Golf Course Superintendent/General Manager
Gene, born and raised just down the road from the club, followed his parents to the course as they have been members here for 40+ years. His first memory of playing golf took place at the ERGC. He participated in many junior golf events and went on to have many successes while playing on the high school golf team. His love for golf made it certain that he would center his adult career around the game. After graduating from Michigan State University with a Bachelors of Science in Turfgrass management, Gene accepted the Head Superintendent position for the Spruce Run and Wolverine golf courses at the Grand Traverse Resort and spa. Besides finding his love for golf early in life, he found the love of his life early and married his high school sweetheart Carissa. They have now been married for 18 years and have 3 boys, Jackson (15), Graham (11) and Rhett (7). Gene’s focus during the summer months is on the ERGC course, but the family takes full advantage of living in a 4 season climate. They love to be on the ski hills together in the winter and when Gene can get away from the course, out on the boat during the summer months. Carissa and Gene were members of the club for many years while he worked at the GTR&S. Gene was fortunate to compete in many club championships and see the club through the eyes of an active member. In 2015 after 15 seasons at the GTR&S, Gene came home to ERGC and 2023 marks the 9th season for him as Head Superintendent and General Manager at the ERGC. Gene is extremely proud and privileged to have been part of so many great projects at the club over the years and looks forward to the future. His long history and deep roots in the area are his motivation to make this club and surrounding community better each day. He looks forward to continuing to honor the rich history of the club, while striving to make sure every member and guest has a positive and memorable golf experience. Thank you for all of your support.
Director of Golf
Mike started his golf career at age 11, caddying at Birmingham CC in Birmingham, Mi. He walked the course 100 plus times each year, and during his senior year in high school, influenced by conversations with a couple of the assistant club pros, he knew where he wanted to take his career. Golf was not one of his team sports in high school. Mike ran track and cross country but his real love of sport was basketball. While pursuing his Associates Degree from Oakland Community College, he played two seasons of golf and also made two trips to the NJCAA championship game on the basketball court.
Mike then enrolled at Michigan State University and continued caddying at both Walnut Hills CC and the Country Club of Lansing to help pay for his “nights out at the library”. He graduated in1990 from MSU receiving his BS of Communication, Arts and Sciences from the School of Advertising.
Mike spent the first four years of his professional career as the Assistant Golf Pro at Gaylord, learning the business. He then secured his first Head Professional position at Deer Run GC at Lakes of the North, a position he held for 25 seasons.
At the end of the 2002 golf season, Mike met his wife Kiley while playing in the Pro Am at St Ives GC. Mike and Kiley welcomed their first son, Madden in May of 2008. Followed by twin boys, Maxton and Miles in October of 2013 and they were finally given the daughter they were hoping for, Millie in December of 2018.
Mike found himself wanting to be closer to home to spend time with his family. He left Deer Run and spent 4 years at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa. He added one brief season at Antrim Dells before joining the team at ERGC. Mike and his family are very excited to call this hidden gem home and are very much looking forward to being a part of the ERGC community for a long time.
Here’s to a great season on the links!
Nick Del Rose has been a familiar face in the Pro Shop since the 2020 season. Nick grew up in Metro Detroit, and vacationed in Northern MI frequently. He and his family moved up north at the beginning of COVID and could not be happier with their decision. Nick grew up an avid tennis player, eventually earning his USPTA certification and going on to coaching. Unfortunately for Nick, after surgeries tennis as a career was not an option. Nick turned to golf and quickly fell in love/became obsessed with the game. Nick’s love of golf and talking to people has made his role in the pro shop a great fit. Nick’s wife and their 10 yr old daughter both started golfing 2 years ago and you can frequently see them out on the course golfing together. Albeit not as frequently as you see Nick playing a quick round, yes we mentioned obsessed before. He looks forward to his summers in Elk Rapids golfing and going out on the lakes.
