Alum, Doug Brooks Reflects on Time at PSU

July 1, 2014 in Alumni, Articles

Brooks-1Denver Country Club superintendent Doug Brooks began his career with Penn State’s 2-year Golf Course Turfgrass Management Program.

Brooks decided to pursue a career in turfgrass management while working at Cherry Hills Country Club. Cherry Hills hosted the PGA Championship in 1985, allowing Brooks a glimpse into the world of professional turfgrass management, “[when] we hosted the PGA Championship I saw the excitement that could be had and the sense of pride the golf maintenance staff had from be part and making it a great event. This was my first exposure to guys (student interns) that were going to school to become turfgrass managers. Before that season I had only worked on public courses and not seen this side of the business”.

It was here at Cherry Hills that Brooks first heard about the 2-year program “the people I worked for at Cherry Hills that season were graduates of the Penn State 2 Year program, both the Superintendent and Assistant. Some of the student interns were attending the 2 year program as well …and I liked what I saw. Brooks describes his time at Penn State as “eye opening”. Looking back at the 2-year program, Brooks says “I tell my student interns you have to have a real passion for the work to succeed in this business. It is like farming in many ways you have to be there and see what is happening…If they do not understand this… it is difficult to have the focus you need”.

After Penn State, Brooks went on to host his own PGA tournament. “Hosting an annual PGA tour stop as an Assistant after graduating was really exciting,” Brooks says,  “this exposed me to so much more than just growing grass and made me better at adapting to the rapid changes that can occur in this business. Becoming a Superintendent at a top 100 club before turning 30 was pretty exciting”.