Hood River Golf Pro earns PGA honors

June 22, 2011

Hood River Golf Course's PGA pro and director of golf, Amy McCormack, recently graduated from PGA of America's Certified Professional Program. The Lyle resident was hired last fall by the course's new management, and her accomplishment makes McCormack just one of four women in the history of the program to complete all six certifications.

"In the world of golf, it's actually a really big deal," said Lainey Brandt, HRGC co-manager. "Amy stands out as a great asset to the course; she really has a lot to offer."

While PGA professionals are recognized as good players and teachers on the golf course, their education and training in other areas of the industry are what makes them a true asset to course management. For Brandt holds a degree in turfgrass management, which has already proved valuable for the forested westside Hood River course. Added to her resume through the PGA program are certifications in general management, golf operations, instruction, retail, executive management and ownership/leasing.

"I basically had no life for a year while I was getting through the program," said McCormack. She joined 67 men and three women - out of 27,000 total PGA professionals in the country - who have earned all six certifications. "I'm excited to be at the Hood River Golf Course, and to use what I've learned to continue to improve the operation."

HRGC changed management last year and is getting started on its first full season with new staff and strategies.

"We've put a lot of money into the course," Brandt said. "And it shows. The greens and the course are in the best shape they've been in for years. We're getting a lot of positive comments about how wonderful things look."

McCormack moved to the Gorge last fall after bouncing around between several courses in Oregon and Washington. She has been a PGA pro since 2003, but her role at HRGC is her first as head pro.

"I was moving from club to club getting as much experience as I could," she said. "I was working in Skamania when I saw the opportunity at Hood River. The course and the atmosphere brings me back to my blue collar roots; I'm a very blue collar professional. The course is full of history and beauty and potential; I'm excited to be a part of it."

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