Amber Pasel is the PGA head professional at Hickory Stick Golf Club.
An authority on all things golf, from teaching to playing to marketing, she has been the Center Grove-area course’s head pro since October 2012. She began at Hickory Stick in 2010 as an assistant pro.
A former standout player in high school and college, Pasel, 28, also is accomplished on the business end of her profession. In February, she was one of three recipients of the 2015 Merchandiser of the Year Awards presented by the Indiana Section PGA.
Hickory Stick sold more than $162,000 in merchandise in 2014, according to the Indiana Section PGA, despite rounds being down nearly 22 percent the past three years.
As is the case with most head pros, Pasel’s responsibilities are vast. Besides teaching, she oversees marketing, merchandising, outings and events, leagues, banquet facility, human resources, daily activities, the Essig Performance Golf Academy, staffing, ordering, club-fitting and, in her words, “much more.”
What follows is a Q&A interview with Pasel.
How many years have you played golf? How did you get started?
I have been playing golf for 24 years. My father started me out at the age of 4 years old.
My dad was the varsity boys and girls coach at a high school in Kokomo. He decided I should learn golf to spend more time with him over the summers.
I grew up attending all of the high school’s practices, matches and tournaments. I looked up to the players as I grew up with them.
Did you play in high school and/or college?
Yes, I played at Western High School in Kokomo. I also played four years for Indiana University’s golf team.
What do you enjoy about playing the game?
I like the challenge of the game and the competitive aspect. I also enjoy the wonderful people I meet on the golf course.
What do you enjoy about teaching the game?
I enjoy helping others to enjoy golf and to get better. It is the most rewarding experience when a student tells me they shot their best round or I helped them win an event.
What kind of patience is required to teach, especially working with beginners?
Teaching others is challenging, but it is also one of the most rewarding experiences. It is one thing to be a good player, but to be able to help others is not as easy.
People think all different ways and learn differently. The challenge is to know how people will interpret your teaching. You have to figure out how to relay the information so the student understands it.
Each lesson teaches me something new and makes me a better teacher.
What is a typical day like for you during the playing season? What time do you start? What time to you go home?
A typical day in the peak of the summer starts around 6 a.m. The day can be planned with perceived activities, but until you get going you never know what is going to happen.
Usually some office work is done from the day before. (Then there is) customer service, giving a few lessons, preparing for future days, events, tournaments, merchandising, helping with the grill, carts or whatever is needed during the day.
The day usually wraps up around midevening, 5 or 6 p.m. The golf shop stays open from sunrise to sunset. There is not a lot of down time, but if I have any, I try to find some time to play a round with some members.
Do you have a spouse? If so, does he play golf?
Yes, I have been happily married since 2011. Jeremy also played golf in college, at Franklin College. He loves golf, and we take advantage of spending time together on the golf course.