At the Turn: Brian J. Roth, CGCS

By |  December 20, 2022 0 Comments
Photo: Brian Todd Clyde

Photo: Brian Todd Clyde

Brian J. Roth, CGCS

Superintendent // Oquirrh Hills GC, Tooele, Utah

Brian, what can I get you? I’ll have a Diet Dr. Pepper or Diet Coke.

Tell me about Oquirrh Hills GC. It’s a municipal course. The front nine was built in 1949-50. No real designer, the people around town just got together and started moving some dirt. Small, old-style, push-up native soil greens and narrow fairways. The back nine was built in ’05-’06.

How did you become a superintendent? I met a guy who was going into golf, we got to be friends, and he got a job at a mom-and-pop mountain course. One day in the summer, he said, ‘I’ve got some equipment coming in. Can you help me?’ I went up there and saw what he was doing, and I said, ‘Wait, this is a job?’ I bought into it and loved it. I told my boss I was going back to school, and he better find someone else to run his business

How do you say the name of your town, and what should I do if I ever find myself there? Too-will-uh. It’s a small bedroom community west of Salt Lake City. Check out the mountains; we’re against the base. There are some fun hikes and four-wheeler trails

What was your most memorable day at work? Four or five years ago, a campfire was left unattended just up the canyon. It took off in the night. I got to work, and it was like fog. They asked us to shut down the course and had one big dual-prop helicopter coming in dunking out of my irrigation pond. It was eerie, it’s smoky, and you can’t see, and there’s a helicopter flying right over. The fire burned for three weeks.

Tell me about your family. I’ve been married 31 years. My wife is Chennelle, and we have three kids. Our oldest daughter, Aubrey, is 26. Our first granddaughter is two, and she’s a hoot. My wife says she has me wrapped around her finger. It’s probably true. It’s always, ‘Grandpa this,’ and ‘Grandpa that.’ Our son, Bentley, is 22. He’s going to school. Our youngest, Chloe, is a senior in high school.

How do you celebrate a job well done? The biggest thing we do is a crew breakfast at the end of summer — my assistant, my equipment manager and I cook. First, we did it just for the golf staff. After a few years, we invited the parks department. The water department and the streets department help us out too, so we started inviting those guys. We start at 5 a.m., and cook 20 pounds of potatoes, 12 dozen eggs, 15 pounds of sausage and bacon, the whole works.

What is your favorite Christmas tradition? I have a lot of Danish ancestry. Growing up, my mom would make aebleskivers. They’re like little rolled-up pancake balls. My wife has gotten into it. We make that and then watch Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.

This is posted in 19th Hole, From the Magazine

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

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