Cosentino Holds Head High At FireRock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wilson Golf Reed on the Greens
by Jeffrey Reed, Editor, LondonOntarioGolf.com
October 11, 2017

Don’t tell FireRock Golf Club’s director of golf Mandy Cosentino that she’s not qualified for the job. Despite her youth and soft-spoken nature, she just might throw an elbow and slam dunk in your face before you know what hit you.

Cosentino, 23, took over the director of golf reigns from the departing Duane Swinkels in July 2016. She’s the only female to hold that position within London and area.

In fact, she’s the only female member of a Golf Ontario advisory panel who work with Golf Canada to help shape the game for the future.

For a lesser person, that would make for some pretty lonely company. But while the post does present challenges for Cosentino, she’s smart enough to network with supportive women who all fill a mentor role. That, combined with her insatiable appetite for learning and meeting challenges head-on, already makes her a role model for young women.

The most recent Canadian Golf Consumer Behaviour Study from The National Allied Golf Associations (NAGA) tells us what we already know: golf remains a male-dominated sport, with female golfers only making up 30 per cent of all Canadian golfers. Yet Golf Canada’s recent findings indicate junior girls are the biggest demographic growing the game today.

Cosentino, who hails from Strathroy, isn’t a natural golfer. Far from it, actually. She doesn’t keep a handicap index and plays less than 36 holes a week at FireRock’s upscale public track designed by Thomas McBroom. Yet she comes from a golfing family who instilled in her a love for a sport that teaches you honesty and integrity.

Then there’s her athletic, academic and early business background. At 6’4”, Cosentino was a standout basketball player who suited up first for the Laurentian University Lady Vees, then the Western Mustangs. She only started playing basketball in Grade 9 at Strathroy District Collegiate Institute, but soon afterwards was picked up by the London Titans and later the London Ramblers AAA programs. Playing post, she was part of the Ontario Junior Development program, the Canadian Centre for Performance and Team Ontario.

Consider what Cosentino said when joining the Lady Vees, and you’ll acknowledge her maturity even then: “Basketball gives me an escape from being just a normal student and lets me combine all aspects of the mind and body emotionally, mentally and physically, (and) I love the team aspect of basketball – the bond you form through it will last forever.”

While in Grade 10 in Strathroy, Cosentino was handed a golden ticket when new owners of Bear Creek Golf Club made her assistant GM, a role she filled until she joined FireRock GC as Swinkels’ assistant in spring 2012.

“There’s no way I should have been hired for that position at Bear Creek,” said Cosentino, a self-professed overachiever and workaholic, “but I was very mature for my age. The job was close to home, and it was a great opportunity to learn about the industry. And it was a lot of fun.”

Mandy Cosentino playing post with 2015-16 Western Mustangs. Photo: Mustangs Athletics.

Always with a master plan, Cosentino earned her Undergraduate degree in Health and Physical Education at Laurentian’s Sudbury campus, with her eye on a teaching career. But that job at Bear Creek opened her eyes to the business world and to the golf industry, and she was hooked.

She returned home, studied Sports Management and Business at Western and earned her Master’s degree after writing a thesis on, Women in Leadership in Professional Sports. She spoke with several Canadian women who have succeeded in sports, including London’s Patty Howard, the first Canadian woman to hold the title of director of golf at a mixed golf club (West Haven Golf and Country Club).

“Patty is a mentor of mine,” said Cosentino. “When I took this director job at FireRock, I went to her for advice. When she was younger, she was a promising touring professional. She had ‘legitimacy.’ But when she broke into the business side of the industry in the 1970s and ‘80s, women’s still had very few rights on the golf course. She helped pave the way. So I’ve leaned on Patty for words of wisdom.”

Cosentino said she also sees friends Cheryl Finn, Director of Sport Tourism with the City of London and Chair of the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance, as well as Nike Golf sales representative Lindsey Edmunds of London, as role models. She also praises Swinkels, as well as FireRock GM Jim Spivak, for teaching her the ins and outs of the golf industry.

FireRock No. 18. Photo: Jeffrey Reed/LondonOntarioGolf.com.

“Patty said to hold my head high, and to be true to myself. I do that every day,” said Cosentino. “I’m proud of the fact that over the past year we have had a 44-per-cent increase in golf tournaments and league play. Any doubters now see the results and should know I deserve to be here.”

It’s a sad statement knowing that in 2017 there are still men who question the ability of a female in the business world. But in the male-dominated golf industry, Cosentino said there are still haters to be dealt with daily.

“I do see prejudice every day. There are people who don’t take me seriously. But I go back to Patty’s advice to ‘stand tall and stay confident.’”

At 6’4”, and with wisdom well beyond her years, Cosentino has no problem standing tall. In fact, while “in love” with her job at FireRock, she’s already looking at climbing up the ladder to a GM position at a local private club in the near future. She’s also a part-time professor at Western, where a new generation of students can learn from a seasoned pro who is still only 23 years old.

But there will always be haters, Cosentino said.

“When people call the pro shop and a young female answers, some are still shocked,” she said. “Typically the older guys in the industry are standoffish. But if they consider how involved I am with the local golf community, and with teaching, as well as with the Golf Canada board, then they should see the legitimacy behind it all.”

Even if they don’t, Cosentino holds her head high and stays true to herself. And for the former basketball player, that’s the formula for a fast break to success.

-30-

About Wilson Golf

For a century, Wilson Golf has designed, manufactured and distributed premium and recreational golf equipment throughout the world. Since 1914, Wilson Staff irons have won 61 major championships, more than any other iron manufacturer in history. That winning tradition continues today by delivering the highest quality golf equipment to all golfers to enhance performance on the course and overall enjoyment of the game. Wilson Golf is a division of Chicago-based Wilson Sporting Goods Co., one of the world’s leading manufacturers of sports equipment by Amer Sports. Consumers can log onto wilsongolf.com or call (800) 622-0444 for more information.

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

About jeffreyreed

A leading Canadian communications professional. Corporate office www.JeffreyReedReporting.com established 1989.

3 Responses to “Cosentino Holds Head High At FireRock”

  1. I have had the privilege of knowing Amanda all her life. She is truly an inspiration for young women across North America. Thank you for being confident and strong, in spite of haters. Not only is her zest for knowledge, sport, and career insatiable, she is passionate about her family, and has a huge spirit that shines. Congratulations and keep following your dreams.

  2. This is a wonderful article that shows what can be achieved if you put your mind to it. Amanda always makes my visits to FireRock a pleasure and I have brought others there as a result. She has accomplished so much already with her business career, education, sports, family and her own personal development. She has found the magic formula of paying it forward, learning from others and then giving back! I have no doubt that over time she will be a mentor and inspiration to others. Many unknown opportunities still lie ahead for Amanda so it will be fun to watch as they unfold.
    Congratulations on your achievements.
    Well done Amanda.

  3. Amanda is truly an outstanding young woman. Her maturity, dedication and sense of responsibility are a rare commodity for one so young. I know there will be many more great achievements she will accomplish in her future. Amanda is proof that hard work is rewarded.