Golf Course Management

OCT 2018

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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44 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 10.18 And, they're the perfect match — if you ask fam- ily friend Tom Conlon. "It's a unique partnership, a great relationship. One made in golf heaven," Con - lon says. "It's a relationship that had to happen. Both of them are ambassadors for the game." Dan and Jess Stang Team Stang is living the dream. Husband and wife Dan and Jess Stang purchased Territory Golf Club in St. Cloud, Minn., in April. is was no hasty decision. He has worked at the club as superintendent since 2004 and as general manager since 2011, but in the past few years he had been talking with Territory's investors about their plans for the facility. "I knew it was only a matter of time before some of the investors would be ready to sell, and I didn't want them to put it on the market," he says. When Dan initially informed Jess that he wanted to talk with her about buying the club, she didn't exactly give him the thumbs-up. "My first thought was, 'Oh, no.' But I've always been supportive of him, and he knows the business inside and out," Jess says. "Re - ally, it was a pretty safe bet on his part." To Dan, an 18-year GCSAA Class A member, it was so much more than a bet. It was a strong de - sire that he wouldn't have pursued without her sup- port. "We'd been talking about it for years. I'm try- ing to figure out how we can make it profitable. is is my dream," he says. "Her support is everything. She's married to a guy who works a million hours a year. is business takes a lot of time to be good at. Sometimes your family pays the price. I'm grateful she keeps putting up with me." eir relationship was launched at Territory. Jess began working there a few months after Dan started. He remembers their first encounter. "e club was doing some remodeling. She was staining wood," he says. "I said, 'I'm the new superintendent,' and she said, 'I'm the new office lady.' We took the time to get to know each other." He definitely made quite a first impression on Jess. "He had a sparkle in him that caught my eye," she says. Seven years ago, they married. Jess' involve - ment in the operations is serving as bookkeeper. Sometimes she spends as many as 15 hours a week at the club, and the remainder of the time she is a registered nurse working 12-hour shifts. "I come home late when he's putting the kids (Lauren, 3, and Gavin, 1) to bed," she says. Dan's goal is to ensure Territory is a success. e nearly 7,000-yard golf course features a front and back that don't mirror each other. "Territory plays like two completely different golf courses in one. e first 10 holes play like a links-style course, with wide- open fairways and landing areas. Holes are separated by rolling hills and fescue. Across a bridge over the Elk River sit seven holes that seem like a sanctuary. Dan and Jess Stang with their children, Lauren and Gavin. The Stangs purchased Territory Golf Club in St. Cloud, Minn., this year. Photo courtesy of Dan Stang the PGA National Teacher of the Year, has witnessed the fostering of relationships between the club pro and superintendent. "I think they both are really trying. It takes teamwork to make this business go nowadays," she says. "I love the game. I want to grow it to the masses quickly." is couple's banter is amusing and cute. Asked about the magnitude of Kathy's award, Jim couldn't get in a word before Kathy interjected. "It meant he had to cook," she says. Jim says, "I was proud. Her award was a life-changing experience. She became way busier and had a lot of engagements to fly all over the country for the PGA (of America)." Jim sometimes gets to tag along, which provides him with a better understanding of club pros. She also has more insight into superintendents. "Before, I took it for granted … the green grass … yet water is always on his mind," she says. Yes, they play golf together. Kathy says he has paid attention to her instruction. "His hand action is awesome. He strikes it well. His golf hand-release action is pure talent. He's a good player. I need him to get out and play more golf," she says. Empty-nesters (they are parents of Brianna and Chase) who will have been married 25 years on Nov. 22, Jim and Kathy keep track of their golf games. She's right; Jim can play. "We're competitive. We've got a little chalkboard going on. We're pretty even," she says.

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