By building and managing some of the country's most acclaimed golf courses, Eric Bergstol, Founder of Empire Golf Management, has changed the face of the golf industry.
A subsidiary of Bergstol Enterprises, within its portfolio Empire Golf Management is responsible for the financing, development, management, merchandising, and day-to-day supervision of nine, world-class, golf clubs.
Our courses offer the highest levels of customer service. Our Members and guests consistently enjoy superior golf and dining experiences. In fact, through our Club Max USA program, Members enjoy reciprocal privileges at each of our three "Core Clubs." Additionally, they are treated to significant savings at our "Bonus Club" Twisted Dune Club.
Empire Golf Management - Executive Team: Eric Bergstol, Mark Unger, Mike Sommerfeldt, Dr. Richard Hurley, and Rudy Virga.
Eric Bergstol, Owner and Founder, a native of Rockland County, New York, is the founder and visionary behind Empire Golf Management, where developing golf courses isn't a business ... it's a passion.
A leader in real estate development for more than 50 years, Bergstol Enterprises today has a presence along the entire U.S. East Coast with three primary real estate divisions - golf, residential, and retail/commercial.
Eric first became involved in the golf course development industry in 1989 when he acquired property to create Minisceongo Golf Club. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Bergstol developed Pine Barrens Golf Club in New Jersey to universal acclaim, and then Branton Woods Golf Club soon followed. It premiered as the Number 2 course in Golf Digest’s Top 10 New Upscale Courses for 2002.
Empire Golf is a fully integrated golf company featuring site identification, acquisition, development, design, construction and management. Empire Golf's experience extends beyond its own portfolio and provides the full array of services to third parties.
Mark Unger, President, is responsible for the company's three divisions: golf, residential, and retail/commercial. In 2005, in addition to his CFO responsibility, he assumed the responsibility of President of Empire Golf Management. 'Bergstol is a long standing, established entrepreneurial real estate company that has diversified within the real estate development business, and I am proud to be a part of it,' says Mr. Unger.
Mark was instrumental in forming the firm's golf division, Empire Golf. 'We manage every element of the golf course development spectrum including site identification, acquisition, development, golf course design, construction, marketing, pre-opening and operational management,' says Mark.
As President, Mark maintains a constant focus on marrying superior customer service with sound principles in accounting and finance, controls, and systems.
Mark holds a B.S. degree from Cornell and an MBA in finance from New York University.
Mike Sommerfeldt, Director of Finance, brings more than 20 years of financial services experience to Empire Golf Management. Beginning in 1985, Mike worked in public accounting for Ernst and Young [NY] and then moved to the hospitality industry with Schieffelin & Somerset. In 1989, Mr. Sommerfeldt moved to Club Corp. of America, serving as Controller for the Plaza Club in Phoenix. From there, and he became Controller at Sleepy Hollow Country Club, Briarcliff Manor, New York. During his tenure at Sleepy Hollow, he supervised the computerization of the entire accounting system and was instrumental in conducting a Champions TOUR event held there at the time.
In 2001, Mike became the EGM Director of Finance. Mike and his staff oversee the financial operations for all of Empire Golf Management's properties, third party management contracts, and new golf course construction. 'Our goal at Empire Golf Management is to provide our clients with a level of accounting and financial management that exceeds what is required at the country's finest clubs,' says Mike.
Mr. Sommerfeldt holds a B.S degree from Saint John's University.
Rudy Virga - Director of Operations. Rudy has worked for Empire Golf Management for the past 14 years. Most recently serving as General Manger of Pine Barrens Golf Club for the past 10 years, he started his career at Empire as the First Assistant Professional at Minisceongo Golf Club, in Pomona, NY.
Prior to joining Empire Golf Management, Rudy had extensive experience in the golf industry. He held the position of First Assistant Professional at the Baltimore Country Club in Maryland for two years and prior to that he worked as the First Assistant Professional for Westchester Country Club.
Rudy participated in the Ben Hogan Tour, South African Tour, T.C. Jordan Tour, Canadian Tour, the Emerald Coast Tour and the Gold Coast Tour. Rudy holds the distinction of being a nationally recognized amateur which was highlighted by the 1989 U.S. Amateur at Merion Golf Club where he finished in the final 32 players in match play. He earned membership to the PGA of America in 1999 and currently holds a PGA A-9 Classification.
Rudy is a graduate of Central Connecticut State University earning a BS in Marketing and Management.
Richard H. Hurley, Ph.D. & CPAg - Director of Golf Course Maintenance. An accomplished agronomist, Dr. Hurley specializes in the development and selection of grasses to complement golf course and sports field construction. He handles projects both domestically and abroad, including Europe and the Far East. He has authored dozens of professional articles, and some of his writings have been translated into Japanese.
Since 1978 he has served in a volunteer capacity preparing Augusta National Golf Club for the Masters. A recipient of several national awards, he is also a member of the New Jersey Turfgrass Hall of Fame.
Rich joined Empire Golf Management in 1998, supervising agronomy operations for course designs and construction, while also directing the use and establishment of turfgrass and natural plant selection. He continues to provide his extensive knowledge of turfgrass management for existing courses, as well as, the development of Empire's new construction.
A past President of the New Jersey Turfgrass Association and Turfgrass Foundation, Dr. Hurley received his Master's Degree from the University of Rhode Island [Plant Science & Turfgrass Management], and his Ph.D. from Rutgers University [Soils & Crops and Turfgrass Breeding].