For 12 years, Nancy Harvey worked for a Fortune 500 company in the New York City area but she wanted something else.
What she found was golf.
At age 33 with no real golf background, Harvey sold her condo, uprooted herself and moved to Florida to learn the game at what is now the Golf Academy of America. In her first tournament, she shot 128. Sixteen months later, Harvey shot 74 in competition.
Now, Harvey spends her days teaching the game as an instructor at the Dana Rader Golf School, where she has worked for seven years.
On average, Harvey spends about 1,300 hours a year teaching the game that changed her life.
When I got into it, I thought there might be some kind of management program Id like in the golf industry. If you had asked me if I would teach, I would have said no, Harvey said.
That soon changed. She was introduced to Charlie King, now a top-100 teacher, and took her first lesson from him. She eventually went to work at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio, host of several major championships, then moved to the Nick Faldo Golf Institute, the Golf Digest schools in Florida and, wanting to set down roots, Harvey landed in Charlotte at Radars school, ranked among the top 25 golf schools in the country.
She didnt know anyone in Charlotte when she came. Now Harvey has worked with hundreds of golfers on every level.
Ask her the three most common issues she must fix in average players and Harvey ticks them off: A bad grip, setting up with the club face open and poor posture at address.
In a teaching career she hadnt imagined until a decade ago, Harvey loves the decision she made to abandon her corporate career.
Its more rewarding than I thought, she said. When I went to golf school, I was a 38-handicap. But I had passionate teachers who took an interest in my game and changed my game.
I dont think I realized how much impact you can have on someones golf game. You get emails and notes that blow your mind. You do it because you want to and when you get a note back, its incredible.
The First Tee of Charlotte is looking for a new executive director. Jennifer MacCurrach, the previous executive director, returned to Austin, Texas to manage the First Tee facility there. She was in Austin before she took the Charlotte job.
While the search for MacCurrachs replacement continues, director of instruction Ian Bollinger and Kaitlyn Jarman, the marketing and events manager, remain with the program.
The First Tee of Charlotte has continued to grow with a record number of participants in spring and summer programs. In August, 42 area elementary schools will use The First Tee National School program as part of their curriculum.
• Kelly Mitchum will play in his third PGA Championship next month when he goes to Kiawah Island, S.C., for the years final major championship.
Mitchum, a teaching pro at Pinehurst Resort, earned the invitation by virtue of his second-place finish in the PGA Professional National Championship last week in California.
Do you think Tiger Woods was feeling it Sunday afternoon when he ripped his approach shot into the 18th green at Congressional, twirling his golf club as he marched down the hill to the peninsula green, having just locked up his 74th PGA Tour victory?
It was vintage Tiger with just a touch of attitude, which suggests his confidence is doing just fine.
He made a point afterward of saying many media people questioned whether hed win again. Hes right. Many did. Swing and miss on that one.
Ive said all along I expect him to tie or break Jack Nicklaus record of 18 major championship victories. Hes made it tougher on himself the past couple of years but if and when it happens, the struggle will only add to the achievement.
The next two majors will be interesting for Woods because of where theyre being played.
The Open Championship is at Royal Lytham and the weather can have a huge impact on who does and doesnt contend.
With the way Woods can hammer his stinger off the tee, I expect him to manage his way around Lytham and then do the same thing at Kiawah Island where the wind may be the determining factor in who contends.
I like his chances of getting one of the next two majors.
• If you like true links golf, seeing the Irish Open at Royal Portrush was beautiful to watch. The players loved it, the crowds were terrific and theres a growing push to take the Open Championship there.
There are a number of logistical challenges to overcome, not to mention the long-standing troubles in Northern Ireland, but it seems worth it for the Royal & Ancient to think very seriously about taking its great championship to Royal Portrush.