A lifelong love of golf has landed a recent Truman State University graduate in Scotland County. Timber Ridge Golf Course in Memphis has announced the hiring of Weston Smith as the new greenskeeper for the nine-hole golf course located on Highway 15 south of town.
Smith, a graduate of La Plata High School, had spent some time on the course as a member of the Bulldogs team that finished fourth in the state in 2011 and 2012. Smith earned fifth place in state individually as a senior in 2012.
After graduating from TSU with an ag-science degree, Smith learned of the job opportunity after a chance conversation between Scotland County R-I golf coach and TRGC board member Dave Shalley, and Smith’s father.
“Dave mentioned something to my dad, and that was all it took,” said Smith. “I’m from a family of golfers, and our lives kind of revolve around the sport.”
It probably didn’t hurt TRGC’s chances that Smith’s fiancée, Cali Holt, is an SCR-I graduate, who is happy to get the chance to move back home.
Smith has been working at a golf course since the age of 15, so he is no stranger to the demands of the job.
“We were really impressed with his experience and his drive and work ethic,” said former greens keeper and current TRGC board member Randy Trueblood. “When one of the first things he asked me about was our weed eaters, I knew we had a keeper.”
It is the combination of course and sport management that has board president Kris Lister excited about the new page in the club’s history.
“He is going to offer a lot more than just a quality surface to play golf on,” said Lister. “Weston is going to help a lot of people get the opportunity to enjoy the sport of golf more.”
Some of that will include club repair and re-gripping services that Smith plans to offer in his downtime.
Once he gets settled into his job and new community, the new greenskeeper plans to offer some learning opportunities.
Lister said the club hopes to hold an open house in the near future to let people get to meet Smith and allow him to discuss opportunities for lessons and other learning events.
Initial ideas have included youth clinics and other group learning opportunities for beginning skills that ultimately can lead to more individualized lessons.
“I play a lot of golf,” said Smith. Anytime I can get off the back of a mower and the weather cooperates, I love swing the clubs.”
That passion will lend itself to Timber Ridge’s efforts to grow its membership and expand a tournament schedule in efforts to keep the course busy in 2017 and beyond.
The schedule kicked off last Friday with the annual John Ed Luther Memorial Tourney hosted by the Scotland County Rotary Club.
Next on the agenda is a two-couple scramble tourney set for June 4th.
One of the bigger events of the year is the annual Father’s Day Tournament set for June 18th.
The Ladies’ Day Tourney is set for July 8th with a two-man 27-hole event set for July 23rd.
August kicks off with a four-man Calcutta tourney on the 6th. the Seniors’ Tourney is August 18th with a two couple scramble scheduled for August 20th.
September 8th will be the course fundraiser tourney, J & J Ag Day Tourney. Board members are working on adding a second fundraiser tourney. It is in the initial stages, but an initial proposal is considering a Charlie Boyer Memorial Tourney, to honor the long-time TRGC member and booster.
October 1st will be the annual one person Chili Open tourney.
The course hosts a regular Monday night scramble event from May 1st through September 1st. Golfers just need to show up by 6 p.m. to participate.
Ladies’ League night remains Tuesday while the Men’s League takes place on Thursdays. Both kicked off in May and are open for play at 6 p.m.
Twilight golf will once again be offered on May 21st, June 11th, July 9th and 30th, August 13th and September 17th. Golf begins at 5 p.m. with supper to follow.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the installation of the grass greens at Timber Ridge Golf Course.