Golf Course Management

AUG 2014

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 28 of 126

24 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 08.14 Match play in the heartland When Jessica and Chris Thompson married, their wedding gift for those who attended the big event was, in golf terms, a birdie. "We gave them multi-colored golf tees with our names and date," Jessica says. The Thompsons' journey through the fairways of life — which features a GCSAA twist — continues nine years since they exchanged vows. They both are employed in the golf industry, which certainly has been good to them in the past year. Jessica Thompson works at GCSAA headquarters in Lawrence, Kan. In November, she was promoted to manager, tournament and meeting planning. Lately, her husband also has scaled new heights. In May, at age 37, Chris Thompson fnally notched a career breakthrough. He qualifed and played in his frst PGA Tour event, the HP Byron Nelson Classic. He did better than simply get there; Thompson made the cut, eventually fnishing tied for 64th. That, however, was only a beginning for Thompson, whose road since turning professional in 1999 mostly has seen him grinding through mini tours, more recently the Tour, as he seeks a regular spot on the PGA Tour, which would qualify as the ultimate dream come true. In June, Thompson took another step toward his goal. He qualifed for his frst U.S. Open, held at Pinehurst No. 2. Although he missed the cut, Thompson thinks he is on the right path. His experience in the Sandhills of North Car - olina truly was one to remember. Not only did Thompson fy there on a private jet with friend and PGA Tour player Gary Woodland, he also played practice rounds with Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson. Thompson senses he is on to something. "More than anything, I've been able to build conf - dence in myself. I've tried for 14, 15 years to do that," 411 Thompson says. "Once you get a taste of that (playing in PGA Tour events), you know that's where it's at." He has come close to reaching the top. In 2006, Thompson advanced to the fnal stage of the PGA Tour Na - tional Qualifying Tournament. Twice he was an All-Amer- ican at the University of Kansas, where 15 years ago he helped the Jayhawks record their frst conference title since 1950. In 2004, the night before he headed off for the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament, Chris proposed to Jessica. She says she knew what she was getting into when she said yes, knowing that her future husband had plans to pursue a career in golf, a lifestyle that means lots of nights and weekends away from home, sometimes in small towns that are far away. Yet their home is solid. They now have two children. Henry is 6; Landry is 3. And, as long as Chris wants to chase that dream, Jessica is nothing but supportive. "I tell him as long as he's happy, keep doing it," she says. — Howard Richman, GCM associate editor HAZARDOUS DUTY HAZARDOUS DUTY Source: EIFG Golf Course Property Profle (2007) A BREAKDOWN by region of the estimated 74,382 acres of bunkers on U.S. golf courses 18,163 acres SOUTHEAST 17,122 acres NORTH CENTRAL 14,287 acres NORTHEAST 5,562 acres SOUTHWEST 3,580 acres UPPER WEST/ MOUNTAIN 2,197 acres PACIFIC 13,471 acres TRANSITION The Thompsons' journey through the fairways of life — which features a GCSAA twist — continues nine years since they exchanged vows. Chris and Jessica Thompson at Lawrence CC in Lawrence, Kan. Photo courtesy of the Thompsons

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Golf Course Management - AUG 2014