With tears sliding down her tan face, Joni Meyer gazed out toward the Pine Beach East Golf Course.
The tears were an expression of gratitude for the people who helped make her golf dream a reality.
They were also a release of emotions built from the difficult decision to leave The Pines at Grand View Lodge to work with Chris Foley, head PGA professional at Madden's Resort and owner of Chris Foley Golf Schools.
Meyer entered the golf business in 1998 to teach the golf swing and show people how to have fun with the game. At Madden's she will do more of that.
"It was an opportunity to be able to teach more and a big drawing card was Chris' golf building (at the Madden's airport driving range)," said Meyer. "It's heated. You can teach in the rain. That's a nice option to have.
Joni Meyer relaxed by the Pine Beach East Golf Course at Madden's Resort Monday. Meyer will give lessons at the Chris Foley Golf School and run the Madden's Tuesday women's league. Brainerd Dispatch/Nels Norquist
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"I'm expecting working with Chris will be a great experience. He has a vast amount of knowledge and experience. I'll be learning from him and he's one of the best. Hopefully he'll learn a few things from me, too."
Meyer's main responsibilities will be to assist Foley in his golf school groups as well as provide private and group lessons.
"Joni has done a great job of developing a clientele in the area and she's a very good instructor," said Foley. "She's just another piece in the component of making our golf schools better and more well rounded. My goal is to have the most well-rounded golf program in the Midwest and having a teacher with Joni's credibility and stature adds to that."
She will also run Madden's Tuesday women's league, which she is no stranger at doing.
While at Grand View, Meyer built one of the area's most popular golf attractions. Her women's and couples golf outings accomplished two things. They introduced more women to golf and kept those newcomers coming back to the course.
Position: Teaching professional at Chris Foley Golf Schools at Madden's Resort
Qualifications: Member of the LPGA
Experience: Nine years
Formerly: Grand View Lodge, Breezy Point Resort
Madden's league: Women's league 6 p.m. Tuesdays starting May 15. Kickoff cocktail party May 8
Meyer hopes for similar results with the Madden's league. She wants to bring more structure to the league without losing the comfortable, relaxed atmosphere.
Working with the outings and now the women's league have been vital to Meyer's career.
"I've met so many neat people through those groups," she said. "I've found friends I wouldn't normally have had, contacts with people and of course I get lessons from it, but more so it's the uniqueness of meeting so many different people."
Also vital have been the people Meyer has worked with. Her career started with PGA professional Mark Johnson at Breezy Point Resort and then moved to Grand View Lodge where she worked with director of golf Eric Peterson.
On a windy, overcast Monday, Meyer graciously thanked those who helped her drastic career change.
Before golf, Meyer helped make beautiful smiles while working in her husband Rod's dental practice. Now Meyer is able to see her past work with a golf tip that works or a fun game on the course.
"It's been an interesting ride," said Meyer. "There are always twists and turns that you don't expect. Whenever you go into something I don't think everybody tells you truly all the twists and turns that are there. It's been a great ride. I've met a lot of interesting people."
Note: The Madden's Tuesday Night Women's League will have a Mexican Fiesta opening night May 8 at the Pine Beach East Course.
The event will start at 5:15 p.m. with a putting and chipping clinic. A 6 p.m. social on the deck will follow.
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5856.
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