Chris Frazier the new golf pro for The Oaks golf course in Covington.
COVINGTON -- The Oaks Course made a lot of improvements and have come a long way over the last few years. Now they are hoping that newly hired golf professional Chris Frazier will take them to the next level.
One way he hopes of achieving the goals is by doing more player development and bringing more people to the love the game.
"I would love to see the junior golf program grow. Golf is gaining about 3 million golfers a year in the United States. But we're losing 4 million a year. So where we need to gain that is juniors and women. I want to make it more family-oriented because the PGA's Golf 2.0 initiative by 2020 is to double the amount of golfers we have in the country," Frazier said. "I want to take them to the next level. It seems like they're doing really great at what they're currently doing. I'd love to bring more rounds of golf in. Player development is a big part of who I am."
Frazier said that while there are various teaching philosophies, he follows the non-model golf style. This allows each golfer to have their own swing. He just makes sure that they have the basic fundamentals of a good swing.
"I'm not a model golfer, meaning that I don't look at your swing and compare it to, say, Tiger Woods'. There are some basic fundamentals that we do go by with the PGA. So if there are big discrepancies and some changes that need to be made I'll inform the individual," Frazier said. "But everyone is different in shapes and sizes; we're all different (in) flexibility and so forth. I try and fine tune what you currently have naturally then try to tweak it for the best."
Even though Frazier has played on a mini tour, his true love has been with helping others improve and enjoy their game.
His professional experience started and unfortunately ended with the Tar Hill tour in the Carolina's. While he had good tournament mixed in with a few bad tournaments, he was unable to consistently finish in the top 10. Without doing that almost week in and week, out it's difficult to get sponsors and make enough money to make it financially rewarding.
Unfortunately, his playing career was cut short when he had to take time off to have wrist surgery. It was during that down time that he started teaching and found that he really liked it.
"I had a couple of wrist surgeries which took me out of there a little bit, so I started to focus more on the teaching part when I was injured. The next thing you know, the business part came with that which led me to the head pro position," Frazier said.
He's been a golf professional for over 10 years, starting out at Kiawah Island Golf Resort near Charleston, South Carolina. Within five years he worked his way up to first assistant of the Oceans Course, the home of the 2007 Senior PGA Championship and the upcoming 2012 PGA Championship. He left there to take the head professional position at Bear's Best, a Jack Nicklaus course in Suwanee, where he stayed for five years. But just like many others, Frazier became a sad statistic of the economy and was downsized. He spent less than a year working at the golf store before finding his way to Covington.
"The thing I'm looking forward to being a part of the Oaks Course is the family orientation here. It's not corporate America. I'm looking for a home and not a pit stop," Frazier said. "The head pro position has always been my dream because it's an emphasis on the business aspect on the game of golf as well as player development. An environment such as the Oaks Course, which Dick and Nancy (Schulz) have given me, has the opportunity to focus on my own game. It's not so devoted to the business side of golf. I have a little bit of leeway to work on my game and player development."
Before turning pro and playing on the mini tour, Frazier played a lot of junior golf tournaments and was a member of the Parkview golf team. After high school, he turned down several DII offers to play golf. Instead, he went to Georgia on a music scholarship.
"I bleed red and black and I wanted that degree; wanted that experience. I talked to my parents and they said I could always play golf afterwards and I did," he said.
Even though Frazier is not playing professionally, he is still playing competitive golf, participlating in Georgia Sectional events. He feels that this gives him the best of both worlds. He can still play competitive golf while having time to practice and focus on other people's games as well.
When Frazier does not have a golf club in his hand, he enjoys going to other sporting events such as Braves and Falcons games as well as concerts. But one can tell from looking at Frazier that the golf course is where he feels most comfortable. While staring over the greens and fairways, Frazier turned and said "This is now my office."