Meet the Pro

Topeka Country Club’s golf pro wants members to leave their worries at the gate

When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the city in the spring of 2020, Topeka Country Club’s head golf professional, Levi Lambing, devised a plan that convinced the Shawnee County Health Department not to include golf on the closure list. He began by consulting with other golf pros around the United States, and then created a list of procedures so golfers could enjoy their favorite sport and still stay safe. Other area golf courses signed on, and the guidelines ultimately allowed them all to reopen. 

The result was a 100-percent increase in rounds played at TCC during April, May, and June. More importantly, none of the members or staff caught COVID while at the club, proving the effectiveness of Lambing’s plan. 

Lambing has been the TCC golf pro since March 2018. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska in PGA Golf Management and came to Topeka after a stint as an assistant golf pro at the well-known Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Most people picture a club’s golf pro as someone who teaches and plays golf all day. While teaching is an integral part of Lambing’s job, he also performs numerous additional tasks, such as managing the golf shop, buying merchandise, and overseeing his staff. Running golf tournaments is also in his job description. The club will host the Kansas Women’s Amateur Championship in 2022 for the fourth time. The men’s Kansas Amateur Championship will be played there in 2024 for the 13th time, which will tie TCC with the Wichita Country Club for most times holding the championship.

Golf became Lambing’s passion as a child in Sioux City, Iowa. He spent so much time with his dad at the local nine-hole, par-33 public course the owner, Wes Bowers, put him to work at age 12. He credits Bowers for being instrumental in his career. 

Lambing remembers, “My first day of work, I rolled out of bed at 8:30, 9 o’clock, and rode my bike over to the course four blocks away. I found him out on the course, and he said, ‘Our day starts at 7 o’clock. Try again tomorrow.’ He always held me accountable for things. He taught me so much about work.”

What is the crucial part of Lambing’s job? Making sure members have fun. 

“If I’m having fun, got a smile on, and treating people well, then I’m doing my job,” Lambing says. “A lot of people have the perception of a country club as being a hoity-toity place, nose in the air and stuffy. Part of the reason I was drawn here was because it wasn’t that way. It’s very laid back. It’s all about having fun. As long as people are having fun, we’re doing our jobs correctly.”

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