The PGA of America has a wealth of talented and dedicated women raising the bar on all aspects of the business of golf. This is the first article in a series profiling these accomplished professionals, highlighting their achievements and putting an emphasis on their hopes and dreams for the future of women in the game. These individuals may come from diverse backgrounds and have taken different roads to get to where they are today, but one common thread holds them together, their never-ending efforts to introduce the game of golf to people every day, and their desire to see women prosper as golf professionals and leaders in the field.
Alison Curdt – Influencing the Success of her Students
Whatever career field we choose in life, we generally want to be happy and experience a sense of fulfillment in what we do. Driving to work every day, PGA and LPGA cards in hand and a full schedule of lessons on her calendar, Alison Curdt shows up to Wood Ranch Golf Club, in Simi Valley, California ready to serve her students and share the vast knowledge she has gained over a dozen years as a golf professional. After working together on several best practice articles for the PGA, Alison and I spoke again recently, the focus more about her as a person and a golf professional. Here is her story.
Beginnings in the Game of Golf – First Teacher…Her Dad
Alison Curdt was born and raised in the heartland of America, St. Louis, Missouri. She was introduced to the game of golf by her dad when she was seven years old and experienced some early success. At age twelve Alison started playing Gateway PGA junior tournaments, most of which were against competitors older than she, which pushed her to improve through hard work and dedication. Under the guidance of an early mentor, Brian Maine, the Director of Golf at Whitmoor Country Club, her game progressed and she played for four years at Florida State University, where she graduated with degrees in Professional Golf Management and Psychology.
Experience Gained – A Passion for Teaching Develops
Her professional days started in Rancho Mirage, California, but after an apartment fire that claimed everything she owned, she went home, took a short break from the game, and decided to head back to California for a teaching opportunity at GOLFTEC. A year later, Sherwood Country Club came calling and she spent the next seven years learning all aspects of an effective golf operation. But as player development became her main passion, she started building her own teaching business, taking it to Wood Ranch Golf Club in 2014. Her resume is chock full of PGA and LPGA section and national teaching awards, a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology, and the distinction of being the only PGA Master Professional who is also a licensed psychotherapist specializing in the mental game.
Her Take on Golf Tips and the Future of Women in the Game
When asked for her favorite golf tip, Alison had the perfect response. “I don’t believe in golf tips,” she stated, likening them to Band-Aids that ultimately fall off. Instead, she emphasizes coaching and instruction to promote learning and game improvement. Final thoughts on the game delved into the future of women in the golf industry. It rendered Alison’s vision of more women in GM, Director of Golf, and Head Professional positions. She wants to see more than just a few big names in the teaching arena and feels someone like Suzy Whaley as PGA of America Vice President (or higher) will open doors for women to be considered for positions that they still get overlooked for today. There should be no limit to the heights women can attain as golf professionals, and Alison will surely be one of the young leaders in that climb.
Alison Curdt – A Bright Future for a Shining Star in the PGA
Alison Curdt is a perfect example of the talented golf professionals who will take the game well into the 21st century. Whether they are in a management position, teaching and mentoring roles, or playing in high-level competitions across the globe, women are a huge part of the future of golf. Through their expertise and experience, young professionals like Alison are leading that surge forward, and the future of the game is secure because of them.
“Achievement is my drug of choice.” – Alison Curdt
Alison Curdt is the PGA/LPGA Director of Instruction at Alison Curdt Golf, located at Wood Ranch Golf Club, in Simi Valley, California. She is a member of the Southern California PGA Teaching Hall of Fame, was the 2015 LPGA National Teacher of the Year, and will compete in her fifth LPGA major tournament at the 2018 KPMG LPGA Women’s Championship to be held at Olympia Fields.
Vinnie Manginelli is a freelance writer in Kingston, New York. He is a multi-faceted writer specializing in the business of golf while contributing to various other publications not related to the sport. He is a graduate of the Master’s Program (English and Creative Writing) at Southern New Hampshire University and is the Head Golf Coach at the State University of New York at Ulster. He is on Twitter @pgavindog and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.