Nick Packard is the new head professional at Riverside Golf Course in Portland. Packard, 28, is a graduate of Falmouth High and Methodist University in Fayetteville, N.C.

Riverside is a 27-hole facility. The North course, the site of the Maine Open for years, is 18 holes. The South course has nine holes.

Packard, who began work at Riverside on May 10, earned a business degree at Methodist with a concentration in golf professional management. He was previously an assistant pro at TPC Riverbend in Cincinnati. Before that he was at the Southampton (N.Y.) Golf Club.

The desire to return to southern Maine to be closer to his family and to be a head pro at a public course prompted him to apply for the Riverside opening. His parents still live in Falmouth.

“I like the public aspect,” said Packard. “I have been at private facilities. My goal at Riverside is to give the members and the daily fee golfers top-notch service. When you do that, public course players really appreciate it.”

Another goal for Packard is to grow the game.

He said Riverside already has 30 more members than when the season began. Packard said there are 430 members combined at Riverside North and South.

“My goals are to grow the membership. Hopefully I’ll be here for a lot of years,” he said.

Packard already has implemented a PGA junior golf league and has scheduled four ladies’ clinics.

He also will be involved in the First Tee Program at Riverside and wants to work to bring some tournaments to the course.

“The golf course is starting to become lush,” said Packard. “We’ve added a lot of drainage in the past few seasons.

Packard comes from a golfing family. His younger brothers, Adam and Matt, were top players at Falmouth High.

Like his older brother, Adam is a golf pro who works at Trump National in Bedminster, N.J. Prior to that he worked at Portland Country Club.

Matt attends Dayton (Ohio) University.

Packard was born in Dayton, Ohio, but the family moved to Falmouth before his senior year so his parents could be close to their parents. Packard played his senior season for Falmouth Coach Spike Herrick. 

THE 94TH MEN’S Maine Amateur is just over a month away, which means the qualifying process to get a 132-player field will commence this month.

June is the month when the golf scene in the state heats up. Hopefully, the recent weather will be an indication of things to come.

The state amateur will be played July 9-11 at Augusta Country Club in Manchester. It will be the 17th time Augusta has hosted the tournament, but the first time since 2001.

The tournament is 54 holes of stroke play, with the field cut to the low 40 and ties after two rounds.

Players making the cut will qualify for the 2014 Maine Amateur at The Woodlands Club in Falmouth and thus won’t have to go through the qualifying process.

The deadline to enter the tournament is next Sunday. Players already eligible to play have to submit an entry form. The qualifying sites are Biddeford and Saco on June 20, Martindale in Auburn on June 25, and Penobscot Valley in Orono on June 27. 

TEE TO GREEN: Brunswick Golf Club will host a United States Golf Association Public Links qualifying tournament on June 14.

A field of 25 players from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Canada will compete for one spot in the national tournament, scheduled for July 15-20 at Lorton, Va.

The Maine players in the field include Lance Bernier, Brian Bilodeau, Craig Chapman, Mike Doran, Ben Estabrook, Andrew Glasheen, Jordan Jones, Ricky Jones, Chris Juntura, Brian Knipp, Greg Martin, Nate McCue, Joe Messerman, Thomas Murray, Malcolm Oliver, Tommy Stirling, Seth Sweet and Peter Wright.

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: TomChardPPH