EagleVail Golf Club’s director of golf Ryan Flamm earns PGA Master of Professional designation
Flamm joins a group of 435 others who have earned the status, the highest educational designation for PGA members
For EagleVail golf director Ryan Flamm, furthering one’s education can never be a bad thing.
“It’s the more you know, you know?” he answered when asked how earning his PGA Master of Professional designation in Executive Management earlier this month would impact his work at EagleVail.
“Anytime you’re running a business, I think it’s really important to lead by example. It was about becoming more educated and a better, more well-rounded professional and trying to give back to the community as best as I possibly can.”
Flamm, a member of the Colorado PGA section, joined an exclusive fraternity by completing his program, which he started in the fall of 2020. Only 435 PGA members have earned PGA Master Professional status, the highest educational designation a PGA member can attain.
“It feels surreal to be a part of the group of PGA Master Professionals who have given so much to the game. It means a lot to me,” Flamm said.
Support Local Journalism
Established in 1969, the PGA Master Professional program was established to recognized members who “make a significant effort to improve as golf professionals and maintain the highest degree of excellence for themselves and their operations,” according to an April 27 press release.
“The program is designed to ensure PGA professionals are prepared to meet the growing demands of the marketplace within the Executive Management, Golf Operations, and Teaching and Coaching Designations.”
Flamm, who graduated from the New Mexico State University PGA Golf Management program in 2005 and began his career in the Sun Country section before coming to Vail in April of 2017, compared it to a PhD program in other fields.
“It was a long process,” he said.
Before entering the Master Professional program, a PGA professional must have achieved advanced certification through the PGA Certified Professional Program and have at least 10 years of PGA membership. Flamm finished that coursework in 2018. His 203-page thesis for the Master Professional program, which was presented a few weeks ago at the PGA Education Center in Texas, focused on mixing traditional golf environments with innovation for sustainable growth.
“The game of golf has a rich history of traditions and practices that are in place, but with the modern golfer, things are obviously evolving to a new direction,” he explained.
“How do you implement a new leadership program, vision, growth for the future? What does that look like, what are the challenges of it, what are the obstacles that some people face dealing with those kinds of things?”
He believes the growth from the research process itself will enhance his effectiveness at EagleVail Golf Club.
“Learning what I did — the process of reading all the material on leadership and business development— when we start looking at five and 10-year plans down the road … like how is it that we go about accomplishing certain goals for the community, the business, the staff, everything like that?” he rhetorically asked.
This year, Flamm is overseeing a few projects at EagleVail Golf Club, including the creation of a safer traffic pattern in front of the clubhouse. There are also some course renovation projects taking shape.
“We have an environmental sustainability program through our Stone Creek Restoration project,” he explained. “What that does is kind of help the waterways of EagleVail and gives back to the wildlife and the habitat of our area.”
The career achievement wasn’t Flamm’s first. He recently won the Colorado PGA West Chapter Bill Strausbaugh Award, given to PGA professionals “who by their day-to-day efforts have distinguished themselves by mentoring their fellow PGA professionals in improving their employment situations and through service to the community,” according to the release.
He also was awarded the 2022 Colorado PGA Section’s Patriot Award, which “honors a PGA Professional who personifies patriotism through the game of golf, as well as demonstrates unwavering commitment and dedication to the men and women who have valiantly served and protected the United States of America.”
Finally, Flamm currently serves on the PGA HOPE Sub-Committee for the Colorado Section. Considering all of his proverbial irons in the fire, Framm was quick to thank those who’ve helped him get this far.
“It can be kind of discouraging and a long, drawn out process, so it’s good to have a good support system,” he said of achieving his most recent designation.
“I’m very humbled and honored to say that I accomplished it; to reach this milestone in my life is a great feeling. I would like to thank my mentor, Matt Jordan, the EagleVail staff, and my family who have encouraged me along the way.”