For the love of the game...
Taken from an article in the
Hingham Journal, April 2001
by Jim Logan, Correspondent (article paraphrased)
Bill Allen is living
out a dream. The former Hingham resident dedicated
more than two decades of his life to the Coast Guard. But now
the retired chief warrant officer is committed to a lifelong
passion... golf. So much so that he just had to go out and
"I simply love the game" says Allen, who joined the ranks
of the professional Golfers Association (P.G.A.) in October
2000.. After spending nearly five years in the P.G.A.'s
arduous apprenticeship program, Allen graduated to "pro"
status last fall, and presently utilizes his credentials as
Director of Golf, Pembroke CC, Pembroke, MA.. .
"I first started playing when I was around 11 or so with
my older brother (in Millinocket, Maine, Allen's home-town).
After I retired from the Guard in 1989 after 22 years of
service, I realized I now had
the chance to live out a dream and be a golf professional,
and that's what I did.
"It took a bit, as it does for anybody who wants to go
pro, but I did it."
After graduating from college, Allen left his home state
of Maine in 1967 and immediately enlisted into the U.S.
Coast Guard, where he then spent the next 22 years raising a
family with wife Naomi (children Rick, Mike and Michelle),
as well as serving primarily as a personnel administrator
and inspector for the Guard. The family was stationed in
seaside-port cities throughout the United Stated, from
California and Florida to Washington D.C. and Virginia (as
well as a relatively short stint in Boston during the
mid-to-late 70s). But it wasn't until Naomi (like Allen, a
20 year member of the Guard) was transferred back up to the
Bay State in 1996, that the couple took up permanent
residency in the local area.
It was at this time, Allen seriously began contemplating
the idea of becoming a golf professional. Having already
researched the necessary requirements for achieving his goal
and tuning up his skills, Allen took the P.G.A. entrance
exam in August of '96. Allen says it was ironic that the person who actually
introduced him to the very game (Allen's older brother
Jerry) ended up being his caddy - when he took the PGA.'s
entrance exam at Ponkapoag Golf Course. "It was pretty
special having him with me when I passed on the first try". He
then began Professional Readiness Orientation - an
extensive training period featuring several levels of
competency, at a number of courses nationwide - before
earning his coveted P.G.A. card.
"It's a very rigorous program," says Allen. "You have a
lot of course testing to do, as well as a lot of practical
testing. It's really not something you can go into if you're
not prepared to [endure] the time commitment."
Once he successfully completed the training, Allen was
asked by the South Shore Country Club where he'd been
working as an assistant pro - if he would be interested in
the Head Professional title, replacing Joe Keefe, along with
serving as director of instruction at three other courses,
including North Hill in Duxbury. Without hesitation, Allen
"It's really the main reason I wanted to get my (P.G.A.)
card," he says. "Because I love the game so much, I thought
it would be fun to teach other people what a great sport
golf is, also."
Along with the seven instructors he oversaw South
Shore Country Club and surrounding area courses, Allen's
ambitions are to teach his charges - be a 65-year-old
"first-timer" or 5-year old "up and comer," in any of the
club's junior programs. True success comes with the
knowledge that, each student comes away with the feeling of
excitement for the sport that he does. Bill is currently
the Director of Instruction at Pembroke CC and Pinecrest GC.
If you would like to contact Bill Allen you may email
firstname.lastname@example.org or call