Two of the North Shore’s oldest, most prestigious golf clubs welcome new head PGA professionals this spring.
Jack Davis succeeds Tom and Jean Waters at Essex County Club. Mike Bemis succeeds Bill Safrin at Myopia Hunt Club.
Longtime Shinnecock Hills assistant Davis, 29, brings a wealth of experience to the historic Manchester By-the-Sea club. For the past eight seasons he worked at the famed Long Island, N.Y., course, site of a fifth United States Open in 2018.
The New Jersey native, who has also worked at two elite Florida clubs (Seminole and Jupiter Hills) brings a respect and appreciation for the traditions and history of the game at Essex and throughout the North Shore.
“I’d always known about Essex once I became a student of golf architecture and its history in the United States,” Davis has said. “The Donald Ross connection, the Curtis sisters, the Curtis Cups.
“I considered myself lucky to get an interview (out of 100 candidates nationwide) and here I am. I’ve fallen head over heels for the club and the membership, the community, the area — same as Amanda (Bruski), my fiancée.”
Bruski is a PGA professional in her own right. She works for KJUS golf apparel.
Davis, a graduate of the Penn State University PGM program or PGA professional aspirants, interned at two other five-star clubs, Plainfield (N.J.) CC and Spyglass Hill in California, before interning for two summers at Shinnecock. That last connection led to his serving from 2011 to 2016 as a full-fledged PGA assistant professional at Shinnecock Hills, head professional Jack Druga’s No. 1 assistant the last two seasons.
Davis has said he plans to embrace all that makes Essex golf unique, with its acclaimed Ross course and grand old clubhouse. He also plans to bring a fresh approach and energy, especially geared to women, juniors, instruction and what the golf shop provides.
Essex CC, which celebrates its 125th anniversary in 2018, has been recognized as one of the top 100 courses in the United States by Golf Magazine (#67), Golf Digest (#91) and Golfweek (#49).
For the past 21 years, Bemis has been Safrin’s top assistant at Myopia. Safrin retired last fall after 37 years of service, surpassing John Thoren’s 30 years as the South Hamilton club’s longest-serving pro.
Bemis, a Bradford resident, said Safrin pretty much let him run the golf operation last season. “That’s a huge advantage for me and the club. Beyond that, succeeding Bill is a great honor for me, after learning all these years from a tremendous mentor, person and professional. I’ll try and build on his legacy; keep the golf program moving in the same progressive direction.”
The UMass Amherst grad grew up at Wollaston Golf Club, secured his first assistant’s job there, then moved on to Woodland. He’s been a Class A PGA professional since 1995.
He and his wife Anna have two children, daughter Victoria and son Joshua.