MICHAEL CARMAN ON GOLF: Hiring process for golf pros

By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News

HOW DOES A golf club go about the process of hiring a new club pro?

I admit I was in the dark on just how, exactly, courses fill these crucial positions.

It’s fair to say there’s been some shake-ups at the top levels of management for some of our North Olympic Peninsula golfing locales.

When December rolls around, three new head pros will have taken over since July: Two were promoted and one, Peninsula Golf Club’s Jacob Lippold, is a brand-new hire.

Cedars at Dungeness promoted the deserving Garrett Smithson to head pro last July, and the transfer of the Port Townsend Golf Club lease with the city of Port Townsend was granted last week to long-standing assistant pro Gabriel Tonan, who is equally deserving.

The Port Townsend City Council unanimously approved (6-0) the lease transfer from outgoing pro Mike Early to Tonan.

Two years remain on the lease with an option for a five-year renewal.

Tonan has worked at the club in various capacities since the early 1990s, and there is nobody better suited to take the lead than him.

For Peninsula, though, there was no “pro-in-waiting,” to modify a term used often in college sports in regard to the anointing of a close assistant as coach-in-waiting.

Peninsula members had to start fresh back in July when outgoing pro Chris Repass informed them of his intentions to team with Port Townsend’s Early and rehabilitate Veterans Memorial Golf Course in Walla Walla.

As it turns out there is a well-established process for courses looking to fill these positions and for pros looking for new career opportunities.

This is called the PGA Employment Center and it is located at pgajobfinder.pgalinks.com.

Peninsula board members used the service to get in touch with PGA Employment Services Western Director Jeff Beaudry.

“He flew out a couple of months ago from Salt Lake City and gave a presentation to the board on what to post on the PGA website,” Peninsula board president Todd Negus said.

Negus said that after posting the listing, Peninsula received inquiries from 10 people interested in the position.

The club had created a five-person committee to headhunt for the position and present that information to the board for approval.

Four of the applicants were selected for separate interviews and brought in all on the same day, an 11-hour session for the search committee.

Along with Lippold, Negus said one candidate was from the Bellingham area, one from the Suncadia resort near Roslyn and the other was an unidentified area resident.

Interviews ran from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. that day, and the process was so focused that they didn’t head out to play golf with any of the potential pros.

Not playing even a few holes was a surprise to me as I have the feeling you can tell much about someone from how they carry themselves on the course.

The simple fact is that the guys they brought in to interview are all professional golfers and have already gone through a rigorous testing of their golf games.

There also was familiarity with Lippold and the other area applicant that would render a round unnecessary.

After the interviews, search committee members hashed out the selection and sent along their recommendations to the board for approval.

Lippold wowed them, and we know the rest of the story there since I wrote about it last week.

Say goodbye to Repass

Peninsula Golf Club will salute Chris Repass and wish him well this Friday during the 22nd annual Apple Cup Best Ball Tournament presented by Marine View Beverage.

Repass is one of the chosen people, a proud Washington State Cougar like myself, and deserves an Apple Cup win to carry him over to his new landing in Walla Walla.

Members and guests can play in the tourney, which begins with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start.

The big game follows in the Peninsula Clubhouse at 12:30 p.m.

For more details, phone Peninsula at 360-457-6501.

This year’s Apple Cup is the most meaningful game in years, with postseason bowl game positioning on the line.

The Cougs have battled this year to get to six wins and bowl eligibility, and the Huskies rebounded from a slump with a blowout win against Oregon State last weekend.

Make sure to have a designated driver or a taxi lined up to get home if you are planning on imbibing spirited contents.

And as always, Go Cougs!

Work off that stuffing

SkyRidge Golf Course in Sequim will hold a Post-Turkey Day two-person scramble and better ball event Friday.

The front-nine portion will be played from the green tees and will have a scramble format with a minimum of three drives per player.

The back nine is a better ball format, also played from the green tees.

A 9 a.m. shotgun start is planned, barring frost.

Cost is $60 per team, with a $20 per team honey pot available

Gross and net prizes are planned along with KPs and lunch after play.

Carts are $15 per seat.

An optional six-hole Horserace Scramble is planned after the tournament for $5 per team.

For more, phone SkyRidge at 360-683-3673.

Upcoming at Port Townsend Golf Club

Port Townsend Golf Club will host its annual Blind Draw Holiday Scramble on Saturday, Dec. 14.

A 10 a.m. shotgun start is planned and green fees are $25 per player, plus $10 in green fees for nonmembers.

Phone the course at 360-385-4547 for more information.


Golf columnist Michael Carman can be reached at 360-417-3527 or pdngolf@gmail.com.

Last modified: November 26. 2013 6:17PM
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