…might be a new venture, but more than a decade of planning, dedicated efforts to stay ahead of the curve and a touch of good ole’ fashioned outside-the-box thinking has turned Mike Byrd’s dream into a reality. Byrd – who has managed the Gauntlet in Stafford County for the last 12 years – is thrilled to bring a new and innovative approach to golf course management.

There’s a common misconception that golf wil never reach its pinnacle again and the peak of interest is permanently in the rearview mirror.

While it’s impossible to ignore there was a downswing in the tradition and pageantry that defined the sport for so long due to an influx of courses, high prices and an unwillingness to adapt – there’s been a steady surge over the last few years from people who have never sunk a birdie or even learned a proper stance.

That’s right, golf is growing at a record pace and NDGM has carefully prepared to keep the momentum trending in new & unprecedented directions.

According to the National Golf Foundation, 2.5 million people tried golf for the very first time in 2016, more than any year in the history of the game including Tiger Woods’ peak in 2000, when popularity was at an all time high.

The mission of NDGM is simple. The main goal will always be to grow the game of golf within the community by specifically designing programs and initiatives to create, develop and sustain interest in the sport.

Byrd – who carefully learned from mentors who were ahead of the rest of the pack, maintaining successful courses while so many others plummeted – believes in going against the norm in order to not only preserve, but help propel the game to new, and very attainable heights.

“It forces operators like myself to really become outside-the-box thinkers,” Byrd said of using new & innovative ways to sustain golf interest and development. “People have busy lives jam packed with soccer games for the kids, mowing the lawn and just balancing the hustle & bustle of everyday life. Do they have time to play nine holes? We have to do thing to help them, to excite them, to make it fun. That’s the essence of player development. You have to grow the game and create golfers, while always thinking, how can I sustain their interest?”

Byrd won’t have to go far for his first official venture under the NDGM brand – with plans in place to purchase the Gauntlet Golf Club and implement a major overhaul. There will be plenty of exciting upgrades and changes to suit the new golfer, while maintaining the core traditions that make the Gauntlet one of the most exciting courses in Virginia. The current lease holder of the Gauntlet has requested that the long term lease be reassigned to NDGM and believes Byrd’s knowledge of the course, community and understanding of the current landscape makes this a seamless transition.

The new vision is carefully planned and calculated, with Byrd relying on help from some of the area’s top experts in fields that will be critical in making the NDGM mission a consistent reality.

Joined by his entire family and a staff that is trained to always lead with the NDGM mantra of developing new players and sustaining them at the forefront, NDGM will use the Gauntlet as a stepping stone to eventually purchase courses throughout the country that will follow the New Direction.