Scott Ashley

Scott Ashley poses for a photo outside the clubhouse at Lakeside Links last week. Ashley recently bought the course that he’s served as the club professional for more than 17 years.

PERE MARQUETTE TWP. — The Lakeside Links golf course is in new hands as professional golfer Scott Ashley officially bought the course on July 1.

Ashley, who joined the PGA in 1999 and was the club’s professional before the purchase, said that the opportunity to own a business that revolves around the sport he loves is a dream come true.

“Not many people get the opportunity to do something they’re so passionate about,” Ashley said. “It’s always been a dream of mine to own a golf course, and I want to use it as a way to give back to a community that has given so much to (my family and me) throughout the years.”

Ashley worked at several different places before starting as the head professional at Lakeside Links 17 1/2 years ago. He was working at Thousand Oaks Golf Club in Grand Rapids when his wife, a teacher, discovered through a colleague that Lakeside Links was looking for a professional. He took an interview, was hired, and nearly two decades later, he owns the course.

When asked about his vision for the future of the course, Ashley could not stress enough the importance of family orientation.

“I’m seeing a lot more families that are coming onto the golf course,” Ashley said. “We really want to cater to those younger golfers and just make it an inviting and enjoyable place to come play with their families.”

Ashley himself has four daughters, all of whom work at the course with him and are “ecstatic” about their father’s new purchase. Ashley is excited to take on the business world with his family, stating that they are excited and committed to carrying on “that tradition of a warm, friendly, family-run business.”

As for the course itself, Ashley’s No. 1 short term goal is to keep the course in as great condition as possible, keeping it player-friendly while also attracting visitors to the Ludington area. The visual beauty of the course, located right next to Hopkins Lake, is a big draw that Ashley is proud of.

“All the wildlife and nature that surrounds the property makes it a fun and attractive environment for people to come out and enjoy the outdoors and nature, and enjoy a beautiful golf course that’s in great condition,” said Ashley.

Furthermore, as the new owner, Ashley encourages people to get out and golf, as it’s a great option to distress with friends and family while still maintaining social distance in the wake of COVID-19.

“One of the big things that they’re telling us through this whole thing is get outside, get some exercise, get some fresh air and try to have some fun. Golf is a great outlet for that,” said Ashley. “Our goal out here is to keep things comfortable for people when they come here knowing they’re not going to have to worry about large crowds.”