In the search for our next Head Golf Professional, a panel was created consisting of several Mayacama managers and two additional Members of the Club. This Committee has come to a decision on who will be the next Head Golf Professional at Mayacama Golf Club. The Selection Committee feels it is essential to communicate to the Membership what the process entailed and how and why we decided on this individual.
After speaking with numerous professionals from around the country, we interviewed seven candidates across a broad spectrum of applicants, all of whom were highly qualified, and each would have made a unique impact on the Club. We had Directors of Golf and Head Professionals from several extremely well-regarded clubs in addition to several accomplished Assistant Professionals, including our own Zach Makilan and Brooks Bultemeier. As we discussed the criteria of what we were looking for in our next Head Golf Professional, several attributes were consistent amongst the entire panel: tradition, character, culture, and an ability to integrate with what we all see is a very talented group of Professionals already on staff. It was important that this individual was passionate not only about the game of golf but also the changing tides of this business and an outlook on the future trends in the industry and where the game of golf is heading in this ever-changing world.
Mayacama too has experienced the changes that this industry has seen over the past decade, and we have been particularly proud of how Ted and his team have adapted to these changes and embraced those aspects of golf that have helped improve the experience and invite more individuals and families to take up the sport. Programs such as Op 36, the PGA Junior League, our expanding Junior Golf Camps, and creating more opportunities for women to play the game are just a few of the changes we have seen in golf, and Mayacama has participated and developed programs to support these initiatives. As such, we have seen our own golf participation grow across the Membership over the past few years, in large part because of these programs.
Carrying on the traditions that Ted so brilliantly wove into the fabric of Mayacama was also a major component that was at the forefront of many of our interview questions and discussions. All of us who call Mayacama home have benefited from the traditions this Club has embraced, and the overall experience those traditions provide to our championships and the culture that is Mayacama.
Let me be very clear, this was a difficult decision, and one that we all realize has many opinions from the entire Membership. Careful discussions on the matters outlined above and a great deal of back and forth between panel members occurred in the weeks following the interviews. Ultimately there were several key factors in this decision that outweighed the others. As stated earlier, we have a very impressive group of Golf Professionals on staff that have taken the lead in this department over the past year or more as Ted has spent additional time as a Rules Official at major events, which we all enjoyed watching these past few years. Ted has empowered this group to take the programs we outlined above and expand and grow them through the Membership. Many of our members have commented to us over these past 18 months on the wonderful job this group has done implementing and communicating these programs. They have led several championships in Ted’s absence and have conducted our tournaments with the same discipline, integrity, and professionalism that Ted has provided through the years.
This collective group, their working relationships, and their performance as a team guided the panel in the final decision. Loyalty, 20 years of on-the-job experience, mentorship under Ted, and a complete representation of the culture of Mayacama is why the Committee has chosen Zach Makilan as the Head Golf Professional of Mayacama Golf Club. After years of hard work and dedication to everything that Mayacama represents, Zach has earned this position. We all feel that this is a fairy tale story of a 17-year-old young man that started with us back on Opening Day in 2001 and worked his way through the ranks over the next 20 years to become our Head Golf Professional.
This decision also provides a wonderful opportunity for Mayacama to promote Brooks Bultemeier to First Assistant Golf Professional and Sean O’Shea to Assistant Golf Professional.
Brooks, Sean, and Zach, along with Crystal Stone in the Golf Shop, have been instrumental in the success of the golf department these past two years. Indeed, 2021 was the highest-grossing year that the Golf Shop has ever experienced. We look forward to the direction that this team will lead us to the future.
We ask all of our Members to join us in supporting Zach and the entire Golf team while they work to transition into these new roles. The strength of the team and the Club as a whole relies on the continued support from all our Members.
During your next visit to the Club, please join all of us in congratulating Zach on this fantastic accomplishment!