Interview With Ryan Lanzen General Manager - Payne Stewart Golf Club
A Light Hearted Golf Q & A Interview
By Brian Weis
Below is an interview with Ryan Lanzen the General Manager at Payne Stewart Golf Club. Ryan after college turned professional and played on the mini-tours. He later joined Troon Golf and began his career as a golf professional. His career has taken him to elite course in Las Vegas, Scottsdale, and Cherokee, NC. Today he manges the Payne Stewart Golf Club in Branson, Missouri.
The following are a few traditional and non traditional golf centric questions that I love to ask influential people in the golf industry.
When did you start golfing and who introduced you do the game?
I started golfing when I was about 8 years old. I grew up in Elkhorn, Nebraska and we had a local Par 3 course that I participated in junior leagues and spent many of my Summer days chipping and putting, hanging out on the driving range and playing with my buddies. I was introduced to the game by my father who is still an avid golfer to this day. My fondest memory of the game are the evening rounds, just my father and I walking the golf course, carrying our clubs as the sun sank lower and lower in the western sky, those were my favorite rounds of golf to play, the weather was great, the course was pretty empty and it was just he and I walking the fairways.
What is your current home course?
My current home course is Payne Stewart Golf Club in Branson, MO. It is an amazing 18 hole championship facility that was built as a tribute to the late golf legend and Missouri native, Payne Stewart. The course is managed by Troon Golf, the world leader in upscale golf course management.
To date, what is your proudest golf accomplishment?
On course, my proudest accomplishment would be just having the opportunity to play golf professionally following college. I graduated from college and turned pro and played mini tours for a couple years chasing the dream. It didn't work out the way I had planned but it was a great experience and something that I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to do. Off course, my proudest accomplishment would have to be with Troon Golf for the last 8+ years. I began my career working at The Revere Golf Club in Las Vegas, NV cleaning golf clubs and picking the range and have worked my way up through the ranks to be a class A PGA Professional with stops at Troon North Golf Club in Scottsdale, AZ and Sequoyah National Golf Club in Cherokee, NC and now the General Manager of Payne Stewart Golf Club in Branson, MO, all excellent Troon facilities that I would recommend to anybody!
What is your biggest golf pet peeve on or off the course?
On the golf course, slow play. The game of golf should not take that long to play. This is one of the overwhelming problems within the game today and what keeps many non-golfers from trying the game, it takes too long. We do our best at Payne Stewart Golf Club to keep the pace of play moving to enhance the enjoyment of all our guests.
What is your favorite club in your bag and why?
My favorite club would have to be my 60 degree wedge, I use it in so many different places for so many different things, chipping, pitching, bunker shots, 80 yards and in it is the club in my hand 98% of the time.
What is your favorite golf destination?
My favorite golf destination would have to be the Arizona desert. I love the Scottsdale area and there are so many great golf courses, so many amazing places to stay and numerous delicious restaurants to eat at, I have been taking golf trips to Scottsdale for years.
What course is on your bucket list that you have not played yet?
Augusta National, I have been close a few times to getting the opportunity to play there but the circumstances haven't worked out quite right. Hopefully, someday I will get the opportunity, to walk in the footsteps of the games greats, all the history there, it would be a privilege and a one in a lifetime experience.
If you woke up tomorrow and could play one course you played before, where would you play?
I would probably choose Poppy Hills Golf Club in Monterey, CA. It is an amazing golf course winding through thousands of trees on the California coast. From the wildlife on the property to the amazing golf course it is a great experience for any golfer.
If you could change one aspect, rule or thing about golf, what would it be and why?
I would like to see the rule changed about sand filled divots in the fairway. I have always thought that it seemed a bit unfair that you could hit a shot down the middle of the fairway, and end up essentially in a bunker (sand filled divot). I would like to see them changed to ground under repair from which the golfer would get free relief.
18 Rapid Fire, Off The Cuff Questions
1) Hitting Long Drive OR Sinking Long Putt?
Long Putt. The long drive is great but if you can't get it in the hole once you are on the green you can't score.
2) Having Round of Life OR Hole in One?
Hole in One. The hole in one is the ultimate, you CAN'T do any better, you always get to tee it up and try to do better for a whole round than you did last time.
3) Golfing at the crack of dawn OR twilight?
Twilight. I love not setting the alarm when I have the opportunity.
4) Hit a power fade OR power draw?
Power Draw. There is just something about the draw, I'm not a big fan of my golf ball moving to the right, a fade feels more like a finese shot to me.
5) Beverage cart OR halfway house?
Beverage Cart. You see the beveage cart more often, and I am somewhat partial, my wife used to drive one!
6) Bathroom OR bushes?
Bathroom. Being in the golf industry and managing a facility, I prefer our guests use the facilities provided so I will follow suit, bushes in an emergency only.
7) Hot dog OR wrap?
Hot Dog. I've never claimed to be too concerned with healthy eating, with chili, cheese and onions is even better!
8) Around the green, being in sand OR thick rough?
Sand. If you know how to get out of bunkers properly, they are much more consistent and easier to control the ball out of. If you are in the Branson area and your short game needs work, look me up, I would love to help!
9) Walking OR riding?
Walking. It is tough anymore to find golf courses that are truly walkable, but if I can, I love to walk the course and carry my clubs, golf at it's finest!
10) Do you carry traditional 3 iron OR hybrid?
Hybrid. I don't carry anything higher than a 4 iron, sometimes 5 iron depending on the course. Hybrid are so much easier to hit and get the ball higher and softer, it's a no brainer.
11) Do you prefer long par 3 OR long par 5?
Long Par 3. There is just something about knocking it close on those long par 3's.
12) Pants OR Shorts?
Shorts. I am a class A PGA Professional and wear shorts when required, but if it's not necessary, I am definitely shorts kind of guy!
13) Palmer OR Nicklaus?
Palmer. I enjoy the swashbuckling, go for broke kind of golf.
14) Beatles OR Elvis?
Unfortunately, neither. I am more of a Jason Aldean, Eric Church country music person with the occasional runs of Dave Matthews Band, O.A.R. or a little classic rock.
15) Play for fun OR play for money?
Money, definitely. Even if it is just a $5 nassau, something on the line makes you focus and pay attention, I always try to have some sort of a bet if I am going to play golf.
16) Bump and run OR flop shot?
Flop Shot. Bump and runs probably get used more often but there is a great feeling when you pull off a great flop shot.
17) Lay up OR gamble?
Gamble. If I think the gamble will gain me at least a full shot from laying up, I'm going for it!
18) 18 holes OR 36?
Well, in this business it's more like 3 here or 5 there, but a 36 hole day in some great weather, it doesn't get much better than that.... well, unless the morning 18 is followed by some afternoon fly fishing!
Revised: 01/11/2012 - Article Viewed 21,467 Times - View Golf Course Profile
Written By: Brian Weis
Brian Weis is the Publisher of GolfTrips.com, a network of golf travel and directory sites including GolfWisconsin.com, GolfMichigan.com, ArizonaGolfer.com, GolfAlabama.com, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.
All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched GolfWisconsin.com. In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and GolfTrips.com was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like GolfTrips.com, GolfGuide.com and GolfPackages.com. It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.
On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.
Contact Brian Weis:
GolfTrips.com - Publisher and Golf Traveler