PGA Member David Damesworth first started hitting golf balls and getting interested in the game at age 12, a little older than many kids that make their way into the industry. Like many, he started as a caddie, cutting his teeth at Plum Hollow Country Club in Southfield Michigan.
“I was fascinated with the difficulty of the game and the many different ways it could be played”
David won the first golf tournament he ever played in, a 9-hole event at a local municipal course.
“I still have the trophy, I shot 46 as a 12-year-old. I was immediately hooked and wanted to get better as fast as I could. I played in as many events as I could but was also very busy with soccer and basketball and competing at a high level in both.”
When Damesworth was a junior in high school, he played in the Caddie Championship for the state of Michigan and finished 2nd with a one over par 73 at Grosse Ile Country Club.
“That was the first time I realized I could be good at this game. I never played the course before and lost to a high school senior who was going to the University of Michigan on a golf scholarship. That was when I decided I wasn’t going to pursue soccer anymore and the focus was going to shift fully to golf.”
David earned a golf scholarship to play at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
David cites his career in golf starting during his high school years at Plum Hollow CC in Southfield Michigan where he caddied for 9 years. He then worked at Thousand Oaks Golf Club in Grand Rapids, followed by a two-year stint as an Assistant at Egypt Valley CC near Grand Rapids. After graduating college, he married his college sweetheart and they moved to Orlando, Florida, so he could pursue playing professional golf while his wife pursued a career as an elementary school teacher.
Damesworth became a Class A PGA member in 2011.
“One of my motivations for entering the PGA program and becoming a member was to better myself in the industry and to help Orange Tree Golf Club become one of the top private courses in Central Florida. My other motivation was to be able to compete in PGA National events as well as have opportunities to play in PGA Tour events. My first year as a PGA professional I qualified for the 2012 PGA National Club Pro Championship in California. I also won the 2011 North Florida PGA Section Championship earning an invitation from Arnold Palmer to play in the Arnold Palmer Invitational. What a great game!”
Damesworth had a lot of support along the way in his golf and PGA journey.
“My dad (Bob) was the one who first encouraged me to pursue golf and was one of the many people who pointed me towards the golf business and the PGA of America. My dad passed away in 2011 at age 59. The last course we played together was Bay Hill, shortly after I earned the invitation to play at Bay Hill in the API…it was very emotional for me but really encouraged me to continue to pursue my passion and the game I love.”
David is the Director of Golf at Orange Tree Golf Club in Orlando, FL, where he has been for 17 years, the last 13 as the DOG. The members and ownership at Orange Tree have been very supportive and encouraging to David both on and off the course.
I asked DD, as he is affectionately called by many, what his three most memorable moments, to this point in his career, have been…
“I would have to say playing in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, being awarded the 2016 NFPGA EC Chapter Golf Professional of the Year, and earning Player of the Year honors for the EC Chapter four times.”
Damesworth will be playing in his 5th PGA Professional Championship this week at Omni Barton Creek.