Monday, June 24, 2024

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Next stop in Long career: golf pro moves to The Valley


By Bob Sutton

Special to The Alamance News

Add The Valley to Mike Long’s stops as a golf pro.

Long began his role overseeing operations at the city’s course north of Burlington this week, extending a long list of venues where he was worked in Alamance County.

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“I’ve been everywhere,” he said. “It’s crazy.”

Long, 57, left Mill Creek Golf Club in Mebane to take the job.

“It’s the only job I would ever leave Mill Creek for,” he said. “I still feel like I have a few kicks left in me.”

The City of Burlington-operated course had an opening because Jonathan Dudley left in the spring to take a job at Forest Oaks Country Club in Greensboro. Assistant pro Fred Ireland filled in on an interim basis at The Valley.

Long has worked mostly at courses within Alamance County in a career that spans decades.

The Valley (formerly named Indian Valley Municipal Golf Course) had his eye on the job.

“I’ve always loved Indian Valley,” Long said. “I remember playing out there in high school.

There’s so many people there I already know.”

As an adult, he grew an appreciation for The Valley.

“I always thought (former pro) Bill English had the best job,” he said.

Long is a Southern Alamance graduate, with his first taste of golf coming at Confederate Acres (now named Southwick Golf Course). His time as a local golf pro began at Southwick.

From there, he had three turns overseeing operations at The Challenge Golf Course in Graham, with a stopover at Bryan Park Golf Course, a 36-hole facility in Greensboro. He also assumed the lease to help run the former Shamrock Golf Club, while golf instruction opportunities took him to now-defunct Quarry Hills Country Club and Quaker Creek Golf Course.

He also briefly stepped away from the golf business, but that didn’t last long. He was teaching at several courses and at the Alamance County Community YMCA.

Long now has a different address to display his passion for local golf.

“It feeds me. It’s why I get up in the morning,” he said. “I’m not leaving Alamance County.

There’s a lot of good people over at Indian Valley. I hate leaving Mill Creek because there are so many good people out there.”

This week, he has spent hours on the course at The Valley to assess the entire facility.
“We’ve been riding around seeing some stuff,” he said. “I’m tired, but it’s a good tired.”

The Valley has long been a staple on the area golf scene. Business has been thriving, particularly the past three years since the start of the pandemic.

“I hope I don’t mess it up,” Long said. “We want to keep it going.”

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