What You Might Not Know About Carlis Gilberet
I had the opportunity to sit down with Carlis earlier this week with the expressed interest into Carlis and his background.
It quickly became clear that he did not follow the ordinary path to becoming a PGA professional. He didn’t play on the high school golf team, much less a college team. Not even close. He had a much different route than most.
Carlis grew up in a very small town in southwestern Virginia. It was a coal mining town that actually had two mines, mine nine and mine ten. When asked where he lived, the answer was “nine or ten.” When he was eight years old, his family moved to the Washington D.C. area. He went to high school Alexandria Virginia. I don’t know if his high school had a golf team, but if they did he was not on it. After high school he bounced a bit and finally joined the Marine Corp in 1970. Carlis and I shared several stories about the Corp, as I got out in 1970. He went to boot camp at Paris Island in North Carolina, I went to Marine Corp Recruit Depot in San Diego. Carlis spent a few more years in the Corp than me. The fact is he was in the Marines for 23 years. When you are In boot camp you are tested to see what type of qualifications you might have and then you are assigned a MOS. I can’t remember what MOS stands for, but basically it designates the job you will have while serving. Somehow Carlis’ testing designates him to be journalist, even though his drill instructor (DI) told him he was going to be a cook. “No wonder he stayed in for 23 years. He traveled to several countries writing for many military publications. He was quick to tell me it was not all fun and games. If he was writing about a group who was out in the field, he was out in the field. If they were going through a special training exercise, he was going through the same, the writing came later.
“So how the heck does golf fit into Carlis’ picture?” Well, in the last few years of his service he was stationed over seas in Okinowa. He tells me that he and a couple of buddies started playing golf. It was all for fun and he had a blast.
He said he and his buddies would mix up a big batch of Bloody Mary’s and head out on the course. That is where he grew to love the game and probably the Bloody Mary’s.
Carlis had elevated to an “E-8” which is the second highest rank for an enlisted person and he felt it was time to move on. So, he gets out of the Marine Corp and asks himself “what am I going to do now?” Well he says I like golf so let’s see where it takes me. He enrolled in the San Diego Golf Academy.
Two years later he graduated with honors with a degree in golf course complex operations and management.
His first job was at Beale Air Force base. In 2001 he left Beale to join the team at Lake Wildwood. It was there he started to pursue his PGA card. He credits Jim Knight for giving him the opportunity to study while working behind the desk.
In 2007 Carlis left LWW to move to Texas to be close to family. Well a year later, he is looking to get back to the area. I am pretty sure there was a woman involved in the decision, Kay his wife.
In 2008, with no opportunities at LWW he took a job as an assistant pro at Peach Tree Country Club.
In 2011 an opening became available here in LWW and Carlis was welcomed back with open arms. Somewhere during that time Carlis got his PGA card.
Both he and Kay each have one hole in one. More importantly, he and Kay have 17 grandchildren and “about” 16 great-grandchildren.
Carlis is all about continuous learning. He studies and teaches the principles of Bio Swing Mechanics. He follows closely the teachings of Mike Adams who was PGA teacher of the year in 2016.
“Wow, that is a different avenue to becoming a PGA professional.”
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