The week of August 14, we had the exciting opportunity to welcome our new general manager, Mike West. Mike and his wife Kathy moved here from Hilton Head Island, SC, where Mike was the general manager at Indigo Run. Prior to moving to Hilton Head Mike was general manager of Independence Golf Club for six years, after serving as director of golf for seven, and before that he was director of golf at The Country Club of Virginia.
Mike not only brings years of experience in club management to High Meadows Golf & Country Club, but also a passion for the game of golf and a true enjoyment of all aspects of club life. Here is a chance for you to get to know Mike in his own words.
What first drew you to the game of golf?
“I started playing golf when I was three years old, but I loved other sports too. When I was a kid I played baseball, basketball, and football. When I was around 11 or 12, I realized that switching from swinging a baseball bat to swinging a golf club was confusing my game, and I decided to focus on one sport. Not only because I felt like I fit with golf better than the others, but because I truly loved playing the game.”
How did you turn that love of golf into a career?
“I was proud to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a golf scholarship, so not only did I receive a quality education, but I was able to improve my game. I wondered what it would be like to make a living as a professional golfer, so I tried out for the PGA tour. My third try at qualifying school I got my card. I really enjoyed my time on the tour. I got a chance to travel to a lot of great places, play some fantastic golf courses, and make some lasting friendships. It is great when you’re young, but it’s also a hard life. You’re on the road up to five weeks at a time, flying coach and living out of a suit case. So eventually I decided to quit the tour and look for a way to have a career where I could be more stationary but still enjoy being out on the golf course.”
What attracted you to High Meadows Golf & Country Club?
“Actually it was two things. One is the location. It seemed to be about as centrally located to our extended family as we could get. I’m originally from Burlington and still have family there and around that area, and my wife is from Charlottesville, VA, with family in the Shenandoah Valley. Add to that my oldest daughter lives in Richmond, VA, and my youngest daughter is attending school in Atlanta, GA. I love the fact that we’re able to visit our relatives and be around family. Plus, I like calling North Carolina home.
The other thing that attracted me about this job was the club itself. For one thing, it’s such a beautiful golf course. I had the opportunity to play the course a few times earlier in my career, and I was already familiar with it. Also, High Meadows Golf & Country Club has an outstanding reputation in the country club arena, and I liked that it is a small, private club. It gives you a real chance to interact with the members and get to know them and their families. It makes it feel like home.”
What is one of the things you’re most looking forward to about your new job?
“I’m really looking forward to getting to know the members. I know that we have an active tournament program here, which I’m excited about. And that includes not just the golf, but the social events following tournament play. But the High Meadows Community is about much more than golf. Whether it’s grabbing dinner at the grill or a birthday party for a member, the thing I love is the opportunity to be with people. It’s all about having fun, and taking time to enjoy being around members and friends. I haven’t been here long, but I can tell already that there’s a real sense of family at High Meadows. Members feel they can count on each other, and count on the club.”