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Recently, we got to sit down with the Milwaukee County Parks Golf Services Manager and PGA Professional, Chet Hendrickson. Chet’s been part of our team for nearly 20 years, and he’s got a wealth of knowledge, both about golf, and the County Parks courses. Take a quick tour of Hansen Park Golf Course with us, and read on to learn more about this long-time Milwaukee County Parks team member.
Introduction to Golf
Chet was around 13 when he first picked up a set of clubs (his aunt’s). His friends were playing, and he needed an off-season sport to compliment hockey, so golf it was. In high school, he played on his school’s team, and got a little obsessed (he used to sleep with his driver before matches!) Chet is completely self-taught, and he spent hours in front of the TV as a teen, imitating pros like his idol, Greg Norman.
Working at the Milwaukee County Parks Courses
In 2000, Chet had just graduated high school and come to Milwaukee to attend UWM. He realized that he needed a job, and wanted to be outside and around people. He started as a Pro Shop employee at Brown Deer golf course shortly thereafter. And, he’s climbed the ranks of the Milwaukee County Golf Courses, never leaving to work at another course.
Training & Certification
Chet spent about 3 years in the PGA Golf Management program, honing his golf skills and becoming adept at managing the business of golf. PGA Pros follow many different paths including managing golf courses, teaching golf, becoming coaches at the high school or college level, and some even go into the media or golf product sales. Chet is also a certified First Tee youth instructor; he teaches 8-14 year olds at Hansen Park each summer.
Although on his day off, you’ll probably find him hanging out with his wife and three kids, Chet hasn’t lost his passion for golf. He’s taken golf vacations in Las Vegas, Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach, and Hawaii. In fact, his best game ever was at an ESPN 2-man professional tournament in Las Vegas, where he won it all on day two (and no, he didn’t come home with any prize money!) Chet has introduced his 3 and 5-year-olds to putting, and as they show more interest, he’s eager to help them learn the game.
- Course: Brown Deer Golf Course is close to Chet’s heart, as it’s the first course where he worked, and where he spent the most time; it’s also his favorite course to get a bite to eat on, now that the Oak & Antler Tavern is open
- Club: Chet couldn’t live without his Sand wedge, a Titleist Vokey
- Golf Movie: Caddie Shack
- Golf companion: His favorite person to golf with is his Dad
- Walk vs Cart: Walk
Why Chet Loves Golf Today
Chet absolutely loves the diversity of the courses in Milwaukee County. From short, playable beginner courses (there are five Par-3 courses across the county) to a PGA Tournament level course (Brown Deer), you’ve got a lot of opportunities to play, no matter what level golfer you are. He’s proud of the history of each course, and commends the original designers for constructing beautiful courses around natural elements like trees, rivers, and hills. He also appreciates the more accessible direction that golf is headed. For a sport known to be a little uptight, today, it’s not uncommon to hear music coming from golf carts and a more casual dress code on Milwaukee County courses.
Whether you’re a beginner or you’ve been golfing as long as Chet has, the Milwaukee County Golf Courses welcome you! Visit our website frequently to stay up-to-date on events, discounts, and course conditions, as well as to book tee times. And, if you don’t already get our golf emails, sign up today.