Roots run deep at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay for Abby Messick. For almost 70 years and three generations, a family member has worked on this property – including her mother as a psychiatric nurse and father as a rehabilitation therapist when the Eastern Shore Hospital Center was located here (1912 to 1992). For the past 17 years, Abby has been the latest Messick to leave a mark here.
A golf and tennis player in high school and during college in North Carolina, Abby became a certified tennis instructor after graduation. But she developed a renewed interest in the links after learning that the Hyatt was building a resort in her hometown.
She joined the Hyatt a month before it opened in August 2002 as Pro Shop Supervisor. As her game grew, so too did her stature at the resort. She was named Assistant Golf Pro and then Head Golf Professional. In 2008, she was certified as a Class A LPGA Teaching and Club Professional – one of only 1,700 in the country. (less than 200 are Directors of Golf)
Named Director of Golf in April 2018, Messick oversees all aspects of the River Marsh Golf Club including daily club and course operations; membership; workshops and lessons; and sales and marketing.
River Marsh hosts more than 20,000 rounds of golf annually. While the high season is May through September, the course is played year-round. During Fall and Winter, Abby prepares for the coming season by developing budgets, merchandise plans, events, and member services.
Abby is quick to note that what makes her job so fulfilling is the endless variety.
“One day I may be working with local club members on an event, checking course conditions with our superintendent, overseeing a corporate tournament, or teaching a lesson to the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.”
The River Marsh Golf course is unique as it’s laid out around a protected environment with wetlands, waterways and low country grasses. The course accommodates all levels of players, from scratch golfers on the back tees to resort hackers with forgiving fairways.
“The course is the perfect combination of challenge, top course conditions, and Hyatt customer service. We see guests return year after year because our staff remembers their name, taught their kids in one of our camps, or they want to attempt to hit across our par 3, #17 just ‘one more time,” she says with a laugh.
Her favorite hole is the par 5, #18.
“It’s the perfect finishing hole to a round of golf at the Hyatt. It’s incredibly scenic and incorporates every feature of our course. With the Choptank River running down the left side and huge old oak trees down the right requires a decent tee shot to keep the ball on the short grass.”
The Club boasts more than 100 year-round members. Eastern Shore native and MLB Hall of Famer Harold Baines is a past Club Champion.
Since the resort opened in 2002, the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay has welcomed more than 2 million guests from around the world. The hotel has hosted over 13K conferences and special events. It is a top wedding destination along the Eastern Seaboard.
Employing 480 year-round employees and another 200 seasonal team members, the Hyatt is one of the largest employers in Dorchester County.
Messick believes the Hyatt has lifted the community, county, and Shore to new heights.
“It increases population by nearly 10% every weekend in season bringing additional revenue to downtown Cambridge and surrounding businesses. On any day, you will see Hyatt guests walking through the historic district.”
Future Goals. Continued Growth.
As she starts her 18th year at the River Marsh Golf Club her goal is to continually provide the best-golfing experience in the region, support community, and local involvement and grow the game and relationships in the country and on the Eastern Shore!
“As an Eastern Shore native, my heart belongs to Dorchester County. The Hyatt has afforded me the opportunity to live where I love – and to do what I love – every day. Our beautiful rivers, activities, fresh seafood and most importantly, the people, make Dorchester one of the best places to live and work.”
For information on Hyatt please visit www.hyatt.com.