Candler Hills Professionals
Meet the Candler Hills Golf Club team. Dedicated to providing you the best experience during your golf outing, lessons, practice and more.
Matt Hibbs, Director of Golf at On Top of the World Communities, LLC, has been with the company since 2009. Matt was born in Flint, Michigan and relocated to Florida in 2005 when he joined the Walt Disney World Golf Team. He attended Ferris State University and graduated with a degree in Professional Golf Management. There, Matt worked his way through the ranks from a golf apprentice to a Class A Golf Professional and Manager within one year. In 2009, Matt left Disney to become the Head Golf Professional at Candler Hills Golf Club and in 2012, his hard work paid off when he became the On Top of the World Director of Golf.“To me, On Top of the World is family, customer service, great principles and education,” he said. After all of his years of service, Matt would like to be remembered as a person that was very helpful to others. “I want the golf department’s legacy, under my leadership, to be known as a staff who had a genuine concern for our residents and who always went above and beyond to help others,” he said with a smile.
Russ Smith, Is a Class A PGA Golf Professional and The Head Golf Professional at On Top of the World Communities, LLC, he has been with the company since 2007. Russ was born in Ocala, Florida and grew up in the small town of Crystal River. He graduated high school in 2007 and while attending the College of Central Florida he joined the Candler Hills Golf Club staff at the age of 18. There, he worked his way through the ranks from a Shop Attendant to Assistant Golf Professional at Candler Hills Golf Club and then was promoted again to be the Head Golf Professional for On Top of the World Golf Club where he has worked since then. “It means a lot to be part of this family and a family is what On Top of the World is. We all have a part to play to make it a success and by helping your family, you show them you care,” says Russ. When he’s ready to take the next step in life, Russ would like to leave a legacy of FUN. “I would like to be remembered as the guy who always came to work with a smile on my face, a great attitude and always found a way to have fun no matter what we were doing,” adds Russ.
Denise joined On Top of the World in 2010 working in both On Top of the World and Candler Hills Golf Operations. Since 2010, she has promoted league participation for both Men’s Golf Association (MGA) and Ladies Golf Association (LGA). Denise organized a Ladies Only Clinic that is held every other week and was instrumental in fostering a relationship with The First Tee of Greater Ocala. Candler Hills Golf Club is now officially a recognized site for hosting LPGA-USGA Girls Golf Classes where Denise is the Site Director for the program. In her spare time, Denise is a member of the Talk of the World Toastmasters group. “I love people and providing the best possible experience for the customer; golf has been my passion for 50 years,” says Denise. We are all about making “Magic Moments” for our members, residents and guests!
Nick Schwander was born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Graduate of Western Michigan University, where he majored in Interpersonal Communication and minored in Psychology. Nick spent six years in the finance industry as a fraud and loss analyst upon graduation and has been involved for 12 plus years in the golf industry utilizing my club fitting/merchandising experience to serve the greater Kalamazoo area before joining Candler Hills Golf Club as the Assistant Golf Professional. “I am an avid sports fan and was a multi-sport athlete throughout high school and college. I am currently in pursuit of my class A PGA status. I want to be remembered as someone who enjoys helping others find success both on and off the golf course,” says Nick.
Andrew Jorgensen, CGCS is the Director of Community Maintenance Operations at On Top of the World Communities, LLC., in Ocala, Florida. He has been with the company since 2005 and manages all community maintenance and golf operation activities. Andrew was born in Kansas City, Missouri and relocated to Florida after spending his youth growing up outside of Atlanta, Georgia. He obtained two Associate degrees in Golf Turf Management and Commercial Turf Management from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Georgia. Later, Andrew received a certificate in Turf Management from the University of Georgia. He achieved the Certified Golf Course Superintendent designation in 2012 from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. In 2014, Andrew became a Certified Landscape Industry Manager from the National Association of Landscape Professionals. In 2014 and again in 2017, he accepted the GCSAA/Golf Digest Environmental Leaders in Golf Award, and in 2022 was awarded the President’s Award for Environmental Stewardship from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, further proving his commitment to the environment and the community in which so many call home. Andrew was the recipient of the Florida Turfgrass Association’s highest award, The Wreath of Grass, in 2020 recognizing his outstanding contributions towards the Florida turfgrass industry. He is heavily involved within the industry serving as an officer and board member of various turfgrass related organizations including Past President of the Florida Golf Course Superintendent Association and the Florida Turfgrass Association, President of the Seven Rivers Golf Course Superintendents Association and Vice President of the Environmental Research and Education Foundation. Andrew is also involved locally with Leadership Ocala/Marion through the Ocala/Marion County Chamber and Economic Partnership serving as Vice Chair and serves on the advisory board for the University of Florida Institute for Food & Agricultural Sciences Plant Science and Research and Education Unit in Citra, Florida.
Jeff Egolf, Golf Course Superintendent at Candler Hills Golf Club, has been with the company since 2020. He was born and raised in Laurel, Maryland, and relocated to Florida in 1998. Jeff got his first job at a golf course at 19 and quickly realized this was the career he wanted. He was working his way through the ranks from equipment operator up to his goal of Superintendent. Jeff received his turf education at Penn State World Campus. He is also a member of the GCSAA and FCGSA. Jeff has been a Class A Superintendent for the last 10 years. “I love waking up early every morning and having the golf course as my office. “Every day is a different adventure; you never know what mother nature will throw at you. My goal is to maintain a course our residents are proud of and keep Candler Hills Golf Club as one of the top courses in the state,” says Jeff.