2024 PGA National Patriot Award Winner + Director of Golf at Sunset Hills Country Club Jon DePriest

Episode 1 February 23, 2024 00:47:47
2024 PGA National Patriot Award Winner + Director of Golf at Sunset Hills Country Club Jon DePriest
C+C Golf Factory
2024 PGA National Patriot Award Winner + Director of Golf at Sunset Hills Country Club Jon DePriest

Feb 23 2024 | 00:47:47

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Join us as we get to know Jon DePriest.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: This is the St. Louis Podcast Network. [00:00:12] Speaker B: Welcome to the CNC Golf Factory podcast on the St. Louis podcast Network with Kurt Rowey and Kurt Goss II. Kurt Rowey is the executive director through the Metropolitan Amateur Golf association, whose expertise and passion for the sport have helped shape the local golfing landscape in remarkable ways. Kurt Goss II is the head PGA professional at the prestigious Country Club of St. Albans and the 2023 Gateway PGA Merchandiser of the year, a testament to his dedication and excellence in the industry. Together as hosts and enthusiasts, we're here to bring you the latest news, expert analysis, and insider stories from the vibrant world of St. Louis Golf. Settle in and get ready to be inspired by the wealth of knowledge and camaraderie that defines our local golfing community. Welcome to the CNC Golf Factory podcast, where every swing tells a story. Hey, welcome on in it's season two. [00:01:30] Speaker A: Season two of the CNC Golf factory right here on the St. Louis podcast Network. My name is Andy Hanselman. I host this program with two wonderful gentlemen. One is the director of the Metropolitan Golf association. His name is Kurt Rowey. Hello, Kurt Rowey. [00:01:46] Speaker C: Good evening. [00:01:48] Speaker A: And the other is the head PGA professional at the country club of St. Albans. His name is Kurt Gost II. Hello, Kurt Gost II. How are you? [00:01:57] Speaker D: Super, super. Thanks for doing this again, Andy. [00:02:00] Speaker A: Yeah, glad doing it, too. The last time we did a program, we were live and in person. It was just a couple of days before Christmas, and it was at our friends with the gimme Golf Club. Great reaction to that episode. It got a lot of downloads that people were very interested, so it was a good time. So it's been a couple of months since we've recorded. A few things have happened in that time. We'll start with you just mentioned it before we got going here. Merchandise. How was the PGA merchandise show? We were going to try and go down there with you. Didn't quite work out the way we wanted it to, but I would have loved to. Maybe we could try with a little more notice next year. But how was the PGA merchandise show your Christmas day, if you will? [00:02:49] Speaker D: Yeah, show was great. Very much reminded me of before COVID The attendance was great. Many new vendors, many of the big vendors, some vendors that had not been there the past few years. I understand why some vendors don't go. It's not cheap for them to set up. But the turnout was great. Got to take a couple of our new team members that had never seen it before. And then the PGA did a unique thing. And Thursday night, free concert at the hall, and it's more than a hall. It's a maze around town. But they brought in Jake Owen for about an hour and 15 minutes for us for a free concert, and I don't think there was more than 500 of us there, so that was a cool thing. I like country music, and I know he's a golfer, so I'm sure the PJ probably slid him a few rounds somewhere. Fancy to say, hey, play a couple of songs. But no, the show was great. We got to get some rounds of golf in Florida has been colder, wetter than normal, so all the snowbirds, I think, are upset a little bit, but it was great. And I got to attend my first merchandise of the year conference at Holly Hills. Thank you. That's put on by PJ magazine and then some other vendors. Cobra, Puma, golf, genius, revo, sunglasses, and a few other brands. So that was cool. And I got to spend a few days with our good budy, Sean Barnes, and we rode trip to around boy. We started out Orlando, went to Tampa, went to Holly Hills, went down to Bonita Bay in Naples, and him and I were back to Orlando. So Sean and I got a lot of bonding time over seven days. [00:04:27] Speaker A: Were you driving around with Sean that entire time? [00:04:30] Speaker D: Yeah, Sean and I were together. We went with Joe and Paul and Adam. So five of us flew down. We went straight to Tampa, played with one of our members, who's a member at old memorial in Tampa. And then Joe and Paul and Adam went straight down to Naples for four days. Sean and I headed to Holly Hills, where the merchandise of the year conference. Yeah. Between me and Sean Barnes on all these road trips, there was not many pauses or quiet moments in the vehicle, so we had a good time. [00:05:06] Speaker A: We'll get back to old memorial here in just a second because my dad played down there last