August 3rd, 2017 01:57PM
GAYLORD – Paul Holmes deflects the credit for the wonderfully consistent greens at Gaylord Country Club as easily as the 18 gems roll.
“Good crew and we focus on them,” he said. “We don’t do anything special. They are not USGA, just push-up greens and we try to keep them consistent the best we can.”
Ask almost anybody else in the Gaylord Golf Mecca about Paul Holmes and they talk about him being the superintendent at Gaylord Country Club where the reputation for years has been that it has some of the best greens in Northern Michigan.
“He’s the reason people go away talking about the greens and a big reason they come back,” J.T. Aude, the head golf professional and manager at Gaylord CC.
“He’s the man.”
Holmes, 60, has been at Gaylord CC for 32 years. He’s a father of three, including two sons in the golf business – Ryan, superintendent at the Otsego Club & Resort and Kyle, the manager at Quail Ridge in Grand Rapids.
“I like the area and love the job,” he said. “I never really found something else I wanted to do or someplace else I wanted to go.”
He grew up in West Branch and started working at West Branch Country Club at age 18 on the grounds crew for Dave Longfield. Then he worked at Garland Resort for three years before landing the head job at Gaylord CC.
“I was at West Branch Country Club all through college while going to Central Michigan where I received a teaching degree I don’t use,” he said. “There were not a lot of teaching jobs when I got out, so I stayed in this and ended up here.”
He takes care of the greens through the golf season and spends a lot of time in the fall and winter officiating high school football and basketball. He has been doing that for 37 years. He also attends seminars and conferences on turf grass, and stays on top of the latest things in the industry. The greens at Gaylord CC show he does his homework and outdoor work.
“I like being outdoors,” he said. “I don’t know if I could ever sit in an office. I used to substitute teach and I felt like the walls were creeping in on me. This is the right job for me.”
Holmes said Gaylord CC has a niche among the 15 golf courses of the Gaylord Golf Mecca.
“This is a fun golf course, parkland style and I think the people who play the other places in the Mecca like coming here,” he said. “It gives them something different to play than maybe the other places have to offer. We are part of the variety.”