VOL. 132 | NO. 142 | Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Wood Helps Memphis National Keep Business in the Fairway
By Kate Simone
Brian Wood is head golf professional at Memphis National Golf Club, a role in which he oversees a variety of functions related to the club's operations. Wood, a PGA professional and member of the Tennessee Section of the PGA of America, previously served as assistant golf professional at Windyke Country Club.
Hometown: Anderson, South Carolina
Experience: Clemson University, degree in parks, recreation and tourism management with emphasis on professional golf management. Twelve years’ experience at golf facilities including PGA Learning Center in Port St. Lucie, Florida, and locally at Windyke Country Club.
What talent do you wish you had? Trick shots! Most people are impressed by a good golfer, but if you can hit trick shots, you can amaze!
Who has had the greatest influence on you and why? My dad. At a young age, he helped me understand the value of hard work, that you appreciate things more when you work for them, and that the key to continued success is continued learning.
What attracted you to Memphis National Golf Club? It is a facility on the rise and I feel my expertise will help contribute to its success as a premier golf club.
For our readers who aren’t golfers, what job responsibilities fall to a head golf pro? Some may assume I play golf every day and, while I do love to play, much more than that goes into running a successful golf operation. We host 30-45 outside golf events each year, so I coordinate these to ensure their success, whether the goal is to fundraise or to entertain customers. I also oversee the merchandise in our golf shop, which involves vendor management, ordering, inventory control and tracking sales. Our main responsibility is ensuring that our members and guests are taken care of from the moment they enter the property.
What are your goals in your new position? To aid in the continued success of a great golf facility by providing a welcoming environment.
Memphis National’s owners recently spoke with The Daily News about the club’s growth in membership amid major course improvements. Is the club actively promoting itself to golfers, or is the growth mainly by word of mouth? It is mainly by word of mouth. Throughout the year, we run different campaigns to encourage our members to invite their friends and colleagues to join. The course improvements are particularly exciting for us, as our members have an increased level of pride and want to showcase the course to their peers.
Had you golfed at Memphis National before the improvements? What’s your impression of the course then and now? I did play at Memphis National several times before the renovation and I always thought the courses were good. It was clear that the bunkers needed a major renovation, but the biggest improvements were those made to several holes that make the course more golfer friendly and enjoyable.
A lot of organizations seek out golf courses where they can host fundraising golf tournaments. How do you approach such requests when they contact Memphis National? We have a great event coordinator, Kelly Bateman. She and I meet with the head of the event and show them what Memphis National has to offer and how we can help them make their event a success.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? As a golfer, it is winning the 2015 Tennessee PGA Assistants Championship. Overall, it’s being awarded Tennessee PGA Assistant Professional of the Year in 2010.
What do you most enjoy about your work? Interacting with the members of Memphis National. They make the club what it is and I look forward to seeing them daily.
If you could give one piece of advice to young people, what would it be? Get involved in something! What you can learn from others while participating in an activity you enjoy is invaluable.
Casey Nerren has joined Memphis National Golf Club as golf course superintendent. Prior to this position, Nerren served as superintendent over golf courses at Plantation Golf Club and Stonebridge Golf Club. He attended Horry-Georgetown Technical College, where he studied turf and turfgrass management.
Pickering Firm Inc. has named three employees in its Memphis office as associate principal owners of the firm. Thomas “Tom” Moisan has 25 years of experience and serves as project manager on the Memphis facilities team. Robert “Bobby” Biggs has 36 years of experience and serves as senior plumbing designer on the facilities team. And Harvey Matheny has 31 years of experience and serves as senior civil engineer on the Memphis civil engineering team.
In addition, Pickering Firm has added several new employees in its Memphis office. Irene Ball has joined the marketing team as marketing specialist. Ball has six years of marketing and advertising experience. Lindsay Murray has joined the transportation team. She previously served as graduate transportation associate for the Tennessee Department of Transportation. Patrice Thomas has joined the transportation team. Prior to Pickering, she served as graduate transportation associate for the Tennessee Department of Transportation. And Kelsey Rivers has joined the Memphis civil engineering team. Rivers has a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from Arkansas State University, Jonesboro.
Susan Elliott has been promoted to vice president of programming at Memphis in May International Festival, a role in which she oversees the festival’s arts, international culture, education, and entertainment programs. Elliott joined Memphis in May in February 2016, bringing more than 20 years’ experience working with organizations such as the University of Memphis, Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau and Mud Island River Park.
Eva Rehkopf has joined nexAir as a human resources manager. Rehkopf will focus on employee relations, recruiting and strategy. Her work experience includes seven years with NuVasive Inc. in Memphis, where she provided HR support across most functional areas of the company.
Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Memphis-Beale Street has received a 2017 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award. Now in its seventh year, the achievement celebrates hospitality businesses that maintain an overall TripAdvisor rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and have been listed on the travel website for at least a year.