Golf Gazette: The Woods has its first FT pro

Statistics show that the average person will hold 12 to 15 jobs during their lifetime and will make five to seven career changes. My money is on Mike Springer, the new head golf professional at The Woods at Cherry Creek in Riverhead, to not even come close.

In his mid-30s, Springer has had but one career and only two full-time jobs.

“I knew when I graduated from high school what I wanted to do and that was to become a golf professional,” Springer said. “My dad helped form the Men’s Club at Pine Hills Country Club. He would play on Saturday mornings and let me ride in the cart.”

Springer played on the Eastport High School golf team and then attended Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina, receiving a degree in business and marketing along with completing more than half of the difficult PGA program.

“I got a position right after I graduated from college with Pete Cowan at North Fork Country Club in Cutchogue,” he said. “My second year there I passed the Playing Ability Test and was elected membership into the PGA.”

Springer sang the praises of Cowan, saying what a great mentor he was. “I learned the private club experience from Pete and taking care of the membership,” he said. “It was hard to leave North Fork after 14 years but I wanted to have the head pro status.”

Mike is now the second head golf professional in the family, joining his brother, Larry, who is the head pro at Indian Island Golf Club in Riverhead.

Life has been a whirlwind for the Springer family the past few months with Mike and his wife, Melissa, having their second child, Olivia, purchasing a home in Center Moriches, along with Springer’s new position at The Woods.

As the first full-time pro at The Woods, Springer said: “I’m looking to market the course better. I hope to give The Woods more of a name rather than being little brother/little sister to our other course across the street, Cherry Creek. I have been dropping brochures off at hotels and plan to use emails, coupons and social media to give our course more recognition.”

He continued: “We have two really good products here: the golf course and our restaurant, Stonewalls. I’m very excited to be here and hope to start a junior camp for young golfers.”

Springer’s daughter, Abigail, 5, recently got her first set of clubs. “I’m looking forward to eventually getting both of my daughters up here,” he said.

A golf professional gets the opportunity to play different courses around the world. Asked what his most memorable round was, Springer responded: “My rounds in Ireland were amazing. Old Head was unbelievable.”

Golf professionals also get the opportunity to play with many different people. When asked who he would most like to play a round of golf with, the devoted family man said, “Definitely my father, Larry, who passed away in 2010 and my brothers, Larry and James.”

“I am really looking forward to this opportunity but will miss working with Pete Cowan and the North Fork Country Club members,” he said. “I won’t, however, miss driving to and from Cutchogue in the fall and getting stuck in pumpkin traffic.”

Photo caption: Mike Springer is the first full-time head golf professional at The Woods at Cherry Creek in Riverhead, (Credit: Jean Dempsey)