Chris Anderson has a vision for the Nemacolin Resort.

Anderson is Nemacoin’s Director of Turf Management, a position he has held since August 2018. He has witnessed the evolution of the property over the past four years and knows its history. Nemacolin, which is located in Farmington, Pennsylvania, less than 70 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, hosted the PGA Tour for four consecutive years from 2003 to 2006. The property features two championship golf courses, Mystic Rock , which hosted the resort’s Tour stop, and Shepherd’s Rock, which debuted in 2017. Both were designed by Dye Pete.

Although the station is celebrated as one of Pennsylvania’s premier public access facilities, Anderson would like to see its reputation further enhanced.

He has a credible frame of reference: Anderson came to Nemacolin after attending the Old White TPC course at the Greenbrier in White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia. Shortly after arriving there in April 2016, this part of West Virginia was devastated by floodwaters that forced the cancellation of that year’s Greenbrier Classic, which was scheduled for July.

For the following year, Anderson and his colleagues focused on restoring the Old White Course and the three other Greenbrier championship courses with the aim of being able to host the Greenbrier Classic in 2017.

“We had catastrophic damage,” recalls Anderson. “The golf courses were a mess and we ended up launching a reconstruction/renovation project at the end of July. We rebuilt the greens, redid all the bunkers and fairways and built some tees on some holes”

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Anderson’s experiences in the aftermath of the flood shaped his turf career. He eventually became superintendent of the Old White Course before moving to Nemacolin.

“Honestly, as bad as it was due to the flooding and damage, it was probably one of the best things to do as an assistant,” he recalled. “Basically, almost rebuilding the golf course in a year to prepare for the tournament. We’ve pretty much done just about everything you can do on a golf course. It was kind of a whirlwind of everything you can experience, and we did it in a year.

No superintendent succeeds alone. During his time at Nemacolin, Anderson made it a priority to surround himself with a quality team. This meant making a few changes when he arrived.

“I started making some changes, I would say around eight months,” Anderson says. “I moved Nathan Morro at Mystic Rock at the time. Now he’s back on Shepherd’s Rock (as superintendent). Then I hired JC Richter. He’s the superintendent of Mystic Rock right now and I hired an assistant for him who left.

Anderson is working to prepare his team members to continue their careers after leaving Nemacolin.

“I try to prepare guys to oversee their own golf course,” he says, “and I try to give them as much experience as possible by managing people, budgeting things, building agronomic programs, stuff like that, so they’re ready for action when they go to their next job.

“I don’t want them to leave, but that’s my goal, to make sure everyone who’s an assistant here or a superintendent is ready to take on their next job and be successful.”

During golf season, which runs from April to November, Anderson’s full crew ideally numbers between 36 and 40. During the winter, when Nemacolin is open to the public as a ski resort, a dozen employees stay to help with snow removal. This summer however, Anderson is working with a team of 30 people.

“We have a few vacancies that we’re still looking to fill,” he says, “and then we’ve had some retirements. We come back to (full crew) at the rate of one or two a year.

Anderson relies on the H-2B visa program to fill out his roster of seasonal employees.

“We have 16 seasonal H-2Bs coming in for the season for us,” he says. “They make up a large majority of our seasonal staff. We have a few other full-time seasonal workers that we hire locally.

While Anderson would prefer to hire people who have golf course experience, he doesn’t shy away from those who don’t.

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“Obviously I would like someone with experience,” he says, “but we almost like it with guys who have no experience, to be honest. Because, if it’s the first Once they do something like this, we can teach them how we do things, how our operation is run, and what we can do to minimize mistakes which makes the training process easier. We’d almost rather start with a clean slate .

When Anderson arrived at Nemacolin, the crew was split into two teams, each working exclusively on a golf course. He quickly put an end to this practice.

“Everyone works on both golf courses,” he says. “We have everyone trained and accustomed (to working on both courses). We do a lot of things the same on both, but there are a few differences. Everyone is aware of the operations at both golf courses now, so we can kind of divide everyone.

“It has a lot to do with what we mow that day. It kind of depends on what we’re trying to accomplish where the guys are moved.

Anderson is proud of what he and his team have done at Nemacolin and what they continue to do. He would like the rest of the golf world to see their work.

“We’re really trying to improve this course and get people to play it, just to show people what golf courses are like today,” he says. “People in western Pennsylvania know what Nemacolin is, but not many people outside of that know what this place is.”