Rich Chapman, PGA is a man of many talents.
In addition to being the Head Professional at Thendara Golf Club, Chapman earned a master’s degree in music performance. At one time, Chapman aspired to be a professional musician and played trombone with the Phoenix (AZ) Symphony. But in the early 2000s, former Thendara head pro Dave Geiger helped change Chapman’s career path from music to golf.
“I worked at Thendara while I was still in college,” Chapman said. “I worked my way up the ladder there under Dave. He was a great mentor and he encouraged me to pursue a career in golf and take over for him. I was well-liked by the members and he thought it would be an easy transition. So I ended up choosing golf.”
Chapman has also worked his way up the ranks at the Central New York PGA and was elected Section President earlier this year.
“It’s a great honor,” he said about becoming president.
Chapman grew up in North Syracuse but spent his summers in the Adirondacks at White Lake where he resides today with his family. Here’s what he had to say about his start in golf and taking over as CNY PGA President.
On his start in golf: “I started working at Thendara in 1993. I was a shop/cart attendant and golf assistant to Dave. In the summers, I worked there while I was in college. Eventually, Dave persuaded me to consider golf as a career and that I could take over for him. I became a PGA Professional in 2005 and have been at Thendara ever since.
On serving as Section President: “For me, it’s definitely about wanting to give something back to the Section. The Section has given me so much over the years and now I can help and give back.”
His objective as president: “I think my best attribute is finding the best direction or course of action to move things forward. We have so many exciting things happening. So staying on a good path and helping find the best way to achieve what we want to do is important to me. When I’m sitting there at board meetings, I’m surrounded by so much talent and I want to utilize all that talent to get things accomplished.”
On the best part of being a PGA Professional: “It all boils down to the relationships you create with members, patrons and my peers. I think we created a positive atmosphere that has led to some unbelievable relationships over the years.”