The hidden story of CL Pro Shop assistant

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Aaron grew up in Columbus, Ohio, enjoying high school basketball and football. There was no golf on the horizon at the time.

Upon graduating from high school, Aaron was motivated by the World Trade Center tragedy to immediately enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps where he served for 12 years.

When I asked him to tell me something interesting about himself, he seemed to be somewhat hesitant. “I guess my story is kind of boring.” He apologized. Really? Eight deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq in 12 years of service to our country could hardly have been boring. Scary, perhaps, and surely exciting at times.

Each of the tours were different and each required a unique six-month training period or preparation prior to deployment. He described his primary responsibility as a Marine Corps Security Force member as often “The first boots on the ground if there was an emergency in any of our U.S. Embassies or U.S. Marine ships throughout the world or a natural disaster requiring U.S. humanitarian assistance.”

Aaron rose through the ranks of platoon sergeant and section chief squad leader overseeing weapon systems and vehicle readiness. He was a five-time expert rifle shooter, a martial arts instructor, a section chief for a howitzer crew and a team leader for the Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team. He also was a program instructor for Close Quarters Combat. Boring? I don’t think so.

Aaron is married to Bette, a claims supervisor at Wawanesa Insurance. They live in Murrieta and are proud parents of two boys, six-year-old Marcus and two-year-old Maddox. Marcus was born just prior to Aaron’s eighth and last tour. He admitted that it broke his heart to ship out after his son was born.

Aaron’s years of military experience leaves him well versed in leadership, mentoring and accountability. He has supervised hundreds of personnel, as many as 50 at one time, while holding positions directly responsible for career deployments of his fellow Marines, as well as 100 percent accountability for equipment and supplies valued over $17.5 million.

The Marine Corps has enabled Aaron to travel the world, meet people who he never expected to meet and make lifelong friends. But, with a young family it was time to become a civilian.

Following Aaron’s discharge from the Marine Corps, he commuted to Yuma, Arizona, where he utilized his experiences to test weapons and military equipment. During this time he was motivated by his older son’s love of swinging a golf club to start to play himself. As his interest in golf grew, Aaron decided to attend the Professional Golfers Career College in Temecula where he earned an associate’s degree. His goal is to become a PGA professional or perhaps a club manager.

Continuing toward that goal, Aaron continues to practice to take the Player Ability Test that will enable him to enter the PGA apprentice program. He has worked for Pat Kemball, Director of Golf at the Canyon Lake Country Club since May 2018 and really enjoys the beautiful scenery, friendly people and the mentoring from Pat. He enjoys the challenge of learning a new profession, dealing with the public and the focus on customer service and pro shop management. Aaron is pleased to see others enjoying themselves at the club. He is able to play twice a week and practice twice a week. He currently holds a handicap of eight.

Aaron uses his free time to hang out with family. He has run four marathons and two half-marathons and would love to qualify to run the Boston Marathon if time permits.

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