Steve Parker is the new Club Pro at Wanakah Country Club, an 18-hole private course in Hamburg, NY. Parker was kind enough to sit down and answer some questions about his past, his new course and his love for the game of golf.
Tell us about yourself — how did you get into golf?
I started playing golf around the age of 10 and played in college at Kent State University where I majored in finance.
Where have you worked previously?
For the past six years I served as the Director of Instruction at Firestone Country Club and the Executive Director of The First Tee of Akron. Prior to that I owned my own driving range and served six years as the men’s golf coach at the University of Akron. I’ve also enjoyed working part time with the Darrell Survey for the last 20 years.
Why did you decide to move to Western New York and take on the job at Wanakah Country Club?
During the ’93 golf season I served as an assistant at the Park Club in Williamsville. At that time, I became aware of Wanakah and its great history. So when I saw the job posting I knew Wanakah was a great opportunity. I also knew the Western New York PGA Section had a lot of good PGA Members and was one of the better sections within the PGA.
What did you know about Western New York or golf in this area prior to moving here?
In addition to my comments above, WNY has a good golf population, with some great courses.
What’s new at Wanakah Country Club this year?
Last fall, Wanakah began a renovation project that incorporated 5 or 6 holes, adding improved drainage and renovated bunkers. The golf shop has been completely renovated, including all new fixtures.
Do you have a favorite professional golfer?
Ben Hogan, Herman Keiser and the other golfers from the Golden Era. More recently would be Nick Price, one of the nicest guys to ever play the game.
Favorite golf course?
I’ve been very lucky to play a lot of great courses and it would be hard to find a favorite, but the finishing 4 hole stretch at Cypress Point is like no other.
What’s your favorite golf memory?
Playing Pebble Beach with my Dad when I was 15 and holing a 7-iron on #15 for an eagle 2.
What’s the number one reason to be a member at Wanakah?
Great Club, with a great group of Members, with a great setting on the shore of Lake Erie.