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Peter Quinn, Latecomer to Golf, Takes Over as LMGA President

By Rick Colvin

New LMGA President Peter Quinn played golf as a boy growing up in Kilmarnock, Scotland, near some of the most storied courses in golf history, including Royal Troon, the site of The Open nine times, most recently in 2016.

But in his early teens he took up tennis, leaving golf behind until 2013. That’s when he met his wife, Lynn Townsend, a Landings resident and a golfer. He took to the game quickly. He joined LMGA in 2015, captained the Deer Creek Bouchillon-Ambrose Cup team in 2019 and 2020, and was chosen vice president in 2021. Known as a big hitter on the golf course, Quinn currently carries a handicap of 9.5.

He follows in the footsteps of Greg Snyder, who led the LMGA in 2021.  The membership grew approximately 10 percent in 2021, to 489, and one of Quinn’s goals is to keep that trend going. To that end, he plans to continue to strengthen the relationship with New Neighbors, a steady source of new LMGA members. He also wants to make LMGA even more attractive, by increasing participation in the Wednesday night scrambles from May to September, by focusing more attention on interclub competitions, and by working with Landings Club pros to create more opportunities to play off-island, such as the outing to Bay Hill last fall.

Now in its 10th year, the LMGA “has matured as an organization and has all of its procedures in place,” said Quinn. “We’re going from strength to strength and I’m looking forward to following in the footsteps of Greg and Frank,” he said, referring to Frank Schepis who was president of LMGA in 2020. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Snyder, reflecting on his time as president, agreed. “We are well-positioned to handle future growth, and whatever else comes our way,” he said. “With a healthy membership and balance sheet, we should continue to support worthy causes and offer our members fun-filled golf and social events.”

Quinn also wants to work with B-A Cup team captains to create more camaraderie and engagement. He will propose asking players to wear their team hats on Thursdays to help them more readily identify fellow team members. And he is suggesting that, for the once-a-month B-A Cup competitions, team members sit together for their post-round lunch.

Among his other goals is increasing communications from the LMGA board to the membership, disseminating more information from board meetings about topics such as course conditions and the progress of the Golf Performance Center project. He applauded LMGA’s fundraising on behalf of community organizations and also its support for First Tee, an initiative supported by Snyder. Finally, he intends to expand the responsibilities of the LMGA vice-president, a post that will be filled by John Bellucci in 2021.

Quinn is a lover of good Scotch whiskey, to be expected from someone whose hometown is also where Johnnie Walker had its start.

After completing his undergraduate studies, he earned a Master’s in History and Politics at Edinburgh University, for which he wrote a thesis on the development of the welfare state in Britain between 1886 and 1914. He then earned a certificate in accountancy and had a short-lived stint as an accountant in London but, deciding that career path didn’t suit him, he found a position in the financial applications sector of software systems companies. He went on to run U.S. subsidiaries of global enterprise software companies, a role in which he was responsible for sales, marketing, and implementation of systems for large companies, such as Boeing, Ferrari, and New Balance.

He and his wife, Helen, and their sons, Robert and Joseph, them 6 and 9, moved to Chicago in 1999. When he was close to retirement, he and Helen, bought a townhouse in downtown Savannah partly because its squares and older buildings give it a European feel. Unfortunately, Helen passed away before they could make the move. Quinn decided to move anyway, to get a fresh start, and moved to downtown Savannah with no intention of taking up golf. Then, however, he met Lynn and moved to The Landings in 2013.