o Tell us a little bit about yourself – name, business, job title, etc.David Hardesty, Chatham Hills, Head Golf Course Superintendent, Father of 3 (2 boys and a girl)
o How long have you been in this industry, where did you come from & who has been your biggest influence?
I started in the golf industry as a teenager, 21 years ago. I started at the country club in my home town of Frankfort, Kentucky as a bag boy in the golf shop. From there I went to the University of Kentucky where I studied agronomy. I got my first assistant superintendent job under one of my biggest influences, my uncle Rick Hynson who inspired me to get into the industry. I was fortunate enough to have a network that helped me get an in with the Nicklaus organization in North Palm Beach, Florida, where I had the opportunity to intern at Mr. Nicklaus' personal property. There I met two of my other biggest influences in the golf industry. One, Jon Scott, PGA and Nicklaus agronomist whom I was able to work very closely with while in Florida and again at my very first golf course build in Branson, Missouri (Top of the Rock). The other major influence I met while in Florida was a man by the name of Jerry Coldiron. Jerry taught me how to be happy and while that may not mean much to most of you, for those that knew Jerry, you know exactly what I mean by that.
o Who are some of your key people that make it happen every day and help you achieve your goals at Chatham?
Every superintendent knows that without your key people and the support of your ownership, everyday challenges are amplified. I am fortunate enough to be in a situation where our ownership trusts and supports my golf course decision making ability. I also have a wonderful equipment manager in Franz Schrammel, and probably the best assistant superintendent in the state in Nate Brown.
o What is your thoughts on the golf industry today? How has it changed?
Very recently the COVID-19 pandemic is creating a new pressure on all businesses, golf courses included. We are a luxury commodity. When the dust finally settles and the economy tries to shake off the mess this pandemic created, we may see some courses close their doors. However, golf is a fantastic leisure activity that can remain open during the effort for social distancing and allow people the chance to get outside, enjoy the game, and have a reason to smile during this time of concern.
o What is the most rewarding part of your job? What is the most challenging part?
Certainly the most rewarding part of my job is being outdoors everyday. That quiet hour every morning while the sunrise is glowing across the golf course. It's magic. The most challenging part of the job is being one step ahead of mother nature. Also, making sure we are keeping our membership happy throughout the season.
o You’re in a unique and exciting situation at Chatham Hills, working for an owner who continues to develop land and build new golf courses. Today’s golf market has more courses closing than opening. What's different about your owner, situation, and operation that allows for this expansion?
Our owner is a visionary developer who has an incredible record of success. It's one thing to have a vision or an idea, but what separates him is his ability to execute those visions. Bridgewater, Chatham, and Holliday Farms are all thriving golf course communities that he has developed or is in the process of developing and all are doing extremely well. I'm very excited and thankful to be a small part of the two most recent golf courses.
o With all the choices for supply partners in this industry, why do you choose Tenbarge?
Tenbarge has excellent products but so do many others in the industry. What sets them apart is their people and the culture Chad has created amongst his employees. The energy, the comfortable approach, the support, and knowing that Chad and Tenbarge is going to stand behind their products 100%. That is why I choose to do business with Tenbarge.