About Us

Redefining Public Golf is more than a motto, it is the way we approach everyday.


We are a spirited group of PGA Professionals and golf executives who understand the game and business of golf. Our focus is to create the right atmosphere and to use the experience we have in growing the game to improve your golfing experience. Dedication, a love for the game and the ability to follow through on our goals are key characteristics that our team brings to Makefield Highlands to ensure the overall success of the golf experience and facility.

Makefield Highlands Golf Club is Redefining Public Golf


Mike Attara

Mike Attara

PGA, President of Spirit Golf Management, Inc., COO

Mike Attara is a certified PGA Professional, golf industry executive, and the founder and president of Spirt Golf Management. Serving as the PGA General Manager for Five Ponds Golf Club. Mike is Trustee of the New Jersey Golf Foundation, Board Member of the Pennsylvania Golf Course Owners Association, and Board Member of the GAP Public Golf Committee. Mike served two terms as a NJ PGA Board of Director and has been a long-time supporter of the Folds of Honor Foundation. 

Mike’s love for the game of golf began when he first picked up a club at the age of 12. He enjoyed success playing competitively and earned his Class A PGA certification in 1990 and certification in general management in 2006. Mike graduated from Bucks County College and went on to attend Wilmington University. During Mike’s 30 + years as a PGA Professional, Mike spent 10 years serving as a Regional Vice President for a national golf course management company, 10 years as the Director of Operations at Eagle Ridge Golf Club and the past 12 years as the President of Spirit Golf Management. 

Ed Gibson

Ed Gibson

PGA, Head Golf Professional

Ed has over 16 years of teaching experience and is a PGA certified Professional as of 2002.

Ed Gibson is the active Director of Instruction at Makefield Highlands Golf Club. Prior to Makefield, Ed was the Head Golf Professional at Applebrook Golf Club in Malvern, PA.

Ed was named the Philadelphia PGA Section “Assistant Professional of the Year” in 2007, and was also named one of the Top 25 Golf Instructors in Philadelphia Magazine, May 2008. Ed has served as the President of the Philadelphia Assistants Organization and is currently on both the Philadelphia PGA Growth of the Game Committee and Membership / Mentor Committee since 2007. Ed was a nominee for the 2010 and 2011 Philadelphia PGA Teacher of the Year and Junior Golf Leader and was also named 2011 and 2012 US Kids Top 50 Honorable Mention.

Ed was the winner of the 2004 Philadelphia Pro-Scratch Tour Event, and also has placed Top 10 in the Haverford Trust Philadelphia PGA Section Event in 2012 and was a 2012 Teacher of the Year nominee. Most recently, Ed was awarded the 2015 Philadelphia PGA Youth Player Development Award.

Ed Gibson is very involved in PGA Growth of the Game program which is the core foundation for Spirit Golf Management: “Growing One Club at a Time.” Ed believes strongly in the program in order to keep building the game, helping students improve and wanting to play more golf!

Dave Smith

Dave Smith

PGA, Director of Player Development

A Philadelphia native with over 20 years of golf industry experience, David graduated from Methodist University in 1993 with a B.S. in Business Administration, with a concentration in Professional Golf Management. Earning his PGA membership in 1997 and becoming a Certified PGA Professional in General Management 2014, his expertise in golf swing knowledge comes from extensive reading, classroom training, and thousands of hours in practical lesson tee experience.

Having worked at golf facilities such as Bala Golf Club, Atlantic City CC, Cape May National GC, and Yardley CC, David joins our team from his most recent dual position as The Director of Golf at Walnut Lane Golf Club and Site Director for The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia. During his tenure, he built a startup youth development program which currently facilitates 2500 juniors to learn the game of golf annually.

In 2012, David was awarded PGA Section Presidents Plaque for Player Development and sits on the Junior Golf Committee for the Philadelphia Section.

Joe Garstka

Joe Garstka

Assistant Golf Professional, Junior Golf Coordinator

Joe Garstka comes to Makefield Highlands from First Tee of Greater Philadelphia.

As a coach, science of golf instructor, and outreach manager with The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia, Joe has worked in the golf business for 5 years. He has an extensive background working with youth education and development for over 14 years. He holds a Masters in Elementary Education from Holy Family University and has worked as both a 2nd and 6th grade teacher, as well as a music teacher.

Currently, Joe is working on completing his Doctorate in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in assessment and student engagement. In addition, he is continuing his golf education to become a certified PGA Professional.

Howard Hirsch

Howard Hirsch

PGA, Teaching / Playing Professional

Howie is a Lifetime Member of the PGA and brings a wealth of experience to the Golf Academy. He has worked as Head Golf Professional for Frenchman’s Creek Club in Palm Beach Gardens, FL; Hidden Springs Golf Club (now Commonwealth National) in Horsham, PA; and as Director of Instruction at Marriott’s Sea View Golf Resort. Some of Howie’s career highlights include playing on the Canadian PGA Tour from 1977–1980. Howie’s passion for golf and his family has never wavered – he believes that any day on the links is a great one!

Lauren Muhlbauer

Lauren Muhlbauer

Assistant Professional, Golf Shop Manager

Lauren is the Assistant Golf Professional/Pro Shop Manager at Makefield Highlands Golf Club. Lauren played 4 years Varsity golf at Council Rock High School North. She was a 2015 PA state qualifier and an AJGA tournament champion. She grew up playing on junior tours including Philly Jr Tour, AJGA, IJGT, Hurricane Tour, & IMG. This is her 6th season working at Makefield Highlands. She is a PGA Apprentice and is working towards getting her PGA Card. Her love for the game began when she was 3 years old and asked for her first set of clubs for her birthday. Continuing her love and passion for the game, she teaches the junior and girls programs. Lauren also does some work with Women Golfers Give Back to help donate money for young women golfers in the area. 

Staff Directory


Ed Gibson, PGA | Head Golf Professional
215.321.7000 x101

Dave Smith, PGA | Director of Player Development
215.321.7000 x102

Mark Peterson, GCSAA | Director of Agronomy, Superintendent
Spirit Golf Management

Joe Garstka | Assistant Professional,  Junior Golf Coordinator

Howard Hirsch, PGA | Teaching / Playing Professional


Lauren Muhlbauer | Assistant Professional, Golf Shop Manager


Elisa Malinoff | Events Coordinator



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