Wesley Mensing, 27, was struck while crossing an intersection in upper Manhattan. A graduate of Methodist University’s PGA Golf Management program, he had been hired in 2014 as Plainfield CC’s first-ever Director of Instruction and named in November as one of the best under-40 instructors in the U.S.
A promising New Jersey golf instructor who was struck and killed by a car in New York City on January 3, was recalled by colleagues as a “class act” whose knowledge and skill belied his young age, NJ.com, a website for New Jersey news, reported.
Scott Paris, Director of Golf at Plainfield Country Club in Edison, N.J. told NJ.com that he had hired Wesley Mensing as the club’s first-ever Director of Instruction last year. Though Mensing was just 26 at the time, Paris said he was struck by his maturity and easygoing, good hearted demeanor.
“His ability, the way he handled people—he was just such a class act,” Paris said. “And then his combination of skill and passion as a golf instructor was very rare.”
Mensing and 30-year-old Erin Sauchelli were crossing the intersection of East 62nd Street and Lexington Avenue in Upper Manhattan on Saturday night, January 3 around 7:45 p.m. when they were struck by a Mercedes SUV, police said.
Both had to be removed from beneath the vehicle, and were taken to a nearby hospital, where Mensing was pronounced dead, NJ.com reported. Sauchelli was listed in stable condition as of Sunday afternoon, January 4, according to authorities.
A 45-year-old man who was driving the Mercedes was ticketed for being an unlicensed operator. It was unclear if additional charges may be filed, and police said an investigation into the crash remained active, NJ.com reported.
After accepting his new job at Plainfield CC, NJ.com reported, Mensing moved into an apartment in Scotch Plains, N.J. and began teaching golfers of all ages at the prestigious club. When the weather turned colder, he began working at other instruction facilities in Manhattan and New Jersey, while still taking his post at the club when temperatures allowed.
“When he wasn’t teaching, he was watching other great instructors, talking to fitness experts—even though it’s technically our offseason, that’s not the way he looked at it,” Paris told the website.
Raised in the Pittsburgh, Pa. area, Mensing attended college at Methodist University in North Carolina, where he graduated from the school’s PGA Golf Management program in 2009.
He then worked at a golf course in Maryland and at the Jim McLean Golf School in Miami Beach, Fla. before moving to New Jersey, NJ.com reported.
Grayson Zacker, Director of Instruction at the Jim McLean school in Miami Beach and a close friend of Mensing’s, said the 27-year-old was an immediate standout upon coming aboard shortly after his graduation.
“He had a can-do attitude. I think that made him a really successful instructor,” Zacker said. “There was nobody that would not have a good experience spending time with Wes.”
Both Mensing and Zacker were included in a November Golf Digest article that identified them as among the best young instructors under 40 in America. Despite the high-profile mention, Paris said Mensing never gloated or bragged about the honor.
“Honestly it was a little uncomfortable for him, because he was so modest, but he was incredibly proud,” Paris told NJ.com.
The inclusion on the list only added to Mensing’s sterling reputation in the golf industry, Zacker said, and he appeared poised to rise through the ranks and potentially instruct competitors on the PGA Tour.
“He was taking all the right steps. Ahead of 99 percent of golf professionals, I’d say,” Zacker said.
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