There aren’t many people who don’t trade “good mornings” with Cathy Burton when she arrives to work, and that’s one of the many things she likes about her job as head golf professional at Willow Park Golf and Country Club.
“I’ve gotten to know a lot of the members,” she said, before pausing to congratulate a passing member on her second round in as many days.
Burton, a golf pro since 1988, has been in her position at Willow Park for the past six years, after spending six years as head pro at River Spirit Golf Club. Prior to that, she had a couple stops as an associate professional at Cottonwood Golf and Country Club, and teaching professional at the Harvest Hills Golf Course.
“There is a strong sense of community here at Willow Park because, I think, many of the 460 members we have live in the neighbourhood,” she said, adding that she lives close by in Douglasdale.
Sitting outside the club’s pro shop, Burton took some time out of her day to talk about her career and her routine.
CREB®Now: What Does an average day look like for you?
Burton: A lot of my time currently is being used helping with our annual Willow Park Charity Classic tournament that goes July 19 and 20. This is our 30th year for the event, and we could clear the $10-million mark in charitable contributions. This year, we are supporting the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Other than that, mornings are usually taken up with paperwork and meetings, and the afternoons are for group clinics and individual instruction.
CREB®Now: You’ve been teaching the game of golf for some time now, what did your own career as a golfer entail?
Burton: I played on the Futures Tour, now called the Symetra Tour, for three years, from 1988 to 1990. I became an LPGA Teaching Division member in 1992 and have been a CPGA Class A professional since 1996.
“There is a strong sense of community here at Willow Park because, I think, many of the 460 members we have live in the neighbourhood.”
CREB®Now: What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Burton: In 2009, I was the first female to be inducted into the Manitoba Golf Hall of Fame in two categories – as player and builder.
CREB®Now: What is the best piece of advice you can offer to people who want to learn to golf?
Burton: Remember, it’s just a game so it should be fun. And if you are having fun while you’re learning, that fun aspect will carry on for years to follow.
CREB®Now: What is your favourite golf course?
Burton: Actually, there are two that come to mind. The Baton Rouge Country Club in Louisiana and Camelot Golf and Country Club just outside Ottawa. Both courses are unique in that each hole is completely different and presents different challenges.
CREB®Now: What are your favourite clubs in your bag?
Burton: From one extreme to the other – my driver and my pitching wedge.
CREB®Now: Have you golfed with any high-profile or celebrity playing partners?
Burton: I played a round a few years ago with the actress Jane Seymour back when I was at St. Charles Country Club in Winnipeg. She was in town shooting a movie, and it was an enjoyable day.