Paul Resner is the PGA head professional at Hillview Country Club in Franklin.
A standout player in high school and college, he landed the job in February 2013.
He’s only 32.
He turns 33 in July.
His youth, however, belies a wealth of golf experience, accrued as a player, a teacher, a marketer and administrator.
A native of Wichita, Kansas, Resner served two years as an assistant pro at The National Golf Club of Kansas City before joining Hillview. Prior to that, he was employed for six years at Topeka Country Club, including the final four as an assistant pro.
He lives in Greenwood with his wife, Beth Vaughn, a co-host of “Good Morning Indiana” on WRTV-Channel 6. The couple have a 7-month-old daughter, Charlotte.
What follows is a Q&A interview with Resner.
How many years have you played golf? How did you get started?
My first round on the course was with my dad when I was 5, but I had been swinging clubs and hitting plastic balls around the house since I was in diapers.
My dad got me started in the game. He is a really good player and loves the game, and that just rubbed off on me from an early age.
Did you play in high school and/or college?
I played in high school at Emporia High School in Emporia, Kansas. We had a good team that won seven events my senior year and finished second in the state.
I played college golf at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. We had some success at Washburn by winning our conference three times, and we qualified for three NCAA Division II National Championships. Our best finish was 10th in the country my senior year.
What do you enjoy about playing the game?
I enjoy the challenge of the game and the process of trying to get better every time I play. I am always trying to learn something new to shoot lower scores and minimize my weaknesses.
I really enjoy being outside, too. Golf is a game where the course is always different, and I think the most beautiful scenery in the world are golf courses.
Golf can be played by the ocean, in the mountains, in a valley, in the desert, in the trees, in the plains, in the hills like French Lick’s Dye Course. Course designers are amazing with what they come up with.
What do you enjoy about teaching the game?
Just as I enjoy the process of improvement, I enjoy it even more for someone I’m teaching. There is nothing more fulfilling than seeing someone hit a shot they haven’t been able to (hit) before. I also enjoy getting to know that person on a deeper level.
I think golf is the ultimate relationship game, and this is another example.
What do you enjoy about your job?
I enjoy relationships and being with a wide variety of people. I enjoy serving other people, and the game of golf is the vehicle to do that.
I enjoy coming to the golf course every day. I enjoy the people I work with and being apart of a team.
What kind of patience is required to teach, especially with beginners?
Teaching does take patience, understanding and empathy. I am empathetic because I put myself in their shoes at learning new things. My wife and I took dance lessons before our wedding. I was totally awkward and slow to get the steps.
But I encourage students to engage and ask questions. I tell them not do what I did in school, to act like you understand so as not to look stupid. The best teachers understand the complexity, physics and cause and effect of the golf swing but are able to communicate it in a way that person can understand. That is always the challenge and is different every lesson.
As the head pro, how difficult is it to find time to play and work on your own game?
It is a challenge, but I know how important it is to play, especially with members and students. I believe that the club pro at a facility should be able to be good enough to have credibility when teaching and fitting clubs, although I do always reserve the right to tell someone to listen to what I say, not as I do.
What is a typical day like for you during the playing season? What time to you start? What time to you go home?
During the season I am usually in by 7 a.m., and earlier on the weekends. I try to use the earliest part of my day to catch up on office work, or anything else that is on my to-do list. As much as I love talking with people, I do need that time to put my head down and get work done.
Once golfers show up, I am more customer-focused, and my to-do list items are usually prioritized behind taking care of members. Every day is busy with running leagues, teaching lessons, fitting golf clubs, attending staff meetings, ordering merchandise, displaying and selling merchandise, organizing future golf events, teaching clinics, training and managing staff.
Technology is great, as well, but it adds to the list of answering individual emails, updating social media, sending out mass emails and text message alerts, updating the website and talking on the phone. Traditionally, I leave the course once the sun goes down, although I have a new daughter at home and I’m trying to find more balance to my life, and I’ve been leaving earlier this year.
Does your wife play play golf?
I am blessed to be married to my best friend, Beth. She played more when we were dating, but life doesn’t leave her much time to play. I am hopeful she gets the bug, but I don’t put any pressure on her to play. We’re going to play some couples golf this year.