Ask Thad: An introduction

By |  March 8, 2021 0 Comments
Thad Thompson

Thad Thompson


Editor’s note: Dear Thad is our new “advice” column. It’s our version of Dear Abby, but if it was written by a golf course superintendent who is also a metalhead.


Who are you and how did you get this gig with Golfdom?
— Seth, Kansas

My name is Thad Thompson. I am a sarcastic metal dad and member of Bills Mafia who doesn’t take himself too seriously. I am also the superintendent at Terry Hills GC in Batavia, N.Y. Terry Hills is a family owned, 27-hole public facility that is home to the Jim Kelly Celebrity Classic. I am going into my 14th year at Terry Hills and my 33rd year in the industry. I am one of those odd people who took a superintendent job fresh out of college. I “got this gig with Golfdom,” simply put, by losing a bet on the Buffalo Bills/KC Chiefs AFC championship game. I had to donate $50 to Patrick Mahomes’ charity, send Seth Jones some Terry Hills swag and write this column, while Seth smiles. Being a member of Bills Mafia, I would have donated to the charity anyway. That is what we do.

Do you play golf? Do you think it’s important that a superintendent plays?
— David, Oklahoma

I got into this business because I didn’t want to pay for golf. My brother and I started playing golf at the end of high school by hitting 7 irons at each other. We took our newly found weapons and ammunition to a local 9 hole course and both of us got hooked. It was easier aiming at a flag that didn’t move instead of Drew. I started working there the next year and became superintendent at Turkey Run in 1992.

I have always believed that a superintendent should play golf. Basic rules knowledge, an understanding of shot value from a golfers’ perspective and experiencing what you are providing to the golfer are just some of the professional aspects of playing golf. Playing in a league at work has always been beneficial — I have always put myself and game out there and made myself approachable to my members and the public.

Got a question for Thad? Tweet to @TerryHillsMaint and @Golfdom or email Thad at

This article is tagged with and posted in Ask Thad, Columns, Featured, From the Magazine

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