The Brown family certainly has history with Egypt Valley Country Club, which has become important to them in a variety of ways since they joined in the early ‘00s.
In a way, it’s become a second home—like a cottage.
Brothers Mike Brown, owner and operator, ISG, and Matt Brown, a financial advisor also with ISG, grew up in Hastings, Michigan. Their father, Wayne, a former EVCC member, helped pave the way for the work they do today.
“My dad was a former teacher and he taught me the value of patience, work ethic, and the importance of taking the time to explain the details to clients,” said Matt. “My father retired seven years ago, but I still remember the early days of these teachings as if it were more recent.
“Fast forward to today: Mike and I have taken the reins of our company and made it the practice it is today.”
Mike and Matt didn’t get only their passion for their work from their father—their love for the game of golf came from him, too.
“Both of my older brothers played golf on the Hastings High School team and sometime around the middle school age, I asked my dad to take me to the range to hit balls,” said Matt, who plays in the Men’s League alongside Mike. “My father had played some golf in his youth years and continued into his early 20s.”
After a long hiatus, Wayne Brown’s love for golf was rekindled.
“I still remember the day, when I’m sure he had grown tired of watching me chop at the ball, when he said, ‘Let me see that club,’” Matt recalled. “From that day on, he played golf again and we had a built-in foursome. Three boys and our dad.”
Mike had played golf on a limited basis as child, participating in a YMCA program where he could play nine holes and get a lesson on Fridays in the summer for $1.
“I met John Parker early in my professional life and he convinced me to play tournament golf and improve,” said Mike. “I worked hard at my game and was ‘bit’ by the golf bug.”
In 2000, Mike and his wife, Melissa, joined Egypt Valley with a plan to enjoy the club with friends and family as they raised their young family. The Browns’ parents, along with Matt and his wife, Bethany, followed soon after.
“We had a plan with John and Elizabeth Parker to be members together and we saw joining as an opportunity for our families to grow up together,” Mike said, noting the plan worked better than he had expected. “In 2000, EVCC offered me an opportunity to play with many top local amateurs who were members that offered games and good competition. A 36-hole property that offered access and people that enjoy the game the way I do was just as appealing then as it is today.”
Matt adds that the conditions at Egypt Valley are second to none.
“I mainly play at EVCC, but any time I go off property, I’m reminded of how special the club is,” Matt said. “The difference between Egypt Valley and the rest is that we know the golf course is the most important piece of the club.”
And the work that was done to the porch has brought the Egypt Valley experience to a new level for Matt.
“There’s nothing better than finishing my mediocre round and hanging on the porch with the fellow comrades,” Matt joked. “This club is full of good people that want a place to play on two exceptional golf courses and have quality family experiences.”
Mike agrees and credits the size of the club as a huge bonus.
“I can count on one hand the number of times I have been blocked from golf in my time as a member,” said Mike. “The condition of the property has improved dramatically in the last decade and offers a superior environment for golf in our area—thanks to Jeff Holmes and his staff.”
Family activities are a large part of why the club is a second home to both Brown families.
“Over nearly two decades, my family has had the opportunity to learn the game of golf, participate in the swim team, tennis team, junior golf, as well as attend many family friendly special events,” said Mike, who has four children: Malorie, 20; Addie, 17; Michael, 15; and Evelyn, 12. “Leadership from Board, Bo’s work with operations, and particularly Mike McGonigal’s leadership and service in the golf operations has made the Egypt Valley experience the best during my time at the club.”
Matt’s children, Macey, 15; Coco, 14; Georgie, 12; and Jett, 9, have dabbled in golf but mainly like spending time by the club’s pool.
“Their claim to fame was winning the cardboard boat race one year,” Matt said proudly.
Mike finds the club special because of the deepened relationships he has with Egypt Valley members and employees.
“Egypt Valley has brought me and my family close to member families that I may never have known,” said Mike. “We have lifelong relationships because of the club—too many names to mention, that span a wide age group.”
Something other members might not know about Mike is that he’s only had one hole-in-one on a par four. And while Matt has a hard time hitting 6 Ridge and 3 Valley greens, he does have deuces on Royal Troon’s Postage Stamp and No. 7 at Pebble Beach.
“Two club, baby!” Matt said. “Still holding out for the ace. Just waiting for that special moment.”
If you see the Brown families around the club, be sure to stop and say, “Hello!”