PGA/LPGA Professional Spotlight

Danny Ackerman

General Manager, Oglebay Golf

Danny Ackerman
Danny Ackerman

Title: General Manager, Oglebay Golf, Wheeling, West Virginia.
Years as a PGA Professional: 30.
Top achievements / honors: Southern Ohio Bill Strausbaugh Award (2005), Section Merchandiser of the Year (6 times), North Carolina Open, third-place finish.

Facebook: @OglebayGolf

RELATED: PGA Professional Spotlight archive

What app is a must-have on your phone? TPI Pro and Oglebay Golf.
What books would you recommend? So many great books on service and leadership. Most anything Ken Blanchard has written.
Who is your favorite golfer? I like most all the young guys out there now. Arnold Palmer was my first hero.
What is your most memorable round of golf? Final round with my father and I winning the National Father-Son Championship (1984).

The First Call: What made you want to pursue a career in golf?
Danny Ackerman: I loved the game playing collegiality at West Virginia University and had an opportunity to start as a golf professional at Pinehurst Resort and CC. I couldn't pass it up.

TFC: What is your favorite instructional tip to share with a golfer?
DA: Always like sticking to the basics — grip, posture and plane.

TFC: What advice do you have for someone considering a career in golf?
DA: Align yourself with quality facilities with leadership who want to mentor their staff. Be a sponge and learn all aspects of the golf business. Work harder than all those around you. Have fun.

TFC: What is the best advice you have received on your career path?
DA: Run your business as if you were reaching into your own wallet to either add staff or make a purchase. If you follow that logic you'll run a successful golf business. Don Padgett, past president of the PGA, told me that 28 years ago and I've never forgotten.

TFC: Is there a particular area of your job that you find most rewarding?
DA: Teaching now only because it's an outlet from the daily duties. Teaching is my Zen time. Growing my staff to become all they wish to become. I get great pleasure in seeing members of our team leave and become successful in golf, life, family and even other careers.

TFC: What is one challenge you currently see in the industry? Thoughts on how to address it?
DA: Quality people wanting to get into the business. We have to be more flexible with pay and their personal time. The 50-60 hours a week is not what people are willing to work. I feel the younger we can employ people — starting at high school — we stand a better change to keep them in the business.

TFC: Do you have a preferred style or philosophy for teaching golf?
DA: As stated I believe in the fundaments — grip, posture, ball position and plane. I think for the average golfer we make it too technical and often times overwhelm our students.

TFC: Where is there room for growth within the industry?
DA: Women and how do we get non-golfers who participate in Topgolf- or Golf Zone-type of activities to move to on-course golf.

TFC: When you look at your career, in what area(s) do you believe you have evolved for the better?
DA: At the facility that I'm currently with — 72 holes, two driving ranges — my thinking. Even though I'm involved with the day-to-day activities, I've had to grow and have improved on how we're going to take our golf forward. Where are we going to be 5-10-15 years from now?

TFC: How does being a PGA Professional add value to your brand?
DA: Obviously the PGA brand is the biggest brand in golf. Any person who is aware of your title that includes PGA immediately makes you an authority on all dealings with golf. People respect your decisions more when they know you're a member.