Florida PGA Section.
In 2006, Kirk retired and I was fortunate to be hired as Executive Director of the association. This was an exciting time in my life as my wife and I were also blessed with our first child in March of that year. I would like to thank Ken Schall, president at the time, and the entire search committee for putting faith in my abilities as Executive Director.
One of the most difficult things to leave behind is an amazing staff. The golf business is a demanding occupation due to the long hours spent at various events throughout the year. During these long hours, a tight bond is formed with the staff, which can be better described as a family. I would like to thank Tess Goudy, Abbey Hufendick, Zach Hester, and Brett Shaeffer for their tireless loyalty to the Iowa PGA over the past years. The game of golf is in good hands with these individuals at the helm.
When reflecting on the past 19 years, it is easy to understand why this career has been so gratifying. One word can sum it all up…Friendships.
As we all know, golf is a sport that attracts great people and rightfully so due to its rules that require honesty on the part of the player. It has been rewarding forming friendships throughout the years from junior golfers, parents of junior golfers, sponsors, PGA Professionals, PGA Tour rules officials, amateurs who compete in our Pro-Ams, media, the list goes on and on.
In closing, I have been extremely fortunate to spend my past 19 years with friends by my side at every turn. I want to thank each of you for your friendship and I encourage you to keep promoting this wonderful game that brings us all together.