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The Oaks hires female pro
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Things are not only changing, but also diversifying at The Oaks Golf Course.

The 23-year-old golf course has hired a female golf pro for the first time, in Lisa Vaught.

Vaught comes to The Oaks from Tellico Village in Tennessee, where she served in the same position. She takes over for Rex Richardson who moved closer to family.

Shortly after Richardson stepped down in the beginning of March, Vaught inquired about the position as her husband recently took a job at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

“It was a great opportunity for her and a great opportunity for us,” said Nancy Schulz, co-owner of The Oaks. “Golf is not the same old golf it was 10 and 20 years ago, and we’ve got to really appeal to a more diverse audience.”

The Oaks still has two male assistant pros, along with owner Dick Schulz to help with instruction, so Vaught will help with diversification for the course’s female members.

“We always like to do something cutting edge, so that will be good,” Nancy Schulz said. “Women golfers are one of the fastest-growing segments in the game.”

Vaught starts Monday and brings experience to The Oaks, having run tournaments and given lessons at Tellico village. When she was being offered the job at The Oaks, Nancy Schulz said Vaught was giving lessons to about 19 people, despite inclement conditions.

“It was cold and rainy outside, so she must be really good,” Nancy Schulz said. “A lot of people we know in the golf business say she’s dynamite, and we’re really excited about her.”

Nancy had no reservations about bringing a female into the golf pro position for the first time, having taken her first lessons with a female pro out of a country club in Atlanta.

Along with Richardson being replaced by Vaught, another change at The Oaks is that marketing and events coordinator Serra Phillips also is no longer there.

“She’s done a great job for us,” Nancy Schulz said. “Whatever she does next, she’ll do it well. It’s a good time for her to think about what’s her next move.”