Corporate Biographies

Jeffrey C. Smith
Principal / Chief Executive Officer

Jeff_CorpBio1.jpgFollowing graduation from the University of Missouri – Columbia, Jeff began his career with McDonnell Douglas Corporation where he had the opportunity to develop his skills in marketing, financial planning/analysis, and strategic planning within a Fortune 500 company. An opportunity from a PGA club professional led him to the PGA of America as the Executive Director of the Association's Gateway Section. During his ten years with the PGA, this not-for-profit organization increased its revenue ten-fold through aggressive marketing of programs which ultimately provided benefits to its 400-plus members. Prior to his departure, he was awarded “Honorary PGA Membership” by the section.

In 1993, Jeff began working on a proposal for an upscale 18-hole public golf course with his long-time friend, Dennis Walters. This project, now known as The Missouri Bluffs Golf Club in St. Charles, Missouri, served as the foundation for what is now Walters Golf Management. In 1996, Jeff left the PGA of America and took his current position with Walters Golf Management. Since that time, the management company has grown beyond their expectations, currently responsible for the management of twenty properties and over 800 employees.

Jeff's ability to recognize the needs of the customer, the trends of the golf course and housing industry, and the pulse of the economy, has enabled the WGM team to provide their properties with sound advice regarding both long and short-term financing, and realistic goals in regards to return on investment and cash management.

Jeff's innovative thinking and down-to-earth attitude have been instrumental in the success and development of the construction management and agronomic sector of the Walters Golf Management entrée.

Jeff often speaks at regional and national golf conferences, serves on the advisory board of Midland States Bank of Chesterfield, and has served as co-host on the popular sports radio talk show, “Fairways & Greens”, which has aired since 1992 and broadcasts annually from some of the most prestigious events in America.

Jeff is well-known for his philosophy that “you are often judged on the last project you completed”. His ability to manage and market projects undertaken by WGM has provided good insurance that WGM will be judged well. New business development, as well as the ongoing oversight of the properties managed by WGM, continues to provide challenges for Jeff that “make it exciting to head to the golf course early everyday with or without my clubs”.

Lucy Hughes
Principal / President

Lucy is a classic example of the Walters Golf Management philosophy of promotion from within. Lucy began working Lucy200x.jpgfor Mr. Dennis Walters of Walters Golf Management (WGM) in 1986 in Food & Beverage Operations. In 1989, she moved to the position of Club Manager at Whitmoor Country Club. In 1997, she assumed the role of VP of Operations & Corporate Administration. Her hard work, dedication, and dynamic personality are evident in every interaction. Through these qualities, Lucy has proved to be a true asset, and one of the obvious reasons for the ongoing success of the WGM team. 
With a strong background in food and beverage management, Lucy has an uncanny ability to not only communicate with vendors and strike very lucrative deals that benefit all WGM properties, but to communicate with employees at all levels and draw out their best qualities and strengths. Lucy has been instrumental in the development of all of the properties managed by WGM today, including decorating the clubhouses at Sunset Hills Country Club, Innsbrook Resort, Whitmoor Country Club, and The Links of Dardenne. She was instrumental in the design and development of Whitmoor’s fitness facility, which opened in 2004. If you have taken a tour of any of these facilities, you will see that she has a true gift for seeing that the needs of the customer are not just met, but exceeded. This same level of attention to detail and expectation of the highest standards is obvious in any of the WGM properties past & present.

In addition to her commitment to exceeding the customer's expectations with the highest standards in the industry, Lucy has been instrumental in the development of standardized administrative policies and procedures throughout the WGM properties, including property, liability, and workmen's compensation insurance, health insurance benefits, employee handbooks, employee screening, and HR training to all managers on an annual basis.

In 2008, Lucy and her partner, Jeff Smith, took ownership of WGM. Today, she serves as President & Principal Partner of WGM. In April of 2013, Lucy and Jeff welcomed the addition of partners Aaron Gleason and Kelli Kirchoff, who have been previous employees of WGM. Which, again, is a testament to WGM’s philosophy of promotion from within.

Lucy recently led the entire renovation process of the formal dining operation at Sunset Hills Country Club in Edwardsville, Illinois. In conjunction with the Sunset Hills Board of Directors and House Committee, Lucy's vision, drive and determination resulted in the unveiling of Sunset's Bistro venue that has doubled it's food and beverage sales since the grand opening in April of 2013. In May of 2013, Lucy was awarded the honor of being named one of the Top 25 Most Influential Business Women in St. Louis. For her charitable work with The First Tee of Greater St. Louis, Boys Hope Girls Hope of St. Louis, and professional advancement over the last 15 years, Lucy took her place among this illustrious group of women.

