From Law Firm to Lesson Tee: The Story of Monique Thoresz, PGA
By Vinnie Manginelli, PGA
You must have heard this before:
“It’s never too late to start playing golf.”
After all, golf is a game for a lifetime that can be shared with family and friends well into your golden years. It doesn't matter when you started playing, but that you never stop trying to improve. We’ve all taken different paths to welcome this great game into our lives.
And PGA of America Golf Professional Monique Thoresz has an interesting one to share.
Thoresz earned a law degree from Pace University Law School in White Plains, New York, and was a practicing attorney for six years. During that time, she started playing golf very infrequently but liked it and began to do it more often. Her first set of clubs was a garage sale special, but she improved her skills using them.
As she fell in love with the game of golf, she questioned her passion for law and decided to take a year off to do some soul-searching. Thoresz moved to Texas so she could play year-round, taking a golf shop attendant position at a course in Georgetown, Texas, just north of Austin.
Once she determined that golf was the route she would take, she discovered that it was possible to make a living coaching golf, and made up her mind to do just that.
Bold and determined, she picked up the phone and made a call to Michael Breed, a PGA Teacher & Coach of the Year and leading coach who was a mainstay on Golf Channel at the time. She told her tale and asked for a job, excited about the prospect of working in golf and, to her surprise he said yes.
Back in New York, she worked for Breed for two years, constantly learning about the business of golf and the art of teaching. She’d work at the historic Westchester Country Club for eight years and The Apawamis Club for 12 years after that. She went from complete novice, feeling intimidated, overwhelmed, and uncertain (as many of her students do when getting into the game) to an award-winning PGA of America Member in New York’s Westchester County and the storied Metropolitan PGA Section. Thoresz didn't play the game until she was in college and as a result, she understands the trepidation that new golfers have when picking up a club for the first time.
“I have a passion for teaching and helping people learn, as well as a compassion for the golfer who’s striving to improve,” she says. “After all, golf is so hard that any progress I can help my students make is a good thing for them.”
Today, Thoresz runs programs for all ages and levels of experience as the PGA Director of Instruction at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in New York. She runs many clinics that address specific topics, covering all areas of the game throughout the year. She has half-day golf schools, subscription programs that offer unlimited attendance in her group sessions, and a stellar junior program that helps young players prepare for high school and college golf.
Thoresz spends hours working on the technical aspects of their swing, the mindset they need on the course, and the dedication required to practice, play, and practice some more. She attends their tournaments and meets with their parents to present a unified effort for the betterment of the young golfer.
“The game of golf is a never-ending search for improvement and satisfaction,” she says. “I’m in love with practicing the game, with the chase for perfection that I know is impossible. I appreciate the fact that the work is never done.”
Thoresz should be an inspiration to anyone who questions if golf is for them, if the timing is right to play and if they could actually do it.
“I love being the person who helps someone see that golf is attainable, that they can do it, no matter when they started playing," Thoresz says. "I think people can do anything, and I never count anyone out no matter how late they’ve started or how little experience with other sports they may have.
"I’m the coach who believes in them and shows them how to be an athlete and how to keep striving to get better a little bit at a time."