Posted 8:01 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022
Geary shares his love of golf as executive director of Georgia PGA
Scott Geary took a swing at several majors before finding the perfect fit.
“I started with the English and journalism route, then the science and physical therapy route, then the physical education route, then straight business,” remembers Geary, ’11. “Finally, after conversations with family and friends, I got into exercise and sport science (sport management emphasis) with an economics minor. That’s where I got the answer to the question: 'What do I love, and where can I make money within that field?’”
A decade later, Geary couldn’t be happier with his decision. It launched his career in the game of golf and helped prepare him for his newest role as the executive director of the Georgia Professional Golf Association.
In this position, Geary supports Georgia’s roughly 900 golf professionals — men and women who manage golf courses, give lessons and help grow the game in their local communities.
He also oversees the Georgia PGA Foundation, which raises funds for golf-related causes, including scholarships and programming meant to get children, people from diverse backgrounds and veterans interested in the game.
“In my experience, there’s no sport that does more to give back than golf,” Geary explains. “The money raised for junior golf, veterans, people in need — it’s such a unique platform.
“Golf just brings people together,” he adds. “Whether you play every day, once a month or have never played, almost everyone has felt a draw to it. And yet, no one — not even Tiger — can master it.”
Geary was introduced to golf in high school, when he was looking to pick up a sport during the spring. He fell in love with the game, got a job at a golf course near his family’s home in Howards Grove and went on to work at the La Crosse Country Club through college.
After graduating, Geary interned with the American Junior Golf Association, a nonprofit based in Braselton, Georgia. He soon landed a full-time job as a tournament coordinator before transitioning to a role in sponsorships and business development. In February, he made the move to the PGA.
Geary says his career in golf has opened many wonderful opportunities.
He has traveled all over the country for work and has even visited the Dominican Republic.
He has attended perhaps the most famous golf tournament in the world, The Masters, in Augusta, Georgia.
And he has met many iconic figures in the game — Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Lee Elder, Annika Sörenstam and others.
Through his work with the American Junior Golf Association, he also met many of today’s top players when they were young.
“The coolest part for me was seeing the Jordan Spieths, the Justin Thomases, the Scottie Schefflers and the Xander Schauffeles when they were growing up and playing junior golf,” Geary notes. “It’s neat to have known them when they were kids, and now they’re out there earning all those dollars on the PGA Tour.”
Geary says he hopes to share his love of golf with as many people as possible.
During COVID-19 in particular, he says, golf has had a golden opportunity to grow.
“Golf was the first sport that came back after COVID because of the ability to be outdoors and socially distance,” he says. “We were really able to reboot the sports industry, and that’s an opportunity that I wouldn’t have expected a couple years ago.”
Being good at golf, Geary adds, is not a requirement for a career in the game.
“There’s always this fear that you have to be good at golf to work in it,” he says. “But that couldn’t be further from the truth. I know a lot of folks who have done very well in their careers in golf who aren’t talented golfers. Within golf, you can get into marketing, communications, public relations, business. There are just so many different avenues, and I think that’s what makes it unique.”
Read more stories from the January eLantern.