Every July, PGA Certified Professional Leslie Core-Drevecky donates her time and expertise to the Osage Nation Foundation and The First Tee of Tulsa to conduct the Osage Nation’s Summer Youth Golf Camp. She makes the nearly 700-mile trek to Tulsa from Murphy Creek Golf Course in Aurora, Colo., where she has been the PGA head professional for the past 14 years.
When the Colorado PGA Section needs a volunteer for its Golf Expo, or a subject-matter expert to teach an education seminar or organize a Section event to grow the game, Core-Drevecky is just a phone call away. When the Aurora-based Wheatlands YMCA needs a venue to host a youth camp, or when a local charity needs someone to help organize a golf fundraising event, Core-Drevecky is quick to offer her expertise and Murphy Creek Golf Course.
You might call Core-Drevecky dedication to the Colorado PGA Section and to golf itself “leadership by example” or “leadership by participation”. But call it highly effective in making a difference at the local, Section and national level for the former University of Oklahoma golfer and business administration major, a two-time recipient of the Colorado Section’s Horton Smith Award who is serving her second term on the national PGA Education Committee.
On Oct. 14, Core-Drevecky’s leadership was recognized when the Colorado PGA Section elected her its first female president. It follows four years of service on the Colorado PGA Board of Directors, where she chaired the finance and foundation committees the past two years. Becoming the Colorado PGA’s first female president certainly marks a milestone, but Core-Drevecky isn’t dwelling on the historic achievement. She knows there is plenty to do, and she vows to continue to do the little things that make a big difference.
“I don’t want the fact that I’m the first female president of the Colorado Section to overshadow the work that needs to be done,” explains Core-Drevecky, who was elected to PGA membership in 1993, and became certified in Golf Operations and General Management in 2007.
“I hope it encourages other female PGA members to become involved in not only the Colorado Section, but all of the other Sections. We will see more and more female officers across the country.”
The seeds of PGA service and leadership were planted in Core-Drevecky’s career by PGA Professional Mark Kizziar of Bartlesville, Okla., an officer in the South Central Section for years before serving as PGA of America President in 1983-84. PGA Professionals Doug McNeil, Brad Pullin, Tim Johnson and Jerry Cozby also mentored and encouraged her.
“Mark Kizziar has basically been my golf coach and given me great advice throughout my career,” says Core-Drevecky, a former Oklahoma State Women’s Amateur champion. “It was out of respect for Mark that I wanted to follow in his footsteps by eventually becoming a Section officer.”
It was Kizziar who introduced Core-Drevecky to Pullin, then the director of golf at Horseshoe Bay Resort in Austin, Texas, where the new Colorado PGA Section President began her career as an assistant professional. She then worked at Lakeway Resort and The Four Seasons Resort in Dallas, where she met Johnson and McNeil, who hired Core-Drevecky to open Murphy Creek Golf Course in Aurora, Colo., in 2000. She worked under Cozby at Hillcrest Country club in Bartlesville, Okla., for two years before landing in Colorado.
“When Murphy Creek was being built, Doug (McNeil) reached out to me to see if I would be interested in moving to Colorado and opening a brand new facility,” says Core-Drevecky. “Of course, I couldn’t pass up that opportunity.”
She and her husband, Steve, are comfortable in Colorado, skiing and bowling throughout the winters and hiking when time allows in the summer. They return to Oklahoma to see their families and attend at least one Sooners football game each year, despite being converted Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies fans.
Now that she is president of the Colorado PGA Section, Core-Drevecky plans to continue her “leadership by example” pattern. “The Colorado Section has been one of the leading Sections in player development and growth of the game programs, and we will continue that tradition,” she says. “I would like to see it become the leading Section in all aspects of our Association.”
[Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in PGA Magazine under the title, “Leadership by Example” and is used with permission.]