In April, Tomas Hnizdo joined the Tulsa Golf team as Head Professional. You might think that hiring a PGA Class “A” professional would be an easy thing to do, especially in Tulsa where there is a long, rich history of great instructors. And it could be. But as anyone who is familiar with our courses knows, I would probably want to hire someone a little different.
Born in Scotland, Tomas immigrated to the US from his home of South Africa at the turn of the century. That’s a little different. Especially for Green County. But being a world traveler was not Tomas’s distinctive quality. Tomas approached me late last fall after the golf course where he was working closed its gates. I found his temperament and demeanor to be patient and easy going. And he laughed easily. We started talking about his experience in the golf business, and it is as impressive as it is varied. Tomas has experience in instruction, all aspects of golf operations, AND has been a superintendent (and greens mower) – all at the same time!!!
I guess you could say that Tomas began his golf career in a similar way as myself (and my friends) by jumping fence at a local course and playing as many holes as possible before being run off by the greenkeepers! While I had an old set of my dad’s hand me downs, Tomas used old hickory shafted golf clubs. Tomas read Ben Hogan’s, “Modern Fundamentals” and became fascinated with the golf swing. After playing amateur golf with the likes of Ernie Els and Retief Goosen, Tomas decided to take his interest in teaching the golf swing to the United States, and began his career as a PGA professional.
Tomas is going to be heading up a number of new programs this year for Tulsa Golf. We’ve already launched the Advantage Tournament series, open to all Tulsa Golf Pass Holders. To help grow the game, he will conduct our Junior Golf Camp, as well as our new Player Development program, both with announcements forthcoming in the near future.
We are excited to have Tomas on board, and we hope you say hello the next time you’re at Page Belcher. I think you’ll find him warm, engaging, and funny.