Hometown product returns as Lake of the Woods golf professional

By ISAAC TROTTER

For The Mahomet Citizen

Mahomet’s Lake of the Woods Golf Course will soon have a new man in charge. David Sebestik is a native of Mahomet and he’s coming back home to become the facility’s Head Golf Professional.

Golf has always been a huge part of Sebestik’s life. He grew up playing at Lake of the Woods and he also golfed for Mahomet-Seymour High School, and went on to Parkland College, where he golfed and played basketball.

After college, he went through the certification to become a PGA professional and headed to Tennessee, where he worked at a private country club. He briefly stepped away from golf to pursue a sales and marketing position.

But distance often seems to make the heart grow fonder, and Sebestik missed golf and his hometown. When Dave Huber retired, Lake of the Woods reached out to Sebestik, and it was an opportunity that he couldn’t pass up.

“I found out when I moved to Tennessee that even though I love golf and the industry, I think I have more love for the community where I came from and the facility that I grew up on,” Sebestik said. “Mahomet is an amazing little place.”

The life of the Head Golf Professional will be anything but boring.

“Some days you’re teaching, some days you’re running tournaments, working behind the counter, checking people in, paperwork, staff training, budgeting. Every day is different,” Sebestik said.

His first day on the job will be June 7. Sebestik has some big things in mind for the golf course.

“The very first thing we’re going to do is establish a little bit of a culture change,” Sebestik said. “We’re going to try and incorporate a year-long points race where it values people for playing in tournaments and showing up to men’s league. We’ll have two teams battle it out at the end and we’ll have a player of the year award.”

Sebestik doesn’t want to forget about the women either, so he’s putting a program together where ladies can meet every Monday night from 5:30-7:30. The first hour will be golfing and the second hour will feature time with a yoga professional.

“There has been less and less women playing at Lake of the Woods and that’s something that we need to tap into,” Sebestik said. “We need to create some of these programs where they’ll have a very relaxed and welcoming environment.”

The children of today will be the future of the golf industry, and Sebestik has many ideas in order to attract them.

“One of my biggest passions is junior golf. If kids get involved, it’s better for the game,” Sebestik said. “Hopefully, we’ll get involved one way or another with the high school team, whether it’s coaching or assisting.”

Some parents struggle with the cost of golf, but eventually Sebestik would like to aid those in need.

“Hopefully down the road in 2018, we’ll be able to create a potential foundation where I’ll have scholarships that could help grow the game,” Sebestik said. “That would make it easier and alleviate some of the hurdles when it comes to golf. Any way I can make it easier for kids to get involved will be my No. 1 goal.”

Sebestik is brimming with ideas as he hopes to restore Lake of the Woods to its previous lore, but it is his sons, Ryne and Ben, who mean the most to him.

“A big reason that I wanted to get back into the golf industry is for my two boys,” Sebestik said. “I want them to be around the game and the course. I would love for them to grow up to love the game as much as I do.”

Despite the amount of work that he’ll be doing, Sebestik still plans to tee it up on a regular basis.

“I plan to get out there. A big thing for me is that I want to play with our members each week, like on Saturdays,” Sebestik said.

At the moment, Sebestik hopes to stick around his hometown for many years.

“I want this to be my forever job,” he said. “That also comes with a lot of responsibility with getting involved in the community a little more than in the past and making this facility grow and making it great, like when I was growing up. I don’t perceive myself going anywhere else, because I want to make this place great again.”

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