PGA/LPGA Professional Spotlight

Nick Bednar

Vice President of Operations, Troon

Nick Bednar
Nick Bednar and family

Title: Vice President of Operations, Troon.
Years as a PGA Professional: 12.
Top achievements / honors: My teams have been fortunate to receive several organizational awards through the years and this recognition is always great for team morale. There is nothing more rewarding than delivering positive change, and seeing the impact that you can have on a golf course and its community.

LinkedIn: Nick Bednar

RELATED: PGA Professional Spotlight archive

What app is a must-have on your phone? With the nature of the business, I have come to rely on several good weather and radar apps. As a sports enthusiast, there are a fair amount of sports/media apps on my device, too.
What is your most memorable round of golf? Playing alongside my grandfather when he scored his first ace at the age of 81.

The First Call: What made you want to pursue a career in golf?
Nick Bednar: I was driven to pursue work I was truly passionate about. I studied business management in college and started working toward a graduate degree in sports management, when I had the opportunity to begin teaching golf through the university. This opportunity got me more interested in golf as a career, and I began requesting meetings with PGA members and others who had forged successful careers in the golf business.

I learned a lot through these discussions and, eventually, one of these meetings led to a chance to join the management team at Billy Casper Golf. It’s one thing to pick a career path, but once you get an opportunity, it’s so important to have great mentors and role models to help you on the path. There are many individuals from these early days that I can thank for inspiring my career growth.

TFC: What is your favorite instructional tip to share with a golfer?
NB: We all want the best results — and it's certainly important to visualize results. But when the time comes to actually execute your shot, focus fully on your process rather than the result. Stay positive, commit fully to every shot and good results will usually follow.

TFC: What advice do you have for someone considering a career in golf?
NB: Golf is a mature industry that has been through many changes through the years. While the golf business has been in a good position over the past few years, it’s clear that the industry needs to continue to adapt and attract diverse talent to sustain and drive growth forward in the years to come.

Never has the opportunity been better for anyone looking to get into golf, either recreationally or as a career path. The game is changing rapidly and with continued growth in technologies, competitive outlets, alongside industry savvy and cross-promotion, the game is poised to attract a larger and more diverse audience in future generations.

In short, I believe all golf industry professionals have a tremendous opportunity — and responsibility — to make the game better than it is today. Be creative, love what you do and you can make a difference.

TFC: What is the best advice you have received on your career path?
NB: I’ve been blessed to count several successful industry leaders as mentors through the years. While each have had a different way of saying it, the theme of being a servant leader has been essential to all of them.

Ultimately, teams perform their best when they feel valued and united around a common goal. Making people feel like they are a key part of something special is at the very heart of successful leadership.

TFC: Is there a particular area of your job that you find most rewarding?
NB: Every facility and every person has potential to grow. Helping a client or colleague achieve new heights is always the best reward for the work that we do.

TFC: What is one challenge you currently see in the industry? Thoughts on how to address it?
NB: I think the current economic and inflationary environment has put a strain on all businesses, and golf is no exception. Rising costs are a very real concern, and we have to be mindful of how that ultimately impacts our members and guests in terms of affordability.

While the industry is getting smarter about pricing and revenue management, golf doesn’t have to be expensive. Plus, the popularity of off-course venues has taught us golf doesn't have to be a traditional, 18-hole experience either. Competition for time is another big concern that may shift the demand dynamic in the future.

We need to continue to listen and learn as this dynamic shifts, and make every effort to find ways to retain our core while bringing new players to the game in creative ways.

TFC: Where is there room for growth within the industry?
NB: I see the golf and entertainment segment continuing to grow as technology becomes more available, and consumers demand quicker, bite-sized golf experiences. Eighteen holes of golf will remain the hallmark, but expanding the lifestyle element of golf will only help grow a diverse and sustainable base of golfers.