Golf Course Management

MAR 2015

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

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46 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 03.15 John O'Keefe, CGCS, was raised in Lenox, a small, western Massachusetts town with stately mansions from the Gilded Age that has historically served as a summer retreat for the wealthy and famous artists. These mansions were called cottages; the term itself evoked the more informal country life that members of the highest society enjoyed in Lenox in contrast to the increasing formality of New York, Boston and Newport. Today, Lenox continues to be a popular tourist destination, partly because it is nestled in the Berkshire Mountains. Tanglewood, one of the top attractions, is the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and also hosts concerts for Lenox resident James Taylor, among others. Lenox Memorial High School, from which O'Keefe graduated, refects the storied history of the town with the unique name of its school mascot: Millionaires. It's ironic that, coming from a place like Lenox, O'Keefe's family was far from affuent. O'Keefe, in fact, truly did ascend to great heights from the ground up. O'Keefe's childhood home was tiny and dwarfed by the landmark estates on his street. His father died when he was 7. The youngest of four children, O'Keefe was raised by his mother, Fre - della, who provided what she could on a nursing home aide's salary. "I indeed was lucky to be surrounded by very kind people who always thought highly of me and our family through some hard times," says O'Keefe, director of golf course management at Preakness Hills Country Club, in Wayne, N.J. His wife of 35 years, Margaret, says, "He truly came from nothing, but he had a strong moral compass given to him by his mother and an amazing work ethic. He wanted to go somewhere. He just wasn't sure where that was going to be."

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