Steamboat Springs For most people, golf is a game. But Tim Fuhrer isn't just another avid golfer.
"The funny thing is, that in my business, there are professional golfers, and there are golf professionals," Fuhrer said. "I'm the latter."
Fuhrer, the assistant professional at the Haymaker Golf Club, has been working his way through the Professional Golf Association's golf management program for six years. This spring, he reached his goal by completing the demanding program that 50 percent of students fail before completion.
"It's like getting a master's in golf," Fuhrer said. "For me, this was a huge success. It was always my goal to become a full member of the PGA."
It doesn't mean that you will see Fuhrer playing in this year's British Open, but it does mean Fuhrer is a full PGA member who has earned the right to pursue a position as a head professional when the time is right.
But for now, Fuhrer says he will continue to serve the golfers of Routt County in his position as first assistant. He said Hank Franks, the head professional at Haymaker, has been very supportive during his journey.
"It's great because this only makes the staff at Haymaker that much stronger," Fuhrer said. "Now we have two class A professionals on staff, and that can only make us stronger as a club."
Golf always has been a passion for Fuhrer, who got his first job at the South Suburban Golf course in Centennial when he was 9 years old. Since then, he has worked at Cherry Hills, Castle Pines and Haymaker.
He said he didn't decide to pursue a professional career until he arrived in Steamboat Springs and started working at Haymaker nine years ago.
He said the support he received at Haymaker and from his family was key to completing the program successfully. Fuhrer also said the Catamount Ranch & Club's Scholarship Foundation, which helped him with extra financial support, played a key role in getting him through the final level of the PGA program.
The foundation last year provided scholarships to promising young professionals at area golf courses. Fuhrer was thrilled when he received the grant for the Haymaker program.
This year. Jim Miller, club manager at Catamount, said the private club would continue to provide scholarships for the club's staff members, providing the financial support they need to pursue their goals.
Fuhrer said he hopes to be a head professional someday, but he hasn't given up his dream of being a touring professional.
"When I fell in love with this game, I pictured myself playing on the tour," Fuhrer said. "I will keep that dream until the day they put me in my grave."