The Bill Strausbaugh Award is presented to a Colorado PGA Member who has shown outstanding integrity, commitment to mentoring PGA Professionals and has made a significant impact on the careers of PGA Professionals. This year’s recipient of the award is a very accomplished player and professional. Congratulations to Scott Erwin, PGA, Director of Golf Emeritus at Maroon Creek Club.
“Any success I have enjoyed in the past 49 years serving in this career has everything to do with how I was mentored by unselfish, capable leaders,” credits Erwin, who uses his experience to mentor others in their professional growth. A generous and kind man, he wants to see the PGA Professionals in his realm of influence succeed. He is passionate about helping others and encourages not only professional growth but also communication and physical routines that lead to personal growth.
When mentoring others, Erwin works with a person’s communication style. While Erwin taught Bob Hope how to swing the club, Bob taught him how to communicate with others using tone of voice, body language and eye contact. Bob was a great storyteller and when you are competing in the final interview, you better be able to tell your story.
What does it mean to you to receive this award?
It is both a humbling and a proud moment to receive this award from my fellow PGA Members. It means, on a few occasions, I might have helped a fellow PGA Member be successful in winning their dream job. At age 71, my career is almost over but by mentoring others, I can still contribute.
What are the qualities you possess that you believe supported you receiving the Bill Strausbaugh Award?
The golf business is all about relationships with your co-workers, membership/customer, the community and your association. I have three goals/qualities that have served me well.
1) I try to be accountable for the situation I find myself in;
2) I try to be kind and considerate to everyone I meet; and
3) I try to never miss an opportunity to show my appreciation.
What are two tools you use in your profession that help you with your success?
Teamwork: I hire good people and encourage them to be accountable. I utilize the talent around me to do a deep dive to fully understand a situation so I can make an informed decision.
Visualization: I try to put myself in the place of the president or owner of the country club and look at a situation from their perspective. Next, I visualize the result that honors the membership and co-workers. Then, I act.
As it relates to golf, what is the best piece of advice that you have received and what advice would you give to others?
One of the best pieces of advice that I learned, and I would give to others, I learned from legendary professional golfer, Byron Nelson. Thirty-four years ago, Nelson came up behind me and put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Scott, you did the right thing in dealing with the member whose behavior was inappropriate with members and staff. It is better to be trusted and respected by the majority of the membership, than it is to try and be popular with all members. Your decision honored the silent majority.” The advice is this: do not let the integrity of the membership and staff be devalued because you are afraid to deal with a member whose behavior is inappropriate.
What is your proudest moment as a golf professional?
In keeping in line with my mission statement of looking out for the interests of others, my most proud moments are when I receive a phone call from a fellow PGA Member, whom I have mentored, who just won the final interview and earned their dream job.
Share something about yourself that others may not know.
In the early 80’s, along with two-time PGA Champion, Paul Runyon, and Eddie Merrins from Bel Air Country Club, I served on the People to People Sports Committee as a Golf Ambassador. The People to People Sports Committee was started by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to spread goodwill around the world. Each trip was approximately 28 days long and my teams traveled to: Switzerland, Italy and France; Scotland, England and Ireland; Norway, Demark and Sweden; and twice to Fiji, New Zealand and Australia.
Another fun fact is that my wife and I enjoy playing cards but are the two worst fly fishers in the State of Colorado.