I’ve spent half my life at the Cottonwood Golf and Country Club, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and like anybody, an occasion such as that is cause to reflect.
I started about three weeks after Cottonwood opened. I drove down here the third week in July of 1990, interviewed and started that day as an assistant professional because they were that busy.
I remember when I started, they never had an open tee time. They would pre-book the tee times and we were booked solid. It was a new golf course and user-friendly for tournaments and for newer golfers. A lot of the members who are still with us got into the game here.
The club opened to be a public golf course and then, they started selling memberships, so it became semi-private. We went private with equity shares in the mid-1990s and the club evolved from there.
I was talking to our owner Lyle Edwards and his family recently and I remember when his kids were young when we first started, but now we’re talking 20 years later.
Back then, I had just started that year as an assistant, but it just wasn’t working for me where I was employed. I honestly wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but the one thing I did know was golf and I’d been around the business enough. This place was really close to home, so it was an easy fit.
Lyle has been such a great guy to work for and it was Dean Walker who hired me. I really hit it off with Bob McArthur, who now works at Heritage Pointe. Bob was an associate at the time and he and I are still the best of friends. He’s a mentor of mine.
The members here are great. At the beginning, it was a young, active membership. There were lots of new, beginner golfers and lots of kids, so it was an attractive fit for me at 21 years old.
Plenty has changed since then. We were looking at pictures from Day 1 and now and it’s amazing what 20 years of growth does to trees. There are still a lot of members who are still here.
The place has grown, we’ve had some great events on a great golf course. I’ve got a great staff who have worked with me for years. The longevity of the staff is a credit to Lyle.
We’ve also produced some great golf professionals. The club’s always been very progressive. Lyle gives us opportunities and lets us do our deal and trusts us to look after his place on behalf of him and his family. Now, he has grandchildren running around the place, so that’s pretty cool.
Two decades go fast, but that’s because I’m still enjoying it. You come over the hill and what’s not to like about this place? The view is spectacular and I don’t get tired of seeing it every morning.