Sombrero County Club has hired a new golf pro, and she’s an expert. Diane McHeffey’s credentials include professional play on the Women’s Future Golf Tour and Women’s Professional Golf Tour; owning her own 26-acre golf and game facility in North Carolina; and most recently as a staff member of Wycliffe Golf and Country Club near Wellington, Florida.
The search for a pro to replace Erik Zinn was conducted using contacts from the Professional Golfers Association, according to club President Bob Belcaster. He said the club was mainly interested in hiring a professional that was already in Florida.
“I think we had 52 resumes with a week,” he said. “And, of course, she was at the top. She has some extremely good ideas to grow women’s golf, clinics and junior golf.”
McHeffey said she’s excited about her move to Marathon.
“I love it. So far, it’s exceeded my expectations,” she said on a recent morning in the clubhouse.
McHeffey started work at the club on April 1st. At the moment, she’s spending her time laying the groundwork on the spate of programs she plans to institute.
“We’re going to be expanding what we offer in the next 12 months,” McHeffey said.
One of her first tasks will just to get more folks on the links by promoting existing membership deals and touting the new ones. She said she firmly believes that more people playing golf is good for Sombrero County Club and good for Marathon.
“Anything we do here [at the club] has to be good for the whole community,” she said. “And the more people that we attract to our course, the more people will be visiting Marathon and contributing to the local economy.”
McHeffey will teach private classes, of course, but she also intends to offer more clinics, league play and just plain fun stuff.
“Traditionally, a game of golf was an eight hour commitment which included drive time, play times, etc.,” she said. “That doesn’t work in our present day lifestyles. People want to play six or nine holes and be home in a couple of hours. That’s the trend and we’ll have programs that reflect that.”
In addition, she plans to recruit more women and youth to the game. McHeffey said that while the number of men playing the sport is pretty constant, the sport is growing due to the numbers of women and kids playing golf.
“My plan is to be inclusive and make it less expensive to introduce new people to the sport,” she said, “because golf is good for the whole family.”
If she isn’t on the links, look for McHeffey to be out fishing. She owns a home near Stuart, Florida where she targets snook and looks forward to fishing Keys waters.
“I like the chance to just be quiet,” she said, “and I love the water.”