Junior Golf Alliance of NY

Nov 072011

Kay McMahon


Kay McMahon will become one of four members inducted into the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional (T&CP) Hall of Fame.

The LPGA T&CP will honor its newest inductees next Monday, November 14, at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando, FL. The four T&CP inductees will be honored as “individuals who have contributed to the LPGA and to the golf industry.”

McMahon served as the LPGA T&CP National President from 1999-2000. With 35 years of service as a club professional and 33 years as a Class A LPGA T&CP member (starting in 1978), McMahon also became the first woman in the Southern California PGA Section to become a PGA member. She became a Class-A member of the PGA of America in 1986.

Click here to listen to a recent appearance by Kay McMahon on Capitalareagolf.com radio.

McMahon was a four-time LPGA T&CP Western Section Teacher of the Year and the 1995 LPGA T&CP National Teacher of the Year. In 2009, she was named the New England/New York (NENY) PGA Section Teacher of the Year, was awarded the NENY PGA President’s Plaque for outstanding service and received the LPGA’s Ellen Griffin Rolex Award.

Kay McMahon and Derek Sprague, Secretary of the PGA of America

McMahon’s golf career began in 1976 as the golf shop manager and first assistant golf professional at Ironwood Country Club in Palm Desert, CA. From 1998-2000, she worked as the director of golf education for the City of Boston at its indoor learning centers, and at The Kittansett Club in Marion, MA, as a teaching professional during the summer months from 1996-1999.

McMahon also served as a teaching professional from 1986-1999 at The Lakes Country Club in Palm Desert, CA, and worked as the head instructor from 1999-2000, at Mission Hills Country Club Learning Center in Rancho Mirage, CA.

Most recently, she served as the director of golf at Innerform Golf at Hilltop Golf Center in Saugatuck, MI, from 1999-2001. McMahon launched eduKaytion golf in 2001, and currently serves as its director of golf in five locations in New York and Massachusetts.

Here is what McMahon had to say to LPGA senior writer Lisa Mickey about her career and her induction into the LPGA T&CP Hall of Fame this year:

LPGA: What does it mean to you to be inducted into the LPGA T&CP Hall of Fame?

MCMAHON: It’s unbelievable! It seems like I just started my career, and here we are at the Hall of Fame! When I first started out, all I ever wanted to do was be in the LPGA, following people like Shirley Spork, Patty Berg, Pat Lange and Joanne Winter.

LPGA: So those individuals influenced you the most in your career?
MCMAHON: For sure, Shirley Spork, Pat Lange, Joanne Winter, Jackie Pung and Betty Hicks showed me the way. They were so willing to give, and through them, I learned that sharing with others was the real reward. Shirley pushed me along in my career and encouraged me to get more involved in the educational process. Joanne was another mentor who was creative. I remember watching her speak once, and she dressed up as Mary Queen of Scots. Pat (Lange) would come up with really creative ideas for seminars and workshops. She always said, “Just share the information. There are no secrets.”

LPGA: How can teaching and club professionals impact the game?
MCMAHON: The LPGA Tour is “show time” on the road and the LPGA T&CP is “show time” at home. I see the LPGA as a whole. It’s about playing and teaching and encouraging interest in the game among all that we touch. I think the LPGA Tour and the LPGA T&CP should honor each other and see that what we are doing goes hand in hand. We’re in this together.

LPGA: You have taught golf on both coasts, at top country clubs and in municipal programs. What are you doing now?
MCMAHON: Before I became the T&CP president, I actually taught golf in a cow pasture. But whether you’re teaching at a country club or in a cow pasture, it’s all the same. The ones I want to teach are the ones who want to learn. It’s always been my vision to have a company where you can train individuals so the consumer has a consistency with teachers – sort of like a team. I started eduKaytion golf hoping to make a better product from which the consumer could learn. I trained teachers at six different locations to teach in a uniform style, keeping the message the same in a simple progression of lessons.

LPGA: What do you think makes a good teacher?
MCMAHON: A good teacher is one who truly finds out what the student wants and then figures out how to communicate with the student in simple terms. It’s all about finding out what they want and then helping them understand in a language they can use.

LPGA: What was your best lesson as the president of the LPGA T&CP?
MCMAHON: I think it was learning how to take all of the talent that we have and make it inclusive. Everyone wanted to participate. Everyone wanted to be involved and included. Everyone wanted to give back.

LPGA: You once said: “The gift of sharing knowledge and wanting the best for each other is a very personal signature of the LPGA.” Explain what you mean.
MCMAHON: It means that the lessons I learned from my mentors stemmed from the fact that they shared their knowledge and wanted to share it. When you share knowledge and experience, it comes back to you ten-fold. Once I learned that lesson, it made teaching tons of fun. It’s like I was given that lesson, and once I “got” the lesson, the whole world opened up to me. You can learn both ways.

LPGA: Did you become a teacher by accident or is this the path you always intended?
MCMAHON: When I was in college, I could teach any sport. I think I was born to be a teacher. When I was student-teaching, three schools requested me.  I was a coach for our college volleyball team as a student, and we went to nationals. Being a teacher was pretty self-evident.

LPGA: What do you think makes the LPGA T&CP stand out?
MCMAHON: The passion. We’re still in the trenches and still out here with every-day golfers because we want to be here. Our members are extremely proud of the LPGA. We are passionate about being LPGA members and what the brand stands for. Everybody wants to give back. We are 2,500 members strong.

LPGA: Is the Hall of Fame induction your greatest accomplishment in golf?
MCMAHON: It truly is my greatest accomplishment. Where do I go after this? Being in a Hall of Fame means something to the world, to the public. It helps upgrade the LPGA and gives you more credibility as a teacher. Whether I’m teaching on dirt, on an old mat or at a prestigious club, I’m truly professional if I really care. And if you give your students a good product, they will come back.

About the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Hall of Fame

The LPGA Teaching and Club Professional (T&CP) membership, founded in 1959, boasts the largest membership of women golf professionals in the world at nearly 1400 members. LPGA T&CP members are certified as golf instructors, coaches and business managers through a comprehensive curriculum designed to meet the changing needs of the golfing public.

The LPGA Teaching and Club Professional (T&CP) Hall of Fame, established in 2000, is the highest honor given to teaching and club professional members for extraordinary membership service and leadership while contributing to the game of golf and the golf industry.

Four new inductees, Patty Benson, Kay McMahon, Carol Clark Johnson and Jane Read, will join current LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals already in the Hall of Fame. They are as follows (listed in order of induction): Peggy Kirk Bell, Marilynn Smith, Patty Berg, Shirley Spork, Betty Hicks, Louise Suggs, Goldie Bateson, Ellen Griffin, Dr. DeDe Owens, Joanne Winter, Ann Casey Johnstone, S. Annette Thompson, Kerry Graham, Lorraine Klippel, Pat Lange and Penny Zavichas.