This month, we’re PROfiling John Lyberger—PGA Professional, Certified Club Manager and Vice President of Club Operations at the prestigious and breathtaking Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Florida. Learn more about his career path, tips for success and even his top choice for new product so far this year.
PGA Show Insider: Can you give a brief overview of your career?
John Lyberger: I started at Congressional Country Club a PGM intern from Ferris State University. Upon graduation I worked as an Assistant Professional at Congressional, where I obtained my PGA membership.
With 7 years as an intern and Assistant Professional under my belt, I became the PGA Head Golf Professional at WestWinds Country Club in New Market, MD.
After 3+ years I interviewed for the Director of Golf position at Congressional Country Club where I spent 20 years leading the golf operation.
While working at Congressional Country Club I was encouraged by our GM/CEO, PGA Professional, Mike Leemhuis to become a member of the Club Managers Association of America (CMAA). During that time I gained my Certified Club Manager (CCM) status.
Just a little over a year ago I made a decision to switch jobs and use the training I have received over the past decade which brought me to my current role, Vice President of Club Operations at Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, FL.
PGA Show Insider: Tell us a little bit about Ocean Reef—what makes it different from most facilities?
John Lyberger: Ocean Reef is truly a unique way of life. It is a thriving multigenerational club full of traditions. It is the only club (that I am aware of) that you can enter and exit from three different “doors”: Land, Air or Sea.
PGA Show Insider: Describe your day in 3 numbers
John Lyberger: 12 departments, 400+ employees and no two days the same
PGA Show Insider: As Vice President of Club Operations, you wear many hats that go beyond the golf course—tell us a little bit about your role.
John Lyberger: I get to work with some of the best professionals in the industry. Under my scope of responsibility is: Golf, Agronomy, Retail, Commercial Properties, Recreation, Spa, Fitness, Tennis, Card and Games, Croquet, Marina, Airport, Safety and Security.
PGA Show Insider: What’s your favorite part of your job?
John Lyberger: Have you been to Ocean Reef Club? This place is amazing! I am so honored to work with such talented associates and also interact with members that genuinely care about their club and the people that run it.
PGA Show Insider: As a PGA Professional—what skills or attributes have helped you grow in your career and transition to a role like this?
John Lyberger: I am very fortunate to have many mentors. My father was one of the greatest influencers in my life, he thought me the life skills that I needed to be successful; how to interact with people and vendors; what it takes to run a business with passion and compassion.
PGA Show Insider: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received about your career?
John Lyberger: Take care of the associates, associates will take care of the members, and the members will take care of the bottom line.
PGA Show Insider: We love to highlight up-and-coming brands and new products—has there been a brand or product that’s caught your eye lately? And why?
John Lyberger: The new Callaway Epic driver is amazing! With their jail break technology….you truly can get 3 to 4 more mph of ball speed which will increase your distance by 10 or so yards.
Special thank you to John Lyberger for taking the time to speak with us! If you have any nominations for future PGA Show PROfiles, submit your recommendations here>>