'Challenging Opportunity': Green Seeing Green as Deercroft Super
Alen Green admits it — he’s been affected by the enthusiasm of Deercroft Golf Club owner Ted Robinson.
“The enthusiasm Ted has for this place is infectious,” Green said. “That makes it easy to identify with the opportunity to enhance Deercroft.”
Green is the new course superintendent at Deercroft, located on U.S. 15-501 in Scotland County but only a few miles from Aberdeen. He comes to the course from Pinehurst Resort, where he served in varying capacities at Nos. 6 and 8, including stints as foreman and assistant superintendent at both locations.
Recommended to Robinson for the Deercroft position by former Pinehurst No. 2 superintendent Paul Jett, Green, a 32-year-old native of Scotland who has been in the U.S. for 10 years, sees his new role as stimulating, a challenge and an opportunity.
“I’ve been here eight weeks now,” he said, “and I found the agronomics way out of whack. But we’ve got things where we want them already and it’s beginning to show on the course.
“The main thing with bentgrass in the Sandhills is getting it healthy and we’re doing that. We’ve already removed more than 400 tees and there are more to go. It will take five years to get all of them down.”
Not only does the strategic removal of trees enable the grass to be healthier, it allows Green to pursue a dream.
“We’re going for the Pinehurst No. 2 look,” he said. “We’re putting in waste areas and wire grass. Our irrigation system here is the same as No. 2, a pipeline down the center of the fairways.
“My first impression when I came here was, this place is ready to be planted. A lot of people may have seen it as ugly, but I saw it as an opportunity.
“The greens had been lost last summer and they are our biggest challenge. We have to get them to where they can survive the summer. Right now they’re in great shape.”
“Losing the greens was our low point,” Robinson said. “I came here June 1 and we lost all the greens in August. It was tough, but we’re on our way back.”
“We’re getting the greens healthy, then we start thinking about enhancing the look of the course,” Green added.
Robinson loves the attitude of his new superintendent.
“His enthusiasm, his willingness to take on the big projects, makes him special and just what we need.” Robinson said. “Alen came highly recommended and the first time I met him, I had confidence that he could do the job and make it happen. He came out, looked into the project, knew exactly what he was up against and was willing to accept the challenge.”
Green and his wife, Sara, who works as a sales manager for Pinehurst Resort, have two daughters, ages 7 and 2. They realize the demand the Deercroft project will place on his family time.
“So far, she agrees with the decision” he said. “We feel the end result will be worth it. Sacrifices have to be made for the payoff.”
The greens are looking good and Green is working hard to make sure the Bermuda fairways thrive.
“In some instances, we’re robbing Peter to pay Paul,” he said, “but we’re making progress. The fairways hadn’t been aerified for at least five years. This is a classic Sandhills course, and we have high ambitions for this place. We’re going to make it something special.”
“That’s our real goal,” Robinson agreed, “to make it special. When people come to Pinehurst, we want them to want to play Deercroft. We’ve got the layout; we’ve just got a lot of work ahead of us.”
Green admits it took a while for his efforts to begin to pay off.
“For a few days, I felt like I was spinning my tires,” he said. “Some days I felt that we had made five things better, and other days we made only one thing better, but it was surely better. Now I feel we’re getting ahead.
“The mild winter really helped and we’re way further ahead than we might have been if we’d had last year’s cold.
“I’m having a ball right now and enjoying the challenge every day. I work every day with a smile on my face. We’re doing what’s right, what the agronomists say.”
Robinson loves what he’s seeing, too.
“We don’t have unlimited money,” he said, “but I’m encouraged by what’s happening. For the first six months, I had trouble sleeping, but when you look out now and see a full parking lot, it’s very encouraging. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not a train coming. Our goal is to make Deercroft the best golf course you can play in the Sandhills for under $40.
“I just love for people to come out and see what’s happening here. I want them to know we have Alen and that we’re sprucing up the property, including the clubhouse. Our members and residents have been fantastic in volunteering to do a lot of things like painting and landscaping.”
Green has a deep appreciation for the members, too.
“I walked into the clubhouse the other day and they gave me a round of applause,’ he said.
To learn more about Deercroft and its membership plans or to reserve a tee time, call (910) 364-3107.
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