Our Golf Staff
BEN KIRKES (GOLF PROFESSIONAL/GENERAL MANAGER)
Ben Kirkes, Rockwind’s former Assistant Golf Professional, was promoted to Acting Golf Professional/General Manager in 2020. Kirkes, an accomplished competitive golfer, joined the Rockwind team in 2017 and quickly became an energetic ambassador for the award-winning facility.
A resident of Hobbs, Kirkes played varsity golf at Highland High School in Phoenix, Arizona, for two years and then finished his junior and senior years at Carlsbad High School, Carlsbad, New Mexico, where he made first team All-State. Following graduation in 2011, Kirkes earned a full scholarship to play for the New Mexico Junior College golf team in Hobbs. NMJC was the #1 Junior College golf team in America at the time. He played in two NJCAA National Golf Championships at NMJC and subsequently earned a golf scholarship at West Texas A&M University. He was a member of the only West Texas A&M golf team ever to compete in an NCAA National Golf Championship.
As a member of Rockwind’s golf staff, Kirkes has assisted with many services at the club, including instruction for The First Tee program, the PGA Junior League program and lessons with adults and youngsters. Responsibilities also have entailed daily pro shop operations, tournament preparation and merchandising.
MATT L. HUGHES (COURSE SUPERINTENDENT)
Raised in the Texas Hill Country, Matt always enjoying the outdoors including hunting, fishing and competition trap and skeet shooting. Matt’s turfgrass experience started at a very young age with his summer job mowing neighborhood lawns. His passion for the outdoors and enjoying God's land ultimately led to his pursuing a career as a Golf Course Superintendent. Currently, he is a Class “A” GCSAA member and has had the opportunity to work at many golf courses in the West including the award winning Johnny Miller Golf Course in Utah, Thanksgiving Point, as well as courses in Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico.
Through Matt’s journey as a superintendent he has been happily joined by his wife of 18 years and, most recently, alongside his blessed 5 year old twins. He is a child of God, husband, father of twins and a golf course superintendent. For Matt, being a superintendent is not simply a career, but a lifestyle where his wife, twins, and, of course, his dog Bogey are an integral part of his daily experience.
Matt and his wife travelled to Hobbs from Arizona 10 years ago to take on the Superintendent position and are very proud members of the Hobbs Community. They are looking forward to many more years taking care of the course where he was an integral part of the decision to completely redesign the course and, that he grew in from the first blade of grass.
Jennifer Layland (Golf Shop Coordinator)
Jennifer was in born in Lubbock Texas and has been a resident of Hobbs for 38 years. She is currently the Golf Shop Coordinator at Rockwind Community Links. Jennifer has two beautiful children, Joseph (16) and Jemmeye (7) with her spouse of 22 years, Joe Hill. Her partnership with Joe, who happens to be the Assistant Superintendent at Rockwind, has kept her close to the game of golf for 17 years.
Prior to her employment at Rockwind, Jennifer volunteered her time to assist with tournament preparation and she has often catered appreciation luncheon’s for the Rockwind team. All while working at Hobbs Municipal Schools in the Special Education department for 10 years after her 3 years with The Guidance Center of Lea County working as a Case Worker. Jennifer is drawn to helping those in need and she always puts her family and others before herself.
Jennifer’s assigned duties as the Coordinator include daily pro shop operations, tournament preparation and merchandising. Her goal is to provide the best experience possible for residents as well as golfers around the country and beyond. Jennifer is a tireless worker who is usually the first person to greet patrons as they arrive and she is beloved by many of our members. In her free time she enjoys camping, gardening and relaxing with her family.