The Premier Golf Club of Door County
Taking the scenic route along the Door Peninsula and arriving just after 9 a.m., we were greeted at the recently constructed, nearly 8,000 square foot maintenance shop by Superintendent Brian Ferrie, and his dog, Maggie.
Maggie asks to play fetch by chewing and dropping a golf ball. Brian goes on to explain that Maggie has expensive taste — her favorite golf balls are Pro V1’s. As for her go-to place to find them? Assistant Superintendent Aaron Slaby’s golf cart.
Brian’s first job in the turfgrass industry came at age 15. In 1998, with no prior experience as a head superintendent, he was brought on during the course construction and grow-in at Horseshoe Bay. 20 years later, Brian refers to the course as a third child of sorts.
As he puts it, “They took a shot on me and I took a shot, hoping it would work out.”
Located 10 miles north of Sturgeon Bay, a top-rated private golf course situated along the Door Peninsula is everything you’d imagine, and more. The views? Breathtaking. Green complexes? Good luck.
Brian and his team do a phenomenal job of working with the natural elements afforded by the geography. The Niagara Escarpment stretches through portions of the golf course, protruding through half of the fairway on hole #8.
‘Out of bounds?’ you might ask. Nope. The result is an unforgettably unique hole with a double fairway separated by exposed dolomite rock. While the glacial remnants have been a staple of the coastal golf club, so have numerous staff members who Superintendent Brian Ferrie speaks glowingly about.
An ever-changing labor force is a constant among golf courses. However, a handful of the maintenance staff have been with Brian for almost 20 years. When Ferrie arrives in the morning, oftentimes he isn’t the first in the shop. Whether it’s his mechanic, ‘Skee’, or another long-time employee, the work ethic and dedication shown by the crew is invaluable. Brian has lead by example and created an environment for his staff to thrive in.
While Brian and much of his crew have been around for years, one crucial aspect of the maintenance operation is relatively new. In 2016, current ownership, which consists of 36 existing members, invested in the construction of a brand-new 8,000 square foot storage and maintenance facility. The previous shop, built in 1999, was only 3,800 square feet and severely limited the amount of storage space. With the new, larger facility, Brian and his team can comfortably fit their fleet, and then some.