The Home Course in DuPont, Wash. has announced that Mitch Runge has been selected as their new PGA Head Professional. Mitch begins his new position on December 10, 2020, and will be working under the direction of Justin Gravatt, PGA general manager at The Home Course.
A lifelong native of the Pacific Northwest, Mitch most recently was serving as interim PGA Head Professional at Tacoma Country and Golf Club.
“I’m a third-generation golf pro,” said Runge, 34. “My grandfather was a club professional, and my dad is a Lifetime Member PGA Professional. My uncle is also a head pro. It’s kind of in my blood.”
Mitch’s uncle Kris Runge is the PGA Head Professional at Ocean Shores Golf Course on the Washington coast.
Runge’s dad Louie Runge was the longtime PGA Head Professional at Willapa Harbor Golf Course in Raymond, Wash. on the Washington coast. Mitch grew up in Raymond, graduating from Raymond High School and then attending St. Martin’s University in Lacey, Wash.
Mitch left St. Martin’s after one year when he applied, on a whim, for the third assistant pro position at Astoria (Ore.) Golf and Country Club. “I always knew what I wanted to do in life, that I was going to be a golf professional,” Mitch says. “Everyone I ever looked up to in my life was a golf pro. So I thought I might as well get started on it.”
Mitch got the job at Astoria and never looked back. He spent two years at Astoria, then got a job working in the pro shop at Tacoma Country and Golf Club.
“All told, I was at Tacoma for 13 years,” he says. “I did everything there, from working in the bag room, to giving lessons, to serving two separate stints as interim head professional. I was the first assistant pro there for five years.”
When asked what he’s looking forward to at The Home Course, Mitch said, “Continuing to provide the attention and service to the golfers. I spent many years working at private clubs, and I want to bring that kind of quality of service to The Home Course, from the course marshals, to the on-course staff, to the golf shop.
“The new golf shop (opened in May 2020) is absolutely beautiful. It’s a major upgrade for the course. Also, I’m looking forward to working with Justin. He’s smart, knows what he’s doing, and makes the job enjoyable for everyone.”
Mitch said he’s excited to help administer all the outside tournaments that a public facility such as The Home Course hosts. “Yes, all the collegiate, high school, and local and regional championships that are held every year at The Home Course, that’s an exciting prospect.”
Opened in 2007, The Home Course is cooperatively owned and operated by Washington Golf and the Pacific Northwest Golf Association. The course has been the site of numerous local, regional and national championships, including the 2009 and 2018 PNGA Men’s Amateur, being the companion course to Chambers Bay for the 2010 U.S. Amateur and the venue for the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links. The Home Course will also be the companion course to Chambers Bay for the 2021 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball.
“I love the golf community in the Pacific Northwest,” Mitch says. “I’ve been here all my life, and grew up within the golf business.”
And now, welcome to The Home Course.