The Path Less Traveled

–by Rick Tevebaugh of the Anderson Herald, September 18, 2001

Charlie McCord’s route to a career in golf was anything but routine.

To make a living as a golf professional wasn’t something that seemed to be in Charlie McCord’s path as he was growing up in Anderson.

Certainly he had the athletic ability. At Madison Heights he ran cross country and track and played basketball. But golf wasn’t a high priority.

“I just kicked it around Grandview as a kid,” said McCord. “I played some at Edgewood (Country Club) with a friend of mine. Once I got to junior high, I nearly quit playing, and by the time I got to high school, I didn’t play any.”

In high school, he had little time for anything else except his three sports.

I didn’t play during the summer because of basketball,” McCord recalled. “With coach (Phil) Buck if you wanted to play during the winter, then you were in the gym during the summer. Coach Buck expected you to be there.”

Track proved to be his best sport once he reached college. He chose Indiana because he “wanted to go to a large school and get lost in the crowd,” according to McCord. He ran track at IU fortwo years. Then he became a resident assistant at a dormitory and watched over 48 students.

He got a job teaching out of college in Indianapolis at Robert Frost Elementary School.

So, when did he decide that golf would be a good career choice?

“After three years of teaching third grade,” said McCord. Hehad been getting back into golf out of school, playing with friend Galen Scott. “I really licked it up pretty quick,” he said. “I’ve always enjoyed being around kids and athletics. Golf seemed like a good way to do both.”

So he took a job at River Glen Country Club in Fishers. He was put in charge of the operation of the outside support staff. But he also worked with the junior league and clinics. “I did all the junior golf lessons there,” said McCord.

Then a chain of events was triggered that led him to make a change in location.

Scott Davis moved from Purgatory Golf Club to become the head pro at The Players Club in Yorktown.

“I know Scott real well,” said McCord. “His wife and my wife (Brooke) are both teachers at Noblesville High School. I came here and sat on these couches for about 90 minutes with Greg Dycus (head pro at Purgatory). It has just been a perfect fit for me to come here.”

So he took the position as an assistant at Purgatory in March of this year and has enjoyed all of his experience.

“I keep track of a lot of the shop inventory,” said McCord. “I also keep track of the support staff here.” That group includes the course marshals and starters.

His responsibilities will grow.

“Next year I look forward to us launching the junior golf program,” he said. We’ve already done a lot of the groundwork.”

Mike Merchent is the director of golf at Purgatory and the course’s owner.” He is very good to work for,” said McCord. “He’s very understanding and cares a lot about his employees.”

McCord also finds some time to give lessons, though it’s not something he does as much at Purgatory as he did at River Glen. Jon Stutz is another one of the assistants at the course with an extensive teaching background.

“I try to find one or two things I can correct in someone’s swing,”said McCord. “Then I just concentrate on that until it goes right and then we can work on somethingelse.”

But he has no magic wand to wave even at $30 per lesson. “Like most things in life, you get out of it what you’re willing to put in it,” said McCord.

Right now he’s putting his full attention into golf and in helping others enjoy it more. Purgatory, though not a friendly sounding place, is definitely better having someone like McCord working there.