Golf Course Management

APR 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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Page 19 of 159

18 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 04.18 Proving ground Dru Clark and Grant Bennett have some things in common. Both were born in North Carolina but have made a major impact in upholding the reputation of the same country club in bordering South Carolina. Clark, a 10- year GCSAA Class A superintendent, is doing his part to continue the tradition that Bennett helped fuel. In Febru - ary, the South Carolina Golf Association selected Florence Country Club as the South Carolina Country Club of the Year. That made Florence CC the only club in the state that has received the award more than once. "It's a major accomplishment when you take into consid - eration all of the nice courses in the state. It shows how much hard work we all put in the entire facility. It's a nice pat on the back for us all," Clark says. Clark, 35, arrived at Florence CC in 2008, which is three years after Bennett died. Although he never met Bennett, Clark fully comprehends the massive impact that Bennett made, not only on Florence CC, but also on golf in the Carolinas. "He still is one of the major components of the club. We hold a junior event in his name, and he taught many of our older members," Clark says. Bennett, who came to Florence CC in 1951 and served as both its superintendent and golf professional, later co-founded the Car - olinas GCSA with Ellis Maples. What would Bennett think about the most-recent honor for Florence CC? Palmer Maples Jr., CGCS Re - tired, has a thought or two about it. Ellis Maples is Palmer Maples' cousin. "I knew Grant. Good man who supported golf. His name is big- time," says Maples, a 58-year GCSAA member who served as GCSAA's president in 1975. "He would be proud and very happy of what they are doing there now. He would be pleased that the things he did that were respected by the membership have continued. It's a reflection of the golf course there and what it took to make it that way." Often mistaken for being a basketball player because he is 6 feet 5, Clark admits that he "is terrible" at that sport. Instead, he played golf any Photo by Fred Salley Jr.

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