Essex Fells Country Club

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Golf Staff


Essex Fells Country Club is proud to field an accomplished team of Class A Professional Golf Association (PGA) professionals and golf shop personnel.  Our Professionals are ready to provide individual or group instruction to all age groups.  All members of the Golf Professional Staff are certified club fitters.  The Junior Golf Program is exceptionally strong, introducing boys and girls to a pastime that can be pursued for an entire lifetime.
 

Name

Brian Gaffney, PGA

Title

Head Golf Professional

Brian was born and raised in Westfield, NJ and graduated from Montclair State University. Having been a Head Golf Professional for 17 years, Brian is excited to be bringing his past experiences, professional image, and positive attitude to the membership of Essex Fells Country Club. As one of the most accomplished and respected golf professionals in the industry, Essex Fells Country Club welcomes Brian’s return to the Club after having been an Assistant Golf Professional under now Professional Emeritus, Russ Helwig, from 2002-2003. Brian returns to Essex Fells Country Club, now as a nationally recognized PGA Professional. Brian brings experience from top area Clubs and most recently at Quaker Ridge GC in Westchester, NY. Brian brings a passion for golf instruction, mentorship, integrity, level of service, family values, and the high standards that align with the tradition and future of Essex Fells Country Club.

Name

Bob Downey, PGA

Title

First Assistant Golf Professional

Bob is excited to bring his 30+ years of experience (16 as a Head Professional and 14 as an Assistant) to Essex Fells CC. He graduated from Montclair State University with a Finance degree and then entered into the PGA program. Bob has worked and studied the golf swing under David Glenz, Peter Famiano, Bryan Jones, Lenny Siter, and Charlie Cowell. He looks forward to helping the Essex Fells CC membership play better golf and enjoy the game. When not on the course, Bob likes spending time with family and being a USA Hockey referee.

Name

Brian Varsey, PGA

Title

Assistant Golf Professional

Brian was born and raised in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated from Baldwin Wallace University. He has worked at many fine clubs and has an experienced background in golf instruction. Brian was the Head Teaching Professional at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Florida from 2012-2018, and the Director of Instruction at Canterbury Golf Club in Cleveland, Ohio for five seasons. Brian has been an understudy to World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame and PGA of America Hall of Fame Member, Bob Toski, the last 22 years. He has won many PGA Sectional events, including the 2010 Northern Ohio PGA Assistants Championship. He also enjoys competing in events and playing with the members. Brian was the 2014South Florida PGA Southern Chapter Teacher of the Year and he looks forward to bringing his knowledge and passion for teaching to the Membership at Essex Fells CC and assisting Brian Gaffney.

Name

Russell J. Helwig, PGA

Title

Golf Professional Emeritus

Russell was the Head Professional at Essex Fells from 1975 to 2014. A member of the New Jersey Professional Golf Association (NJPGA) Hall of Fame, he is a two time winner of the NJSGA Open Championship, a two time winner of the NJSGA Senior Open Championship and a two time winner of the (MGA) Senior Open Championship among many other victories and awards. He grew up in Bloomfield, New Jersey and earned a degree in business administration from the University of Miami. In addition to being an excellent instructor, Russell is renowned for developing top-notch assistants, including those who have moved on to become the head professional at EFCC and other prestigious golf clubs. Russ is still at the Club often, plays with the Members, and maintains an incredible golf game.

Name

Brian O'Toole

Title

Director of Outside Operations

Name

Patrick Kelley

Title

Golf Shop Manager

Name

RJ Miller

Title

Assistant Caddie Master

Name

Allison Gaffney

Title

Merchandiser

Name

Victoria Carlson

Title

Golf Shop Staff