As head professional at Osgood Golf Course in Fargo, Lisa Schwinden is "responsible for all of the golf operations, minus ground maintenance."
FARGO—Lisa Schwinden, the head professional at Osgood Golf Course in Fargo, doesn't play the game herself much these days.
The Fargo native said she doesn't have time to practice and it's frustrating when she can't play at the level she was in college at the University of Portland.
"Someday, I will play a lot of golf," she said.
Her grandmother took up the sport after she retired. She was the one who insisted Schwinden and her siblings learn to play. Today, part of her job is teaching others.
What does the head professional do?
I'm responsible for all of the golf operations minus the maintenance. I don't have anything to do with the mowing of the grass or any of that stuff. I'm responsible for the staffing, booking of tee times, budgeting, supplies, and running all the leagues, lessons, events and teaching. We have a good teaching group out here I'm responsible for. I have three apprentices working under me who are getting in the PGA program. I'm kind of their mentor to make sure they're getting along in the program.
What do you like about your job?
I love working with people, either just seeing them improve or giving them confidence. So many people have decided they're not going to do it or are not good enough. It's basic physics. We can break it down and make it real easy. People realize, 'I can do that. I'm better than I think.' That's really the most rewarding part.
And, just playing golf with great people. It's always been the people. I love the game, but it's not about that. I don't play golf by myself. I want to play with people because that's the important part for me. The social part.
Will you talk a bit about the LPGA Girls Golf Club you helped establish here?
It's through the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association), so it's a nationwide deal. It's been about 7 to 8 years we've had it now and it's grown substantially. We get about 200 girls every Tuesday now.
It's fun to see some of those young girls who are now on their high school teams. Even if they don't play on their high school team, if they know how to golf, they're more likely to play as adults. If they go into work and all the guys are going to play golf, they can go too, which is great.
Is it important to get a professional lesson when you're starting out?
Women, do not take lessons from your husband. That's just horrible. Or even your father. It's funny the misconceptions. The three things you always hear in golf are 'keep your head down, keep your arms straight, and squat down.' You don't want to do any of those things. You get what you pay for in a lesson. If you're getting a free lesson from your father, he may be a really great guy, but he's probably not trained to teach people to play golf.
Do you have any stories about your best game or the best course you've played?
I have a group of ladies who come out once a week. They're really fun ladies. They go to the bar first for an hour before. Then, I get them out of the bar and we do a 45-minute lesson, and then they go back to the bar.
So, one night we're doing our lesson and they said, "We've been doing these lessons, but we need to play." So, we went over to our 3-hole loop, which is two short holes and a long one. I hadn't warmed up or anything. They said, "You should play, too."
I grab a club out of the bag and I grab a ball, tee it up, and it goes in. I make a hole-in-one on the first swing in front of these ladies. "That's how you do it. It's real easy," I say.
It's the first hole-in-one I ever had. Then, I had to buy them drinks, and it was real expensive. If you make a hole-in-one, you have to buy your whole group drinks. That was a bad group to do that with.