Once known as the Thompson Strawberry Farm, The Club at Strawberry Creek has been transformed into one of the Midwest’s finest private courses. Built in 2006, the course was designed by Rick Jacobson and plays up to 7100 yards. Matt Kregel, Golf Course Superintendent, presides over the lush green space, ensuring the tee boxes are tight and the greens are fast. We chatted with Matt to find out what’s so special about his job and relationship with Reinders.
Q: Why (and how) did you become a superintendent?
A: I started working at a course after 8th grade. The superintendent there brought me over to the grounds crew at 16.
Q: What is the greatest satisfaction that comes from being a golf course superintendent?
A: Providing pristine playing conditions to those that seek golf as recreation or competition. Taking care of 180 acres of natural beauty.
Q: Do superintendents get to play much golf?
A: Some do, others don’t. You should always play because it gives you a new perspective on things.
Q: What are some prevalent issues within your industry today?
A: Lack of labor! Cannot find assistants, cannot find anyone to work on the crew.
Q: What are some things you would like to see from vendors, dealers and distributors that you don’t currently?
A: Lunch for the crew! These are the guys that make us shine. Bring over the grill, send over the pizzas, and cater it. Lunch goes far…
Q: What changes do you foresee coming to the industry? (Mobile apps, drone usage, automated mowers, etc.)
A: Drones are already being used – their usefulness will continue to expand. With the labor issues, we will look at automated mowers more and less small/walk-behind mowers.
Q: What is the extent of your relationship with Reinders? How long have you been doing business with us and how did it come about?
A: Reinders was heavily invested early on during the construction of Strawberry Creek in 2004. When I came on in 2005, that was my first instance dealing with Reinders. What a great company to have on your side from the start.
Q: What is one of your best stories or experiences with Reinders over the years of doing business?
A: It’s more than just doing business, but having the sales rep come at the crack of dawn and help prepare for an event. Even though the lines resembled bananas, you greatly appreciate the help.
Q: What are some of your favorite things to do when you’re not working on the course?
A: Travel with my family; we have family in Mexico – not exactly a bad thing! Sporting events (professional, college & kids).
Q: Any other stories or fun facts about you or your career you’d like to share?
A: One of the owners of Strawberry Creek is Jay Hilgenberg, 7-time All-Pro Center for the Chicago Bears (1981-1991). I’ve gotten to meet and become friends with many of the 1985 Bears. Yes, I am a Bears fan!