David Westin

Sports columnist and copy editor for The Augusta Chronicle.

Forest Hills loses head pro to Valdosta job

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Bill Robinson expected to be the head pro at Forest Hills Golf Club for a long time. He was 51 when he took the job in 2008 and thought he might even retire there.

But a friend recently gave Robinson's name to the owners of Kinderlou Forest Golf Club, an upscale semiprivate club in Valdosta, Ga., that was looking for a head pro. Robinson interviewed and got the job. Today is his last day at Forest Hills.

"I wasn't looking to leave, but it was too good to pass up," Robinson said of Kinderlou Forest, which opened in 2004 and was named one of the top 30 best new golf courses in the country that year by Travel Leisure . "It's more money; quite a bit more. It's a situation where I'm working for a family-owned golf course and there is no board.

"Good jobs are hard to find," Robinson said. "It kind of fell into my lap. I'm 52 and there aren't that many jobs for someone that age. But they'd had a younger pro and wanted someone with more experience."

Forest Hills will now be looking for its fourth head pro in the past year.

"I think Bill did a really fine job for us; he was just what we needed at the time," said Don Grantham, the chairman of the Forest Hills Golf Committee.

Robinson hoped to stay on at Forest Hills through the Augusta City Amateur, which starts July 16, but he said Kinderlou Forest, which has been without a pro for months, wanted him right away. He starts there on Tuesday.

So, instead of prepping for the city amateur each year, Robinson will be at a course with a Nationwide Tour event (the South Georgia Classic) in late April.

Robinson didn't want it publicized at the time for privacy reasons, but he lived on the grounds at Forest Hills in his spacious camper from mid-November 2008 until June 2009. His wife moved up from their home in LaGrange, Ga., and lived in the camper with Robinson for April and May 2009 before they moved into a house in June.

When he started at Forest Hills in October 2008, Robinson lived in a cottage apartment on Cardinal Drive near the course. When the owners had company for Thanksgiving and needed his place temporarily, he decided to bring his camper up from LaGrange and live there full time.

He parked the camper in a clearing near the maintenance building, which is located adjacent to the 18th tee. He considered it safe because the gate that leads to the maintenance building's road is located near the clubhouse and locked at night.

"I was telling everyone in LaGrange that I was living in a gated community on the golf course," Robinson said. "I wanted to make it sound special. It was convenient to live in and perfectly fine."

Changing of the guard

Forest Hills Golf Club will be seeking its fourth head golf pro in the past five years. The previous three:

2005-07: Scott Allen

2007-08: David Usry

2008-2010: Bill Robinson

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augos
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augos 07/09/10 - 08:37 am
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Best of luck in Valdosta.

Best of luck in Valdosta. Thanks for your time and efforts here.

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