Let’s take a break from baseball, softball and track for a week and talk some golf. Sportshorts’ll get back with a vengeance to those sports next week as local teams begin the stretch run to the state playoffs.
Tyler Ivins was recently named head professional at the Hideout Golf Course in Monticello. Sportshorts sat down (via e-mail) with Tyler.
Sportshorts: Welcome to the Hideout. What are your thoughts about being named the head professional at the Hideout?
Tyler Ivins: It's really exciting to be back here and be involved with the course. Ever since the new course opened, it has been a goal of mine to make it back here. This course is a big reason I got into the golf business.
The Hideout truly is one of the best designed courses around. It makes you hit every club in your bag and makes you think your way around the course. It is a great place for kids to learn how to golf. It will help them develop every club, and manage their round.
Q: First of all, who did you predict would win the Masters?
A: When I got the questions on Saturday night, I thought Rory McIlroy was going to win. I thought he would shoot a 69 or 70, and that would have given him plenty of room with a four shot lead.
Q: What did you think of all the young kids playing well at the Masters?
A: It is really good for the game of golf. It encourages kids to get out and play more. If kids can relate to what they see on TV it helps.
Q: You grew up in Blanding?
A: I was born and raised in Blanding. San Juan County is a great place to grow up and to raise kids. Kids learn to work hard and be good citizens in the community.
Q: Tell us about your family.
A: In 2004, I was attending school at Southern Utah University, studying business management. This is where I met my wife, Lacey Griffin. We were married in 2005.
In 2007, we moved to Mesa, AZ so I could attend ASU's Professional Golf Management program. I graduated from ASU in 2009 with my Bachelor's degree in Agribusiness. I was elected a member of the PGA at the same time, becoming a class A member of the PGA.
In 2009, my wife and I had our first child. Her name is Aspyn Cole Ivins. We will be having our second child in September.
Q: How did you become a PGA pro?
A: I attended ASU's Professional Golf Management program. There are three levels of the PGA books, and there is one playing test. I completed these requirements and my college credits at ASU.
Q: What is your working experience as a pro?
A: I first worked at Arizona Golf Resort, in Mesa, AZ. I did my first internship there in 2007, for about nine months. Arizona Golf Resort is a 18 hole resort course, that does 50,000 plus 18 hole rounds annually.
After Arizona Golf Resort, I went to Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club. Superstition Mountain is a 36 hole private course. Both Superstition Mountain courses are designed by Jack Nicklaus, and his kids Jack Jr. and Gary Nicklaus.
At Superstition Mountain, I had the opportunity to work under some of the most well known and respected PGA golf professionals, teaching pros, and developers in the golf industry. The owner has built some of the premier country clubs around the world.
Mike Malaska, who is a top 25 teacher in the country, was the teaching pro at Superstition Mountain. He would do seminars and classes for the staff regularly. We also had a teaching certification program that was put together by him that all the staff had to complete, in order to teach, which I completed. I also had the opportunity to work during the Safeway International, which was one of the largest annual LPGA events.
Q: What do you bring to the Hideout as a pro?
A: I believe I bring the perfect balance of a home town boy that will be able to relate with the locals, and someone that has experienced the golf industry in other areas of the country.
Being from the area, I know most of the local crowd that plays golf here, and I can relate and serve their needs. And having done the PGA program and worked in other areas in golf, I can hopefully bring some other aspects and approaches to our course.
Aside from all of this, you won't find anyone that wants to see the course succeed more than I do. I grew up in the area and learned to play golf here. I look forward to doing the same for the youth and anyone for that matter.
Q: What changes have you made, or will make?
A: I don't necessarily see everything that we will be doing as changes, but I will try to make sure everyone that golfs has an enjoyable time. I am also going to try and help every golfer better understand the game, meaning their swing, the rules, etiquette, and the overall game. We also hope to increase the participation in the tournaments by getting involved with the courses in the surrounding area.
Q: Any goals?
A: My goals are pretty broad. I hope to make the course successful and an asset to the community.
Q: What is your lowest round of golf ever?
A: 65 at The Arizona Golf Resort.
Q: What is your lowest score at the Hideout?
A: I don't really know. I have broke par on each nine, but never together on a full 18-hole round. I think my low 18 hole round is probably a 73 or 74.
Q: When you play golf with family, who wins?
A: This is a really good question, because it changes every time. It used to always be my dad, brother, and brother-in-law.
Now it could be myself, David (my brother), or sometimes my nephew (Payton Halls). It is always fun to go out with the family; that is how I learned to play, going out and having a fun round with the family.
Q: Any holes-in-one?
A: None, yet.
Q: How will you make the Hideout a community golf course, where more local people play golf?
A: I think one of the best ways to get the community involved in anything is get the youth involved. That is one of the great things about this area. Parents are very supportive of the youth and the youth programs. I hope to get as many kids playing golf as possible. They are the future of the game and they also will bring more of the community to the course.
Q: Can the course become more mulitfaceted, cross country skiing in the winter, running events in the fall, etc.?
A: I think it can. It will take cooperation between people and organizations to make it work, but it is very possible.
Q: There have been a lot of changes to the clubhouse. Tell us a little about those.
A: We have changed the layout by moving the golf counter over by the food and beverage counter and tied the two of them together. By doing this we have made it easier for the employees to run the golf counter and the food and beverage by themselves.
This has also opened everything up to where people can sit and enjoy the view out the windows. It has given more room for merchandise on the floor.
We also repainted and put in new carpet, which really helps with the overall appearance of the shop. Overall the shop looks really good and we have gotten really good feedback from people coming in.