The Colorado PGA Professional Development Award is designed to recognize a Colorado PGA Professional for their outstanding and continuing contributions in developing and improving educational opportunities for PGA Professionals.
Through his distinguished contributions to the development and education of fellow PGA Members Brad Skupaka, PGA, is awarded the 2021 Colorado PGA Professional Development Award. Brad is involved in the development and implementation of training the 700+ coaches at GOLFTEC, who leave feeling inspired and excited to return to their own students. He has a positive influence on the careers of many PGA Professionals as they help to grow the game. Brad also has appeared in over 200 Golf Channel segments presenting content and he raises money for several charitable organizations; over $20,000 since 2019!
Brad grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, where he took an interest in golf around age 10 or 11. Brad commented that his dad played when he was a child, and it became a fun activity for them to enjoy together; playing golf “practically every day after school.” From high school golf to Coastal Carolina’s Golf Management Program, to GOLFTEC, Brad has always been involved in golf. After graduating college in 2009, he has been with GOLFTEC ever since. He managed a center in Philadelphia, PA, until 2016 when he and his wife took a leap and moved to Colorado to work at GOLFTEC HQ (now the Director of Teaching Quality). That’s 12 years with GOLFTEC! Brad enjoys that his career allows him to always strive to be better; continually pushing GOLFTEC forward, and golf in general.
What does it mean to you to receive the Professional Development Award?
It’s an honor to be recognized by peers for my continued contribution to the game of golf. I’ve helped hundreds of coaches each year improve their programs and it’s great to know that people are benefitting from my work.
What are the qualities you possess that you believe supported you in receiving this award?
I believe I can present different complex topics in a way that anyone can understand. Explaining concepts to a Professional versus on the lesson tee requires different communication styles. It’s important to tailor the message to the attendee.
What are tools you use in your profession that help you with your success?
First and foremost, the network of people I’ve surrounded myself with, between living in Colorado, GOLFTEC, and when I was with the Philadelphia Section, are beneficial to my success. Also, staying ahead on different and new technologies, whether that’s new clubs, launch monitors, etc., to further golf education. To create new opportunities with GOLFTEC, we produce objective studies with new technology to compare the results against industry standards, such as Trackman.
As it relates to golf, what is the best piece of advice you have received and what advice would you give to others?
- Always try to surround yourself with people you want to be like
- Have high aspirations for where you want your career and life to go
- Engage with people who have both different and similar viewpoints to yourself
What is your proudest moment as a golf professional?
When I was teaching lessons, I had one particular student who was trying to qualify for World Finals. In October 2018, he failed to qualify. He started working with me at that point and six months later, he qualified! That was meaningful to me because I helped him achieve his goals through hard work.
Share something about yourself that others may not know:
I’ve been involved in golf for what seems my entire life. Every job I’ve ever had has been in golf! Everything from working on the grounds crew at 15 to waiting tables at the Club. Over the years, I’m thankful for the fun opportunities that golf has presented!