19th Hole: Cory Griess

By |  March 10, 2022 0 Comments
Photo: Cory Griess/Golfdom Staff

Photo: Cory Griess/Golfdom Staff

Cory Griess
Superintendent // Prairie Dunes CC, Hutchinson, Kan. GC

Cory, drinks are on me — what can I get you? I’ll take a Coors Light … 16 ounces.

Tell me about your family. My wife is Abbey, and we’ve been married seven years. We’ve got two boys, Heath and Graham, and another boy on the way in April. And we have a 6-year-old wirehaired pointer named Doc. We’ll be a busy house.

How long have you been at Prairie Dunes? Six years. I started in 2014. I was on the team for the NCAA Championship. I was here for four years, left for two to be the assistant at Ballyneal (GC, Holyoke, Colo.) and then I came back and took over for Jim (Campbell) in June of last year.

Next time I’m down there at Prairie Dunes, where are we going afterward? We’ve got to grab a beer at the Rusty Needle. Coors Light, Bud Light pounders, $2 apiece. You can’t beat it.

What are your sports teams? I grew up a Husker, so I bleed red. And I’m a Chicago Bears fan, do or die.

OK, you can only pick one: favorite Kevin Costner movie? Man… I’d say “Open Range.” Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall? That’s as Western as you can get for modern movies right there.

What’s your favorite tool or piece of equipment to get the job done? My guys! We dub them ‘The Dunes Crew,’ and that’s myself included. The assistants, the AITs, the crew, the mechanics … they’re the biggest assets anyone could have. These guys and gals grind it out every day. They’d do anything for me, and I’d do anything for them.

Thanks for coming to the 2021 Golfdom Summit. Any surprises there? I’d say the networking. I had heard it was good and that I’d meet a lot of guys, but the networking blew me away. It’s way more intimate between vendors and superintendents. I’m still talking to guys I met. I think there were lifelong relationships that were forged.

Speaking of lifelong relationships, it’s my understanding that you fell in love with and married your assistant pro? We met in Omaha at a club up there, she moved here first, then we got engaged and I followed pretty quickly. Jim had a spot for me, and the rest is history. She was a scratch golfer — she’ll say she’s a 3 now, but I think she’s sandbagging.

Did it get awkward when you and Abby were making the guest list for the wedding? Were you nervous about getting the front of the house and the back of the house together? No, they get along so well. The wedding was a great time … some people had too much of a good time, but there’s nothing wrong with that.

As interviewed by Seth Jones, Jan. 20, 2022.

About the Author: Seth Jones

Seth Jones, a 25-year veteran of the golf industry media, is Editor-in-Chief of Golfdom magazine and Athletic Turf. A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Jones began working for Golf Course Management in 1999 as an intern. In his professional career he has won numerous awards, including a Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) first place general feature writing award for his profile of World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman and a TOCA first place photography award for his work covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In his career, Jones has accumulated an impressive list of interviews, including such names as George H.W. Bush, Samuel L. Jackson, Lance Armstrong and Charles Barkley. Jones has also done in-depth interviews with such golfing luminaries as Norman, Gary Player, Nick Price and Lorena Ochoa, to name only a few. Jones is a member of both the Golf Writers Association of America and the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association. Jones can be reached at sjones@northcoastmedia.net.

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