My company was downsizing, so I took early retirement at the age of 49. That was in 1989. After being home for a short time, I started to volunteer at a local golf course. I played a lot of golf over the next few years, and I got my game back – in my younger days, I had a scratch handicap. In 1992 I had a heart attack and a double bypass. Thank God I had some great doctors. My friends would come and see me, and they convinced me to get into teaching golf again. In 1993 I joined the USGTF. I can’t thank Ken Butler and Bob Wyatt enough for their very valuable instruction at my certification course. That same year, I started the Have A Heart Foundation and Have A Heart For Kids with some very caring people, helping fellow Staten Islanders with their recovery from heart and heart-related illnesses. There are no salaries for anyone; we are all-volunteers. I started a golf outing to raise the money we needed to help these adults and children. Our first outing was in 1993, and we had 43 golfers. In 2011 we had over 220 golfers, over 350 for dinner, and it keeps getting bigger every year. I am on many other charity boards, and over the years I have helped to raise almost $2 million for the various charities here on Staten Island. Currently I am teaching at the Staten Island Golf Practice Center, and am also teaching at the YMCA here. I also played a few times on the Sun Belt Senior Tour. One of my students is a USGTF Level III member and was named to the WGTF Top 100 Teachers list in 2010. I have at least two more students ready to join the USGTF, and have also worked with several celebrities in the entertainment and sports world. I thank God for the people in my life, and I cannot thank them enough for all of their influence. I would not have been able to do this with out their help, and I’m also grateful for the knowledge and professionalism that I learned from the USGTF.
By Edward Mandrik, USGTF Level III Member