OAKLAND MILLS - Spring has finally arrived, and with it comes a change in leadership at Lost Creek Golf Club.
Tom Plunket, a 32-year-old Palmyra native, has assumed his first head golf professional job by taking over the reins at the local club. Plunket enters his new job with plenty of experience, having spent the last seven years in the golf industry in some shape or form.
His golf career started as a member of the grounds crew at Lancaster Country Club before transitioning to a pro shop attendant at Valley Green Golf Course, where he began working with junior golfers as a helper at Valley Green's junior instructional clinics. Plunket then worked his way up to the assistant professional job at Valley Green.
After taking the same position at Bon Air Country Club, Plunket accepted the first ever assistant golf professional job at Lebanon Country Club, where he worked the past three years before accepting the job at Lost Creek. He was also the assistant golf coach for the Lebanon Valley College golf team during his tenure at the country club.
Plunket saw the Lost Creek opening as a great opportunity for a variety of reasons. One of the biggest ones was that he would own the pro shop at Lost Creek.
"A lot of other courses don't offer that," he said of the pro shop. "A lot of other places the course will take over the pro shop and the proceeds from selling merchandise, where as this is I own the shop as part of my compensation. So it gave me some creative liberties to buy what I think is going to sell."
Plunket also mentioned the attraction him and his wife have to the area as one of the reasons he accepted the position.
"We were living just outside of York city, and we were attracted to moving away from the city and into more of a quiet atmosphere," he said.
One of Plunket's main goals in his first year on the job will be to draw more junior golfers and families to the course in addition to the usual clientele. He said several promotions could be offered throughout the golf season, ranging from a specific evening of the week where juniors play for free if accompanied by their parents to a possible Friday night "Nine and Dine" special program for couples that would include a meal with the round of golf.
Plunket also will offer free-of-charge junior clinics at some point in the summer.
"I think getting the kids out here is really important, and hopefully the parents then follow," he remarked.
Plunket said the tournament schedule will be examined by himself and the golf committee at Lost Creek as they will try to come up with a schedule of events that will increase participation as well as offer a wide variety of formats for golfers to enjoy. The summer evening league, which has been around at Lost Creek since 2008, will remain functional but Plunket said he may make a few minor changes in an effort to generate more interest.
Another one of Plunket's goals will be to improve the way Lost Creek markets itself to prospective public golfers. He plans to increase the number of events sponsored by local businesses and charities as they will hopefully attract players and create consistency.
"That way we can raise money for a good cause as well as benefitting the golf course," he said. "And very often, if we show them a good time and they see how great the course is, they'll come back and play again."