Local golfer is back with LPGA
December 12, 2009
Chuck Kuepfer

After nearly four decades, a former Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) tour golfer is back with the organization, this time to pursue her love for the sport through teaching the game to others.

“From a heart standpoint, it’s good to be back,” says Connie Deckert, who was the runner-up Ontario Junior Champ at the age of 18. “It’s thrilling to be back with these people. Everything happens for a reason.”

For the Elmira high school graduate, life has come full circle.

Deckert played on the LPGA tour as a 21-year-old in 1972. However, she left the professional world of golf to work for her father’s muffler manufacturing business, Motivair Canada, where she became president and CEO.

Deckert recently sold the Elmira company, and now concentrates on Fore U Enterprises, which offers golf instruction for both private individuals and corporate groups. Deckert is already qualified as an instructor through the Canadian Golf Teachers Federation. However, certification through the LPGA serves to broaden her knowledge of the game.

“It makes me a better teacher,” says Deckert. “It’s a good brand to be associated with.”

Since pursuing accreditation with the LPGA, Deckert has also been able to reconnect with some of golfers she toured with.

“Some of the ladies I played with on the tour in ’72 are LPGA teachers now,” she says.

In Canada, there aren’t many golfers with LGPA credentials. Deckert has heard that there are less than 200 teachers in the entire country. There is a meticulous application process to follow for those wanting to become certified with the LPGA.

Deckert had to complete a written test, as well as shoot an above-average round of golf, before she was able to submit an application.

“They want you to be a walking, talking ad for the organization,” she says.

Deckert knew her LPGA application had been officially accepted when a UPS driver recently arrived at her door with a COD package.

The package included a thick binder, an instruction manual for the LPGA National Education Program Series, as well as the subsequent steps she must now complete — and a coveted membership number.

Deckert is pleased to be back with LPGA, but doesn’t envy the life of a professional tour player.

“You live out of a suitcase and you never put down roots,” she says. “I’d rather be a good teacher.”

She’s encouraged by the number of young people involved in the sport, as well as their talent. It’s something she’s had the opportunity to witness first hand, as coach of the University of Guelph’s men’s and women’s golf teams. Deckert took the job four years ago.

She is also a golf instructor at Max’s Golf Centre, and remains an ardent proponent of the game.

“I love it because you never master it,” says Deckert. “It’s really rewarding to help people play the game better. Any time you can empower someone, there’s no downside.”

She says there aren’t many sports in which four generations can play together. It’s also extraordinarily popular. Deckert said that per capita, the country has the highest participation in the sport in the world. The sport also has significant financial impacts from the millions raised at charitable events, to the $1.3 billion contributed to the Canadian economy last year.

Deckert is available for private and group golf lessons through her business Fore U Enterprises. More information about her services is available at www.conniedeckert.com, or by calling 519-748-7651.