The Quechee Club’s Golf Guru: Andy Prosowski
It’s amazing that a little white ball has taken me across the world, Andy Prosowski says, noting how many people he has met and the experiences he has had.
Andy is the current Director of Instruction for the Quechee Club. Formerly he held the positions of Head Pro and the Director of Golf at the Quechee Club. He has been a golf instructor for 47 years, but he didn’t get the started the way that many golf professionals do.
Andy grew up on Long Island, NY, and started playing golf when he was 12. His friend had a set of clubs, Andy’s dad borrowed a set of clubs from a friend, and he would bike eight miles to play with his buddy. The two boys would get a round of golf in and then bike the eight miles back home in time for dinner, and to get ready to go to baseball practice. At the same age, he also began to caddie at the course.
Golf during his military service
In high school, he played on his undefeated team and continued to play some throughout college. After graduation, Andy was drafted, and suddenly, he was headed to Vietnam. At the last moment, he was transferred to Germany where he was a tank commander.
At the base in Germany, there was a little nine-hole course, and word quickly spread that Andy was both a golfer and had some background in instruction. His upper-level officers heard and asked him for help with their golf games. During that time many of the bigger bases had golf courses, the Army had teams in many different sports, and Andy ended up playing for the U.S. Army Golf Team for the remainder of his military service. Playing on the U.S. Team and while in the Army, Andy says he taught a lot.
Becoming a golf pro
After his military service, his first job was at a private club as a golf pro and, under the head pro, he found he didn’t get to play much but enjoyed the other aspects of the job. Andy loves to teach. One of his earliest students was his mother, back when he was just starting out, riding his bicycle to and from the course every day.
Andy moved to Vermont to take a job as the Head Pro at the Dorset Field Club in Dorset, VT. He was familiar with the area as he had often visited a fraternity brother from his college days who lived in Vermont, and his wife at the time was from Bennington, VT. He stayed there for 12 years, and would occasionally end up either playing the Quechee Golf Course or, more likely, helping their head pro out during tournaments.
An opportunity to go work at the Stratton Golf School in Stratton, VT, gave him the chance, in conjunction with the school, to start the first American golf school in France, called the Stratton American Golf School. Andy was there for three years when another opportunity he couldn’t pass up came to start the Golf Schools of Scottsdale-Phoenix in Arizona – Golf Magazine has rated the program in the top 25 in the country for 12 years.
Coming to Quechee
Andy says that starting and running instruction for the school in Arizona has been amazing, but, given that it only runs during the fall and winter, he found he needed a summer job. Using his prior connections at The Quechee Club, he was able to get a position during the spring and summer, and has continued to instruct at The Quechee Club for the past 32 years.
He’s found a lot of benefits to living and working in Quechee for half the year. “The serenity, quietness, calmness of the area is such a change from Phoenix.” Andy also likes to hike, but most of his days are spent on the golf course doing what he loves.
“My favorite part [of being a golf instructor] is meeting so many people and figuring out the mental, physical, emotional, and social aspects that all matter. Everybody is a different puzzle, and you have to put them together,” Andy says in regards to teaching individuals various aspects of golf. It’s not just about the body position or the club, but everything else that is going on too. Andy is certainly a person who relies on connections. “These relationships I have gained are wonderful,” he says noting with a laugh that, “some people say I’m cheaper than their psychiatrist!”
It’s these relationships and his passion for instruction that come together to create an excellent golf instructor. He has been named one of the top two golf instructors in Vermont and one time in the Top 100 Trainers by Golf Magazine.
Andy’s least favorite aspect of golf instruction? “Lack of time – an hour can be too short!”