year and told me all about it, so I want to hear about it from your perspective. [00:05:13] Speaker E: Sure. [00:05:14] Speaker A: But you saw some of your usual friends. What was your favorite soft good of the trip at the PGA merchandise show? [00:05:27] Speaker D: I avoid our big accounts. Peter Millar, G four. Same ownership. They were not there this year. I understand why, but bigger accounts, same as footjoy. They were there, but I did not meet with them. Grayson is a big account. I meet with our smaller accounts. So, for example, smathers and Branson needlepoint product. For some reason, needlepoint in the greater St. Louis area is pretty big, and they've helped with some new renderings, some belt ideas, needlepoint pillows. That was a good one. I'm trying to think I mean, Wednesday alone, I had literally like twelve meetings in a row. But PRG is head covers, little golf medallions or ball markers. PRG has some really unique stuff. I think the biggest thing, and you both have seen it when you go places, you can get pretty darn creative with these vendors and make some cool stuff. So we got some new head covers with PRG Winston collection coming in. I have a pretty cool thing being done with kind of to pay respect to St. Albans, so I got some cool stuff in the works. I get geeked up and get excited because I want to see the new products. So, yeah, the small companies, ladies apparel, I could go on, but it was good. [00:06:50] Speaker A: I just got some new friends from our friends over, new friends. Some new shorts from our friends over at Johnny O today in the old. Very, very nice. Very happy with them and thanks for turning me on to them. [00:07:00] Speaker D: Hold on, Andy, real quick with, you know, he's a member at a pretty historic golf course in southern California and LA that ironically, I was at about a week and a half ago. We can talk about that later. [00:07:14] Speaker A: Oh, I'm very interested to hear this. [00:07:16] Speaker C: I was going to bring it up because I saw it, but. [00:07:23] Speaker D: My long days. You can't feel bad for me. I've done some pretty special things, so we can talk about that later. And you did something special recently, too. Andy, we need to talk about what did Gateway national. [00:07:35] Speaker A: Oh, yeah, yeah. Thanks for bringing it up. [00:07:37] Speaker E: Yeah. [00:07:37] Speaker A: I had my very first hole in one. [00:07:40] Speaker D: It's hard to believe that that's your first. [00:07:42] Speaker A: I know, right? All those years, my hands since I was four years old and it was my very first. None for you, Roe? [00:07:50] Speaker C: I don't know. I do not have any. So congrats on that. [00:07:55] Speaker D: I have one. [00:07:56] Speaker A: Okay. [00:07:58] Speaker D: I'm not running away with this. I'm tied for first. [00:08:01] Speaker A: Yeah, it was a terrible shot. It was when I hit it off the bottom of the club, pulled it left and just happened to go in the hole. [00:08:09] Speaker D: You don't have to tell people that. You can just say you flushed it. [00:08:13] Speaker A: I'm pretty modest. I'm pretty modest about it. [00:08:16] Speaker D: What was the bar bill at Gateway national? Afternoon. [00:08:19] Speaker A: You know, I got off pretty easy. There weren't a lot of players out. I told the cart girl that if anybody heard about it and asked for a drink, that I was buying drinks and to run me a tab. And so it ended up being about $150. [00:08:30] Speaker D: That's not bad. [00:08:31] Speaker A: No, not too bad at all. But I also had lots of people buying me drinks as well. But yeah, it was a nine iron from 115, kind of a little bit with the wind, kind of a crosswind. The wind is always weird out there. It was a ton of fun. What I found out is that all of your favorite vendors will send you a freebie when you get a hole in one. So I have a bag tag from titleist and a bag tag from tailor made, and I got him getting a plaque from Callaway. [00:09:01] Speaker D: Very nice. Yeah, awesome. [00:09:04] Speaker A: I still smile ear to ear when people bring it up. So thanks so much for bringing it up. Yeah, I was going to ask you, too, back to the merchandise show for a second. Did you get out to the driving range and to the putting area? And if so, what were some of your favorite clubs that you hit? [00:09:22] Speaker D: So going back, I don't know, eight years or so ago, Joe and I kind of decided to start skipping demo day on Tuesday. So big reason why is because we've already seen most of the new hard goods equipment coming out, typically in the fall, early winter. So we're seeing things two, three months in advance anyways. And so it just gives us an opportunity to play another day of golf. And again, we don't get too many times to play as a team, know, back home during the season, as you guys can imagine. So we were finishing up a round of golf that morning down in Naples with members of ours from St. Albans and then drove home. But I did just get back from Callaway's headquarters last week and