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Meet Matthew Clay of Del Mar Golf Center in Del Mar

Today we’d like to introduce you to Matthew Clay.

Matthew, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Golf has been a huge driving force in my life and has taught me multiple skills that have helped me on and off the golf course. My father was a Division I college golfer and taught me how to play when I was 5 years old. He himself learned from his father and also taught my brother to play. I remember our Sunday afternoons at the practice range very fondly and being able to help others create those kinds of memories is one of my main goals as an instructor and coach. I have three young children, 2 girls and a boy, and I hope one day they will also have the desire to play golf. You could say Golf is our family sport.

Golf provides the venue to teach respect, responsibility, good sportsmanship, hard work, dedication and many other skills that are valuable on and off the golf course. It is one of the only sports you can play your entire life with players of all ability levels. My father always stressed two fundamentals: “Swing Hard” and “Stay in Balance.” These two concepts have shaped my golf philosophy and are goals I strive for with all of my athletes. My favorite moments with young golfers is to be the first person to put a golf club in their hands and to see the smile when they hit a great shot and can’t stop yelling “Coach Matt, Coach Matt, did you see that!!” Many times my smile is bigger than theirs.

Has it been a smooth road?
Golf is my second career, I spent 10 years working in retail electronics. I enjoyed spending my days interacting with people but it wasn’t the most rewarding career choice. I returned to school and finished my economics degree at the University of Utah, this gave me the opportunity to join the Peace Corps.

I’ve always loved traveling and learning about new cultures and people and spent two years in Bulgaria in the business development program. Living through seasons and speaking the language gave me a much deeper understanding and connection to the local culture.

I was fortunate to meet my wife, another volunteer, while in Bulgaria.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
The Del Mar Golf Center is a Top 50 Stand Alone Driving Range and has been nationally recognized for the past 10 years. I’m very proud of our staff, many of whom have been with our company for more than 20 years.

Our primary goal is to provide the best practice facility we can and help our customers and clients play better golf and have more fun.

Over the past 5 years, we have focused on junior golf and developing new players. Our program is based on a comprehensive Long Term Athletic Development model. Children learn golf skills, participate in various competitions, and develop their overall athletic abilities. We encourage interaction among our athletes through games.

Our staff has been recognized numerous times for multiple awards and we are very happy we can all do something we love.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I think San Diego is a fantastic city for golf, it is a golf destination. We are fortunate to be right down the street from Torrey Pines and also very close to multiple high-end private golf clubs.

If someone was starting out in the golf business, San Diego is ideal. It is home to Callaway, Taylor Made and Cobra so many of the top players in the world visit San Diego regularly. There are multiple opportunities to grow into the golf business, including teaching.

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