Dave Soucy wanted to return to Maine. He wanted to get back into golf. And when he heard Augusta Country Club was looking for a new general manager, he threw his name into the mix.

In the nick of time, too.

“I was actually the last resume that they got,” he said.

It was the resume the club was most impressed with, however, and Soucy, 63, is in his first season running the Manchester course. It’s been a winding road to that position, however. Soucy, a Belgrade resident and South Portland native, moved to Vermont to become a head golf pro in 1997, but saw his career take a turn in 2017 when he was elected state senator from the Rutland district.

Soucy’s fiancee, lobbyist Lucie Garand, urged him to consider politics.

“I’ve always been interested in current events, what’s happening both locally in the state and nationally and internationally,” he said. “Being around the state house and everything, I just thought it was something I could do.”

Soucy was the head pro and general manager at Green Mountain National Golf Course in Killington at the time, and found that he could keep both careers going.

“It wasn’t too bad, really, because it was typically only an overlap of a few weeks,” he said. “The Vermont legislature runs from the beginning of January until the second week of May, and it’s Tuesday through Friday, so Saturday, Sunday, Monday is off.”

Soucy was in the senate from 2017 and 2018, and after losing his re-election bid returned full-time to his first passion. He was the head pro at the Country Club of Barre in 2019, and then made the move back to his home state.

“I looked at a couple of positions working with state government, but ultimately, I’m a golf pro,” he said. “I didn’t really want to leave that.”

Golf has been Soucy’s life passion. He became a professional golfer and played on mini tours soon after college, then left the sport briefly to focus on business interests before returning as the head pro at Mount Anthony Country Club in Bennington in 1997. He’s worked in golf ever since.

“It’s a great game. For the most part, everybody’s happy when they’re here. They’re here because they want to be,” he said. “There aren’t many games that all ages and all abilities can play together.”

Now the path has brought him back to Maine, and he said he’s enjoying where he’s ended up.

“This really is a great place,” he said. “I really like the challenge and all the different moving parts here. … The members here really support the club. It’s amazing how many people care and are willing to donate their time and expertise, and their money, frankly, to make the club everything it can be.”

 

• • •

 

For Andy Spaulding and son Eli, the Maine Am will be a family affair.

The Spauldings, who live in Freeport and play out of Brunswick Golf Club, will be the lone father-son combination teeing it up when the Maine Am gets started on Tuesday at Biddeford-Saco Country Club. Eli, 14 years old, is the youngest player in the field.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” Andy said. “It’s a cool feeling that he made it, and then that I ended up making it again as well added to it. It’s a lot of fun, we’re both so excited.”

Andy qualified last year at Portland Country Club, and had his son caddying for him on the second day of the tournament.

“He said to me several times ‘Dad, I should have tried to qualify for this thing!’ ” Andy said. “And we both were kind of like ‘Yeah, what were we thinking? You should have!’ ”

This summer, Eli, who first began swinging a club between the ages of 4 and 5, has been a daily fixture at Brunswick, and seen both his scores go down and his ability to tackle difficult courses rise.

“In the past month, I can’t remember a day when I haven’t played golf,” he said.

“He practices like a pro,” Andy said.

Playing tournament golf, however, is a different game, but Eli got the confidence he needed by qualifying for the Brunswick club championship, which requires players to play from the tips. Armed with the knowledge that he had the ability to qualify, he earned his spot in the Maine Am at Brunswick in the pouring rain with a 2-over 74.

“It’s very much mental, and part of it is just focus,” Eli said. “You take that one last deep breath, you close your eyes and you visualize the shot you’re going to hit. You think back to when you hit that at 7:30 at night playing with your dad.”

Speaking of dad, Andy got in himself in the next qualifier at Poland Spring Golf Course, shooting a 4-over 75. Now that both will be playing, practice rounds have taken on a coaching feel.

“When we play with each other … we will talk strategy,” he said. “Both of us have been thinking about where to miss as you approach greens and things like that. … (There’s) no smack talk, but we do kind of keep track of what our records are against each other. He’s winning.”

Eli is looking forward to the opportunity to play with and against the best golfers in the state.

“It’s a great chance to have fun and enjoy an experience that will basically be new to me,” he said. “In the back of my head, too, it’s wanting to show everyone who’s watching just how good I can be. … Part of me wants to enjoy it, and the other part wants to really try and work really hard at it, and see what score I can put down.”

 

• • •

 

Jordan Laplume, playing out of Dunegrass Golf Club, had the best showing by a Mainer at the New England Women’s Amateur Championship this week, finishing tied for seventh at 12 over in the three-round event. Megan Buck of Thorny Lea Golf Course in Massachusetts shot 1 over to beat fellow Thorny Lea member Shannon Johnson by one stroke.

Laplume is the defending Maine Women’s Amateur champion, and will be the favorite again for this year’s tournament at Augusta Country Club, which will be held July 20-22.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under:

Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.