did a full bag fitting myself as a Callaway staffer. I met the team out there, and my GM, Andy Crowe, and I went out and we both did full bag fittings at Callaway's Ely Calloway performance Center. And so shout out to their team, John Garrett, and more importantly, Dave Colberg, our local rep for setting that up. And I got tour headquarters beforehand. So the Callaway equipment is great. But Andy, the main thing is Kurt would know. Kurt's gone through fittings before with a cushionet, titleless products. Everybody makes a great product. But I highly suggest as a PGA professional, go get fit. We push fittings with our members. We don't charge our members for fittings, and some people do. And that's besides the point. Everybody makes great equipment, and I really believe you find the right head and shaft combination. You're going to find equipment that's going to perform. We're still going to make poor swings. But, yeah, I'm pretty excited about the Callaway lineup. The ping lineup title is kind of carries over from last year. Tailormade Zexio for the slower swing speeds. Strixon. So kind of the brands we carry, but they all make good stuff. And excited for another season, I need. [00:11:24] Speaker A: To come out and see you and get. I don't think I have the right shaft in my paradigm. I'm just not getting the distance I need. So I might have to come out and see you and see what's going on there. I love how it feels when I pure it, but I think I'm missing a few yards. I can't come sniff what Rowey's doing with his action on his driver. [00:11:43] Speaker D: Andy, go ahead. No, I'm sorry, Kurt, you go take it. [00:11:47] Speaker C: No, I was just going to mean it is all about the fitting. I've told my story about in my recent fittings with I. About five, six years ago, I went through the full fitting with the Tylas van, came in town and got all new stuff, and they put me in. I had steel shafted driver and three wood, which I thought was a little od. But hey, who might argue with the guys running the know for then. But then two years, uh, I talked to Han and I need to. I need to go see your guy here locally. And I did then. So I'm hitting balls on the range at Winghaven with my steel shift, and I'm hitting it pretty good. I thought, I'm hitting it pretty good. And then he puts a driver together with the graphite shaft, and I'm hitting that and I'm hitting that really good. And next thing he said yes. He goes, so you want to know what you're doing here? And I'm like, sure. He's like, well, that steel shaft, he goes, you're carrying that about 255, 260. And with the new driver, you're carrying this about 275, 280. So I added like 25 yards on my driver, just with a different shaft combination. If you haven't done it, I get the question all the time from people about clubs. And I tell them the same, just. Just go get fit. I'm not going to tell you whether to get ping titles, Callaway, whatever. Just go get fit. [00:13:25] Speaker A: Yeah, that's kind of the overall message. I got fit for my title as clubs back. I did order my paradigm last year, straight from Calloway's website, but I didn't get fit beforehand. I just picked the shaft that I knew that I think it's costing me some yard. So I go there and see my budy Kurt goss the third and get. [00:13:42] Speaker D: All fixed and what I was going to. So I find the right shafts and stuff, but I'm testing the new Callaway paradigm smoke driver last week out at headquarters, and I play the draw bias head guys, because, again, my ball typically leaks to the right, so kind of helps straighten things out a little bit. And I'm hitting it, and it's decent again. I'm slowing down, so I don't have the same speed I used to, but respectable numbers, and I'm keeping it in play according to track man. And then John, who's fitting me, is like, let's try the triple diamond. I said, john, the only time I've tried the triple diamond is one of my assistants, Brooks. He's got the triple diamond with extra stiff. I said, I can't square it up. The thing's 30 yards, right? All the time. He goes, well, let's try with your shaft. Three swings, they all flare, right? Not as severe, but I couldn't square it up. So then he puts me in the normal head, which is just a smoke paradigm max for this year. And we move the weight in the heel, so we make it draw bias. But the main thing was my Max D head draw bias head was too spinny and rpms were spiking close to 3000. Long story short, we put in the regular head model, put the weight in draw bias, but it's less spinny, and quickly. I pick up about twelve yards, and as I'm losing distance, that's where I need it. The only difference is, I know if I don't get around on it, it could still leak, right, because it's not fully draw bias as the Max D. But I also didn't want to sacrifice twelve yards, so some practice would help. But, yeah, the fitting process, whether it's out at someone's headquarters or with your local PGA pro like myself or our guest tonight, it's a must. Don't try to buy it off the rack