January 21, 2000
Kings Creek Country Club needs to find a new assistant club professional. David Jones is leaving to become the new head golf professional at The Golf Park at Rehoboth, the multi-course public facility just outside Rehoboth Beach.
“I’m really excited at this great opportunity,” Jones said in a recent interview. The PGA Class A professional discussed his plans for the new job, which officially starts on March 15.
Jones also stressed that one major element of the services available at The Golf Park will not be changing. Steve Smith will continue to fulfill his current role as the club’s Director of Instruction.
Smith, a popular PGA Class A member in the Cape Region, began working as the primary teaching professional at the club when it opened last year.
Smith runs several clinics during the golfing season. They include special sessions for juniors, women, and seniors.
Jones also noted that Mike Connor also joined the Golf Park recently as the assistant club professional.
Connor, a Cape High graduate, recently returned to the golf business. He is working toward his own PGA Class A membership, and recently passed his Professional Ability Test (PAT). That test requires a very good score in a one-day, 36-hole tournament.
Jones, 25, comes to his new job with good credentials. A native of upstate Pennsylvania, the self-described “club rat” started taking golf seriously when he was 16. Jones then went to Penn State University and earned his B.S. degree in Recreational Park Management, specializing in the school’s highly regarded Professional Golf Management Program (PGM).
The PGM Program takes five years to complete. It requires extended internships at several different types of golf courses, and almost a year’s worth of course credits beyond the normal bachelor’s degree.
Jones took classes in turf management, marketing, small business management, and other courses related to the recreation service industry. As Jones put it, “A club pro is a business professional that happens to carry around a golf club.”
For his internship requirements, Jones worked at a resort course in Tioga, Pennsylvania, a private course in the Poconos, and at the Penn State University course. He first came to the Cape Region as an intern at Kings Creek in 1994, and returned to the club in 1997 for his final internship.
They must have liked him, since he stayed on at Kings Creek when he finished his degree.
Jones appreciates the opportunity to have worked with Ty Mayers, the head professional at Kings Creek. “He’s a great guy, and I’m glad to have had the experience of being with him,” Jones said. Nonetheless, openings for head professional jobs don’t happen often, so Jones leaped at the chance when Tony Wiles, the owner of The Golf Park, offered him the new job.
As the head professional, Jones will oversee the entire operations at The Golf Park. He will work closely with Connor as well as the course superintendent, Brian Haxton. Jones and Connor will also assist Smith in the instructional clinics.
Jones plans to establish a series of league competitions at The Golf Park. He would like to set up teams from organizations such as churches, police departments, Beebe Hospital, and the Moose and Elk lodges. Anyone interested in league play can call Connor at 227-2500.
Jones also eagerly anticipates his own tournament play opportunities that come with the new job. He plans to represent The Golf Park at Philadelphia Section PGA events in the coming year.
Jones believes the combination of Smith, Connor, and himself will make The Golf Park a great place to learn and play golf. I think he’s right.