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Gary Haught started playing golf when he was 21 in 1993 as a junior at West Virginia University.

“I had a roommate who played so then he introduced me,” he said. “So I got addicted to it.”

Golf became more than just a hobby because he has been in the golf business since the end of 1994. He started at the bottom, cleaning carts in Clarksburg, West Virginia. After a year, he moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for seven years where he went from working in the bag room to being the assistant pro.

In early 2003 he moved to Beaufort, South Carolina, where he went from assistant pro to head pro. In November 2008 he moved to Roanoke, Virginia, as the head pro and he was promoted to general manager in 2010 at a semiprivate club. Redstone became his next stop.

Haught became the Links golf course manager Oct. 1.

“It’s an honor to be here,” he said. “I look forward to the challenges of making it the best Army course that we can.”

The Bridgeport, West Virginia, native is a member of PGA of America in which he received a specialty certification in golf operations. He graduated from West Virginia in 1994 with a bachelor’s in liberal arts.

“Golf’s a game if your parents don’t play it’s something that’s not easy to get into all the time,” he said of his relatively late introduction to the sport.

He has two holes-in-one. The first came around 1994 at the Preston Country Club in Kingwood, West Virginia. “You don’t forget those things. They’re very rare,” he said.

His second came in 2003 at the Hilton Head Island Professionals Championship at Berkeley Hall in Bluffton, South Carolina. One year in the mid-2000s, he finished 10th at Hilton Head.

“I’m in the golf business to manage but I do like to play,” Haught said. “There’s no better way to evaluate your facility than actually play golf on it. Just driving around doesn’t give you the same feel.”

So, expect to see this West Virginia native out on the course.

“Golf’s such an individual sport. A lot of people like the team aspect. But what’s nice about golf is you don’t have to be on a team to play it. However most people golf because of the social aspect which is kind of interesting,” he said.

“I enjoy managing the golf facility but I also do like to teach because I like seeing people getting to enjoy the game. And if you don’t enjoy it, you won’t stick with it.”

His first club tournament at Redstone will be the 15th annual Chili Cookoff and Golf Scramble on Oct. 26 at 9 a.m. Four-member teams compete in a scramble format and then enjoy homemade contest chili. Each team must enter a pot of chili for the contest – one pot per team is requested. Cost is $45 for members and $60 for nonmembers. To sign up for the Chili Cookoff and Golf Scramble, visit the Links pro shop or call 842-7977.

Haught, 47, has bought a house in Meridianville. He and his wife of 21 years, Jennifer, have a daughter, Anna, 19. Anna is a junior at Virginia Tech majoring in chemical engineering.

With two younger sisters, he is the oldest of three children of Tim Haught, of Bridgeport, who served with the Army in Vietnam.

At lunchtime on a weekday, the phone rang on his office desk. “Golf shop, this is Gary,” he answered. “May I help you?”

Don’t expect to find him in his office all the time.

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