or off the website, Andy. [00:15:27] Speaker A: I know I know better. And I know I know better. I'm going somewhere with a PGA Tour superstore next week. I'm going to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to play a little golf. [00:15:36] Speaker D: Oh, very nice. [00:15:38] Speaker A: Yeah, looking forward to it. We have a big guest tonight, and he is the head PGA professional at Sunset Hills Country Club. He's actually the director of golf, is what they call him out there. His name is John Depresse. Kurt, tell us about John Depresse and why he's joining us tonight. [00:15:52] Speaker D: So, John, if you don't know John, John is the typical longtime PJ professional, has done great things throughout his career, and one of those big things is, he's dedicated a lot of his time and energy to giving back, particularly to military. He's been involved before with things like folds of honor. John Daly's organization. I believe he's been a part of, part of the lion, and John's been recognized in our gateway section before as professional year Patriot award winner. But more importantly, we found out in early December, John found out a little bit before the rest of us. But John has been recognized by the PGA of America, not just the gateway section, but entire country. He's the 2024 national award winner, Patriot award winner for the PGA, and he's the first individual award winner from the gateway section. And so what a huge honor, but such a humble guy. And I get to bump into John maybe three, four, or five times a year, section meetings, liquidation sale. But I feel like he's a friend I've known for like 30 years. John's great. He's somebody I can shoot an email to, bounce stuff off, but he's a true friend. And it's sad to say that I only get to spend a few hours here and there with him each year. But he's one heck of a guy and one heck of a PGA professional and couldn't be more excited for him. And I know our gateway section is, so I think he was a good fit. Is a good fit. For tonight's episode, director of golf at. [00:17:28] Speaker A: Sunset Hills Country Club, John Deprict. Coming up next right here on the CNC golf factory on the St. Louis podcast network. Welcome back. Segment two, it's guest time here on the CNC golf factory. Just talked about it. He is the director of golf at Sunset Hills Country Club, and he is John Deprict. John, welcome to the show. How you doing tonight? [00:17:50] Speaker E: I'm doing great, Andy. Thank you very much. [00:17:52] Speaker A: John, thanks for coming on. We really, really appreciate it. John, what's been going on at the club this winter? You guys are ready to kick in for the spring season? It's just right around the corner. [00:18:00] Speaker E: We're getting there. We've had some dredging done in our main lake. I've actually talked to Kurt a couple times about it. The lake is now a lot wider than it was before. We filled in one of the smaller ponds, and it's been quite the project. So I appreciate Kurt's help on that. [00:18:18] Speaker A: I was actually at the club a few weeks ago for an event, and I drove, and as I was setting up some stuff, I drove down after I was done and saw the lake. I haven't seen it look that clear. I mean, I used to fish down there when I was a kid, and you haven't been able to do that for years, and so it looked really good. So I'm glad that you guys are having great success with that project. [00:18:37] Speaker E: Thank you. It's going to be beautiful once it's done. [00:18:42] Speaker D: Hey, John. Kurt here. The other Kurt. One of the two kurts. Hey. First and foremost, we all just want to congratulate you on being recognized by the PGA as the 2024 national award winner, Patriot award winner. You're that true professional in our area. I was telling the guys right before you came on, I consider you a true friend, even though we only get to see each other four or five times a year, and usually it's pretty short, unless it's Friday, Saturday at the liquidation sale. I feel like we both kind of sometimes have the same look on our face. Like, we love what we do, but we kind of look a little tired and defeated. You know, besides the congratulations and all you do, I would love, for the listeners, kind of get the backstory, the story of John DePrice, not just Sunset Hills country club PJ professional, but how you got involved in giving back so much and your roots with the game. So love to kind of hear your story, John. [00:19:45] Speaker E: I appreciate that. Well, I think you and I are kind of kindred spirits in a lot of ways. We live and breathe the game and trying to constantly help others do the same. But I came from a family where my uncle, my dad played a lot of golf. I tagged along as a kid. It was fun to kind of learn and get involved. And early on, I think I kind of had a knack for not just playing, but also teaching. And I was always the one that somebody needed a little advice, they'd come and ask me, even in high school, and I kind of relished that role. I like that. So