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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I've seen around him, which is extremely important at a golf course or for an association such as GCSAA," Jones says. "He's a people person who has done a good job of integrat - ing into the entire golf community through his travels, and just through his personality. He's been at the right place at the right time, and I think he's going to be a true leader as president of GCSAA." Those who work with Davis on a day-to-day basis share similar opinions about his focus, his dedication and his de - termination to serve. "Darren is as highly motivated a person as I've ever met in my life," says Tom Wildenhaus, Olde Florida's director of golf. "And I think throughout his service to GCSAA, he's found another level of engagement and another level of focus that have allowed him to balance his service and his respon - sibilities here. If you told some of our members that he's been away X number of days a year for seven years, they wouldn't believe it. The golf course is as good today as it was when he started his GCSAA service, and that's a credit to Darren." First love Davis credits his parents, Bill and Anita, for much in his life. The work ethic, focus, drive and determination that Ditka, Jones and many others regularly cite when talking about the 28-year GCSAA member can all be traced back, Davis says, to habits he learned from his parents. What they probably can't take much credit for, however, is that love of golf. "I have this cool memory of my dad getting a set of clubs for Christmas one year," Davis says. "I remember that golf bag sitting under one of those old, all-silver Christ - mas trees. But he really only played once or twice a year. The game just wasn't a very prominent part of our household." That didn't stifle Davis' natural curiosity about golf, though. He often dusted off his father's clubs to play a round "(Darren) is a people person who has done a good job of integrating into the entire golf community through his travels, and just through his personality. He's been at the right place at the right time, and I think he's going to be a true leader as president of GCSAA." — Rees Jones "It comes down to leadership," he says. "A football coach has got to be a leader. He's got to be out front. He's got to be the guy in control. He's got to be the boss. And that's exactly what Darren is. He's the guy out front. He doesn't have a problem taking the heat when needed, and when there isn't any heat, he's the first to defer the praise to others. That's the way it should be, and you could see almost immediately back then that was the kind of leader he was going to be." As the course architect for the Olde Florida project, Jones also had a voice in Davis' hiring. Since then, he's remained closely tied to both the property and to Davis. The pair have forged a strong relationship over the years as they've worked on projects at Olde Florida to continually tweak and improve the layout. Like Ditka, Jones believes Davis is the right man for the job with GCSAA, just as he was the right man for the job at Olde Florida back in 1992. "Darren really has the confidence of just about everybody 40 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 03.18 Davis' senior leadership team in the maintenance department at Olde Florida GC includes assistant superintendents Matt Klein (left) and Andy Polzin.

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