Skip to main content

The Challengers Suzy Whaley

  • Sustained musical chord.

    A woman on a golf course, Suzy Whaley, laughs and speaks with children who are practicing golf.

    Suzy Whaley [off-screen]: I get great joy from working with kids. They give me energy; they give me enthusiasm. But I also love to see them grow.

    Onscreen text: Charles Schwab Presents

    Suzy [onscreen]: I'm Suzy Whaley. I'm a coach and a teacher of golf, and I also oversee the largest sports association in the world, the PGA of America.

    Fast drum beats.

    Suzy walks onto a golf course with a bucket of golf balls.

    Onscreen text: The Challengers

    A series about people who question. Engage. Succeed.

    Suzy Whaley

    Acoustic guitar music.

    Suzy [off-screen]: I'm very proud of my body of work. I'm proud of wearing our logo and our badge. I'm proud of being a master professional within the PGA.

    Suzy [onscreen]: So I didn't run because I was a female. I ran because I thought I had the qualifications to do so, and I had a lot to give to the association and to my fellow members that do the job I do.

    On a golf course, Suzy places a ball on a tee and takes practice swings.

    Suzy [off-screen]: I played golf at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill on a four-year scholarship there and was on my way to law school. I instead took an about-face and went to tour school for the LPGA Tour and secured my tour card right out of college. I played on tour for two years. Really the best thing that could've ever happened to me was losing my card. That woke me up to the real world. I prepared incredibly hard after that. Got my tour card back and then went on to a teaching career once we had our children, and I absolutely fell in love with that.

    After teeing off, Suzy picks up her tee and walks down the course.

    Suzy [onscreen]: My career has never been linear. It's always been about what's the next challenge? And how can I help evolve and grow the game? We need to look more like our communities. We need more minorities, more young girls, and more people playing from every cultural background. Why shouldn't everybody think golf is for them? It really is.

    Onscreen text: Why shouldn't everybody think golf is for them?

    A young girl with a pony tail hits a ball on a golf course. Suzy takes practice swings, in slow motion. Suzy gives lessons to a middle-aged woman, to an African American man, and to a series of children.

    Suzy [off-screen]: For so many that have never been exposed to the game, golf can seem intimidating. And certainly we want to dispel that, and we want to give an invitation to anyone that wants to play, to come join us and to realize that we're gonna walk you through where to park the car, where to put the clubs, how to drive to the driving range to get your lesson, what you have to do to navigate walking inside to check in. All the things that all of us who grew up with golf think are very simple, aren't as easy when you're brand new and you're not quite sure where to be or what to wear, what the etiquette is on course. But what wakes me up every single day is having the opportunity to change somebody's life through a game that I love.

    Suzy gives instructions to more people, old and young. Then she is walking along a course.

    Suzy: I love to teach every level of the game. The joy I get out of the beginner, reaching their goal or hitting a shot in the air for the first time, is just as amazing as one of a professional that I coach winning a golf tournament.

    Suzy lines up a row of golf balls so a student can practice putting.

    Suzy [off-screen]: Every single day that I'm in town, I teach.

    Onscreen text: Every single day that I'm in town, I teach

    Suzy walks in a practice area, setting out buckets of balls and other equipment and then helps students of various ages.

    Suzy [off-screen]: Five o'clock in the morning, I wake up, I work out—I'm a little bit obsessed with that—and then I head to the PGA of America to do some work until probably about 7:15, 7:30 in the morning, and then off to work at The Country Club at Mirasol as their director of instruction. Teach all day there, and then I head back home for some dinner and then some more PGA of America work in the evening.

    A group of young boys and girls tee off as Suzy watches and instructs them.

    Suzy [off-screen]: I think the most fun I have in coaching is watching someone develop. It's a journey together. It's not just, "Hey, thanks for coming. I enjoyed being with you today." It's more, how can I help you? How can I develop you as a child, as a whole child, as an athlete? Golf has inherent qualities that develop character. And I love being around children who love sports and love the game. When my children were little, I didn't let them beat me at Crazy Eights. [laughs] I'm an extremely competitive person.

    Suzy and a young girl race each other on a golf course. Other children race each other around orange cones. Then Suzy sits on the grass, talking and laughing with children.

    Suzy [off-screen]: We ran up the stairs against each other. I always just love doing something in the moment of time and putting effort into it when it means something. So for me, being competitive goes past just golf. It goes past sport. It also goes into business. I relate my competition and my experience in competition on golf courses, and it’s helped me in the business environment.

    Suzy walks along a golf course, carrying a club.

    Onscreen text: Suzy is the first female president of the PGA of America

    Rhythmic guitar music.

    Suzy walks toward the pin as a man lines up a putt.

    Onscreen text: Golf Magazine lists her in the Top 100 Teachers in America

    Suzy sits on a golf course, laughing and smiling with kids.

    Suzy [off-screen]: It's about being with other friends and family, being with people you love, competing. Maybe you're not great at it yet, but let's get there.

    Soft guitar music.

    Onscreen text: Ask questions. Be engaged.

    Suzy talks to kids.

    Onscreen text: [Charles Schwab logo] Own your tomorrow

    Suzy [off-screen]: I don't ever need a day without golf. I know that's hard to believe, but if I could play golf every single day, I would play golf every single day. I love walking and playing the game.

    Onscreen text: [Charles Schwab logo] [PGA logo] Official Wealth Management Firm

    ©2020 Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. All rights reserved. Member SIPC. (0420-05ZY)

    Onscreen text: Thanks to PGA of America

    PGA Jr. League

    The Country Club at Mirasol

Why shouldn't everybody think golf is for them?

View "Challengers" by season

Invest in both your financial future and your game.