Meet Lyle Russell: New Arnold Golf Course manager

New Golf Course Manager Lyle Russell came to Arnold Air Force Base from Tampa, Fla., in mid-November. (Photo by David Housch)

New Golf Course Manager Lyle Russell came to Arnold Air Force Base from Tampa, Fla., in mid-November. (Photo by David Housch)

ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, Tenn. -- Lyle Russell comes to Arnold Air Force Base with his wife of seven years, Amy, and a son, Eian, who is four. 

Russell grew up in Tampa, Fla., and after high school, he planned to join the Marines in honor of his grandfather who served 24 years, but circumstances changed his plans. 

"Life happened," Russell said. "So, I decided to work instead. A few years ago I had a renewed interest in joining the Army, but again life happened and I continued working." 

He took the job at Arnold to serve in some capacity of the military, he said.

"I love what I do, and I especially love where I am right now. I applied for Arnold almost as soon as it came open because my wife and I were interested in relocating to Tennessee, " he said.

Even though Russell's dream of becoming a professional golfer was 12 years in the making, he did not give up and still plays the game. He began playing golf when he was 18. 

He started in the golf business when he was 20 as a shop attendant and became a general manager at 24. 

"That's very young for that position in the golf world," he said. "I learned through trial by fire." 

He recently passed the Player Ability Test at Florida State University and began playing in the Professional Golf Association (PGA) apprentice program. 

"Earning my PGA card is definitely the highlight so far of my golf career," he said.

With only a little more than a month under his belt, Russell is already thinking about the future of the golf course. 

"There are several projects in the works, with the most exciting being a possibility of adding another nine holes in a few years," he said. "Initially, I want to gear the course and the staff to be the best nine hole facility it can be and to put a polish on our product and our services." 

Russell says his predecessor definitely had the golf course heading in the right direction. 

"I have a great staff to work with," he said. "Be on the lookout for great things here at the Arnold Golf Course."