Ben Geren Golf Course Gets New Greens Superintendent (Jan 27)

January 27, 2016 – Jay Randolph has been hired as the new greens superintendent for Ben Geren Golf Course.

Randolph, 43, will replace Richard Phillips, who served in the position from June 5, 2014, until his resignation on Oct. 23, according to the Sebastian County Human Resources Department.

Sebastian County Judge David Hudson announced the new hire Thursday at the Ben Geren Park safe shelter.

Randolph has a bachelor’s degree in horticulture and landscape architecture with a turf grass emphasis from Oklahoma State University, Hudon said. He also has extensive experience in golf course maintenance, having been a golf course superintendent in Arkansas for more than 15 years.

‘I was at Fianna Hills Country Club here in town; I’ve been there for the last 15 years,’ Randolph said. ‘Previous to that, I was in the McKinney, Texas, area. I was an assistant superintendent down there at a Pete Dye golf course. Previous to that, I was at Karsten Creek (Golf Club) in Stillwater, Okla., and prior to that I was an intern in Little Rock at Pleasant Valley Country Club, which is probably a top-five golf course in the state. … Karsten Creek and that Pete Dye golf course are top 100 golf courses in the United States.’

Hudson said Randolph is also a certified golf course superintendent by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and it was due to these many qualifications that led to Randolph being hired for the position.

‘We did get some other applications (for the position), but with such an outstanding candidate, we were just waiting to see if it work out to bring Jay on board,’ Hudson said.

Three to seven candidates applied for the greens superintendent position, according to Sebastian County Administrator and Chief of Staff Scott Stubblefield, who also attended the news conference.

Hudson said Ben Geren Golf Course will be significantly improved under Randolph’s supervision. One of the most important goals for 2016 will be converting the course to mini verde bermuda grass greens, an effort that was initiated in August.

‘These greens will tolerate Arkansas hot weather in July and August and are performing well for golf play at other courses in our region,’ Hudson said.

Another change for 2016 is that an additional full-time golf course position was established by converting three seasonal positions. According to Hudson, this will provide focused attention to golf course maintenance. The Silo Hill nine holes will also be completed in 2016 with the plan to convert another nine holes during the course of the year, all the while maintaining 18 holes for play by golfers.

‘The plan for 2016 for Ben Geren Golf Course includes having high quality greens for golf play and overall improvements in all areas of golf course maintenance to provide area golfers with excellent playing conditions at an affordable price,’ Hudson said.

Randolph said he will use all available resources to make the golf course better and, by extension, leave a positive impact on the community.

‘We always hear about the glory days of Ben Geren, and I truly believe that once we start this program and start this process … this year going into the next several years … everyone will be talking about now as the glory days,’ Randolph said. ‘I’m very excited to be a part of this.’

The Ben Geren Golf Course greens superintendent position comes with an annual salary of $51,500, according to Hudson.

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