Beginning Friday, NorthRiver Yacht Club will officially have a new Director of Golf. Andrew Tomes has been promoted after serving as the club’s head golf professional since 2016.
“Most of all, I’m excited for the opportunity to help direct our golf operation in a direction that keeps the membership engaged and enjoying their membership,” Tomes said. “Anything that I can do to help the membership enjoy their experience and utilize the club, that’s my main goal.”
Tomes, 38, joined the NorthRiver staff in 2016 and made an immediate impact. Most notably, he’s been key behind bringing the PGA Junior League for boys and girls to Tuscaloosa. Kids play on a team — locally NorthRiver and Indian Hills Country Club have teams — and engage in two-person scrambles, earning points for their team.
“It’s part of a big national push for team junior golf. It encourages kids of all ages — there are different levels — to get involved in golf and to play without all the pressure to perform," Tomes said. "It’s been pretty successful. We’re in the middle of that right now. Thomas Farrell at Indian Hills is their lead guy. He’s very good with it. He and I work together on it."
He said the club is also involved in popular programs for its adult members.
“With us being a TROON facility, TROON has a lot of player development plans. They do a lot of programs and have specialized months for those programs. We’re going to follow that pattern. For example, this month, June, is women’s golf month. We’ve done complementary ladies golf clinics, and we hosted the Women’s Southern Golf Association Amateur and Mid-Amateur Championships.”
Tomes grew up in Manchester, Tennessee, and graduated from Franklin County High School in 1998. He played on Franklin County High’s golf team. His big leap into the golf profession came in 2007 when he graduated from the Golf Academy of America. He earned Class A Member status in 2014, participating in PGA America’s Professional Golf Management training program 1.0 from 2010-14. Tomes coupled that professional golf education while working as Outside Operations Supervisor at Isleworth Country Club in Florida from 2007-10. He was promoted to Assistant Golf Professional at Isleworth in September 2010. He moved closer to home to accept a job as the 1st Assistant Golf Professional at The Ledges Country Club in Huntsville, in the spring of 2012.
He says there are no major changes he plans to implement as he steps into his new role at NRYC.
“We’re going to continue to focus on the membership and member experience and continue to make our membership feel at home — away from home,” Tomes said.
“One of the things that drew me here in the first place was the opportunity to meet some new people and work for the TROON organization at this club specifically because of the ambiance of the club, the members that I met during my interview and just the people in Tuscaloosa.”
He is also fond of the facilities, particularly the course itself.
“This golf course makes you hit all of the shots. You never get bored playing golf here. You can play from five different sets of tees. It’s a fun golf course. It’s very challenging. You can just really enjoy yourself out here. And there’s always someone to play golf with. Our members are so very welcoming. They always encourage others to join them and play. You never have to play alone.”