Riverside changes inside and out
From landscaping to getting a free cart for the day, expect exciting changes at the Riverside Town and Country Golf Club in Blue Earth.
One major change that has already taken place is the hiring of Charles “Charlie” Hanson as general manager. He will be tackling projects indoors and out.
Even though he just started on Monday, June 17, Hanson jumped right in.
“I’m pretty much in charge of the whole course,” says Hanson. “Outside and inside.”
With the flooding continually happening around the county, Hanson has been hit with some challenges despite only being here for two weeks.
But, despite the waters, golfers are still out there enjoying the course.
“I’ve got a good crew out there, and they’re making sure things get done,” says Hanson.
With all of the standing water, mosquitoes have been another issue Hanson has had to deal with.
They have now fogged the course twice and will continue to do it if necessary throughout the season.
A graduate from Minnesota State University, Mankato, with a degree in sports management, Hanson found himself working on the grounds at a few different golf courses in the area.
Most recently, he was managing a Finish Line store in Sioux Falls before hearing about the management opportunity at Riverside.
Hanson grew up just outside of Granada and graduated from Granada-Huntley -East Chain and is excited to be back in familiar territory.
“It’s nice to be home,” says Hanson. “I love this course, the tradition.”
During his high school and some of his college years, Hanson worked at Riverside as a clubhouse assistant.
For two years, he even managed the Madelia golf course, so he’s no stranger to this type of work.
Along with daily upkeep of the greens, Hanson is also looking into changing some things around.
He cites his job as challenging and fun.
“A lot of the fun is the challenge too,” says Hanson. “I want more people to come out here and realize this is a fun place to be. They can come out and have some drinks, relax, golf, watch some TV.”
Part of his job includes getting to know the members and making sure they are enjoying their time at Riverside.
“I’m from this area, I knew a lot of members beforehand,” says Hanson. “It’s also fun meeting new members, new people. I like it when they come out and just talk to me.”
Despite his knowledge of the members and the course, Hanson is still itching to learn more.
“My kind of style is I like to know how to do everything so then I can train everyone. And, if someone is not feeling well and they can’t make it in or we’re shorthanded, I want to be able to jump behind the bar and help out,” says Hanson.
Previously, there was a general manager and a clubhouse manager. Those roles were typically divided between indoor and outdoor work. Now, the two positions have combined to create an overall general manager spot where one person, Hanson, will oversee all tasks for the golf course.
Hanson says that Jake Goodnature, the previous general manager is no longer around, but that the previous clubhouse manager, Cindy Sorgenfrie has remained available to help him during this transition.
“I work alongside Josh Robinson,” says Hanson. “He’s my new grounds lead. He does a great job. He’s a hard worker and cares about the course. He handles a lot of stuff outside.”
Somewhat surprisingly, Hanson did not participate in golf while he was in high school or college.
He was part of the football, basketball and track teams in high school and played basketball in college.
“(Golf) is easier on the knees,” jokes Hanson. “(But now) golf is my passion. I could be on a golf course all day, every day.”
And, he pretty much will be with this manager position.
“I’ve always wanted to be on a golf course,” says Hanson. “I tried getting into the golf industry right out of college, but you have to travel halfway around the country to do that usually.”
Hanson is leaping into the job and already brainstorming things that might change.
Something golfers should look forward to is the fact that the kitchen will be open. There will be daily specials to go along with the regular menu.
Different events and tournaments are coming up, too.
“It should be fun,” says Hanson.
Some of the tee boxes may have a different look soon. Hanson, Robinson and some board members have discussed different landscaping options that are possible.
“We’re going to expand the bunker on the ninth green,” Hanson adds. “Sometime this summer we’re going to redo the landscaping around the whole clubhouse.”
Other specials and more changes may be on the horizon.