This is Debra’s third season at ERGC which she started when she moved over to Elk Lake. Debra was born and raised in Traverse City, Michigan graduating from Traverse City Central High School and studying Pension Accounting at Grand Valley State. She then worked 10 years for a local bank in the Trust Department. She then worked for 10 years for attorneys, including the City Attorney of Traverse City.
Debra volunteered for 10 years as a Board Member serving on several Boards for Veterans. She helped start the Coast Guard City Committee when Air Station Traverse City was recognized as a National Coast Guard City working along side the CG Commander. She was honored to be able to pursue her deepest passion, becoming an Agent-Caseworker for the American Red Cross Service to Armed Forces for deployed troops. With a DOD security clearance she would communicate with Commanding Officers in whatever country they were in to help get the soldier home for a family emergency. Debra assisted with several KIA funerals and was honored to receive many awards for her 10 years of service. She raised funds to purchase school supplies and toys and hams at Christmas through Operation Homefront for every Coastie for seven years until 2020. Her favorite volunteer opportunity was being invited to join many World Leaders of the Armed Forces at Camp Grayling and flying on 3 Honor Flights to DC with WWII Veterans.
Debra is a proud mom of two sons and three grandchildren. Josh lives with his family in Gillette, Wyoming and Jacob and his fiancé live in Marina Del Ray, California.
She looks forward to another great season at ERGC and is finally taking up golf!
David joined the ERGC Pro Shop Staff in 2022 after a long career as an assessor and elected official. Prior to his government service, David was a PGA non-member head professional at Twin Birch Golf Club. He also worked for tour professional, Chick Harbert as his Assistant at A-Ga-Ming Golf Club. He has been married to the love of his life Sheri for 35 years. They have been blessed with two grown children, Tim and Cassie. Golf has always been a big part of David’s family and life. He learned to love the game of golf from his father and mother on a Donald Ross Course, St. Claire River Country Club, and Fox Hills C.C., where they were members. As his children grew up and became involved in TCJGA in high school, he was recruited by Lois McManus to coach golf at Traverse City Central H.S. for 6 years as the J.V. Coach.
David’s focus as a member of the ERGC staff is to meet and greet people as they come in and get them to their appointed tee times in an orderly manner. He has always felt when you work at a golf club you have an obligation to greet people with a smile and make them feel welcome. It is important to remember that when people come in, they are there to enjoy themselves and play a game we all love. A successful golf outing starts as soon as the patron steps out of his vehicle and how we greet and treat them should reflect the golf club members and become a start to a good day of golf. David is grateful for the ERGC membership who have been welcoming and the opportunity to be involved in this great game.
Ross joined the Elk Rapids Pro Shop staff in 2022, and is thrilled to be a part of the club!
Ross’s connection with ERGC started with the Traverse City Curling Club. Ross curled with Roger Smith, golf eventually came up and Roger mentioned his role at Elk Rapids Golf Club. Ross applied for the pro shop position via Facebook and and after a rigorous interview process, was able to land the job”! Phew.
Ross finds ERGC to be a great change of pace from his stressful full-time job in logistics. Ross works remotely in Kewadin, alongside his canine best friend, Mr. Kidd. Working alongside Mr. Kidd certainly reduces stress but being 5 minutes away from a quick 9 holes at Elk Rapids really allows Ross to relax.
When Ross is not working or playing golf, he plays pickleball, paddleboards and is out on the water on his parents boat.
“Thank you Roger, for likely putting in a good word, and a huge thanks to Gene and Jody for bringing me aboard last year! I’m also thankful for Mike, and his decision to keep me around. I find the welcoming nature of the Elk Rapids club membership to be uncommon, and I’m very grateful for it. Is there a correlation between the friendliness and the low beer prices? Maybe, maybe not” — Ross
Mona Kay Woodhams joined the ERGC pro shop staff last September to help finish the 2022 season. She is a retired educator and was most recently the Director for Sunrise Academy, the alternative education program for Elk Rapids Schools. Prior to that role, Mona Kay was an Associate Principal and Athletic Director for Haslett Middle School, near East Lansing. She has also taught special education and been a school counselor.
