Marty West of Columbia Country Club, at age 32 at the top of his game after winning his fifth Maryland Amateur title last Sunday, says he may retire from playing competitive golf.
"I've been thinking about it for some time as to how much time I can continue to devote to golf as opposed to family and work and other interests in my life," West said. "I'm not sure that this is going to be the year, or next year or when, but I am seriously considering retiring from competitive golf. When you have a young family that is growing you want to spend some time with them. My family is very important; they want to be around me more and I want to be around them more."
West and his wife Betsy have two sons, Marty IV, 4, and Derek, 10 months. West is also busy in the mortgage banking business and in church activities.
"There is only one way to go," he said. "You can't do it halfway and be effective. Anything you do you need to put 100 percent into it. When I play in a tournament I don't go out to have a good time, I go out there to play as hard as I can.
"I made a little statement to myself before the Maryland Amateur that I wanted to win the tournament because I did not know how many more I would be playing . . . I'm probably hitting the ball better than I have in a long time."
As evidence, West went out dog tired last Monday after winning the grueling Amateur and shot 69 in qualifying for the Columbia club championship.
His schedule the rest of the season includes the Maryland Open in mid-July, attempts to qualify late this summer for the U.S. Amateur and the new USGA Mid-Amateur, and defense of his Middle Atlantic Amateur title in early October.