Our Customer Spotlight this month is Walter Pritchett.
Tell us who you are.
“Walter K Pritchett, Director of Golf Course Operations at Hurstbourne Country Club.”
How long have you been in the golf industry & who influenced you to get into it?
“I have been in the golf industry since high school. I started out working in the bag room at Hillwood Country Club in Nashville, TN, and worked my way up to assistant professional. After working in the golf shop for a few years I realized that my future in the golf industry was not inside. I am an outdoors person; I love to hike, camp, ride horses and play any sport you put in front of me. I just couldn’t handle being cooped up in a golf shop all day, so one day I quit and went back to school to earn my bachelor’s degree in agronomy. I was lucky enough that my future wife was teaching Dave Green’s daughters, and she was able to get me in touch with him. This led to a job on the crew at the Golf Club of Tennessee where I spent four years learning the business from Dave. We moved to Memphis, TN where I was the assistant superintendent at Germantown Country Club working under Larry Shore. After a few years at Germantown I accepted my first Head superintendent position for the construction of Riverbend Links in Tunica, Mississippi. In 2001 I had the opportunity to move to Kentucky and work for Arnold Palmer golf management as a regional superintendent. During this time, I completed the construction and growing of the University Club of Kentucky in Lexington, KY and the Cardinal Club in Simpsonville, KY along with regional responsibilities in Tennessee and St. Louis area. In 2003 Hurstbourne Country Club hired me to oversee a complete renovation of the course by Keith Foster and I have been here ever since.”
What is your opinion of the golf industry today? How has it changed?
“The amount of money that is being spent to maintain golf courses now compared to 25 years ago is remarkable. With this increased spending it has forced superintendents to be more of a businessman.”
What is the most rewarding part of this job? What is the most challenging part?
“The most rewarding part of the job is the sense of accomplishment you get at the end of every day knowing that you have done your best to leave the course better than it was when you got there in the morning. I also enjoy the camaraderie with the staff and working together as a team to accomplish a common goal. Labor and managing people will always be the most challenging part of this job, whether it is managing your staff or working with board members keeping everyone on the same page is hard. Followed closely by trying to control the uncontrollable, Mother Nature.”
For you, what do you consider your biggest accomplishment?
“My family- My wife of 27 years Shannon (she has a fast pass into heaven for putting up with me this long) and our three successful children: Yancey (23), Andrew (21), and Mary Genia (19).”
With all the choices for suppliers in this industry, why do you do business with Tenbarge Seeds Co?
“It started out just trying a few Redox products on my fairways and I liked what I saw. As I got more familiar with the Redox products and expanded their use to my greens and tees, I also became friends with Chad and Craig. I appreciate the fact that Tenbarge is a family owned smaller supply house and I can pick up the phone and talk to the owner at any time. Everyone sells similar products; it’s the personal interaction I get from Tenbarge that I appreciate.”