Golf Course Management

AUG 2019

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

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08.19 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 47 Renewal "When I was playing basketball and took a shot, I didn't care if it went in," Har- ris says. "I didn't care if we won, lost, what- ever. All I did was give it my all. at has carried over into my life. I always just give it my all." Man on a Mission (Hills) Harris admits it's one thing to see a neighborhood in decline and lament it, quite another to buy up what amounts to nearly a city block and build an extensive, public-use green space upon it. And he'd be among the first to admit it wouldn't have been possible without tre- mendous support, both fiscal and physical. Mission Hills Country Club is sort of the epicenter of that support, as far as the Harris Park golf course is concerned. Mission Hills is 4½ miles — yet worlds away — from Harris Park. Harris recalls passing Mission Hills CC, located just across the state line, in tony Mission Hills, Kan., which recently was ranked No. 3 on Top: The Harris Park project is about more than just golf. First came a basketball court and park across the street from the golf course, and that park is the anchor for a neighborhood fitness education program that features regular group workouts, health screenings and nutrition lessons. Above: Work began on Phase II in June. Part of that work involves adding to the existing retaining wall that separates the course from Wayne Avenue. Photos by Chris Harris the Forbes list of most affluent neighbor- hoods in America, and marveling. "I just started driving past, driving back and forth, looking at their grass," he says. "Mission Hills had all this beautiful grass. And I started thinking, I have just as much land and just as much grass as they do. e only difference is landscaping. I started ask- ing around, and I asked who the guy was who was overseeing all that grass." e answer at that time, 2016, was su- perintendent Brad Gray. Gray, still a Class A superintendent and 20-year member of GCSAA, now works in sales, for Professional Turf Products. He re- calls the day Harris walked in the door. "He came in and started to ask questions, like, where could he get flagsticks and cups? I thought that was odd," Gray says. "I said, 'What are you trying to do?' He said he was trying to start a golf course. 'Where?' Uh, downtown (actually midtown) Kansas City. I thought, 'What?' He explained he was try- ing to rejuvenate a neighborhood. We had

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