Born and raised in Kalkaska, it was just a matter of time until she would move back up north and closer to her family. She likes being outdoors, either in the woods or at the beach. Golfing, silversmithing (jewelry), hiking, and a good game of euchre are also on the list of her favorite things to do!
Mona Kay is especially grateful to be working at Elk Rapids Golf Club and would like to thank Gene and the Board of Governors. She feels very fortunate to work in a place where there are stunning vistas, gorgeous sunrises, and the people are genuinely happy to be there. The Elk Rapids Golf Club is excited to have her on the team. Win-Win. It’s hard to beat that!
Dennis Brady is our newest member of the pro shop team. Dennis has been here, there, and everywhere when it comes to golf and is enjoying gradually getting back into the business working part time in the pro shop and giving occasional instruction. Dennis is a Gaylord St Mary high school graduate (1985). He worked at the Gaylord Golf Club, and Lakes of the North Club, getting early experience into the golf business before going to college. Dennis attended Ferris State University’s Professional Golf Management Program. His off-campus matriculation internships included one at Twin Orchard CC Long Grove Illinois, a 36 hole private facility where he was head of the Club Building and Repair Dept. for a 600 plus membership and outside accounts. He also interned at Hidden Creek Country Club, a private facility in Reston Virginia, where he had the opportunity to learn all aspect of the golf business as an assistant to the head professional. Special note: if you have a broken shaft or need your clubs regripped Dennis has the know-how.
After passing the Player Ability Test and business schools directly through PGA of America, Dennis’s primary focus turned to giving instruction in the thumb of Michigan at Lakeview Hills and Woodland Hills Golf Club.
In 2013 Dennis relocated back to Northern Michigan to be close to family. He opened the “Golf Shop” in Kalkaska, a full-service retail shop. Unfortunately, the shop was not able to reopen after the pandemic. Dennis once again changed his grip and with a new rekindled passion for the game and instruction, devoted himself to the learning of the “Moe Norman/Little Moe” biomechanics of the one plane swing.
Dennis is not a one game type of guy; besides his part time role in the pro shop, Dennis works full time for Squeaky Clean window service and plays Tournament Poker at a profitable professional level in the off season. Before you show up for a friendly game of cards you may want to google Dennis Brady Poker Player
One of the most familiar faces out on the course, Lewis Dyer (aka Louie). Louie has been with the Elk Rapid Golf Course over 14 years starting in 2009. He joined the grounds team after retiring from factory work in February of 2009, where he made parts and nuts for the big three auto manufacturers. He started in the business as a machine operator and then became a supervisor for about 42 years. When he is not on the tractor at ERGC, Louie enjoys fishing, sports, wood working, yard work and camping. Frequently by his side is his 13-year old great grandson, who he and his wife of 55 years have raised since he was a baby. Louie has two daughters, one is a nurse and the other is a homemaker who is employed part time at a gas station. Louie was born in West Virginia and later moved with his parents to Michigan before he was drafted. He and his wife then moved to northern Michigan in 1989.
Louie enjoys working at ERGC very much and he loves to see all of the members having a good time. “Gene has made some great changes for the better. It’s a very good place to work. Thank you all for the opportunity to take care of your course.” – Louie Dyer
John joined the Elk Rapids Golf Club ground staff in 2015. “It is funny, one day I decided to walk into the grounds keeping building and Gene was there. I asked him if they needed any help? He said that he just started as manager and could use a weekend employee.” – John Cesario. For the last 8 years John has enjoyed working part time on Sundays. The other days of the week he is focused on his full-time job as an Administrative/Logistic Manager at Stone House Bread in Traverse City. He lives in Elk Rapids along with his wife Stacey. He enjoys BBQ, road trips, hiking and cooking Italian food but his favorite thing to do after work is to sit in his back yard with his wife and simply enjoy a northern Michigan evening. John has moved around the country, starting in Fort Wayne and then to Holland, Michigan, Arizona, Nevada, Indianapolis and to Elk Rapids. He said; “I finally found the place that I feel most comfortable.”
