Golf Course Management

NOV 2018

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

Issue link: http://gcmdigital.gcsaa.org/i/1042517

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18 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 11.18 Still heartbroken, John Leathers embarked on a project in Bowling Green, Ky., that would be the envy of golfers every - where. In April 2011, seven months after he and his wife, Courtney, buried their 9-year-old son, Mason, Leathers was hired by oil and gas businessman Bob Burr. Burr asked Leathers (pictured, left) to build a golf green on the ample acreage at his home, so he could use it on his every whim. One spring later, the job was done. It featured 4,000 square feet of putting green and 4,000 square feet of collars and approaches. You can hear in Burr's voice just how thrilled he is by Leathers' effort. "Greatest present I ever gave myself," says Burr (pictured, right). Leathers, a four-year GCSAA member and assistant superintendent at Bowling Green Country Club, is quite a golfer in his own right. Proof: A native of Bowling Green, Leathers at one time possessed a 1.3 handicap. His skills helped his high school team win back-to-back state cham - pionships. Although he had teammates who went on to play at the University of Kentucky and Western Kentucky University, Leathers only received minimal interest from colleges. He decided to enroll at Western Kentucky, earned a degree in turfgrass management, married young, and was 20 when Mason was born. He was an assistant at The Club at Olde Stone in Bowling Green when Mason, riding a bicycle as sunset approached on Sept. 29, 2010, was struck by a driver near the family home. On Oct. 9, he died as a result of injuries. A month later, Leathers lost his job at The Club at Olde Stone. Soon, though, the Burr family re-entered his life. Leathers had gone to school with Bob Burr's son, Bo, who stopped at Leathers' home to make a request on behalf of his father. Bo Burr told Leathers his father was interested in a green at his home. Leathers ac - cepted the challenge, and that's when he decided to start his own business, Leathers Turf Co., which he still oversees when he isn't working at the club. When time permits, Leathers maintains Burr's green daily because of the joy it brings him (he does have col - lege interns help occasionally). "It's been a fun experience. A work of heart Photo by Billie Jean Poteet

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