ROCKY FACE -- One of northwest Georgia's premier golf courses has a new man in charge.

Shannon Archer took over as general manager at The Farm Golf Club on May 6 and said the opportunity to guide The Farm into the future was one which was too good to pass up.

"These type of positions don't come open very often," Archer said. "The single, private owner, the smaller membership which is very golf-centric, it's hard to find clubs now that are like this one. A lot of clubs are member-owned or corporate-owned, so to find a club with with an owner like Mr. (Bob) Shaw, with a single vision, single mission, is pretty rare."

The Farm Golf Club is a private golf club and community with an 18-hole, Tom Fazio-designed golf course to go along with its dining and event space. As general manager, Archer oversees all operations at The Farm, including maintenance and upkeep of the course and clubhouse, while also overseeing all food and beverage operations.

A native of Marion, Virginia, Archer has worked for more than 30 years in the golf industry. He comes to Dalton from The Golf Club at Indigo Run in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and will bring with him his wife, Kathleen, and two daughters, Madison and Claire.

Archer graduated from Emory & Henry College in Emory, Virginia, where he studied accounting and finance while playing on both the school's basketball and golf teams. He said he learned the game of golf from his father while tagging along on rounds as a child, and grew up working at the Holston Hills Country Club in Marian where he worked positions ranging from golf cart attendant to working on the grounds crew.

Archer and his wife met in college, and in 1997 moved to Hilton Head where they have lived ever since. During his time living in Hilton Head, Archer worked at Hilton Head National Golf Club and Sapelo Hammock Golf Club along with The Golf Club at Indigo Run. He said upon his initial visit to The Farm the landscape reminded he and his wife of southwest Virginia where they both grew up, and the reputation of the course spoke for itself.

"The golf course is phenomenal, I mean it's world class," Archer said. "When I made the announcement at my previous club that I was leaving it started to trickle out where I was going. Lots of people in the southeast know about The Farm."

Archer said the notoriety of the Carpet Capital Golf Classic, a collegiate golf tournament which annually hosts a number of the best teams in the country, was another draw to club. Archer said he's yet to play a round of golf at The Farm, as he's been busy meeting with employees and members while also establishing new goals for the club. He said holes No. 11 and No. 13, both par three, are the two holes which stuck out on his initial drive around the course, and said he's excited to continue to grow the membership and build upon the club's 30-year old legacy.

Having grown up in an industrial town very similar to Dalton, Archer said he felt his people skills along with his background in food service and hospitality were important factors in being selected by the search committee commissioned by The Farm. Improving upon an already distinguished golf club is a challenge which Archer said he's excited to pursue.

"We certainly have projects which are on our list," Archer said. "But there's a lot more one-on-one face time that you can do at a club this size. That was certainly a draw for me. Learning about your members, versus having members who are just a number.

"One of the things I firmly believe in is service is what you do for someone, but hospitality is how you make someone feel. That's the big difference for me as we take this club into its next phase."

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