A familiar face will be greeting golfers at Sunnyside's Black Rock Creek Golf Course come the first of the year.
Sunnyside native Scott Galbraith has been hired to replace Jeff Bender as the Black Rock Creek PGA club professional. Galbraith assumes control of the local pro shop on Jan. 1.
Galbraith, a 1980 Sunnyside High School graduate who went on to play for the men's golf team at Columbia Basin Community College, currently oversees the operations of the city of Enumclaw's golf course. He leased the golf course from the city of Enumclaw in 2005, and still has one year remaining on that contract.
"Scott's experience running Enumclaw's golf course will be invaluable in helping to run our course," said Chuck Stegeman, president of the Black Rock Creek board of directors.
"We're looking forward to getting him on board," Stegeman added.
Galbraith said for the first year at the Sunnyside course he intends on working four to six days a week. The other one to three days of the week he'll return to Enumclaw to fulfill his duties there.
In his absence from the Enumclaw course, his wife, Dianna, and key personnel will keep operations running smoothly there, he said.
Galbraith and his wife have two children...17-year-old Hannah and Dustin, just a couple days away from his 15th birthday. For now, he said, his family will remain in Enumclaw.
"It's going to take some doing, fulfilling our obligations in Enumclaw and getting up and running at Black Rock Creek, but I'm confident things are going to work out well," said Galbraith.
During the transition, he'll be living with his mother, Betty Galbraith, at her Yakima home while he's here working in the Lower Valley. His father, Don, affectionately known as Gabby to many long-time Lower Valley linksters, passed away several years ago.
Galbraith got his start in the golf industry in 1983, working at the Dobson Ranch course in Phoenix, Ari. From there he was hired to work as the PGA head pro at Toppenish's Mt. Adams Country Club, in 1990. He departed Toppenish in late 2004 when he struck a deal with the city of Enumclaw to operate its golf course.
Asked why he wanted to return to the Yakima Valley, Galbraith said it simply boiled down to one thing. "Our family misses the Valley...the people and the weather."