July 4, 2008
Chris Krueger grinned quickly when he admitted to having a “slight obsession” with the game he’s now teaching as the new Director of Golf Instruction at Kings Creek Country Club.
For the 34-year-old PGA Class A professional, that attitude should probably help further his budding career.
In a recent interview, Krueger detailed his own golfing journey from northern Delaware to the Cape Region, a trip 20 years in the making.
He first began playing golf at age 14, and quickly discovered that he not only liked it, he was also pretty good at it.
“I played for Mount Pleasant High School, and was on the varsity team as a junior and senior. I graduated in 1991. Then I went to Mercer in Georgia, and was there for two years. I needed to be a little closer to home, so then I transferred to Old Dominion University in Virginia, and earned my business management degree in 1996.”
While in college, Krueger returned to competitive golf at home, winning the Delaware Open in 1994 at age 21, and the Delaware Amateur the next year.
Convinced he could play professionally, Krueger then made the trek to Florida, working odd jobs, bartending, or working in the bag room at PGA National. As he earned enough money, he then invested in his own game, playing in venues such as the former Golden Bear Tour (now known as the Gateway Tour).
“If you finished high enough, like fifth, you could do pretty well. There was good, tough competition, though. I played against several guys who are now on the PGA Tour, like Brett Wetterich, Briny Baird, and Patrick Sheehan. After three or four seasons, I was ready to try something else. When you put up your own money, you just don’t want to burn through it all,” Krueger said.
He then shifted to the golf business, and found a job as an assistant pro at the Everglades Club in Florida. During several years of full-time work, he also took courses toward earning his PGA Class A status, finally gaining the certificate in December 2007.
During two summers he also worked in Rockville, Maryland at Woodmont Country Club. “I worked under Wayne DeFrancesco. I learned an awful lot from Wayne about the business, especially in teaching golf.”
Last winter, Krueger taught at the well-known Jim McLean Golf School in Florida. “It was great training for me. I ran clinics, and also taught the short game school.”
Around that time Kevin Wiest, Kings Creek’s new head golf pro, was meeting with his board. “I explained to them that the club and the area needed the right kind of person to build a golf instruction program that’s not offered elsewhere around here. They agreed.”
One thing led to another, and Krueger was eventually selected for the new position.
“It’s been great,” Krueger said. “The students are eager to learn. I’m trying to stress the four parts of golf—the short game, the long game, the mental game, and course management. Right now I’m running several clinics, with lots of beginners. The facilities are very good, especially for the short game. The range is medium-sized, and it has great turf because it was once part of the golf course.”
“For my students, I also put them on the camera, and videotape their swings. They get a CD to play at home, to help them with practice. Being able to see their swing for themselves can really help. I also like my students to practice at least a couple times between lessons, so they’re not forced to relearn the same lesson again the next time,” Krueger said.
“We’re about to get into the junior clinics now,” Krueger added. “The club’s camps will be for members and non-members.”
Krueger lives in Fenwick Island with his wife, Renee, who’s working in the hotel industry. Both are becoming acclimated to living in the Cape Region. “So far the commute from Fenwick isn’t too bad. I haven’t really experienced the tourist traffic yet.”
He will soon enough.
If you’re interested in golf instruction, give Krueger a call at 302-227-8953, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.