It’s not often the benefits package that comes with your first job will pay dividends for life. But in a way, that’s what happened to Paul Coutoumas, PGA. Shagging balls for PGA Professional Jack Sullivan at Fresh Pond Golf Course, Paul was compensated with free lessons and access to the course, which built the foundation for his passion for golf that has lasted to this day. These days Paul is instilling that same passion in his players at D.W. Field GC, and has been recognized as the 2020 New England PGA Player Development Award winner for his work.
NEPGA: Who inspired or mentored you?
PAUL COUTOMAS: There have been numerous PGA professionals that took the time to guide me on my career. Each one had unique strengths in managerial techniques and the golf game. If I had to select one person that was most influential to me in golf, it would be Mr. Bob Beach. Initially, I had difficulties understanding his unselfish and tireless efforts to advance the game of golf, especially among young people, while simultaneously managing golf facilities. But, as he began to mentor me, it became clear to me that he possessed a deep love for golf. He also saw it as an obligation to not only advance the game but ensure that each individual had an excellent golf experience through the professional management of the course facility. I can say without hesitation that his commitment to advancing the game, as well as his fastidious attention to proper golf course management, have had a profound effect on my professional golf career.
NEPGA: What other interests do you have outside of golf?
PC: While I enjoy playing golf and appreciate the competition, what it offers pales in comparison to spending quality time with my lovely wife. I particularly enjoy traveling with her during the offseason! Her presence in my life is powerful. The time I spend with her is truly a blessing. I also enjoy spending time with my extended family. Being the middle child of eight children, we all learned the value of perseverance together at a very young age.
NEPGA: What motivates you as a golf professional?
PC: Teaching young children life-long lessons through the game of golf is a significant motivator for me! The look that someone gives you when something you have said or done helps them immensely with their golf game; the expression of appreciation when I assist a customer in organizing a golf tournament and every participant in the event had an excellent time. All those are a few of the motivating situations I have encountered during my PGA Professional Career.
NEPGA: What have you accomplished as a PGA Professional that you are most proud of?
PC: My work to improve the golf experience at D.W. Field Golf Course, Brockton, Mass. is a monumental accomplishment. Before my employment as the golf professional at the course, the facility was in poor condition and offered no golf programs to any demographic in the Brockton community. To date, the D.W. Field Golf Course is known as one of the best municipal golf facilities south of Boston. It has multiple golf teaching programs, up to and including programs for seniors, women, people with special abilities, and Junior golfers. Citizens of Brockton as well as residents in surrounding communities are welcome to attend any golf training program offered at the facility. I am very proud to be among the many individuals who worked inexhaustibly to resuscitate a previously distraught inner-city golf course and to make it the gem it is today.
NEPGA: What does it mean to you to be recognized with a New England PGA Section Award?
PC: Words alone cannot accurately express the joy I feel inside to be recognized out of the 1,000 superb PGA professionals throughout New England. If I had to choose one word to best express my feelings, I would shout “INCREDIBLE”; INCREDIBLE! I never thought this would be possible! The very thought of being recognized by my peers for a job well done never occurred to me!
NEPGA: Are there any people who have contributed to your success who you would like to recognize?
PC: I would be remiss in my duties as a manager if I failed to recognize the dedicated staff of seventeen (17) people that make it possible for me to endure the daunting workload we experience every day, seven days a week. Their commitment and unwavering support were deeply appreciated during a season plagued with COVID-19. Yet they continued to come to work daily and ensured that golfers had a wonderful golfing experience at the DW Field golf course.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Rick Baptist who gave me my first job; Mr. Eric Stevenson who taught me humility; Mr. James Antonelli who inspired me as a PGA Pro., and Mr. Tim Carpenter & Mr. Kurt Calderwood who continually challenge me to be a better Professional every day. Last on this list, but at the forefront of heart, I owe a debt of gratitude to my lovely bride, who stood by me and encouraged me through this challenging journey.
NEPGA: What else would you like to share?
PC: I believe it may have been mentioned however I’d like to reiterate my WHY. At the risk of sounding like a Ted Talk my personal most rewarding program to run is my clinics provided for the Brockton ARC (Autistic Resource Center)and the ARC of the South Shore.