Jack Hannigan has been an Egypt Valley Country Club member since the beginning, spending time golfing and relaxing with wife, Vickie; son, Jim; and daughter, Erin.
Though the days of his children splashing in the club pool are behind him—they’re grown and living out of state—Hannigan is still often found teeing up to improve his game.
A Philadelphia native, Hannigan came to West Michigan in 1983 and worked as an insurance executive with Foremost Insurance, a division of Farmers Insurance, for more than 40 years before retiring. Even when bouncing back and forth between Los Angeles and Grand Rapids throughout his career, Hannigan maintained his Egypt Valley membership.
Hannigan began playing golf at age 21, after he and a friend made the choice of taking up tennis or golf at the course his fresh-out-of-college employer owned at the time.
“Golf is a lot easier because the ball isn’t moving,” Hannigan joked. “I loved the fact that regardless of age, you can always get better. It’s a great way to enjoy being outside and staying active.”
Egypt Valley initially appealed to Hannigan because of the challenging courses—an ideal environment for improving your game.
“The courses are kept in fantastic condition, thanks to Jeff Holmes, who does an outstanding job,” said Hannigan, who also enjoys the friendly competition between high-level players often found at the club. “Other courses in the area simply don’t compare.”
Hannigan served as Treasurer and later President during his six years on the Egypt Valley board, with his term ending only recently. It was there that Hannigan earned the nickname “The Grim Reaper” for his practical and conservative financial approach.
“Maggie Lancaster gave me that name,” said Hannigan, laughing.
When Hannigan entered the scene, the club needed to crank up its focus on finances. He knew by being direct and realistic and looking at things from a long-term perspective, rather than year-to-year, Egypt Valley would reap—pun intended—a variety of benefits, from expenses to membership growth.
Lancaster gave Hannigan a plastic scythe, which he proudly keeps in his locker, as a lighthearted tribute to his no-nonsense attitude.
“Everyone would call me ‘The Grim Reaper’ when I would strike down ideas that just weren’t going to work at the time,” said Hannigan.
“Now, the club is in a position for record growth—due partly to this conservative approach.”
Hannigan, who is also a board chairman at various organizations around town, enjoys volunteering his time.
“It’s so important to participate and give back,” he said, adding that he made sure Foremost Insurance sponsored the Senior Tour at the club for a number of years in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s.
The club has been a place of note for Hannigan over the years. It’s where his daughter got married, where he got two holes-in-one, where he won an Infinity two-door sportscar in the early ‘90s for 30 days, where his former employer would host its annual 25-year honoree dinner ...
Egypt Valley is more than a country club: To Hannigan, it’s where some of his fondest memories have occurred and continue to happen.
If you see Jack around the club, be sure to say “Hello!”