For Jay Turcsik, PGA, the start of golf season is a hectic time but it’s nothing he can’t handle. Staying organized is the key to Turcsik’s success as he balances the responsibilities of head professional and general manager at Mark Twain Golf Course in Elmira.


“It’s really important for me to manage the day and schedule things out,” Turcsik said.


Under the direction of Turcsik, Mark Twain is hosting some major events this season including the first round of the Central New York PGA/Bernard’s Custom Logo Junior Open Championship on May 14, the New York State High School Boys Golf Championships June 4-6 and the Central New York PGA Stroke Play Championship on Aug. 29.


Here’s what Turcsik had to say about how he got his start in golf and his work at Mark Twain.


Why did you want to become a golf professional?

I started playing at age 7, sneaking a few clubs into my father’s or grandfather’s golf bags. From there, the start to my wanting to become a PGA professional was Steve Torrant at Newman GC in Ithaca, the head professional that I worked for during my college summers. It was always fascinating how he could look at someone’s swing and after a few shots give some little tips to correct the flaws. This was something I quickly became interested in. After college I sort of began following up at Corning CC and eventually stuck with it and became a PGA member in 1999.


What are the most important aspects of your job?

The most important aspects of my job at Mark Twain GC are customer service and organizing/managing events. We currently have around 25 outside events scheduled and more are to come. It’s a very busy place and all the events need assistance of some sort.


What are some of the challenges you face during the season?

As both the head professional and the general manager, I try to make sure that neither aspect of those jobs are neglected. I dedicate mornings to making sure that the events and food and beverage are handled and customers are happy. Afternoons are then dedicated to mostly daily play and lessons. Having a good staff on the food and beverage side helps out immensely.


What off-season improvements to Mark Twain were made?

Over the winter, we were busy removing diseased Ash trees and dead pines. A total of 150 trees were removed during January and February. We are also starting to concentrate on looking at some drainage issues as well as finally getting carts paths to go all the way around the golf course.


What are you looking forward to this season?

This year I am looking forward to one of our newest events, the New York State High School Boys Golf Championships. Prior to Covid, we won the bid to host the Championships. But they had to be cancelled the last two years due to Covid regulations, so we are really looking forward to hosting this event.  I really think the participants will enjoy the Donald Ross designed Mark Twain Golf Course.