A Message from Ben Kanters
As Winnie the Pooh once said, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard!” As many of you already know and others will find out today, I officially submitted my resignation to the HGC Board of Directors a few weeks ago, and will be completing my final couple weeks at the helm of Hayward Golf Club on March 12th. This was one of the hardest decisions of my life, with 15 years of relationships, memories, and accomplishments having to be put in the rear view mirror. However, I have known for a while now that my heart was pulling me in another direction and a new path to conquer.
I have enjoyed almost every minute of my time at HGC because, let’s be honest, golf can be a frustrating sport even for those of us who think we know what we are doing. I wanted to share a few fond memories in this announcement, but there are just too many to choose only a few. I have been richly blessed to work at HGC and to call so many of you friends. Thank you to everyone for the years of support and encouragement you offered during my 15 years at Hayward Golf Club. Going out of your way to support the hometown shop and the little guy is far more impactful than many realize, and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for everything the members and guests of HGC have done for me!
This is certainly not goodbye forever, as I seek to transition my one-time hobby, which became a career, back to a hobby and enjoy my time on the links again! So, if you are playing our course in Hayward in the future and see a guy playing the 10th hole and searching for his ball by the 13th green….come say “Hi,” as you will know I am back to rekindle the magic!
Thanks for the memories!!!
Ben Kanters, PGA
Hayward Golf Club (2007-2022)
A Message from Steve Nichols
When you first think of the responsibilities of the golf pro, they might seem pretty straightforward: manage the golf staff, organize some tournaments, keep the tee sheet moving smoothly, make sure there are plenty of Pro Vs and martini tees in stock, give some lessons, etc. When you look closely, there are really dozens of things that a golf pro must do to run a successful operation. In addition, the pro is also the face of the Hayward Golf Club and plays a major role in making sure members and guests enjoy their experience.
Ben Kanters nailed it! He ran a great operation, has done an awesome job making members and guests feel at home, and has consistently gone above and beyond the call of duty to help and support the Hayward Golf Club. Ben has always been first in line to help. He stepped up to help manage the Caddyshak when the club was going through a rough patch. He championed many fund raising activities, and has acted as the conduit to the community. Ben has worked tirelessly at the 4th of July celebration, and has played a key role in the many upgrades in the clubhouse over the past two years. He has been the rules official for Bar Olympics and bags tournaments. He has even married couples at HGC!
Ben, thank you for your many contributions to the Hayward Golf Club. Best wishes and Godspeed!
I am very excited to announce that Mitch Byrd has been promoted to “Golf Professional.” Mitch graduated from the University of Wisconsin Stout “Golf Enterprise Management” program. Prior to joining our staff at HGC in 2019, Mitch had internships at Forest Ridges, Turtleback, and Erin Hills (site of the 2017 U.S. Open). In addition, he worked at Chippewa Valley Golf Course, and was a “Golf Basics” instructor at WITC in Rice Lake.
A familiar face is returning to Hayward and the Hayward Golf Club. Emilee McCusker is joining HGC as “Assistant Golf Professional.” Emilee worked in our Pro Shop and at the Caddyshak in 2017. She has recently served as the Assistant Golf Professional at Greely Country Club, where she was actively involved with retail operations, tournament set-up, and teaching, with a strong focus on women’s instruction and increasing women’s programming.
Please join me in congratulating Mitch and Emilee on their new opportunities.
President, Hayward Civic Club