Lucy has actively served on the Board for both First Tee of Greater St. Louis and Boys Hope Girls Hope. Her talents have earned her the opportunity to be the first woman to Chair the annual golf events for both organizations. After dutifully serving for three years with Boys Hope Girls Hope, Lucy retired from her position as Director in June of 2014. Today, she still serves as Director for First Tee of Greater St. Louis. Lucy is also a current member of the Club Managers Association of America (CMAA), and has served in the past as president of the St. Louis CMAA Chapter.


Aaron T. Gleason
Principal / Corporate Vice President

ATG_Corpbios.jpgGolf has been a part of Aaron’s life for more than 20 years. From playing competitive junior golf at the national level to winning the Missouri State 5A High School Championship in 1992, Aaron’s successes led to playing Division I college golf at The University of Southern Mississippi. At Southern Miss, he studied business management and marketing.

Aaron began his career with WGM in 1999 as the 1st Assistant Golf Professional at The Missouri Bluffs Golf Club and rapidly worked his way to Co-Head Golf Professional with responsibilities for membership and tournament activity. During his tenure at The Missouri Bluffs he attained his PGA Class A Membership and spearheaded several ventures ranging from the privatization of the facility to various information technology (IT) related projects.

In 2003, Aaron moved to another WGM facility, Gateway National Golf Links, where he assumed the role of Head Golf Professional overseeing the facility’s entire golf operation. In his 3 years at Gateway, Aaron was instrumental in improving efficiencies and increasing revenue at that property. Aaron also focused his efforts to enhance staff training and development. He firmly believes that “you are only as good as the staff you surround yourself with.” Aaron’s ability to manage and motivate continues to be among his greatest assets. As his past Assistant Golf Professionals will attest, Aaron’s mentorship has been invaluable.

In addition to his accomplishments at Gateway, Aaron took on a number of projects for WGM, including various IT projects. He also recognized the need for accountability in the workplace and thus created several training and policy and procedure manuals that have since been implemented at all WGM properties. Because of his dedication, diligence, and high-quality work, WGM was true to their philosophy of promoting from within and Aaron quickly rose to the position of Vice President and ultimately Partner.

In his role as Principal / Corporate Vice President, Aaron will continue to lead the IT effort, including website development and yield management for WGM golf courses, golf shop software set-up, staff training as well as overall facility management. His talents and abilities in revenue / yield management, team building and leadership, information technology along with his strong work ethic and desire to build upon the successes of WGM continue to enhanced his overall value to our organization.

Aaron prides his self on being able to maximize the profits of golf facility operations by analyzing specific metrics and evaluating pricing methodologies. He truly enjoys assisting clients with growing their business and strongly believes in the science of revenue management and demand based pricing.

Kelli Kirchoff
Principal / Chief Financial Officer

Kelli_K_website.jpgOne of our own…….As a Saint Charles County native, Kelli fell in love with the game of golf as a participant in the junior golf program at Whitmoor Country Club. The time spent honing her golf game proved valuable as it set the foundation for a competitive junior golf career that eventually led to individual medalist honors at the Missouri Class 4-A State Championship while attending Francis Howell High School. These accomplishments allowed Kelli the opportunity to compete at the collegiate level as a member of the University of Missouri Golf Team. During her four year career as a Tiger, Kelli participated in the NCAA National Championship, two U.S. Women's Amateurs and was a four-time Academic All-American named by the National Golf Coaches Association.

Kelli graduated summa cum laude from the University of Missouri with a Masters Degree in Accountancy. After graduation, she began her career in public accounting at Ernst & Young, LLP in the Assurance and Advisory Business Services Line. During her tenure at E&Y, Kelli earned her license as a Certified Public Accountant and was promoted to Senior Auditor where she led engagement teams through the corporate audit process for several large publicly traded companies.

Kelli's professional experience coupled with her extensive golf background make her uniquely qualified to serve as our Partner / CFO. In this role, Kelli manages both the accounting staff and financial statements of each WGM property to maintain an efficient operation.


Denis Barron
Director of Agronomy

Dennis_CorpBio1.jpgDenis Barron, Director of Agronomy at Walters Golf Management, graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Agronomy. With more than 25 years of experience as a golf course superintendent he has provided his talents at some of the finest courses in the St. Louis area including Whitmoor Country Club, Greenbriar Country Club, and served as General Manager at Cherry Hills Country Club. He has worked for Walters Golf Management since its inception.

Denis does public speaking at golf symposiums and superintendent training seminars throughout the United States in the area of soil and plant nutrition. He is also knowledgeable and experienced in golf course construction and has been involved in the construction of five courses in the St. Louis area.

Denis currently owns and operates Agro-Logics, LLC, a turf management company, and provides consulting to all of the WGM properties.

Denis's dedication and persistent, quiet manner have made him an undeniable asset to the Walters Golf Management group.

2013 © Walters Golf Management

9909 Clayton Rd Suite: 222
St. Louis, MO 63124