For eighteen-year-old Nic Ross, science was not his favorite subject in school. In fact, it wasn’t even an area of interest. But the worlds of chemistry and biology were transformed for him after a day on the golf course.
Last summer, Nic participated in The First Tee’s Careers on Course Academy at Snoqualmie Ridge. Through the program, professionals from the golf industry led hands-on workshops on the elements of maintaining the golf course. The group explored everything from water management, soils and fertilizer technology, to managing green speeds. Over the course of the academy, Nic saw chemistry and biology go from homework assignments in school to the driving force behind what keeps his favorite golf courses in championship condition. That day, Nic knew he had found his career aspiration. “The experience showed me what a superintendent truly works on and how important that work is to maintaining the golf course,” said Nic.
Equipped with a vision, Nic set out to make his new dream a reality. He participated in a behind-the-scenes job shadowing experience at Snoqualmie Ridge during the PGA TOUR Champions’ Boeing Classic week and spent his senior year in high school planning his next steps.
His perseverance paid off. This fall, Nic will be heading to Walla Walla Community College. He has a direct transfer to Washington State University’s Turf Management Bachelor’s program in two years.
Nic has been a participant in The First Tee for the last nine years. His desire to make a difference in the game extends beyond his interests in turf management. Nic is an ACE student at The First Tee, the highest level in the program. When he is not taking classes, you’ll find Nic out on the course weekly, mentoring other students as an Assistant Coach. Nic also serves as a member of The First Tee’s Junior Advisory Board, where he graciously gives countless hours to helping resize clubs for our organization’s quarterly garage sales.
“The most important lesson of The First Tee for me has been perseverance,” says Nic. “If you stop trying, you won’t accomplish anything. If you keep trying, you can accomplish anything you want.”