Game Changers

For the Grier Family, Golf Runs in the Genes

By Kayla Gutierrez
Published on
(L-R): Andrea, Ashley, Alicia, Judy and Dave Grier.

(L-R): Andrea, Ashley, Alicia, Judy and Dave Grier.

For PGA Professional Dave Grier, golf has played a meaningful role in his life for over 40 years. And now his daughters, PGA Professionals Ashley and Andrea, share that same love for the game and followed in his footsteps.

Born and raised in Maryland, Grier sisters Ashley, Andrea, and Alicia grew up immersed in the sport, with a golfer's heaven right in their front yard.

The three sisters started swinging a club when they were old enough to walk. Many of their first memories were at their family-owned golf facility, Yinglings Golf Center in Hagerstown, Maryland.

"My parents bought Yinglings Golf Center in 1990. It really is like a Mom-and-Pop “Tin Cup” kind of place,” says Ashley, who’s now a PGA Assistant Professionl at Yinglings. "It has a driving range, a par-3 course, and a mini golf course. Our parents would spend long days in the shop, and for us, it was really like our playground. That was what we did for fun, and we loved it."
Andrea, Ashley and Alicia during early days at Yinglings.
Andrea, Ashley and Alicia during early days at Yinglings.
As the owner, superintendent, and PGA Head Professional, Dave Grier — with his family’s help of course — leads just about everything at Yinglings. From mowing the grass and picking range balls to giving hours of lessons, he does it all with his wife Judy by his side, working behind the scenes and managing the finances.

"I remember we always had a junior golf program for the kids, and I would always see all the trophies lined up on the table,” says Andrea, a PGA Assistant Professional Wilmington Country Club in Delaware. “I recall thinking to myself, 'I wanna do that!' I couldn't wait to get started."

And so off they went. It was a lot of practice and time spent at Yinglings, but the Grier girls started developing some serious talent — with their dad as coach, of course.

“He never forced us into the game, and that's really what made it so much fun for us. Almost nobody loves the game of golf as much as my dad, but I think I am a pretty close second. He passed his love of golf onto all of us.”

Ashley Grier, PGA
Ashley, the oldest of three, was the first to begin playing in tournaments, eventually paving the way for her younger sisters, Andrea and Alicia.

"I always looked up to Ashley," remembers Andrea. "She was older than Alicia and I and definitely way better than us both. We saw her playing, and we wanted to play, too. She pushed us to be better. We were all very competitive and supportive of each other throughout our childhood. I think that's what makes us so close."

All three girls went on to play on their high school’s boys golf team and competed in local tournaments outside of school. Their work ethic and competitive drive earned them full scholarships and a spot on NCAA D-I golf teams following their high school careers. Alicia played for Coast Carolina University, Andrea for Marshall University, and Ashley for the University of Central Florida.

Following college, Ashley began her professional career, competing on the Future's Tour (now the Symetra Tour) for over five years.
“Playing professional golf is hard, and it's even harder to make a living at it," Ashley says. “I played some really good golf on tour, but I knew I wanted to work a full-time job. I decided that I wanted to become a PGA Member because I knew I would be able to have a golf career and still play competitively.”

In 2014, Ashley was the second in her family and the first of her sisters to earn her PGA Membership. Andrea, just like the old days of growing up at Yinglings, followed suit, although not right away.

"I went to college to get a master’s degree in Business Administration. At the time, a career in golf was never really an option for me," Andrea recalls. "When I was thinking about my post-graduation job, I remember seeing Ashley winning all these tournaments and how much fun she was having, and I thought to myself, 'I think I want to do that.’ ”

In 2017, Andrea became the third Grier with “, PGA” next to her name. While youngest sister Alicia took a different path, golf still plays a significant role in her career as an accountant. Her golf game is handy for the occasional golf rounds with her clients and, of course, cheering her sisters on, too.
Ashley and Andrea with PGA Past President Suzy Whaley.
Ashley and Andrea with PGA Past President Suzy Whaley.
Just like their dad has done at Yinglings, Ashley and Andrea are leaving impactful footprints on the golf industry — both as coaches and players.

"I always say I'm the teacher, and Ashley is the player. I never really prioritized playing; I always wanted to teach," says Andrea. "After giving so many lessons in my career, I realized how much I love and enjoy teaching. I hope to become a full-time coach soon."

As for Ashley, playing the game she loves has shaped her into who she is today as a PGA Member.

"Golf has made me who I am. I was a quiet and shy kid who never really talked to many people," Ashley says. "Being in the golf industry helped me grow my personality and branch out. I've played on some of the biggest stages in golf, so I had to learn how to adjust to those levels of added pressure."
Ashley Grier signs an autograph at a recent KPMG Women's PGA.
Ashley Grier signs an autograph at a recent KPMG Women's PGA.
She knows a thing or two about a successful playing career, too. Ashley has competed in five major championships (four KPMG Women’s PGA Championships and one U.S. Women's Open) and won 2021 Philadelphia PGA Assistant Player of the Year and 2020 Rolex Women's PGA Professional Player of the Year honors. She’s also played for her country on two victorious U.S. Women’s PGA Cup teams.

"I always see myself playing and continuing to practice and push myself,” adds Ashley. “I do love teaching and growing the game, too. Now, I'm back home teaching at my parent's place. I enjoy spending extra time with my mom and dad. It's good to be back.”

Time spent on the golf course together? Now that sounds like a Grier family tradition.

"We wouldn't trade it for the world,” says Andrea. “We grew up in the coolest place and became golfers because of it. We can’t thank our dad enough for giving us the game of golf. Yinglings will always be a special place for us.”