The response was exactly what you’d expect from those who know you and care about you; what you, yourself, would say if a friend told you he’d quit his job to buy a public golf course.
When Brooks West told his buddies he’d walked away from a career that had him on the fast track to the CEO’s office in order to buy an 18-hole facility on the Harpeth River in Franklin, Tenn., they all said, “You did what?” with no small sense of alarm.
“There were a lot of people, a lot of friends, and people I’ve known and trusted for a long time, who said, ‘What are you thinking?’ ” West said.
Those friends were not admonishing West for getting into a business he didn’t know. They were chastising him for getting into a business he knew all too well. “They were all like, ‘You of all people, given your background, should know better than to buy a golf course,’ ” West said.
That background, one steeped in years of upward mobility and success, is what makes West’s recent purchase of The Crossing Golf Club, a course he rebranded as Franklin Bridge, a fascinating and inspirational story.
West is a former college player who went through the Professional Golf Management program at Mississippi State University. After finishing school, he worked at some of the best clubs in the world, including opening the clubhouse and managing a staff of 26 at Dorado Beach in Puerto Rico at the ripe old age of 26.
From there, he went into headwear sales at Ahead while playing well enough to win a P...
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