There are dozens of golf courses in West Michigan, 25 of which are in the Grand Rapids area. Most courses and country clubs have a golf pro on their staff. These pros are athletes, teachers, and in many cases, managers at their respective facilities. However, one golf pro and his wife took advantage of their positions at the Bay City Golf Course and are now paying the price. Because of this, they’re losing their money, their jobs, and their marriage.
The Legacy Of A Golf Pro
Brent J. Goik’s career as a golfer started young. Before he was arraigned and filed for divorce, he played golf in school. Goik was a high-school champion twice. He went on to play golf for Michigan State and even was inducted into the Bay County Sports Hall of Fame. His path to success wasn’t easy though.
Goik was expected to do well competing for the state golfing title as a teenager. He competed during his senior year of high school, but almost didn’t qualify for the regional match. He had 80 strokes and felt he was unlikely to make it to the state match. In the end, though, he qualified by one stroke. Goik said of the experience, “From that point forward everything progressed into my whole career. So fate definitely played a role.”
Brent Goik became the golf pro and recreation manager at the Bay County Golf Course in 2007. It wasn’t until 2014 that things turned bad.
Partners in Crime
The Bay Country Golf Course sold a mini-membership to prospective golfers. These memberships provided 10 rounds of golf for $185. Beginning in 2014, Goik’s wife, Ashley, began making fake mini-membership cards and selling them for $75. Mrs. Goik even went so far as to have the cards laminated at Staples. Instead of giving the money to the golf course, Mrs. Goik kept it for herself.
Staff members told Mr. Goik that they were being presented fake membership cards. Mr. Goik told them that he would investigate their claims. However, Mrs. Goik’s fake cards remained in circulation and were still honored by the golf course. When the local sheriff’s office was made aware of the situation, they enlisted the Michigan State Police to avoid possible conflicts of interest.
Punishment and Divorce
Brent Goik eventually went to the director of his department with information about his and Mrs. Goik’s wrongdoings. Two weeks later he was fired. The police said that the Goiks took over $1,000 from the golf course with their fake membership cards. They now face up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Both of the Goiks stand to lose a lot, but Mr. Goik is uniquely losing his integrity as a professional athlete.
A week before his employment was terminated, Mr. Goik filed for divorce. According to his termination letter, which was obtained by the Bay City Times, Mr. Goik admitted to helping his wife conceal her falsifications.
It is unclear why Mr. Goik filed for divorce, but his timing raises some questions. His decision may be a way of showing prosecutors that he objected to his wife’s misconduct. However, it may also be a way to further incriminate his wife to restore his professional reputation. Only Mr. Goik knows why he filed for divorce. The Goik’s trial picks up again in May; maybe the answer will be revealed then.
Thompson, L. (2011, Sept. 19). Brent Goik Follows Fate To Bay County Sports Hall Of Fame Golf Career. MLive. Retrieved on Apr. 27, 2016, from http://www.mlive.com/sports/bay-city/index.ssf/2011/09/brent_goik_follows_fate_to_bay.html
Waterman, C. (2016, Apr. 27). Bay County Golf Pro, Wife Charged With Selling Bogus Golf Course Memberships. MLive. Retrieved on Apr. 28, 2016, from http://www.mlive.com/news/bay-city/index.ssf/2016/04/bay_county_golf_pro_wife_charg.html