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19th Hole: Kelly Kuchelmeister

By |  July 6, 2022 0 Comments
photo of Kelly by: tim klein photography

Photo: Tim Klein Photography

Kelly Kuchelmeister

Superintendent // Sinnissippi GC, Rockford, Ill.

Kelly, what are you drinking?
A brandy old fashioned, sweet. I’m from Wisconsin. When you go out on Friday night, it’s always a brandy old fashioned, sweet.

Tell me about your course.
It was built in 1912. It was the first public golf course in Rockford. In the 1980s, it was known as the longest 9-hole course in the nation. And we have, for airplanes, a directional in our rough area that is grown over now. That was put in in the 1930s. It just says “Rockford” with an arrow pointing towards the airport. When we get drought conditions, you can still see it.

What do you and the family like to do for fun?
My fiancé, J.J., my stepdaughter, Brinley — usually you can find us on the boat or tied up on a sandbar somewhere. In the winter, we snowboard and ski. We’re big outdoors people.

What is your favorite tool in the shop?
That would be my ARB recovery strap. It’s an off-road recovery strap, so it has some stretch in it. When it rains, we get some pretty wet areas. I have one guy in particular who tries to do some more technical stuff than he should. So we bought that strap, and it’s helped out quite a bit. It’s fun; I like trying to figure out, ‘How am I going to get him out of this one?’

What sports teams do you root for?
All Wisconsin teams — Packers, Badgers, Brewers. We go to a game or two every year.

Besides the daily grind, what are you looking forward to this summer?
Getting on the lake with our friends. I also horseback ride. I’m working with a younger horse to get her up to speed and possibly do some horse shows this summer.

If you had a magic bullet for one problem on your course, what would you use it on?
My irrigation system. We’ve got an old system. No parts are available, and we have to piece it together. It still works, but every day you’re doing the (makes the sign of the cross) and hoping it comes on.

Give me a recommendation; book, movie or TV.
I just finished reading Endure: How to Work Hard, Outlast and Keep Hammering by Cameron Hanes. I like people who are very motivating, but they don’t just talk it, but they walk the walk. Cameron Hanes is a bowhunter, the world’s best bowhunter. It talks about his life, the things he’s gone through, and the people he’s met. A couple of his mottos are, ‘Keep hammering,’ and ‘Nobody cares, work harder.’ There’s always another level to reach.

As interviewed by Seth Jones, April 13, 2022.

About the Author:

Seth Jones, a 18-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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