An Interview With TPC Twin Cities’ Chris Weinhold
By R.J Smiley
Senior Head Golf Professional and Assistant General Manager, Chris Weinhold, helps us understand the TPC Network.
A recent interview with Chris Weinhold proved to be very informative – not only do we learn about Chris, but also the TPC, the company where he has worked his entire career.
TT: When did you start thinking that a career in golf might be for you?
CW: I attended the University of Northwestern in the Twin Cities. As I was working toward my degree in accounting, the idea of working in the golf industry kept creeping into the top my mind. Research led me to the Golf Academy of America located in Myrtle Beach, SC. In two years, I could receive an associates degree in Golf Operations and Golf Business Management. The Golf Academy of America was my next stop.”
After graduation from the Golf Academy of America I returned to the Twin Cities and applied for a job at TPC Twin Cities in 2006. The rest, you could say, is history. I started working in outside operations and was promoted to Assistant Golf Professional in 2007.
TT: How long did you serve as an assistant pro and how have your duties expanded and changed?
CW: Within the TPC Network we call it the wheel, each year new areas of responsibility are added, the growth is much like adding spokes to a wheel. I worked for six years as an assistant golf professional then got the job as Head Golf Professional in October 2012.
TT: We noticed the your official title is Senior Head Professional and Assistant General Manager? What does Senior Head Professional mean?
CW: To answer that question you need to understand the TPC Network. There are 16 TPC courses that are owned and operated by the PGA TOUR. The first TPC course was the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course, opened in 1980. It was built and operated to host The Players Championship. But more than the tournament, it is a daily fee golf course where the public can pay a green fee and play a golf course where the pros play. TPC courses are developed as a potential site to host professional golf tournaments. Each golf course is different, but each golf course is maintained to the very high standards of the PGA TOUR. TPC has resort/daily fee courses and private courses, but all are operated very similarly. TPC has a National Director of Golf, Bill Whaley, who works with GMs and Head Golf Professionals. He oversees the operations of all TPC courses. I am proud to be one of two current Senior Head Golf Professionals that work directly will Bill.
TT: Explain some of your duties as Senior Head Professional?
CW: We assist the Head Golf Professionals at other TPCs with standards, best practices, and national initiatives. We want everyone in the TPC Network on the same page and working towards the same goals.
TT: What changes will golf fans, who have been attending past 3M Championships, notice about the course during the 3M Open?
CW: We have added about 500 yards to the length of the golf course. Including 17 new tees. But the most noticeable difference will be the 18th hole. The hole now plays almost 600 yards and the tee has been moved to the right of the 17th green. We have tightened the fairway so accuracy off the tee is important. The new tee brings water into play all along the right side of the hole.
TT: Do you notice a difference in the attitude of the membership about this new PGA TOUR event?
CW: Yes, there is a different buzz in the air, a new sense of excitement! Our members are looking forward to showing off our golf course to the world.
TT: We understand that being a Head Golf Professional means long hours during the season. Do you get a chance to play golf? Spend time with your family? Do you travel during the winter months?
CW: Yes, to all three questions. I try to play once or twice per week with the membership. I also enjoy playing in the Minnesota PGA Section events. I like the competition and the networking opportunities. I also have a 5-year-old son who enjoys the game. I also make time to help coach my 8-year-old daughter’s softball team and watch her gymnastics competitions. I enjoy taking golf trips with the membership, whether it’s our annual TPC Interclub or other Destination Pro-Ams.
TT: From what we have learned about the TPC Network it seems that most TPC positions are filled from within the company. Would you ever consider a move from TPC Twin Cities?
CW: We are very happy here in the metro area and at TPC Twin Cities. I love my job and hope to stay at the Club for many years to come.
If you are planning on heading out to TPC Twin Cities during the week of the 3M Open take a second to stop and look around. You are sure to see Chris’s hand print on many of the changes from a great Champions Tour event to what we all expect to be an outstanding new PGA TOUR event.