Doug Brody is the PGA Head Professional at Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club in Grand Blanc. He grew up in a home in Linden, near the 1st tee at Spring Meadows Golf Club. “I grew up playing golf,” he says with a smile. “And my dad was a good player.” Doug is a graduate of the Ferris State University Professional Golf Management Program and has been a Class A PGA of America Professional since 1997. His first official job was at Walnut Hills Golf Club in Lansing, where he was the assistant golf pro for two years and the head professional for seven years. In 2005, Doug was hired at Warwick Hills as the head professional. “This is my dream job!” he exclaims. “I grew up going to the Buick Open and I loved it here.”
“I am very proud to be part of Warwick Hills’ history.
It means a lot to me to be a professional at this special place.”
Doug and his wife, Jenn, who is a former LPGA Tour Player Professional and Warwick’s teaching professional, are the owners of Brody’s Golf Shop at Warwick Hills. The couple was in charge of all the merchandising for five Buick Opens. “It was a lot of fun to run the merchandise tent for a PGA event,” he says.
There are 250 members at Warwick Hills, and any day in July for the head golf pro is very busy. His day begins early when he opens the Pro Shop at 7:30am. “There are multiple events here every day,” says Doug. And the golf pro wears many different hats – he’s an event organizer, merchandiser, weatherman, golf instructor, club fitter, and sometimes even a psychologist. He oversees men’s and ladies’ golf leagues, and a couple of events on Friday evenings. He is also in charge of the Warwick Junior Golf League Program, which has 130 young players ages 5 to 17. The Junior League players golf on Wednesdays and tee off with a shotgun start. And, there are five different clinics for the young golfers. “Junior Golf is a big for our club,” says Doug, “The whole family is involved, which really helps our member retention.”
Also on the Warwick staff are two assistant golf pros, a golf service manager, teaching professional, two Pro Shop assistants, and 18 bagroom personnel. There is also a Caddy Program at Warwick, 70 kids ages 13 to 22, which is a great way for them to work and learn the game of golf.
If that isn’t enough to keep Doug busy, he also gives golf lessons and attends quite a few business meetings throughout the month – from manager and golf committee meetings to board and finance committee meetings. “The Club is member-owned,” Doug explains. “The committees are a combination of members and managers, such as me, and it is our job to implement what members want.”
Doug takes a quick, 20-minute lunch break every day. “I take an 11am lunch, but I typically meet with the superintendent and we talk about member feedback and what’s happening on the golf course,” he says.
The Pro Shop keeps Doug and Jenn very busy. And it is a big plus for Warwick members to have owners who both have golf backgrounds. Jenn handles the ladies’ apparel, with a selection larger than one will find in many other pro shops. “Jenn’s good at getting a feel from the members as to their tastes, the styles they want and sizes they need.”
What’s the best thing about Doug’s job? “Every day brings a new challenge,” he says. “The job is different every day, which keeps it fresh. I get the opportunity to work with people who are there to have fun, and I get to help make the guests’ days more enjoyable.” The worst part? “There are just not enough hours in a day!” he laughs.
Doug has many special memories of the Buick Open, but his favorite is the last one, when Tiger Woods won. “Everyone knew it would be the last Buick Open for a while. When you think of Warwick, you think of professional golf.”
In September, Doug will travel to Ireland with 15 Warwick Hills members to golf for a week. “We play a different course each day,” he says. He also participates in an annual Michigan road-trip with the members to try out different courses. Jenn Brody goes on trips with the lady golfers.
Doug’s day typically ends when the Pro Shop closes, unless there is a major event. The biggest event at Warwick Hills is the Men’s Invitational – four days, 90 teams and 180 players. “We showcase the Club during this event,” says Doug. He spends his little spare time with Jenn and their two kids, attending sporting events such as basketball and soccer. His son and daughter both enjoy golf. “We golf as a family,” says Doug. “It’s the boys against the girls.” Doug also participates in four or five pro-am events throughout Southeast Michigan each year.
Although the hours are long, Doug wouldn’t trade his job at Warwick Hills for anything. “It’s my dream job,” he says. “I am very proud to be part of Warwick Hill’s history. The members are very proud of their club. It means a lot to me to be a professional at this special place.”
Photography by Eric Dutro