NASHPORT – Coming from Taiwan, and growing up in Dublin, Ohio, Hung Chow never dreamed he’d be a golf pro. Or manage a golf club, for that matter. But that’s exactly what happened. Chow is now head golf professional and general manager of The Virtues Golf Club.
“Growing up,” he recalled, “I played basketball and volleyball a lot. And I would follow my dad to the driving range and hit some golf balls. But I never had much interest in playing golf. I thought the game was boring and slow.”
Instead, he had thoughts of becoming an engineer. He graduated from Dublin High School at 1995, then went to Ohio State to study information science.
It was during his freshman year at OSU, he said, “I hurt my fingers and wasn’t able to play any volleyball. My roommate thought I needed some fresh air, so he took me to golf.”
“That,” he remembered, “was the first hook.”
He started to play more golf. He picked up a part-time job at a driving range in Columbus. And that, he said, “is how I got started in the golf business. I fell in love with the game.”
Still, he had reservations. He was concerned golf might not be as lucrative as engineering. But on the positive side, he reasoned, “I can be outside working with people in the fresh air.”
On balance, golf won out. He started teaching in 1999.
Meanwhile, in 2001, he won a couple “small, local” golf events in Ohio. That prompted him to take his savings and go to Arizona to try his hand on the mini-tours.
“I was playing in an event and I shot 68 on a fairly difficult course, or so I thought,” he said. “I hung around the scoring table and was licking my chops. But as I waited, the scores started coming in – and guys with 62, 63 and even 61 came in the few groups behind me. I was in shock. That’s when I realized I wasn’t good enough.”
That moment did have at least one positive effect, however. “Other than teaching the golf swing,” he said, “it taught me to teach golfers how to lower their score.”
“I love,” Chow continued, “the connection golf can build between people and their surroundings. I love the social and the spiritual aspect of the game.”
In time, Chow, now 42, went to Taiwan to teach golf. He worked with several members of the national women’s team and two LPGA tour professionals, among others. But his dream was to come back to the States. His dream came true. In 2014, he came back to teach at The Virtues Golf Club – and as general manager, much more.
“It’s not unusual to see him helping in the restaurant,” said Betti Slusser, the restaurant manager at the club. “If someone’s not around, he cooks in the kitchen. He just fills in wherever. He’s amazing.”
The Virtues Golf Club is located at One Long Drive in Nashport. For more information, call 740-763-1100 or log on www.thevirtuesgolfclub.com.
Aces of Trades is a weekly series focusing on people and their jobs – whether they’re unusual jobs, fun jobs or people who take ordinary jobs and make them extraordinary. If you have a suggestion for a future profile, let us know at email@example.com.
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