By Jessie Wagoner
The 2020 season may have started off slow for Turkey Creek Golf Course, but it has picked up speed, making it the most profitable season the golf course has seen.
Due to COVID-19, Turkey Creek Golf Course had to close to the public for three weeks. Employees still reported for work each day to maintain the grounds, but no golfers stepped foot on the course. Once the restrictions were lifted, eager golfers descended on the course.
“We have had a lot of tournaments canceled due to COVID-19,” Treg Fawl, clubhouse manager for Turkey Creek Golf Course, said. “But ever since we opened back up, we haven’t really had to have the tournaments because we have had so many people.”
Fawl says the hard work of the Jason Buschbom, golf course superintendent, and his crew is a big part of the reason so many golfers continue to come back. As new golfers have tried the course this year, they have been impressed and continued to return, often bringing new people with them to play the course for the first time.
“Another good factor is we have had good weather this year,” Fawl said. “We have had rain but no flooding, and they have done an awesome job with the course. So they come play it, and then they are like, ‘That course is awesome,’ so they keep coming back.”
Buschbom and his crew devote hours to maintaining the golf course, a bare minimum of 172 hours a week is spent ensuring the greens are cared for. Mowers, 12 of them, are almost always running as the fairways have to be mowed or rolled three times a weeks, with the rough getting mowed twice a week. Each day, the greens have to be cooled at 1 p.m. It takes a coordinated effort to the keep the course in top shape.
“I have four to five retired guys that are my core,” Buschbom said. “We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without them. I have two guys that mow fairways, two guys that mow rough and one guy that can do either. They are awesome. Then we also have five temporary guys. If we didn’t have such a good crew, we couldn’t make it work.”
The hard work of Buschbom and crew makes the golf course a welcome oasis for golfers of all ages. Fawl explained the course offers opportunities for everyone to golf, from seniors to children. He even teaches lessons to those wanting to learn how to play or those hoping to improve their game. If someone doesn’t have time to play 18 holes, they can always pick up a bucket of balls and enjoy the driving range.
Currently, Turkey Creek Golf Course members are racing to win the Viega Cup. Viega, who maintains a corporate membership at the course, is sponsoring the cup, which allows members to compete in tournaments at the golf course throughout the year, earning points. At the end of the year, the winners are eligible for three impressive prizes and officially titled the Viega Cup winner.
“The winner of the overall Viega Cup gets to take him or herself and three other golfers to play at Flint Hills National which is a $1,200 value,” Fawl said. “It’s a pretty big deal, so there are a bunch of people fired up about it.”
Because of the support of Turkey Creek Golf Course members, Fawl and Buschbom say they are able to continue to invest in the course and services offered. They encourage anyone interested in membership to contact Turkey Creek at 620-241-8530 or visit golfturkeycreek.com.
Tee times can be booked online or by calling the golf course. Golf cart rentals are available, and the snack bar and beverage cart are running daily.