Andrews’ discovery led to what he says is his dream job. He was recently named director of golf operations at Auburn University Golf Club where he also serves as the head golf pro. The neat part about the job is that he started at the bottom — working as a part-time cart guy — and rose to the top in six years.
Back in 2002, just after graduation from Oxford High, Andrews, 29, took his basic college courses from a couple of smaller colleges before enrolling at Auburn in 2006. In 2007, he took the job at the club and found he enjoyed the atmosphere of being at the club. Also, he began playing golf.
In 2008, Andrews took a job inside the clubhouse. His fondness for his job grew. He liked helping members, teaching young golfers and learning about the business side of running a golf club.
“Working there was not like a job,” he said. “I was showing up at work, enjoying the setting, dealing with the public and making members happy.”
After another semester or so, Andrews stepped away from his studies in communication and enrolled in the Professional Golf Management Program, which offered apprentices a variety of ways to pursue a career.
“I was feeling the waters to see if I wanted to become a golf pro,” said Andrews.
The PGA program required two to three years of studying the rules of golf, the business side of the sport, inventory management and merchandise sales. Also, before a potential student enters the program, he or she must learn to play golf well.
Andrews passed the golf test and found the studies both daunting and fulfilling.
“There were a lot of ups and downs,” he said.
Still, the job held his interest. He loved the relationship with the university students. Both the men’s and women’s golf teams at Auburn practice at the club. Also, celebrities often play at the course. Andrews has met former Auburn football coaches Tommy Tuberville and Gene Chizik, NFL player Will Herring and several Auburn basketball and football stars and coaches. He has worked closely with well-known Auburn golfers Rickey Smallridge and Jason Dufner.
Also, Andrews said he likes that many of the college students hung out at the club.
“I did not miss going to school, but I had kind of missed college life,” said Andrews. “I learned that, in my job, I could still go out and have a good time.”
A year and a half ago, the club was sold. Andrews said when he learned the new owners would be Mike Thompson, who is Herring’s father-in-law, and Herring himself, he was ecstatic.
“I had been there a long time, and they trusted me,” said Andrews, who was offered the head job in mid-March.
“They felt like I had paid my dues, and they had an opportunity to hire someone who had made good relationships with others and cared about the members.”
Andrews said he might dream of someday working at a resort golf club on some exotic beach somewhere. However, if he stayed where he was for the next 30 years, he said he would still have a smile on his face.
Another factor in staying in Auburn is that Andrews is a family man. He visits his parents, Lloyd and Robin Andrews, about once a month in Anniston, and he enjoys visiting his sister, Haley, in Birmingham, where she lives with her husband and baby son.
“I may not ever get tired of this job,” Andrews said.
Contact Sherry Kughn at email@example.com.