Game Changers

A PGA Developer: Jimmy Terry is Building a Community at PGA Frisco

By Keith Stewart, PGA
Published on

Community (noun): a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
How rewarding would it be to develop an entire community? PGA Professional Jimmy Terry has been assembling communities in golf for a couple of decades. A Texas-born golfer, Jimmy believed being a Head Golf Professional was his path until he tried something new. There are many men and women of the PGA of America who manage golf facilities. Caught up in the day-to-day, we maintain our operations and take first-class care of our consumers.
What makes Terry’s story so interesting?  In our industry he builds something. Don’t get me wrong, PGA Professionals all build camaraderie at their clubs, but Jimmy actually constructs a community. In a digital world where most professionals, corporate or otherwise, mainly move words and figures, this PGA Professional does something rather remarkable and certainly rewarding. The passion he exhibits through telling his story is quite palpable.
Take a moment and listen to a brief conversation with Jimmy Terry on The PGA Show
Like so many PGA Professionals, Jimmy Terry graduated college and was searching for his calling. To those who experience the game at an early age, when living in times of question we are drawn toward our love, golf. Quickly obtaining a role as an assistant professional Terry began to appreciate the business aspects of the industry. Learning from thoughtful mentors, Jimmy started to develop the self-confidence needed to pursue a path.
His journey wasn’t defined yet, but he was capable, employed, and motivated. In talking with Jimmy, one can quickly understand why he’s able to manage so much in his present role. He qualifies each phrase with a thoughtful sincerity. Building something takes many perspectives. Especially something as vast and varied as a $600 million dollar project. A described “listener,” he values others in his successful approach.
Through the early years of his career Jimmy took on as much responsibility as he could. He wasn’t just looking to do more; he was learning. Terry believes we all should try different things as much as possible in our career and life. He’ll surprise you quickly by quoting the actor Jamie Foxx, but the sentiment makes sense.
He gives you the sense PGA Professionals are very fortunate. What other profession gives you the opportunity to learn about such a multitude of topics at a high level?
We engage in business, coaching, public relations, event coordination… that list goes on. In looking back, he believes those opportunities were all invaluable. In some way, everyone taught him something. Each was a tool he could use for a future job, assignment, or challenge. That’s the cool side to Jimmy Terry. There’s a number of men and women in the PGA out there knowing they can do more. With a similar skill set and set of experiences, we can all consider future paths.
Everyone can’t be Jimmy Terry, but we can implement his approach. In 2008, he found himself starting a new project. TPC San Antonio was meant to host the PGA Tour and everyday golfers. With such a diverse clientele, Terry went back to his tool belt. In this new role, he learned to develop another level of his career. This time being a Director of Golf or General Manager didn’t cover the full spectrum. He found himself entrenched in executive leadership. The success he manufactured took his career to another level. Now the once Head Golf Professional was a community developer. What Jimmy executed is very important to take notice of. None of these awesome accomplishments were done quickly. He built a successful career journey by working hard and being curious.
That second quality is really what should attract our interest. Golf is a traditional game, but that doesn’t mean we cannot seek out new ideas, career paths or innovations. Listen to Jimmy’s whole story. Reach out to Terry and ask him. He couldn’t have been more approachable with his time and candor. He is currently developing the future home of the PGA of America. He affectionately talks about the project as if it was his own home and family.
Married for 34 years to his wife Rose, proud father and grandfather, he has also developed a successful work-life balance for himself.  Bring a topic of particular concern for many professionals in our industry, Jimmy Terry sets a very fair example. The complex he’s helping develop is like no other. Does the NFL have a state-of-the-art teaching center in their Manhattan offices? A lighted short course or 75,000 square foot interactive putting green?
From the resort to PGA of America headquarters, this new home is the future of not only golf, but sports. Every step of the way Terry is watching the community he’s building come to life. If you look at the PGA Journey of Jimmy Terry, you quickly realize he could have been successful at anything. He has a leadership skill set second to very few. If we take a step back and really consider his career path against our own, there’s nothing he’s done we can’t accomplish as well.
Many of you who digest this audio-article aren’t PGA Professionals. In your mind, isn’t it amazing what is possible in our golf ecosystem? Membership to the PGA of America is a gateway to so many possibilities. Jimmy’s current day to day responsibilities cover a renovation at Valhalla, the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida, and the development of PGA Frisco. At Frisco, he speaks with two of the most popular golf course architects in the world and directs the building of an ice cream shop.
You know there are multiple definitions of the word community. This article started with a general explanation of what we see in our mind when someone writes or speaks about a community. But there is another definition of the word community. 
“It’s a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” 
That description of the word community lives in the heart of Jimmy Terry. He’s no doubt a true community developer.