GOLFWORKS Intern A Star on Sunningdale's Staff
By: John Manos
SCARSDALE, N.Y. (August 3, 2012) – Five years ago, Eugene Boakye-Firempong lived in the African nation of Ghana, only hearing of the game of golf through stories told by his grandfather. Today, he is working as a second-year MGA Foundation GOLFWORKS intern at Sunningdale Country Club in Scarsdale, N.Y. Boakye-Firempong, 17, recently graduated from Woodlands High School in White Plains, N.Y., where he played on the varsity golf team for five seasons and was ranked No. 7 in his class.
Boakye-Firempong learned about the GOLFWORKS program in 2010 through his friend, Noel Bourne, a graduate of the program who worked at Lake Isle Country Club in Eastchester, N.Y.
“Noel told me how much fun he had learning about both the game and business of golf,” says Boakye-Firempong. “So I decided to apply, and I’m very glad I did.”
GOLFWORKS recruiter Gary Lehman helped Boakye-Firempong attain an interview and secure a job at Metropolis Country Club in White Plains, N.Y., where he worked for the entire summer of 2010. Boakye-Firempong deferred returning in 2011 so that he could return to Ghana for the summer, but when he came back to the Met Area this year, Lehman informed him of an opportunity at Sunningdale.
After meeting and interviewing with assistant golf professional Mario Guerra, Boakye-Firempong was hired and became an instant asset to Sunningdale, where he works in the bag room and maintains the club’s practice facilities. Boakye-Firempong has impressed both the members and his supervisors at with his strong work ethic and positive attitude, which will go a long way when he matriculates into Georgia Institute of Technology to study mechanical engineering this fall.
“I’m really impressed with Eugene,” says Guerra. “He has a positive attitude and a smile on his face the whole time. He shows up and he’s ready to work and do whatever it takes. He’s a star on our staff and it’s really exciting having him around so he can see how this all works.”
And through working, Boakye-Firempong is learning about both the golf industry and himself.
“I’ve definitely learned responsibility, time management, and how to prioritize things,” he says. “I didn’t know that golf management itself requires so much work, and if people paid closer attention they would know there’s so much more to it than just the game.”
Boakye-Firempong served as captain of Woodlands High’s golf team this past season. He takes full advantage of Sunningdale’s caddie days, a perk and privilege of working at the club, which allows him play the sport he has developed a great passion for. In addition, he was a member of Woodlands’ band, playing all percussion instruments with the vibraphone as his specialty. He is very much looking forward to attending college in Atlanta, where he can play more golf throughout the year and believes his GOLFWORKS internship has prepared him for the demands of Georgia Tech.
“I love golf and I wish I could play every day,” he says. “I’m looking forward to playing for the rest of my life thanks to the positive experiences I had playing high school golf and working at a golf course [as a GOLFWORKS intern] during the summers.”
Founded in 1994, the MGA Foundation’s GOLFWORKS program is designed to give its participants—high school aged students—exposure to the many career opportunities within the golf industry by providing meaningful summer work experiences. The young adults who participate in GOLFWORKS complete an internship in an environment that revolves around golf, which in itself can teach the lessons of honor, integrity and tradition and provides an activity that can be enjoyed for a lifetime. In addition, GOLFWORKS provides a good salary as well as networking opportunities to its interns, and a way for interns to learn the skills necessary to pursue their career interests.