For Jay Williams, the game of golf is one that lasts a lifetime. In fact, for him-- it has.
Williams grew up in Springfield Missouri surrounded by a line of family golfers.
“I golfed as a kid. Both my parents, grandfathers, and one of my grandmothers played.”
Williams played baseball and golf in high school, but believed he was better at baseball. Surprisingly, he loved the individual challenge that golf presented more.
“I wanted to do one of them really well, so I had to pick a lane,” Williams said. “I focused on golf and got a job at a local country club doing menial tasks. I liked the atmosphere, and the people I met.”
After completing school at Missouri State University, he entered the PGA Apprentice Program and went through schooling. He became a PGA member in 1988 and progressed to become a PGA Assistant. In 1990, he achieved his first head professional job as PGA Professional at Lincolnshire Country Club. Williams moved to Briar Leaf Golf Club, as PGA and Director of Instruction, and has been there inspiring golfers since 1995.
As a young golfer, Williams submitted a success story to Country Club Golfer magazine and was published. A woman who had just started playing golf under Williams’ instruction had instant success, dropping her average score by 22, which is way above average for a beginner.
Meanwhile, from 2011-2015, he coached the Purdue University Northwest Golfing team. Over his 25 years of experience, he has managed golf operations both in private and public facilities, owned successful golf retail shops, managed golf car fleets, conducted golf operations for members and players.
“The thing about golf, is... you never quite master it no matter how good you are. You can throw a perfect game, you can pitch a perfect game, but it’s impossible to play a perfect game of golf,” Williams said. “It’s the never-ending chase and the ultimate self-challenge.”
To Williams, its very obvious people enjoy the challenge at any level.
“You can be an average or below average and still enjoy the game. It’s a self-challenge. Every day you have a chance to beat your personal best. That’s what drew me,” Williams said. “The golf business is truly one in, the more you study and the harder you work, the better you do and the more success you will have.”
Williams’ passion in the challenge of golf is just as strong as his passion for helping people improve their game.
“If you are going to pay for instruction, it is my responsibility to educate myself. Reading materials, doing research, and even periodically taking a golf lesson myself from well-known instructors is a must.”
Briar Leaf Golf Club, alongside Williams, encourage the challenge of golf to youth by extending the field out to them for free.
“We are community involved and love to support at Briar Leaf,” Williams expressed. “We don’t charge high schoolers or younger to play on our courses. It’s all for the good of the game, and by removing the barrier of cost, we can hopefully get more youth out there playing.
“It’s a game that lasts for a long, long time. We have avid golfers that are well into their 80s who just love the challenge. It’s a game of a lifetime,” Williams said.
For more information on Briar Leaf, visit their website here.