Tellico Village’s golf courses are some of the best in the southeast thanks to our employees.
The staff of the Tellico Village Golf Department is professionally diverse and highly dedicated. Many of our employees have received prestigious awards and are members of several golf-related organizations. Despite busy work schedules, several staff members manage to make time to volunteer their skills at local schools and organizations.
Chris Sykes was hired in 2011 and is the golf superintendent at Toqua Golf Course. He is one of the top turfgrass experts in Tennessee, has been on the Turfgrass Association Board of Directors for three years, and won the Environmental Stewardship Award given by the association. Sykes is the head of the Education Committee and created, as well as participated, in the mock trial at the Tennessee Turfgrass Association annual meeting. The trial debated the pros and cons between bermuda and bent grass.
Sykes is heavily involved with youth athletics. This year he started the golf program at Tate’s School of Discovery in Knoxville. He also volunteers and supports First Tee programs and facilities. Sykes is the coach for the middle school boy’s golf team at Christian Academy of Knoxville and guided the team to a district win, as well as a second-place finish in the region this year. He previously coached the girls’ softball team at CAK for seven years. He has served as a coach for 50 seasons in various sports and is the main contact/volunteer for all types of sports field health and maintenance in East Tennessee.
Casey Flennikin has been with Tellico Village since 2016 and is the first golf professional at Tanasi Golf Course. In 2014, he was the Tennessee Assistant PGA Golf Professional of the Year. In 2015 and 2016, he was the Tennessee PGA Assistant Player of the Year. Flenniken was a highly decorated collegiate golfer at Tennessee Wesleyan College. He coaches his daughter’s basketball and softball teams in the CBFO Youth Association in the west Knoxville are and volunteers at junior golf events throughout the area.
Adam Jacob is the golf professional at Toqua and has been working at Tellico Village since 2003. He has been golfing since he was 15 and enjoyed multiple golf internships throughout his college career. After graduation, he joined Tellico Village as a first assistant. He then completed his PGA work and became an official PGA member. Adam is involved in volunteering as a coach at Greenback Middle School. He spends several hours a week going over techniques, educating players about the game, and working with them on the golf course.
Jeff Harrington has been with Tellico Village since 2012 and is the golf professional at the Links at Kahite. Jeff has been involved in golf since he was 5 years old and was recruited to play golf at Lees McCrae University. He went on to finish his college career at Appalachian State University. In 1987, Jeff earned his PGA membership and worked as an assistant professional at various golf clubs in North and South Carolina and Ohio. In 1991, Jeff was hired as the head golf professional at the DeBordieu Club in Pawley Island, S.C., where he served 12 years. He was nominated for Teacher of the Year in the Knoxville Chapter multiple times and volunteers his time coaching the Madisonville Middle School golf team.
Jordan Clark is the golf superintendent at The Links at Kahite. Jordan began playing golf at an early age and played competitively in high school. He went on to the University of Kentucky as an architect major but transferred to the University of Tennessee. Jordan was originally hired at Tellico Village in 2012 as a second assistant superintendent at Tanasi and then first assistant superintendent at Toqua. In summer 2016, Jordan was promoted to his current position.
All three of our superintendents (Jordan Clark, Chris Sykes, and Wells McClure) belong to the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and the East Tennessee Golf Course Superintendents Association. All are in the process of enrolling in the National Audubon Society. This certification program is one that educates golf course employees to use environmentally safe practices in the maintenance of golf courses.In 2013, the superintendents won an award for environmental stewardship at the Tennessee Turfgrass Association Conference for their efforts to make the golf courses more sustainable and environmentally friendly. They accomplished this by converting more than 30 acres from maintained bermuda to low-maintenance fescue, decreasing the amount of fertilizer and other pesticides being used.
Heading the golf department is Jim West. Jim has been with Tellico Village since 2002 and is responsible for all aspects of the golf experience, including pro shop operations, golf course maintenance, and golf marketing. Jim’s golf career spans 35 years and he has won numerous awards over the years. Most recently, he won the 2015 and 2016 Tennessee Section PGA Horton Smith Award for his contribution to golf industry educational programs. Additionally, he has won the 2015 and 2016 Knoxville Chapter PGA Bill Strausburg Award for mentoring golf industry professionals. Jim is currently secretary for the Tennessee Section PGA but will become vice president next year and the president in 2020. He is very involved in several PGA committees.
We are very lucky to have such an educated and devoted staff within our golf department at Tellico Village. To learn more about the golf staff, I encourage you to stop by one of the pro shops. For a full list of accolades and information about each employee, please visit the Tellico Village Golf website at http://golftellicovillage.com
-Winston Blazer is the General Manager of the Tellico Village Property Owners Association