that's kind of what got me started. I was fortunate enough to go to work as an assistant at the Memphis Country Club for Mr. Pat Abbot, who was the head professional there for 37 years, and his replacement, Tim Rush, was there for 40 years. So it was quite the place. I got to have lunch a couple of days a week with Dr. Middlekoff and learned a lot about teaching, a lot about the golf game, just from 45 minutes sitting at a table with him. So that's kind of what got me started, got me motivated into why golf was a passion for me. And I, like you, enjoy helping people providing that service. Go home at night and, you know, you've helped somebody be better at golf or better with their outlook on life, then it's been a good day. [00:21:17] Speaker D: Yeah, that's great. It's always fun to hear people's stories and journeys, how we get into the game. Obviously most of us got into the game at such a young age, and then we turn into careers and takes us away from playing a little bit. Do you still find time to sneak out over at Sunset Hills, get some playing in with the members when you can? [00:21:38] Speaker E: I try to. I just had some thumb surgery here a couple of weeks ago, so I'm kind of waiting for that to heal up enough to pick a club up, but I'm looking forward to that. It's something I put off for a while and had to be done, and it's hopefully going to get me back where I can. I love to practice, so get me back out on the practice to you at the very least. [00:22:00] Speaker D: Okay. Before I pass it over to Mr. Rowey, last thing, real quick, we want to dive in more about how you kind of involved giving back and more know with veterans and whatnot. At what point in your career did that all come about? [00:22:20] Speaker E: Well, it started fairly early on. I worked in Mississippi, just south of Germantown, Tennessee, and the owner of the golf course, kind of my mentor in his business, Bill McGee, was retired Air force captain, and he was a good man. Still does a lot of great things for the golf industry. But we had an event for Chris Berman's, the POW MiA event. Chris Berman's brother was a POW. And that kind of ignited things for me a little bit. And quite honestly, I hadn't thought much about it until 2013. Brian Maine from Whitmore invited me to come to Jefferson barracks and help with one of the PGA Hope clinics. They were getting started, and at the time we were at the gym at Jefferson barracks, had about six guys there, and it was the highlight of my week, I'll be honest, because those guys were always so happy to see you. Very appreciative of what you did to help them. And it just made from the stress of the week or the stress of the job. To go down and spend 2 hours with these veterans was just a very therapeutic thing for me as well. And it just kind of branched from there. I wanted to be involved, but I didn't know how. And that kind of got me started. I'm very fortunate at Sunset Hills that we have a lot of members that are willing to help when I ask them. And we just started our fundraising process right after that, not much longer beyond that. So it's been kind of an ongoing process, but it's been very rewarding along the way, for sure. [00:24:05] Speaker A: Before we throw it over to Kurt Rowey, if any of our listeners want to donate or help out, where can they go to do that? [00:24:14] Speaker E: We have a link right now that Tyler Bilki with the Gateway PGA has set up. You could actually just go to PGA Hope Gateway and tell them that we've set up a marathon. We're doing 100 holes for heroes marathon on July 6, and we actually have our donation site is set up and ready to go. So if they want to donate to that, if they want to contact me, I will send them the QR code that will put them right in there. But, yeah, this is my 21st year of playing 100 holes in one day, and I have friends that they bet me that they'll give a donation for the 100 holes and then they'll double it if I show up for work the next day. So it's been a fun process. But the last several years, I'd say the last ten years of doing this, we've raised about $150,000. So it's worth it when you realize what these veterans went through to protect our freedom and protect our country and to spend 11 hours on a golf course in their honor is really a pretty easy thing. [00:25:28] Speaker A: I know that you've also rounded up a lot of the other local pros, some of your assistants. I know Mike Surrey has done them for with you as well, or in conjunction with you, because he's also a big proponent for helping out the veterans as well. I didn't realize. I knew it had been a long time, but I was shocked to hear that it's been 21 years that you've been doing it. [00:25:47] Speaker E: Yeah, I actually started as an assistant. It's actually been longer than that. When I was at the Memphis Country Club, I did a fundraiser for the Tennessee PGA for a junior golf program we were instituting, and I played 180 holes in one day. But I was also 21 years old, so it was a little different. I had