Updated story: Golf pro joins Jamestown Country Club staff
Shawn Taft was recently named general manager of the Jamestown Country Club at 3730 86th Ave. SE. A meet and greet with Taft is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25, at the Jamestown Elks Lodge, 324 2nd Ave. SW.
Taft comes from Phoenix where he studied marketing and accounting at Grand Canyon University, played professional golf and worked as a real estate broker. He also worked in retail golf for 10 years and most recently played golf in the senior tournaments.
"We're excited to have Shawn on board as the general manager," said Rory Timm, country club president. "There has not been a golf pro on staff for several years and he is bringing a lot of ideas to the club."
Taft will be working on everything from rates to youth tournaments, a golf instruction program and the restaurant menu, Timm said. As a teaching professional Taft gives the country club the ability to offer the kind of instruction that was not possible in the past, he said.
Taft said his roots are in Minnesota and Billings, Mont. Friends in North Dakota made him aware of the Jamestown opportunity and he said this was an opportunity to return to the area now that his children are grown.
"This was an opportunity to get closer to home," Taft said. "I had a chance to walk the golf course when I came here to interview and thought it was an appealing course and the people here are great and really warm just like I remember growing up in Billings."
The country club board has a great vision for the 18-hole, par 72 championship golf course with a full-service restaurant and bar, Taft said. There are some changes coming from a PGA America study that recommended eliminating some trees for more sunlight and better growth in some areas, he said.
Gordon Prasek, golf course superintendent, is overseeing the work along with other long-term projects to improve the bunkers and sandtraps, Taft said. He is also addressing greens issues that resulted from ice in the 2018 winter, he said.
Taft said he will put his experience and reputation to work as a golf swing instructor and introduce more instruction at all levels for members and community. As a golf pro, he said it's important to show it's worth having him around.
"I can help with improving the long game, the short game and putting," Taft said.
The junior golf and college golf programs are of special interest, he said. There are plans to hold golf camps for youth and adults with instruction for all skill levels, he said.
"We will also hold member and member-guest events to try and make the family atmosphere an even truer family atmosphere," Taft said.
As a manager Taft will oversee around 20 employees on course, in the clubhouse and the restaurant. There will be some new few casual items and a more entailed items for the dinner menu, with the goal of getting more of the community coming out for lunch, dinner and special events, he said.
"It's a great bar and restaurant with a patio and the golf course is top notch," Taft said.
[This article was updated to change the date of the meet and greet event]