President, Certified PGA Professional
Vice President, Golf Operations
PGA Director of Instruction
Director of Finance
Director of Agronomy
Food & Beverage Director
Regional Operations Manager
Mike Attara is a certified PGA Professional, golf industry executive, and the founder and president of Spirt Golf Management.
Mike’s love for the game of golf began when he first picked up a club at the age of 12. He enjoyed success playing competitively and earned his Class A PGA certification in 1990 and certification in golf management in 2006. Mike spent 15 years serving as a Regional Vice President for a national golf course management company before transitioning into the role of an independent golf course operator. For many years, he managed all aspects of Eagle Ridge Golf Club, a 27-hole championship golf course, and golf academy in Lakewood, New Jersey.
In 2009, Mike expanded his capabilities and formed Spirit Golf Management. Spirit provides an array of management and consulting services to a diversified client base, and the company has enjoyed rapid growth under Mike’s leadership. Spirit’s owned and managed properties along the East Coast have garnered numerous accolades including “Course of the Year” honors, and its executives and golf professionals have earned multiple awards for their excellence in growth-of-the-game initiatives, merchandising, and junior programming.
Mike is a frequent expert speaker on player growth and development as well as industry trends at conferences hosted by the PGA of America, the National Golf Course Owners Association of America, and the National Golf Foundation. He served as a member of the national committee for the PGA’s Golf 2.0 strategic initiative aimed at re-engaging golfers and growing the game. He has also been an advisor to the PGA’s Player Development Department and has spoken on behalf of the organization at the PGA Merchandise Show.
Mike is a five-time recipient of the New Jersey PGA’s President’s Plaque for his contributions to growing the game of golf. He also sits on the Board of Directors for the Pennsylvania Golf Course Owners Association.
A native of Monroe Township, New Jersey, Mike currently resides in Yardley, Pennsylvania, with his family.
Kevin Beirne, PGA
Vice President, Golf Operations
We are so happy to welcome Kevin back to the Spirit Golf management team. Kevin worked alongside Mike Attara for 12-years at Eagle Ridge Golf Club, advancing to the position of Head GolfProfessional. Kevin has proven to be a leader and an asset to any team he has been part of throughout his career. Kevin has been recognized as the 2014, 2015, and 2016 NJPGA Player Development Award winner for his exceptional contributions in Growing the Game of Golf. He is considered a leader within the section and nationally in creating and executing player development programs. Kevin has also been honored as the 2015 NJPGA Merchandiser of the Year for public facilities for promoting the game and business of golf and skillfully merchandising his golf shop retail space.
Kevin was elected to the NJPGA Board of Directors in 2015 and currently serves as the Junior Golf Chairman, he previously served as Vice Chairman of the Growth of the Game Committee. Kevin teaches the game at a high level, as a US Kids Certified Professional and US Kids Top 50 Honorable Mention teacher, teaching many outstanding Junior, High School, and Collegiate players during his career. Kevin played soccer and golf collegiately on nationally ranked teams while attending Greensboro College in NC and ultimately graduating from Salisbury University (MD).
Kevin and his wife Vicki were born and raised at the Jersey shore and have three children, Landon, Madelyn, and Reese who love the beach, sports, and time together. When not at work, you can find Kevin on the sidelines coaching youth soccer or enjoying the beach with the family.
Ed Gibson, PGA
Director of Instruction
Ed has over 16 years of teaching experience and is a certified PGA professional as of 2002. Most recently, Ed was the Head Golf Professional at Applebrook Golf Club in Malvern, PA. Ed was named the Philadelphia PGA Section “Assistant Golf Professional of the Year” 2007, and was also named one of the “Top 25 Golf Instructors”, Philadelphia Magazine, May 2008. Ed has served as President of the Assistants’ Organization, and is currently on both the “Growth of the Game Committee”, and “Membership Committee” in the Philadelphia PGA Section since 2007. Ed was the nominee for the 2010, 2011, & 2012 Philadelphia PGA Section “Teacher of the Year”, and 2010, 2011 “Junior Golf Leader”. Ed was named in US Kids Top 50 Honorable Mention 2011.
