Jim West leaves Tellico Village

Jim West, left, receives the Horton Smith Trophy Award from Scott Wilson, Professional Golf Association Knoxville chapter director, Dec. 13 at Green Meadow Country Club.

After 17 years of working for the Tellico Village Property Owners Association, golf director Jim West has left to take a new position elsewhere.

The move was made official Dec. 23, and West will now take on a role as Professional Golf Association of America career consultant serving Georgia and North Florida PGA sections.

“In my 27-plus years as a PGA professional, easily the most rewarding thing I have experienced has been the opportunity to help play a role in developing and furthering careers of golf industry professionals,” West said in a statement on his Facebook page. “Nothing warms my heart more than talking with a former assistant golf professional or superintendent that is now in a successful leadership role in our industry. With the help of a team of 18 other incredibly talented and dedicated career consultants, I will provide employment and counseling services to golf professionals and employers in the Georgia and North Florida PGA sections.

“This new role is truly a dream for me,” he added. “I cannot put into words how excited I am about the next chapter in my career.”

Attempts to reach West for additional comment were unsuccessful.

“During his time as the golf director, Jim was devoted to growing our golf program by passing his knowledge down to his staff,” Amanda Parks, POA marketing content coordinator, said in an email correspondence. “The POA is confident our golf operation is in the capable hands of our exceptional golf professionals and course superintendents, all of which bring their own knowledge and experience.”

With West’s departure, POA golf representatives from Toqua Golf Course, Tanasi Golf Course and The Links at Kahite have taken a team approach that includes weekly meetings.

“Anything from the pro shop to tournaments to golf maintenance to schedules to retail,” Wells McClure, Tanasi Golf Course superintendent, said. “... We had a meeting before Jim left as a group, and we’ll continue to meet.”

Chris Sykes, Toqua Golf Course superintendent, sees the new approach as more of an opportunity than a challenge.

“It’s a great opportunity for all of us to shine a little bit and come together a little bit,” McClure said.

Sykes and McClure said West will be difficult to replace, but they are happy for him in his new endeavor.

“It’s a big role that he left but, again, I think with the team that he left we’ll be able to fill his role in the meantime until (there is) a replacement, pretty efficient,” McClure said.

“We’re all happy for him because he’s got a great opportunity with the PGA, and he’s excited about it, and we know it’s a great move for him personally,” Sykes added.

Parks said no permanent decisions have been made for the position.

“The POA will announce any permanent decisions as they are made,” she said.