The President of the PGA of Canada now resides just north of Moose Jaw.
Elbow's Mark Patterson, the head professional at the Harbor Golf Club, was elected the 47th president in the association's history last week.
"I'm very thrilled, right now our staff is so energetic, enthusiastic, they're young, passionate people that truly think outside the box and to be a part of that is very special," Patterson told DiscoverMooseJaw.com last week.
With over 30 years of experience as a golf professional, Patterson is honoured to have the chance to lead his peers for the next two years and see where he can take the PGA of Canada.
"I started at the bottom, cleaning clubs in the back shop, getting members clubs and doing all that kind of stuff, but each year I got more experience, I improved myself and did all the education that the PGA of Canada needed and got experience at different facilities, and after about 20 years, I wanted to start giving something back," said Patterson.
"I'm passionate about it… our industry continues to change and we have to stay one step ahead. We want our World Alliance to look at us as a leader and we have to keep changing, so for me in 2020 when I'm done, I want to leave the PGA of Canada with the perfect vision in 2020, will we get there, maybe, but that's what I’m striving for."
Patterson takes over for Winnipeg's Steve Wood after spending two years as vice-president. Heading into his term as president, Patterson said he's looking forward to continue the great work that's being done by the PGA of Canada already.
"We're releasing a new education platform in the new year, which will be of interest for all the PGAs across the world. Right now, we're known for our education, everybody wants and now we're tweaking it to make it even better. We just want to keep going and to be a part of that, I'm thrilled," said Patterson.
The PGA of Canada has over 3,600 members that work in the golf industry either as teachers and running golf facilities. Patterson said his vision is for Canada to continue leading the industry in golf education and make it more accessible.
"We want every member to be able to make a comfortable living and to get other people involved in the game," said Patterson. "There's lots of things in the education that we're making it simpler for people to get into the association and make it accessible from anywhere."
Patterson feels that golf is in a good position during an age when there's so much competition for people's free time, however, for the sport to continue growing, it goes back to accessibility and making golf available to everyone.
One of Patterson's first events as president was National Golf Day celebration on Parliament Hill last week where golf leaders touted the sport to over 70 MPs and Senators.
"There's almost 60 million rounds played in Canada each year, that's great, but to improve we have to make it more accessible for low income families, everybody thinks that the game is out of reach, we don't want that, we want it within reach," said Patterson. "We need to get into the schools, if we start in the schools and get them started then they become involved as club members."
For now Patterson is back at the Harbor Golf Club in Elbow as they prepare for another busy summer at the course.
"We had a tough winter, the greens are coming along and its getting greener every day, so we're going," said Patterson.