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The Farms working to grow the game of golf under new leadership

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The Farms Golf Club General Manager Scott Heyn

Just over one year in, General Manager Scott Heyn is enjoying life on The Farms.

At the Farms Golf Club tucked into a quiet slice of Rancho Santa Fe, Heyn regularly marvels at the “exceptional” weather of sunshine with all the coolness of the coast, the frequent migration of hot air balloons over the carefully-maintained and challenging course, and members who share his passion for the game.

“This place is really special and unique,” said Heyn. “There’s not many pure golf clubs like this.”

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The Farms Golf Club. Karen Billing

Heyn came up in the business from the golf side. A former golf professional and PGA member, he arrived at the Farms from Oakmont Country Club in Glendale, Calif., where he was the general manager for five years. He loved Oakmont but when the opportunity called for the longtime Los Angeles resident to come to the course in San Diego, he couldn’t pass it up.

“Everything here is centered around the golf experience. We don’t have a lot of the amenities of other clubs that sometimes people are looking for—there’s no spa, tennis or fitness center. We have one major product, which is the golf course, so we make sure it is the best it can possibly be.”

The private, member-owned club was built in 1988 and Heyn said the club’s vision then was the same that it is now: “a golf purist’s haven.”

The Farms maintains a model of a “small and intimate” membership of 300. Fewer members ensures that the club is never too busy to get on the course and allows the Farms to be able to elevate the golf experience which includes the course conditions, driving range, locker rooms, instructional programs, food and beverage— everything that makes for a great day of golf with family and friends.

“We’ve had an amazing year in membership and completed several rejuvenation projects,” Heyn said.

The club recently updated the main entrance, they are redoing the roof on the clubhouse building and have made numerous improvements to the golf course. They renovated tee boxes and removed trees, opening up views and making the course feel more wide and comfortable. In the next month they will be redoing the bunkers.

“We really tried to make the golf course more friendly for the average player while retaining the challenge for the better player,” Heyn said. “You can play really well at the Farms, you can beat it, it’s not unbeatable…every hole is birdie-able, there’s nothing goofy about any of the holes. But if you don’t play your best, it lets you know. It is a great test. Some people say ‘The Farms is so hard.’ It’s not easy, but we have done a lot of make the golf course more friendly and overall improved the conditions…The Farms will never be an easy golf course but we want it to be enjoyable.”

Since he got to the club, Heyn has really focused on every aspect of growing the game of golf. He has seen the ladies club numbers grow consistently as they have added more clinics and events and there are more juniors playing than they have ever had. He is seeing more kids interested in the game and more young families joining who view The Farms as a great place to bring your child to learn.

Heyn’s goal is always to share his passion for the game of golf and to make it fun—he said he feels like he can make a difference at The Farms through the programs he is putting in. While the life of a GM is busy, he makes sure he plays with members often to see their experience when they are out on the course, to find out what they do or don’t like and find any way to help it improve.

“There’s not many places in the country that are similar to this and as good as this. I really think that we’re a sleeping giant. We’re in the most beautiful place, San Diego, with the best climate and the most amazing golf course in the best conditions that you will find,” Heyn said. “I love the history of the club, I’m excited about where it is today and even more excited about where it can go.”

To learn more visit thefarmsgolfclub.com

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The view of The Farms from the main clubhouse. Karen Billing