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SV grad Roberts earns PGA Golf Pro Award, then leaves profession

Wes Roberts 05/2022

JACKSON, WYO. — Talk about going out on top.

Wes Roberts is doing exactly that when it comes to the golf profession.

The 2006 Seneca Valley graduate was recently named Rocky Mountain Section PGA Golf Professional of the Year. He has served as the Director of Golf at Shooting Star of Jackson Hole in Wyoming since 2017. But Roberts no longer works there — nor in the golf industry.

“I actually left Shooting Star at the end of October,” Roberts said. “I was nominated for the award two months prior to that and it was celebrated recently.

“It’s the highest honor you can receive as a PGA golf pro. I’m extremely proud of it and grateful for it.”

But he and his fiancee, Tessa Riley — who he met in Wyoming — have moved to Virginia where they are getting into the winery business.

“We want to be closer to family,” Roberts said. “My family is around Pittsburgh and hers is on the East Coast. We’d been looking for something we could get involved with back east and the winery opportunity popped up. We’re excited about it.”

Yet he describes leaving the golf business as “bittersweet.”

Roberts qualified for the PIAA Tournament one year as a golfer at Seneca Valley. He’s been involved working in the sport since becoming a cart boy at Cranberry Highlands in 2003.

He graduated with a degree in golf management from Campbell University (N.C.) and began his career in the golf business shortly thereafter.

“I grew up in a golfing family ... my grandfather, dad, uncle, aunt, everybody,” Roberts said. “When I was a junior in high school, my aunt told me about the golf management program at Penn State. Though I didn’t go there, it got me thinking along those lines.”

After serving a couple of internships, Roberts’ first full-time job was with the Sebonack Golf Club in New York. That was a seasonal club that wasn’t open during the colder months of the year.

“That enabled me to travel around during the time Sebonack was closed and experience working for other golf facilities,” Roberts said. “I worked at Cape Kidnappers in New Zealand, worked in Scottsdale (Ariz.), spent time at the Seminole Golf Club in Florida working with Bob Ford. All of those experiences helped me.”

He went on to become an assistant at Shooting Star for a while before becoming head pro at the Los Angeles Golf Club in California. He returned to Shooting Star in 2017 as Director of Golf.

“There’s no other golf job I could take that would live up to Shooting Star,” Roberts said. “It’s an incredible facility with incredible people. I’m actually exiting the industry at a time when the sport of golf is on the rise.

“I admit, that’s pretty atypical. I still love the game and I’ll still play it, of course, but I don’t see myself returning to work in the industry. I’ll always value those years, but that time in my life is closed.”

The RMSPGA Golf Professional of the Year Award is based on outstanding leadership abilities, exceptional performance as a PGA Professional, and distinguished service to that person’s Chapter, Section, Association and the game of golf.

Roberts has had his PGA membership since 2010.

Now he’s in the wine business.

“We flew out, met the owners, made an offer on the property and we’re now going into business together,” Roberts said of he and his fiancee. “This is the next chapter in my life and I’m devoted to it.

“But winning that award was a great way to say goodbye (to the previous chapter).”