FOR OFFICIAL RELEASE: 06-21-23
5 Under Golf Center Announces New President
With the recently-announced departure of 5 Under president, Austin Williams, the indoor/outdoor golf and entertainment venue has announced to promote from within the company, turning to current Vice President of Marketing, Lance LaRue.
Lance LaRue joined 5 Under earlier this spring to head up the marketing department which serves the five lines of business of the company: golf and game play, retail, restaurant, events, and e-Commerce.
Upon joining, LaRue and his team swiftly navigated through six weeks of the outdoor facility being down for net replacement and upgrades. He has led new efforts for branding, social media content, and digital marketing strategies as well as workflow efficiencies.
Owner of 5 Under Golf Center, Don Shaver, says that LaRue is a team player whose versatility, his ability to communicate, and his marketing experience with both corporate and small business make him a unique fit for the leadership role.
“Lance has the professionalism, personality, and service-first approach that all fit with the vision of 5 Under,” says Shaver. “He has quickly made a positive impact with all of our team, and he will make for a smooth transition with Austin [Williams] leaving.”
Outgoing president, Austin Williams, has been with 5 Under since its opening in 2019. Williams and Shaver brought the idea of a Topgolf Swing Suite and Toptracer Range golf venue to life in Beaumont—complete with retail, restaurant and more all under one roof. Williams and his family previously owned the driving range and retail center, Games People Play, on the site where present-day 5 Under stands. Over the years, 5 Under has hosted many community events and earned accolades for service, including two Top 50 GRAA golf range honors and the BBB Torch Award for Ethics (earlier this month).
“We thank Austin for his work and we wish him the very best,” Shaver adds. “We invite our friends in the community to come celebrate and visit with Austin before his last day, Friday, and meet Lance and the team at 5 Under.”
Williams has worked closely with LaRue on marketing and events, and he says the company is in good hands with the 5U team as he leaves for a new opportunity with First Security Bank in Beaumont.
“Lance is talented, he’s a leader and a listener, and he really cares,” says Williams. “He works well with our VPs, and gets everyone involved. I’m proud of what we’ve done, I’m excited to see great things to come for both 5 Under and in my new opportunity at First Security.”
LaRue will begin the role effective June 24, 2023. He will continue to work with the 5U executive team including John Miller, VP of Operations and e-Commerce; Helen Wade, CFO; Wendy Smith, VP of Food/Beverage; and John Jeffrey, PGA Associate and VP of Retail.
Lance LaRue is an award-winning marketing and creative advertising professional of nearly twenty years, LaRue is a product of Port Neches-Groves (‘98). He went on to Lamar University to study Advertising and minor in Visual Design, earning a Bachelor of Science in Communication (’02). He has an extensive background in advertising, branding, and design. His previous role was Chief Marketing Officer with the Neches Restaurant Group, and prior to that he served as Creative Director for Beaumont ad agency, Americom Marketing. He has performed a variety of work for local businesses, civic and non-profit organizations, and online stores across the country. He also served as Brand Strategy Manager at Capital One’s SparkPay, and he was named to the “40 Under 40” Southeast Texas Young Professionals. He is a resident of Lumberton with his wife, Michelle, and their two children.
LaRue says he is looking forward to working with the team and continuing the success of 5 Under.
“5 Under is a special place, and I really like the multiple lines of business and the different ways we can serve people,” says LaRue. “Our team is loaded with talent and expertise at every corner. They have a great thing going, and I’m grateful, eager, and excited to be on board.”