Rallying in the North Carolina mountains
From left, golf course superintendent Jeremy Boone, CGCS, with Springdale general manager, Buddy Lawrence, and assistant golf course superintendent, Ryan Ponder.
Courtesy of Trent Bouts

Rallying in the North Carolina mountains

Golf course superintendents, owners raise money to help relief efforts in tiny community devastated by flooding and mudslides.

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Golf course superintendents and the owners at Springdale at Cold Mountain have raised $13,000 for relief efforts in the wake of flooding that devastated the tiny Cruso community in western North Carolina. Members of the Western North Carolina Turfgrass Association raised half the amount through a golf tournament at Springdale in late October. Resort owners, Zan and Lex West, who donated use of the course, then doubled the gift by matching the money raised.

On top of that, the Wests have also pledged to donate 50 percent of all golf revenues between now and Dec. 25.

Six people died and nearly 100 others had to be rescued as a result of flooding and mudslides when remnants of Tropical Storm Fred struck Haywood County in August. Water levels in some places exceeded previous records by as much as seven feet. Cruso was the hardest hit of several communities that sustained heavy damage.

“I’m incredibly grateful to my colleagues in the golf industry for coming out in such a generous showing of support,” Springdale at Cold Mountain golf course superintendent, Jeremy Boone, CGCS said. “And for our owners to double up on that support then give half of all golf revenues, for basically two months, further underlines their commitment to this community.”

Boone was born and raised near what was formerly Springdale Country Club and played on the course growing up. His mother, father and grandmother also worked there. He came back to the club as golf course superintendent in 2019. Months after the flooding, he can still see areas of devastation from the golf course.

“I’ve been around this community my whole life. I had family members who were affected by the flooding, and I had friends affected,” Boone said. “Yes, it’s very personal, which is why I’m appealing to anyone who enjoys golf to find the time to play a round at Springdale before Christmas. It just might be the most appreciated and meaningful gift they give this year.”

The Wests, originally from Hartsville, S.C., also have long-standing ties to the area as a vacation destination and having owned a home there since the ’90s.

Boone said about 60 players competed in the fundraising tournament which was organized with the help of David Sluder of Greenville Turf and Tractor. Mark Rogers of Blossman Gas, who worked at Springdale on the golf course maintenance staff in the past, donated a grill that was raffled on the day. A highlight of the event was a hole-in-one by Fred Edwards, superintendent and general manager at Lake Junaluska Golf Course in nearby Waynesville.

Boone spoke about the impact the storm had on him and his community when, a week after the tournament, he appeared as the feature guest on the podcast “Pullin’ Weeds” produced by the Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents Association. He was also the subject of a 2020 Golf Course Industry feature story.