He loves to see the members early in the morning enjoying a good game of golf and will give everyone a big wave. “Thank you ERGC for giving me this chance to help make this golf course wonderful.” – John Cesario
Pat Elsenheimer is the assistant superintendent at ERGC. He is Gene’s next in command. These two have been working together off and on for a while. Pat started his golf course maintenance career in 2011 with Gene at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa. He was part of Gene’s crew that maintained the Spruce and Wolverine courses. Pat then moved on to Hawk’s Eye Golf Course in Bellaire for a few seasons. He then re-joined Gene’s team at Elk Rapids Golf Club in 2018. Pat graduated from Elk Rapids in 2009 and when not at work he likes to hang out with friends and relax by going fishing. Many of you know Pat as a humble and helpful man of few words but they ring true.
To that end he sums it all up, “I have never been at a better place to work”– Pat
Roger joined the ERGC grounds crew in July of 2020, after Louie was out of commission for a while and Gene needed some help.
His first real job was at Oak Lane GC in Webberville, Mi, where he worked from age 12-18. It was a family-owned course and they let him take on any job he could handle. His favorite was overnight watering. Where he had to change sprinkler heads by hand every couple of hours, it was a perfect chance to roam the course with friends from 10pm -4am. He claims to have never gotten into any trouble!
“Working with Louie, Pat, Tim, Gene and especially Leo, has been a pure joy. I don’t know the new crew this year very well, but they’ve been doing a great job from what I’ve seen in my new part-part-time role of 1 day a week. Thanks, Gene Davis and Don Smith for giving so much to this place we all love.”– Roger Smith
New to the team in 2023 is John Cyman. John recently retired and moved to the Elk Rapids area a few years ago and is enjoying his 70’s in the community and helping out on the Elk Rapids Golf Course. The transition to the grounds staff was a natural fit for John, prior to joining the team John owned a landscape/nursery business in Bellaire Mi for 30 years. John is married with two children (now adults) and 8 grandchildren. Obviously, his interests are gardening and grandchildren . “I am honored to be a part of ERGC maintenance team, which is a great environment to be a part of. Not to mention the the beautiful sunrises which I’m hoping to see many more of” – John Cyman. John considers his greatest accomplishments to be his family.
Jake Garrow is an Elk Rapids native, living here all of his life. Jake will be entering 9th grade this fall at Elk Rapids and is a starter on the Elk Rapids Varsity soccer team. He also plays basketball and hopes to be on the golf team this spring. If you see him around before he returns to school, share your favorite golf tips. This summer Jake worked double duty as one of the bag staff and on the maintenance crew.
“I enjoyed doing both, I loved that maintenance did not take away my whole day so I could still enjoy my summer. I also liked working bags because I got to talk to all the nice people that come into the golf course. I loved working for two great bosses on this beautiful golf course.” – Jake Garrow
Best of luck Jake on your school year and with your sports teams. We hope to see you back on the course next summer!
Leo (Leona) Davis is a 2.5 year old female Vizsla. The Vizsla is a Hungarian dog that is known as a strong sporting dog and loyal companion. The Vizsla is a natural hunter endowed with an excellent nose and outstanding trainability. It was bred to work in fields, forests or bodies of water. The Vizsla is also known as a “velcro” dog because of their deep desire for affection and need to be as close to their owners as possible at all times.
Leo has been an employee of the ERGC since her first day arriving at her new home with the Davis family in 2021. Her favorite things to do are chasing rodents and birds big and small on the golf course, riding in the cart while Gene conducts the daily course set up and other early morning duties or taking a nap on her bed in the shop office. Leo’s main job while on the clock is to monitor for any geese that are looking to graze and deposit on the golf course. She has had huge success keeping a strong presence on the grounds of the golf course which in turn deters any water fowl from creating messes that we all dislike to navigate through while playing golf. Her daily treats from Louie and constant attention from the other grounds crew members keeps her showing up on time each and every day. Thanks for all of the hard work Leo!
