Tee Time: A Conversation With a Golf Entrepreneur and Designer
Luke Davis graduated in 2012 with a degree in Professional Golf Management and a minor in Business Administration. In 2015 he started his own company, Lie + Loft. We sat down to talk with him about his experiences as an entrepreneur and in the College of Natural Resources.
What is a typical day in your job like?
I started my own company, Lie + Loft, in 2015 after working in the corporate world selling software for a few years. We do a lot of different golf and design-related things (check us out on Instagram! @lieandloft): creating golf art and artisanal goods, going on trips, hosting golf experiences, and doing what we can to grow the game and spread a welcoming feeling.
Being in a startup environment, the typical day is always changing. One day I can be on a golf course taking photographs, the next I could be in our studio, printing off posters for a golf tournament. One thing is for sure, things never get boring.
What inspired you to study Professional Golf Management?
I transferred into NC State’s PGA Golf Management Program after a freshman year stint up in Rochester, NY. I went to school originally to play baseball and an injury ended that dream. After freshman year, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, and admittedly, wasn’t a big golfer at that point in my life.
I took a year off from school and got a summer job working on the grounds crew at a local golf course. We’d play every day after mowing greens and fixing sprinkler heads. I got hooked. After hearing about the PGA Golf Management Program, I thought it was a great way to get back into a college and figure it out from there. Thirteen years later looking back, I never guessed that golf would have given me as much as it has, and I’m forever grateful for transferring into the program at NC State.
Where did you complete your internship(s)? How did the experience prepare you for work in your field?
I completed internships at Upper Montclair Country Club in New Jersey, TPC Sawgrass in Florida, and Westchester Country Club in New York. Internships give a lot of exposure and insight into different aspects of the industry, both the good and bad, as well as build your network for your future career path. As my college wound to a close on my last internship, I knew I didn’t want to go into the green grass side of the industry, but still view those experiences and connections as instrumental to growth.
What was your favorite experience in the PGA Golf Management program?
My favorite experience was doing an internship at a course hosting a PGA Tour Event. At TPC Sawgrass I ran a merchandise tent during The Players and saw all the behind the scenes work that goes into executing such a tournament operation. The year I was there, Tim Clark, an NC State grad, won. My boss asked me to walk him to his car after the win, carrying his clubs. We got talking Pack things and it was a night I’ll never forget!
What’s the best piece of advice you could give a current College of Natural Resources student?
Time flies by. Take advantage of all the opportunities that you can, whether it’s volunteering, attending programming/events, or engaging in your internships and classes as much as you can. Choose diverse internships – it’s not too often you can get paid to temporarily live in cool parts of the country (and the world). Give your time in school your all and meet as many people as you can!