Tetherow Golf Club’s Chris Condon is the vital “behind the scenes” guy to all things golf course and landscaping-related. He is the hard work behind ensuring the greens are properly maintained, invasive pests remain at bay, and golfers are happy with the speed and overall quality of the golf course. Essentially, without his hard work, Tetherow Golf Club in Central Oregon just may not have been nationally recognized and earned ranks in Golf Digest’s Top 100 Golf Courses.
Fresh from a pesticide conference which he attends annually, I asked Chris some questions about working at the best course in Bend, Oregon.
Q) How long have you worked at Tetherow Golf Club?
A) I have been the Superintendent at Tetherow since December 1, 2005. I was involved in Tetherow from the very beginning, day one so to speak. It was and has been a great experience to be involved in the project since the planning phases to today. Not very many golf course superintendents get to be involved from day one.
Q) What were you doing before Tetherow Golf Club?
A) Before coming to Tetherow, I was busy working for OB Sports. Working for OB Sports has given me the opportunity to have worked in Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona and Wyoming. Just before Tetherow, I had completed the opening season at the Three Crowns Golf Course in Casper, WY. I was there during construction, grow-in and opening.
Q) How did you catch the Superintendant bug?
A) I have worked in the golf course industry since I was 16 years old primarily to become an Evans Scholar (the movie Caddyshack is about the Evans Scholarship). After earning the scholarship, I continued working at Broadmoor Golf Course in Portland, OR. It was during college that I began working on the golf course maintenance staff and that was all it took. One summer on the crew and I knew exactly what the future held for me. I have been working on the golf course maintenance staff since. Caddyshack is somewhat of a biography of my life only by coincidence.
Q) When did you start golfing?
A) I guess I was about 10 years old when I started golfing. I did not actually become a decent golfer until late in high school. I am still trying to become a better golfer. If I did not work so much and play more I might actually surprise myself on how good I could be.
Q) Who is your favorite golfer?
A) My most favorite golfer was and still is Payne Stewart. If I had to pick a current golfer, I would say Luke Donald. His style of play closely resembles mine except that he is #1 in the world and I am #1 in my own mind.
Q) What makes your tick at work?
A) I was asked this during the interview process by David McLay Kidd. My answer was and still is, I like to watch the grass grow and I love to watch a sprinkler run. Those two things make me want to come to work on a daily basis.
Q) What makes you tick at home?
A) Relaxing at home. I enjoy a good meal, good drink, a funny movie or tv show and listening to music.
Q) What is the most interesting part of your job?
A) The interesting part of my job—and the most challenging–is figuring out how to get more done with fewer people and getting things done without anyone seeing us doing our job.
Q) What make working at Tetherow Golf Club unique?
A) Working at Tetherow is definitely a unique experience. Because Tetherow is in Bend, Oregon, we are managing fine fescue in an arid environment which is the most unique. I know of only one other course in a similar circumstance out of all the golf courses in the United States. Definitely the look and style of Tetherow is very unique because I am/was in charge of how the golf course ultimately looks. But I would say the most unique thing about Tetherow is those who are involved from Chris and William to the entire staff. I have not been around a more passionate group of people who just want Tetherow to succeed.
Check out Chris Condon’s article about his pesticide conference in January’s newsletter as well!