This is John’s 21st year working at the Elk Rapids Golf Club. He worked for 11 years as a pro shop attendant and the last 10 years as starter/ranger. In his current position, he is stationed at the first tee, greeting golfers as they come onto the course and starting them as to their tee time reservation. In addition to starting the golfers, he monitors play and occasionally drives out onto the course to encourage golfers(as diplomatically as possible) to pick up the pace. John is a lifelong resident of the Elk Rapids area, having attended school here. Following graduation from college, Mr. Boals was fortunate to be hired by the Elk Rapids Public Schools as a high school teacher, football and wrestling coach. He retired from teaching in 2002 and has enjoyed his time at ERGC as an employee and member of the Club.
“I have witnessed changes in the club and share the sentiments of my fellow members that the course has continued to get better each year. I’ve met a lot of nice people in my time here and look forward to continued improvements.” – John Boals
Doug is finishing his second year as a starter/ranger at Elk Rapids Golf Club.
“I have always said that when I grow up I want to be a starter at a golf course, it was my dream job. I really enjoy meeting new people at the first tee, finding out where they are from and how they made it to ERGC. Many of the stories are super interesting and always entertaining. Mostly, I like helping the golfers have the best experience possible and love sharing this beautiful Donald Ross gem.”- Doug Oberski
Doug was introduced to Elk Rapids about 20 years ago by friends who have a home on Elk Lake. He would always make time to slip away from the lake house to play nine at ERGC and fell in love with the course. Eventually, Doug and his wife, Tammy, purchased a place of their own in the area. Upon retiring from an Automotive Electronics career of 37 years, they were able to spend more time Up North and became members of ERGC in 2019. Doug and Tammy have been married for 39 years, have two children and four grandchildren.
“We love sharing the area with our friends and family. The four seasons here are great for us to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities like golfing, hiking, biking, boating, downhill skiing, and snowshoeing.”- Doug Oberski
Bio Coming Soon…
Bio Coming Soon…
Kate is 14 years old and lives in Grand Rapids MI. She will be attending Forest Hills Eastern high school this year as a freshman. Some of the things Kate likes to do in her free time; play lacrosse and basketball and hangout with friends and family.
Hayden will be starting 9th grade at Forest Hills Eastern in Grand Rapids. Hayden is a member of the cross country team and plans to play basketball, lacrosse, and run track this year. In his free time Hayden loves to go to his family cottage on Elk Lake to wakesurf and jet ski. Hayden also loves to golf and loves to get in as many rounds at Elk Rapids golf course as he can!
Thomas enjoys hockey and playing golf, as well as fishing. When not playing hockey in the winter, Thomas likes to go ice fishing on the many lakes in the area. He is a native to the Elk Rapids area and attends Elk Rapids High School, where he will be entering his junior year.
“I love working on the bag staff and interacting with all the wonderful people who come to the course.” — Thomas
Owen is an incoming senior in high school from Seattle Washington. Owen has been enjoying his summer vacations in Elk Rapids since he was 3 years old. He loves to swim in lake Michigan, listen to music, and spend time with his friends. He also loves to watch soccer and golf. His other interests include cars and aviation. He is interested in becoming an airline pilot and is currently working on getting his private pilots license. Currently he plays violin, a little bit of golf and is on the swim team.
“Over this summer I’ve had the opportunity to work in the town I call my second home. It has been really nice to meet new people each day from many different places, and to learn new things.” – Owen
Crosley and Madden have been friends and classmates since the 2nd grade when Crosley’s family relocated from Cincinnati. They are currently sophomores at TC Central where the both play on the JV football team, which won their first game this week. Congratulations! They also participate on the Varsity Track team and will be trying out for the basketball team. They both enjoy hitting jumps on the ski hill together and are always trying to improve their golf game. Crosley was introduced to the game by his grandfather, who played as a guest last week and Madden started playing scrambles with his grandma at a young age as well.
This is the second season of being cart attendants for both of them as they worked last season at Antrim Dells. They really enjoy the people they have met while working at ERGC.