Castleton Business and Marketing alumnus Reece Delaire ’12 took his enthusiastic appreciation for golf and built a successful career for himself within the sports industry.
For as far back as he can remember, Delaire has spent his summers on a golf green. At the age of 15, he began working for the Williston Golf Club in Northern Vermont, a place he never left.
"Every time I drive up the road to the top of the course, I think, I love it here,” he explained. “It's where I grew up. The daughter of the superintendent used to babysit me. We're like a family, and now I have the coolest job.”
For seven months out of the year, starting in April, Delaire is preparing the course for golfers, answering phones, doing clerical work in the pro shop, and tending to his tournament administration duties. It is work he knows intimately. Over the last 15 years, Delaire has tried his hand at every job at the Williston Club, and now holds the title of Apprentice Golf Professional.
“Golf is seven days a week all summer. Mondays I am off, and I travel to golf courses all around Vermont with three different amateur club members each week to compete in Pro-Am tournaments. So you could call my day off a workday," he joked.
Delaire is in year seven of the PGA Professional Golf Management Program, which he openly embraced after leaving Castleton. He will graduate this spring to Class A PGA professional status and use the skills he earned in his undergraduate degree as he continues to pursues his dream job as a golf professional.
"I am a self-contractor for my golf lessons, so accounting classes prepared me with the bookkeeping skills and the marketing classes have helped me package myself as an instructor that golfers will want to work with," he said.
Perhaps the most valuable lesson Delaire took away from his time as a Spartan was something that can be carried out far beyond the classroom.
"The most important thing I learned at Castleton was how to build relationships” he shared. “The relationships I build with my clients are critical to my success."
When summer ends and November arrives, Delaire trades in his outdoor green for an indoor golf setting as a PGA golf apprentice at Gonzo's HD Sports Bar in South Burlington. There he helps players keep their golf swing tuned up with lessons in the high-definition golf simulators in anticipation of the upcoming summer months.
"Every time I unlock the door to the pro shop I say, 'Alright, this is what I love to do!'"