Golf Course Management

MAR 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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36 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 03.18 his might come as a shock to those who know him well, but once upon a time, Darren J. Davis had no idea what he wanted to be when he grew up. Nowadays, the Certified Golf Course Superintendent at Olde Florida Golf Club in Naples, Fla., has a well-earned reputation as one of the most driven and focused turfgrass managers around, one who successfully balances the demands of his full-time responsibilities at Olde Florida with volunteer service in nearly every corner of the golf course management industry. But when he graduated from Lincoln High School in his hometown of Tallahassee, Fla., some 30 years ago, Davis wasn't all that driven, wasn't quite that focused. "When I got done with high school, I kind of scratched my head and thought, 'Now what am I going to do?''' he says. "I really had no idea." In his quest to answer that question, he went to a local community college and earned an associate degree. He moved on to Florida State University, thinking a career in civil engineering appealed to him. "I loved being outdoors and I wanted a job that was going to provide me with a good living, so I thought civil engineering was the answer," Davis says. He thought wrong. "Within the first two weeks, it was pretty obvious that wasn't going to be for me," he says. "I was taking trigonometry, geometry and calculus, and for the most part, didn't understand the language they were speaking." The founding members of Olde Florida GC — a Rees Jones design that opened for play in 1993 — envisioned a club focused on golf and not much else, largely secluded from the rest of the busy Naples, Fla., golf market and with excellent day-to-day playing conditions. Pictured here is the course's par-3 third hole. Photo courtesy of Darren Davis

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