What sets Golf Guidance Group apart is the expertise, reputation and knowledge of our four principals -leaders with a combined 200+ years of experience in the golf industry:
Marty Hackel: Golf Digest Contributor, Fashion/Product Placement
Marty Hackel, also known as "Mr. Style," is an acclaimed stylist for men and women. While best-known for styling the world's most celebrated professional golfers, actors, entertainers and professional athletes, Marty's ability to bring subtle sophistication that plays to each client's best features is what sets him apart.
Marty was a trendsetting Fashion Director for Golf Digest for 17 years where he was responsible for making sure players, teachers and cover subjects were styled in a fashionable and on-trend manner as well as writing the monthly Style section. While at Golf Digest, Marty made multiple TV and radio appearances on NBC, CBS and The Golf Channel.
Marty began his career in style and fashion as a retailer in the 1970s at Dayton’s in Minneapolis where he rose to the position of Divisional Merchandise Manager. From Dayton’s Marty was hired by Neiman-Marcus where he held a variety of positions culminating as Vice-President of Merchandising. Following this he has held senior positions at Bottega Veneta, Filofax and Alexander Julian. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: 917.714.7333
"Marty Hackel is the voice of the golf apparel business. Prior to him joining Golf Digest in the early 2000's there was no true coverage of fashion within golf. Marty created a platform by which all (golf pros, apparel brands, customers) could follow the fashion of golf. Consequently all of these interested parties look and continue to look to 'Mr. Style' for final approval. There is no disputing who Mr. Style is in the golf world and he is on a first name basis with every top name in golf."
-Billy Draddy, President of B. Draddy Apparel
Michael Kernicki: Golf Professional/General Manager
Michael Kernicki has spent an entire career at the top of the American golf industry. He is a Golf Professional who has served on or chaired most committees in the Michigan Section of the PGA and two other PGA Sections, as well as President of the Michigan PGA for two years. Michael has been an elected member of the PGA National Board of Directors and during his term he was Chairman of the Finance and Membership Committees. As a 14 year member of the PGA National Rules of Golf Committee, he served as a Rules Official at many PGA Championships and a Ryder Cup. Michael is also the author of "Golf's Short Game for Dummies”. In addition to several awards from multiple PGA Sections, twice he has been named Golf Professional of the Year by the Michigan PGA.
During his extensive career of serving private club members at some of the most exclusive clubs in the country, Michael has been a General Manager, Director of Golf or Head Golf Professional.
Always recruited as the person to analyze and upgrade operations his career includes: Bloomfield Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, MI, Wuskowhan Players Club in Holland, MI, The Golf Club of Georgia in Atlanta, Indian Creek Country Club in Miami, Old Palm Golf Club in FL, Canterbury Golf Club in Cleveland, and most recently at True North Golf Club in Harbor Springs, MI.
Michael takes pride in the fact that over 20 Assistant Professionals under his tutelage are successful General Managers, Directors of Golf, or Head Golf Professionals today.
"Working with Michael for many years while he was Head Golf Professional at Canterbury Golf Club was an incredible experience. His skill set and knowledge of the club industry was incredible. His talent for listening, evaluating, and setting a clear course for our future was so beneficial to our Board of Directors."
- Craig Bashein, former President of Canterbury Golf Club
Gene Mattare: Golf Professional/General Manager
Gene enjoyed a successful 40+ year career as a PGA professional. He retired after 28 years at Saucon Valley Country Club, a private club in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania that encompasses 850 acres including 60 holes of golf. Saucon Valley has hosted seven USGA Championships, four of which Gene was actively involved in administering.
During his tenure at Saucon Valley, Gene served in the dual capacity of Director of Golf (1991-2018) and General Manager (2005-2018). As Director of Golf, he managed the golf operation serving 1000 members. This included a robust caddy program with 100+ caddies, an award-winning retail operation generating $1mm in annual sales, as well as tournament and instructional programs for men, women, and juniors.
As General Manager, responsibilities included oversight of the entire physical plant that is comprised of three championship golf courses, a six-hole course, a 13-room guest house, indoor and outdoor racquet facilities, a four-pool swimming complex, as well as seven dining outlets.
Gene has served on various advisory boards including Peter Millar, Titleist and PGA Magazine and has been the recipient of five PGA merchandising awards as well as a national award for club-fitting. Prior to co-founding Golf Guidance Group with three colleagues, Gene has been involved with new business development for ClubUp, a platform for administering caddie programs.
"Saucon Valley Country Club was the beneficiary of Gene Mattare's leadership for nearly 3 decades. Gene successfully managed all aspects of our multifaceted club operation. He is truly an industry leader that has a proven track record and a stellar reputation."
- Andy Warner, former President and Current Honorary Board Member
Saucon Valley Country Club, Bethlehem, PA
Dick Stewart: Golf Professional/General Manager
As a member of the Michigan Section of the PGA for over 40 years, Dick was honored to be recognized with over sixteen special awards, including the Bill Strausbaugh Award for mentoring, the Horton Smith Award for education, Merchandiser of the Year (12 times), PGA of America’s Best Private Golf Shop 2006, and as the only three-time recipient of the Golf Professional of the Year Award.
His most recent honors include:
2018 Michigan PGA Hall of Fame
2020 Michigan PGA Golf Professional of the Year
2020 Michigan Golf Hall of Fame
2020 PGA of America Golf Professional of the Year Finalist
Dick was PGA Head Professional, Director of Golf at the Kalamazoo Country Club. For the last ten years of his 40-year tenure, he also served as the General Manager.
Kalamazoo Country Club had 475 members and the reputation as a full service, family-friendly club with four membership categories: General, Senior General, Young Executive, and Social. While at Kalamazoo Country Club, Dick oversaw a 2.5 million dining operation, a youth-caddy program with 75+ participants, a junior golf program serving 130 members, as well as an active men’s and women’s golf schedule.
Dick was active in the Michigan PGA his entire career, serving on the Board of Directors for 18 years, and as President of the Michigan Section. He was also on the Peter Millar Inner Circle Advisory Board.
Dick has placed 22 Assistants into PGA Head Professional Positions.
"Dick is the consummate golf professional. I have worked with Dick for 25 of his 40 year career at Kalamazoo Country Club. He changed my life for the better. He changed KCC for the better. Over his career he brought the game to thousands of people, caddies, and mentored professionals as they attained their own professional positions. He made all their lives better. He does it because that's who he is and he loves it. His career is filled with awards and each one is most deserving. I am a better golf course superintendent because of my relationship with Dick Stewart."
- John Fulling, GCCS
Grounds and Facilities Manager, Kalamazoo Country Club
President - Golf Course Superintendent's Association of America