Meet Barry West, General Manager at Mollymook Golf Club
Barry West, General Manager at Mollymook Golf Club was recently interviewed by the PGA of Australia and talked about the 30-year journey that has taken him around the world of golf, literally.
“Time certainly flies,” he laughs.
It certainly does when you have given as much as West has; his service positively impacting golfers and helping businesses to flourish right around the world.
Surrounded by golf from the first, West wonders if perhaps he was always destined for a career in the sport in some capacity. His father was the General Manager of a couple of clubs when he was growing up and West’s mother also held roles in golf administration.
“We actually lived at the back of the clubhouse at Victoria Park,” he recalls of his formative years in Brisbane.
“I first started playing when I was four and really was born and bred into golf.”
Imbued with a passion from that early stage, West commenced his time as a Trainee (now PGA Associate) in 1989 as a 16-year-old, before landing his first job at Club Med, Lindeman Island. An eye-opening experience, a lot was asked of West in those early years.
“It was a brand-new resort and I would be running clinics for up to 90 people, with a blend of sometimes eight languages,” he says. “It was pretty stressful and I certainly didn’t sleep much in those six months!”
From there, West moved to Kooralbyn Valley Golf Course where he worked under Australian golf legend, Randall Vines. There, he spent three years as the Teaching Professional before assuming the role of Head Professional himself in 1997.
“I learned a lot from Randall,” he recalls. “We did clinics together all the time and when he retired, they were certainly big shoes to fill.”
Although he enjoyed his time coaching, as well as the range of responsibilities that came with the role of being a Head Professional, West had set his sights on working more in management – an opportunity that presented itself at Kooralbyn.
“At that stage, my main goal was to become a Director of Golf. I was instantly drawn to the management side of it,” he explains.
“Because I grew up in golf, I think I liked being part of the whole club. I wanted to have a mix and be involved with the members and help guide the club in the right direction.”
Director of Golf for eight years at Kooralbyn and having ticked off a major career goal by the age of just 24, West’s next step – and one that has seen him through more than 20 years – came courtesy of a chance meeting with the Troon Golf Management network in 2008.
Learn more about his career with Troon in the original PGA of Australia interview, here.