Superintendent now president of state golf association

By |  January 28, 2022 0 Comments

The South Carolina Golf Association (SCGA) may have established a national first by electing a career superintendent as its new president.

Photo: Jeffrey Connell

Photo: Jeffrey Connell

Jeffrey Connell, who maintains 36 holes at Fort Jackson Golf Club in Columbia, will lead the association for the next two years. Founded in 1929, the SCGA governs amateur golf in the state, representing more than 270 member clubs and more than 50,000 individual members.

“To date, we do not know of any other state or regional golf association that has ever had a superintendent serve as its president,” said SCGA Executive Director Biff Lathrop. “We are still asking around because there are dozens of associations like ours in the U.S., and most have long histories, but so far, everyone we’ve spoken to believes this is a first.”

Connell, 51, joined the SCGA board of directors in 2010, following an eight-year stint on the board of the 1,800-member Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents Association. He was president of that organization in 2010.

“Whether this is a first or not, I’m proud to represent my profession and my industry as president of the South Carolina Golf Association,” Connell said. “This association is one of the strongest and most active there is, and we’re looking to build on that record. What I can say for sure is that I won’t be the last superintendent to lead a state golf association. Today’s superintendents have broad skill sets well-suited to organizational management, and many are also deeply vested in the health and well-being of the game itself.”

Connell moved to Fort Jackson in 2009. Since then, he has worked closely with director of golf, Mike Casto, who went on to become president of the Carolinas PGA Section. Prior to Fort Jackson, Connell was superintendent at 27-hole Columbia Country Club and earlier at Northwoods Golf Club. He said he gained much of his interest in association service working at Florence Country Club as an assistant superintendent under Chuck Green, a Carolinas GCSA past president. He studied landscape architecture at the University of Kentucky and horticulture at Eastern Kentucky University. Connell and his wife, Michelle, live in Blythewood with their three boys, Cheney, Aidan Cooper and Grayson.

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