No one thought Pat Lynn would leave North Augusta Country Club, least of all David Usry, the man who replaced him.
"Everybody thought he'd retire here," said Usry, a standout Augusta junior golfer in the early 1980s.
In one of the biggest surprises on the local golf scene in years, the 34-year-old Usry takes over Monday as the head pro at North Augusta.
It was at that course off Gregory Lake Road that the 41-year-old Lynn practically grew up and is highly regarded by all.
Lynn started playing golf at North Augusta Country Club at age 12. He went on to play collegiate golf at Georgia Southern, then returned home in 1981 to become an assistant pro at North Augusta.
He served as an assistant to Russ Flanders for 14 years before being named head pro in 1995.
Lynn is leaving to become a salesman for C.N. Brown Plastics and Chemicals Corp., a North Augusta-based company that sells to industrial companies. The company is owned by North Augustans Noel Brown and Bobby Gaston.
"The reason I'm leaving is I've got a good business opportunity to go and work for two people who are members here," Lynn said. "They're great guys who are interested in me becoming a successful person. It's just an opportunity I can't pass up."
Lynn, who starts his new job Sept. 14, will work in this central area, from Charleston, S.C., to Columbia.
"It's a little bit sad to leave here, but I'm not really going away," Lynn said. "I'm going away from the business side as far as working here. I'm still going to be around. I'm not moving. I'll be out here playing the with guys some."
Though Lynn will be on the road at times as a salesman, he'll still be able to spend more time with his wife, Kathy. and their two children, Kate, 11, and Patrick, 1, than he has when he was in the golf business.
"I'm looking forward to spending some quality time with all of them," Lynn said. "I'm looking forward to the weekend and holidays that you don't have off due to being a golf professional. Basically, you work when people are off work. I'm sure my wife has plenty of chores for me the first few weekends."
Usry heard that Lynn was leaving from a North Augusta Country Club member.
"I was teaching a little bit at Augusta Golf Centers and the member said I should apply for the job," Usry said. "I called Pat and asked him about it. He said if I'd apply for it, he'd back me up 100 percent. It worked out real good, thanks to his support and the stockholders and membership."
Usry has been in the golf business for 10 years, the first eight as an assistant pro at three different South Carolina courses. For the last 1 1/2 years, he's been the head pro at Golf Augusta, a golf equipment store and instructional center.
"I don't plan on leaving here, unless they kick me out," Usry said. "I'm home now. When I was at Golf Augusta, I had some opportunities to go work for some other clubs, but I didn't want to pick up and leave again.
"I'm tickled to death to be here," Usry said. "It's hard to believe all this came about. This is a good job. You look at how many head pros they've had here in 36 years (Ed Scott, Fred King, Russ Flanders and Lynn) and you know it's a stable job."
As for Lynn, he plans to apply to the United States Golf Association to regain his amateur status once his PGA of America card runs out in 90 days.
"I'll play in a few pro-ams between now and the end of the year," Lynn said. "When my card runs out, I'm sure I'll become a paying dues member here (at North Augusta Country Club). That will be a little strange."
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