Golf professionals at Desert Willow Golf Resort (Palm Desert, CA) with Folds of Honor plaques

KemperSports Golf Professional Feature: Cody Franke

KemperSports is one of the largest employers of PGA professionals in the country. In conjunction with our ongoing player development initiatives, we will share features on golf professionals within the KemperSports portfolio of properties – experienced individuals dedicated to growing the game and sharing their passion for golf with others.


Cody Franke
PGA 2nd Assistant Golf Professional & Merchandise Specialist at Desert Willow Golf Resort (Palm Desert, CA)


Q: What motivated you to begin teaching?
A: I first wanted to teach when I was in junior golf. All of the other juniors and myself would try different shots that we saw on television (Phil’s flop, Bubba’s hook, Tiger’s low punch). From here when I was able to master/understand these shots, I wanted to share, and teach other players on how to hit them.


Q: What has been the most impactful moment in your teaching career thus far?
A: One of my first full-time students I taught in the industry is a young man named Cash. At the time Cash was 5 years old, and like most 5 year olds that are going to a new class, or learning something new, he was very shy. For the first 6 weeks, Cash did not say a word. Learning to adapt my teachings and have positive communication, even nonverbal, was enlightening to me. I needed to learn how to ask the correct Yes/No questions in the lesson to get a response from Cash. Being able to completely adapt the learning to any player has been the most impactful moment to me in Teaching.


Q: What advice do you have for a beginner picking up the game of golf?
A: Tee everything up at first. This is not the Masters, U.S. Open or the Club championship; it is learning something new. Play by a different set of rules as you start. We cannot expect someone first learning to drive a car to start off in a Formula 1 Vehicle; similar to golf, start small, around the green. Hitting long shots at the range is fun, but the majority of your strokes happen around the green.


Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
A: The most rewarding part of my job is when I get to see players of all ages complete a drill in instruction, or hit a great shot. The joy and happiness that comes to any player’s face when they absolutely hit the ball square is fantastic. You don’t always remember the bad shots you hit, but I know most players remember the great shots that they hit.


Q: In your opinion, what makes golf great and fun?
A: Golf is great and fun because it allows all players regardless of age and skill to enjoy an activity. Where you can just play nine holes once a week, or play everyday, the golf course is always an escape from work, school, studying and day to day life.


Cody is pictured above with other golf professionals at Desert Willow Golf Resort. From left to right: Jason Wilkinson (PGA Head Golf Professional), Joe Kobrick (PGA First Assistant Golf Professional), Cody and Ryan Szydlowski (PGA Director of Golf).

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