“My teaching philosophy is a combination of my ideas as a golf instructor, and ideas that I have learned from other instructors over the years. I believe that I am always learning, and my philosophy will continue to grow. My main goal as an instructor is to be able to achieve the students expectations in a fun and learning environment. I want my students to have a game plan as to how they are going to be able to improve their game through practice and instruction. The approach I like to take is determine the type of learner (visual, audio, or kinesthetic) my student is in order to make sure the student absorbs what we are working on in the lesson. I believe that it is extremely important to be able to have your student walk away from the lesson feeling as though they understand what we just went over, and not feel overwhelmed by the lesson. I am a believer in giving my students 1 – 2 drills to work on so that they can feel how I want them to swing the club. With that being said, I also strongly believe that we should focus on one aspect of the swing at a time. I like to break the swing down into four aspects: Setup, Backswing, Downswing, and Finish. Overall, the goal is to have the student make a repeatable golf swing, and also to have the student understand what their strengths and weaknesses are in their own swing in order for that student to improve.”
DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Frank has an extensive professional background in sales, sales management and consulting services in the Quality and Compliance Management Industry. He spent the past seven years as the Director of Global Business Development for a major software solutions and services company. Prior to that, Frank has held positions of Senior VP of Sales, Regional Sales/Marketing Management and Account Management for organizations that are highly regulated by the FDA.
During the past 20 years, Frank has also served on the Golf Committee at Makefield Highlands Golf Club and as Chairman for the past 15 years. In his leadership role as Chairman, he was intimately involved with the feasibility/cost and planning studies associated with the project, the interview and selection process for the course architect and construction company, as well as the selection of the initial course management company for the grow-in and start up operation.
Going forward, he will help Spirit Golf continue to explore new business opportunities and help manage our growth into the future.
Frank and his wife Ginny have four grandchildren that keep them busy. Frank is an avid golfer and is very active in the community.
Business Development Manager
Dave joined Spirit Golf in 2016 and quickly proved his value to the company with his great attitude, customer service experience and his ability to take the many years in management, sales and finance that he developed working in both the banking and golf industry. Dave provides support to our clubs in both management, sales strategy and new business development.
DIRECTOR OF FINANCE
DIRECTOR OF AGRONOMY
FOOD AND BEVERAGE DIRECTOR
Having worked in many facets of the food and beverage industry, John draws on a wealth of knowledge and experience. John is a summa cum laude graduate of Johnson and Wales University, and worked as a chef with Hyatt Hotels for more than five years. John has been the executive chef and food and beverage manager at Eagle Ridge Golf Club for the past 12 years. Clubhouse operations, menu planning, staffing and special events were a few of his charges. In recent years, John has focused on design and consulting as well as opening several new clubs for Spirit Golf Management.
John is a food enthusiast, always eager to experiment with new flavors and formulas. The Kitchen, and more importantly the cuisine that is produced there, is the lifeblood of any restaurant operation. John’s simple philosophy, “fine food stems from high quality ingredients and good technique. Natural flavors shouldn’t be masked but rather enhanced.” This notion along with a talented, well tuned staff has been the key to John’s success.
An award winning chef and sculptor, John has many interests outside the culinary field. A college basketball player, who still has a deep passion for the game, John sits on the board of directors for the Bordentown area Basketball League and still coaches. He also enjoys baseball and softball with his teenage children who are both very talented pitchers.
REGIONAL OPERATIONS MANAGER
Mike has a degree in Turf Grass Management from Virginia Tech. His experience in sports field maintenance was gained through gained through baseball field construction at Cal Ripken’s Iron Bird Stadium and working with numerous golf courses in the Maryland area. As a Spray Technician and an Irrigation Technician, he broadened his base of experiences which lead him to management. His management experience begins in the field with maintenance crews of up to 15 employees providing contracted services to a customer base with high expectations and very specific requirements for each location. His trade mark attention to detail provided a value to the customer base and confidence of quality work from his employer. He achieved his certification in Lean Six Sigma and was recruited to a position with Cardinal Technologies. He values the principles of lean six sigma and applies those principles in all aspects of his life.
Mike’s thorough understanding of the turf grass and his experience in operations makes him a valued member of the team.
Cheryl joined the Spirit team in 2013 with a 15-year background in business administration and human resources. She has a Bachelors Degree in Education from University of Connecticut and a Masters Degree in Healthcare Administration from The University of New Haven.
Managing the day-to-day operations of the busy Spirit Golf Management office combines her strong administration skills with her passion for the game of golf. When Cheryl is not at work, you can find her on the course.