Steamboat Springs For a lot of people, retiring means spending a little more time at the golf course.
But in Wayne Garrison’s case, he hopes it means a little less time — or at least a little less time going over schedules, tee times and budgets in the pro shop's office.
Garrison, who has been the general manager of Steamboat Golf Club for the past eight years, will leave later this fall when the club closes for the season.
“This is my second retirement,” Garrison joked. "I’m hoping that we can come back as tourists.”
Garrison spends his winters in Arizona these days but has spent the past eight summers working at Steamboat Golf Club as its manager. Before that, he managed Snow Bowl for 13 years.
Garrison and his wife, Jane, left Steamboat after he sold the bowling alley and planned to visit Steamboat Springs in the summers. When he discovered Steamboat Golf Club was looking for a general manager a few years later, he decided to apply for the job.
“It was an absolutely wonderful experience,” Garrison said about running the operations at the nine-hole course west of town. “We were members, so I knew most of the people when I started. Plus, most people who bowl in the winter also golf in the summer.”
Throughout the years, he has managed the day-to-day operations at the historic golf course west of Steamboat. The course, which was established in fall 1964, has built a strong following among local golfers.
“I feel like this course fills a special role in Steamboat Springs,” Garrison said.
Last summer, the course hosted 15,000 nine-hole rounds between its membership and public play. The course also held four tournaments in addition to its annual men’s and women’s championships
The club announced that Garrison will be replaced next spring by Seann Conway, who has worked at Steamboat Golf Club the past three seasons.
"I’m really looking forward to this opportunity,” Conway said.
Conway grew up in Steamboat Springs and is a 1988 graduate of Steamboat Springs High School. As a teenager, he worked at the course.
He comes with a wealth of experience when it comes to the operations of a golf course, and like Garrison, Conway thinks Steamboat Golf Club offers golfers a unique opportunity to enjoy the game.
“I can’t think of a better place to be than between a golfer and the first tee,” Conway said. “We look forward to seeing golfers when they come into the shop and want to make sure it's a fun experience."
Conway feels like the course is a great place to spend afternoons in the summer and can offer golfers who don’t have time to play 18-holes a chance to get out for a couple of hours in the afternoons and evenings.
He also thinks the course provides a challenging opportunity for the low handicap golfer.
“I think we can meet the needs of just about any golfer who comes through the door,” Conway said. “We want to have a friendly, inviting atmosphere.”
The club currently has 100 members. It is supported by a men’s club with more than 80 members and a women’s club that has more than 50.
Conway said he looks forward to carrying on the tradition that has been built at the club during the past 50 years and finding new ways to move forward in the future.
Men's club championship
Steamboat Springs golfer Tom Armstrong didn’t let some tough greens hold him back last week as he won the men’s club championship at Steamboat Golf Club with two solid days on the course.
“The weather was OK, but the greens were not kind," Armstrong said about the championship. “Jason knows how to make the golf course tough,” Armstrong said about Superintendent Jason Rivera’s efforts to make the course a little more challenging for the season finale.
Armstrong led the field with a two-day total of 155. Rivera tied for second with last year’s champion Doug Lewis. Low net went to Greg Gilbertson. Jim Kelley and Troy Breyfogle followed him in the low net standings.
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966
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