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Wonder women: Women in Golf 2020

By , and |  November 10, 2020 0 Comments

Renee Geyer

West Course superintendent
Firestone Country Club, Akron, Ohio

Renee Geyer, West Course superintendent at Firestone Country Club, didn’t grow up in a greenkeeping family.

In fact, most of her life, she thought she would follow in the footsteps of her father, a professional opera singer, and she studied vocal music education and vocal performance in college.

“I was drilled in my whole life. I was doing things that I thought I wanted to do, but I wanted them for the wrong reasons,” she says.
She would offer to mow people’s lawns as a kid, because she liked being outside. “My godfather taught me how to play golf,” she recalls. “He’s the one who said, ‘Girl, make yourself happy. You’ve got to be happy for yourself.’ So, I dropped out of school, enrolled at Ohio State’s agriculture tech program and said, ‘Let’s give it a shot.’”

Geyer’s been in the industry for 13 years, a superintendent for 4 years, and she is loving her life in turf. Her advice for aspiring superintendents is, “Surround yourself with good people, good mentors and keep in contact with them. And, when it comes to the work on the golf course, give it 110 percent to prove to people, I can do this. You’ve got to be confident.”

She felt honored to be selected for the inaugural Women in Golf, which took place in North Carolina in September 2019. “It was great to be able to connect on a professional level — what problems do you have on the golf course? — but also on a personal level … to have a network of shared like minds and experiences and be able to build on that,” she says.

Fast forward to the 2020 virtual event, and Geyer appreciates being able to share her story with a whole new set of women pursuing careers in this business.

Geyer admits that there can be some struggles with trust and communication with crew members who have never had to report to a female boss, but she remains optimistic. “I truly believe that if you’ve got an open heart and an open mind, anybody can work for anybody and work with anybody. No one works for me. We work together for the product that we have,” she says.

“Stay true to who you are, and stand your ground,” she says. “Take a breath, say a prayer and you’re going to be all right.”

This article is tagged with , , and posted in From the Magazine, People

About the Author:

Sarah Webb is Golfdom's former managing editor. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University, where she studied journalism and Spanish. Prior to her role at Golfdom, Sarah was an intern for Cleveland Magazine and a writing tutor.

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