If you're planning to watch any upcoming golf tournaments on TV, keep your eyes out for a Northern New York native. He'll be one of the men handing out the trophies. Derek Sprague is from the small town of Malone and is the secretary of the PGA. But not for long. In two years, he will become the PGA's president. Our Cara Thomas spoke with Sprague about how he got to where he is today.
MALONE, N.Y. -- Golf has been a part of Derek Sprague's life for as long as he can remember, as Sprague grew up right next to Malone Golf Club's first hole on the east course.
"My mother always said the golf course is the safest playground in America and what better place to grow up, on the green grass right across the road here," said Sprague.
And he didn't go far. Now, he lives near the club's fourth hole on the west course and has been their General Manager and Golf Pro for 30 years. His business and marketing skills never went unnoticed and was asked to be a leader not only at his home course, but for the PGA. He began on the board of directors for the North Eastern New York PGA section and has moved his way up the ladder.
He said, "Another leader of our association asked me if I'd be interested in running for secretary to be a national officer of the PGA and here I am today."
Sprague took his campaign for PGA secretary across the country and being from a small town never stopped him from completing his goal.
"You know, I think this is a great David and Goliath story where it's not the size of the section or the size of the town you come from. I was confident in my abilities to be the next leader of the PGA of America and fortunately, the other members of the PGA felt the same way," said Sprague.
Long time club members that watched Sprague grow up say he's never let the PGA title get to his head. Instead, he's used it to improve and publicize the Malone Golf Club.
Malone Golf Club member Mary Tulloch said, "We're just very proud of Derek and of Jennifer and his entire family and we're grateful to him for all the work he has done."
But Sprague's journey through the PGA isn't done yet. Next year, he'll become vice president and in two years, Derek Sprague will be the new president of the PGA.
July is PGA Family Golf Month and Sprague wants to encourage everyone to get involved. He says golf is a sport for all ages and is a great form of exercise.