Bill Graham

Fabulous People: Bill Graham

Bill Graham is the PGA Head Golf Professional at Chenequa Country Club in Hartland. “I am responsible for all golf programming at the club which includes all tournament operations, player-development programs and all staff hiring and training. I also own and do all the purchasing for the retail concession in our store.” Learn about Bill Graham…

Follow at: @ksugraham

Hometown: Topeka, KS

First job: Bag room staff at the Danville Elks Country Club (Danville, IL).

Favorite ways to spend your free time in WI: I am a homebody at heart, so I am pretty good at filling my free time with a lot of nothing, which is an underrated activity. Ultimately, though, if you just surround me with my favorite people, it really doesn’t matter what I am doing.  

Your biggest accomplishment and why: This isn’t so much an accomplishment in the sense that I studied for it or won it, but being appointed to the PGA Board of Control has changed my life in so many positive ways. The appointment energized me professionally as it gave me the confidence that my skills were deemed relevant on a bigger stage, and it has blessed me personally as I can positively impact the lives of so many others across the country.  

The biggest obstacle you overcame:
Approximately three years ago, my career was at a crossroads, and I was very confused and unsure about my willingness to continue in the golf industry. My “cup” was empty, and I was no longer the type of professional I wanted to be. I was very fortunate to have a few individuals in my corner that believed in me, and that faith was what helped me turn the corner and move forward with an entirely new mindset that has brought me to where I happily am today. This year marks 25 years at Chenequa Country Club.

bill graham

Someone who inspires you and why: My wife Jennifer is a tour de force that I am constantly amazed by. She does not waste the moments that many of us just take for granted as daily occurrences. Her world is just full of so many strong friendships that she will never without love or help, and she has this because she has taken the time to develop these friendships over the course of decades. When it is just so easy to say no to things, she says yes.  

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do:
For starters, this is a career and not a job. Once you are committed to this industry, you should make every effort to work for someone with a reputation for developing professionals, work at a facility with a reputation for developing professionals and work in the area that you ultimately want to end up in. If you check these boxes, you will be in a good position. Lastly, remember that you need to take care of yourself and your family first. If your cup isn’t full, then it will be hard to help others fill theirs.  

Favorite quote: It is a little lengthy, but I am a huge fan of “The Man in the Arena” quote from Teddy Roosevelt. The meaning behind the quote is that it is easy to criticize others, but it takes real courage to be the person who is in the arena, facing challenges head-on. I just do not have the time anymore for individuals that will go to great lengths telling me how something is wrong or ineffective but will go silent when it comes to solutions.  

Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I am a devout Backstreet Boys fan. Don’t tell me you don’t get a little jazzed when “I Want It That Way” comes on!

What makes someone fabulous: Having never been called fabulous, I don’t think I am a good resource so my best guess would be anyone that lives their life with grace and intent, and is not afraid to be themselves, like my wife.  

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