A PGA Coordinator: Mark Tschetschot

By Keith Stewart, PGA
Published on

Mark Tschetschot has a really fun job. He designs major championships to test the best male and female players in the world. As Mark will tell you, he loves to cause somebody to think. In doing so, he makes us all think and ponder about the possibilities we can initiate in our own careers and lives. Mark started out like most PGA Professionals, at a club. From that foundation, he launched a different career path and today he creates championships.
Coordinating these massive events takes great attention to detail. Oddly enough, it is probably that one skill that led Mark to where he is today. There are a couple ways we can look at it. Mark was paying attention to the many roles he fulfilled at the club. In doing so, he found running tournaments is where his greatest passion was. Or, Mark developed a knack for running exceptional events because he paid attention to all the details.
In either case, the lesson is to look for little elements of our everyday life we enjoy most and highlight them. Mark was a PGM graduate of Mississippi State University. He always wanted to follow a career path in the golf industry. So naturally he went to a golf course after graduation. Upon performing that role, he continued to think about his career. He built a nice well-rounded skill set, but coordinating those tournaments really heightened his curiosity.
Take a moment and listen to a brief conversation with Mark Tschetschot on The PGA Show:
Being curious is a great trait to have. It allows us to look at situations and ask questions. Those moments also help us find opportunities. Mark’s career is a fantastic story of finding something you really love to do and just start doing it. He took a straight line to his target and as a result started having fun. Once he chose to follow his heart and mind, Mark stayed very engaged in his journey. That level of connection was noticed by others and helped him keep elevating his career as the years went on.
Today Mark manages a team of nine individuals who design tournaments and look for ways to adapt and innovate inside our ever-changing world. Some folks might argue, setting up tournaments all the time could get routine. Once you meet Mark, you soon figure out his job has a tremendous amount of variety. The venues are always changing, the introduction of safety protocols due to covid-19 and the player’s skills and expectations keep evolving.
Hearing Mark tell stories is so entertaining. It doesn’t matter if you love tournament golf or not, even the casual golfer can get engaged. Mark is the director of his own reality television show. The author of a choose your own adventure book. Every football field and basketball court are set up the same way. Tschetschot and his team are architects who build an experience with each competition.
Imagine that level of variety in your day-to-day role. Since golf mirrors life in so many ways, it offers those in the industry a myriad of options when it comes to careers. In listening to Mark, we quickly discover his thoughtfulness. He likes to consider others and their expectations. That keen sense of awareness is what makes him a brilliant coordinator. A great coordinator is part director, certainly a planner, patient mediator and special supervisor.
Golf is an ecosystem populated by a plethora of participants. A modern golfer can inhabit a Topgolf or a course. They can be a television fan or a child playing mini golf for the very first time. What’s so unique about Mark’s role is that he gets to interact with all of them. A championship is previewed, played, watched, and reviewed. In those four steps we all digest some part of the experience. Looking back, Mark started this career path by taking one aspect of his current job at the course and built a PGA journey upon it.
He set a very cool example of how we all can find something special and create a career around it. Even from his PGM days at MSU, Mark was interested in tournament operations. One of the many reasons PGM programs are so valuable to future golf industry professionals is how they take you through all aspects of the business. Mark fostered his initial career path there, but the exposure to so much really gives the students an opportunity to try several options.
Golf’s current popularity is opening different job opportunities all over the world. If you have ever coveted a role in the industry, now is the time to get up and act. Another special characteristic Mark possesses is an ability to manage all those details with a team. Even in the interview, he calmly worked his way through the Q&A. Managers are like mentors in many ways. Throughout the many challenges of the past couple years, Mark has stayed connected to his team.
Here is a group that is constantly moving. It’s interesting to listen how he senses the need for communication in others and then acts on it. This careful intuition has also served him well on the course. Mark not only sets up the tournament courses, but he manages the officials as well. Being a rules official in major championships can be stressful. When asked about these moments Mark maintains the same level of composure and commitment he has used throughout his entire career.
To coordinate others, you must be able to coordinate yourself. Managing a successful life balance can be complicated for a man who travels and works tournament length days. When asked how he does it, Mark recalls back to the time when he was putting in the work to become a Master PGA Professional, “It wasn’t necessarily hard, you just had to commit to the work.” Well he did, and he earned that prestigious title.
In many ways Mark’s life seems very logical. He really liked running tournaments, so he manages them for a living. He wanted to become a Master Professional, so he did. I think his example really displays a wonderful goal-oriented approach. We all might have something we are reaching for or a new opportunity we may be seeking. Consider Mark’s example. He’s an expert at coordinating other people’s experiences because he has always been able to organize his.