my juniors from the local high schools there teeing the ball up for me, fixing divots, having the ball teed up for me on the next hole, and just went round and round. And my favorite story of that was Kevin's Wilson, who is the original founder of Holiday Inns, was playing golf at the club that day with some guests, and I played through him four times, and on the fifth time, as I went through him, he opened his wallet and gave me a pretty big chunk of money. For 1981, and said, I'm going to give you this with one condition. I said, yes, sir, anything. He said, don't play through me again. It's getting embarrassing, but it's that type of thing. I don't have the resources to give a lot of things, but I have time and my efforts and talents that I give, and it's made it worthwhile over the years to do these types of things. [00:27:10] Speaker C: John, well, congratulations again on that award. I know I sent you a note a couple of weeks ago. I thought it was a little tardy, but I wanted to make sure you knew that that's pretty special. And as I said in my note, regardless of when you do that, that just says a lot about golf in St. Louis, to have somebody and be the first person to win a national award through the section. So congratulations on that dive just a little bit deeper. You mentioned Memphis country club. 21 years. Well, the 21 years of doing this, I'm going to guess, how many times did you hedge on the bet of doubling that bet for those guys that you showed up to work the next day? I'm going to guess it's probably 21 times. [00:27:52] Speaker E: Yeah, that's a pretty easy one. I grew up on a farm. I have a pretty strong work ethic, and I'm a morning person, so that was a pretty easy one. But it's always nice to have that type of incentive anyway. So as I've gotten older, it's gotten harder, I'll be honest. But I still managed to crawl out of bed and get there. [00:28:18] Speaker C: Well, I figured that was the answer because I've been over at the club when we're either hosting a metropolitan event or something, and you're out there with the guys washing carts and getting carts ready. So I knew that was the answer. Tell us, I want to learn a little bit more about your history at Sunset Hills. How long you been at Sunset Hills? And just give us. I know there's a really strong history there. I know Andy's been a lot. His dad's a member and he has a lot of history there. But to be at a club for a long time says a lot about you and says a lot about the club. Sunset Hills. [00:28:54] Speaker E: Yeah, I actually started there in 1999. I was at Oland for a few years, and I went to Foxtan Country Club in Knoxville for about three years. My wife's family is all from this area, so given the opportunity to come back, I decided we'd come and see what happens. And going on 25 years later, I'm still here. So we're really enjoying what's going on. The members have been so receptive, very laid back group for the most part, and got a lot of good players, a lot of big families. Our junior program has always been very good over the years, and it's just been nice to get comfortable and feel appreciated for what you do. [00:29:44] Speaker D: John. Yeah, that's awesome. I mean, that much time at a club, especially many guys bounce around a lot, and so that becomes your second home. And I would assume that you probably owe a lot to your family for all the time you sacrifice with different organizations, the veterans, I'm sure that the family life, and I think I saw on Facebook that looked like you had some family down in Orlando this past month that I think you probably got to enjoy and celebrate that award again. [00:30:19] Speaker E: Yeah. My wife, Tracy, daughter Bailey, and her new husband, she just got married in October, were all there, which made it even more special. It was quite a feeling to get to walk up on that stage with those talented people like Tony Pancake and the other PGA professionals that were there. You read those names and you're kind of in awe of what they do and what they've done. And to have your name read aloud along with them is something that's pretty special. Very humbling. [00:30:51] Speaker D: Well, I know that you made the great way section very proud, and you always do. Like I said, I'm proud to call you a friend, even though we don't get to see each other that much. But our connection is through the game of golf in the gateway. It's just. It's know, having somebody like Andy, who grew up at Sunset Hills, having you on. So, again, on behalf of all of us, thank you for all you do, and I'll let the boys follow up if they got anything. [00:31:21] Speaker A: Yeah, I was a graduate of the junior golf program, John. I go way back to when we played on Friday mornings. That's how far I go. [00:31:30] Speaker E: That's a long time ago. No, it was always good. I think it keeps me young being out with the kids. I still coach the junior league team, and I set up all the camps and the summer camps, and it's just fun for me to get out there. And some of the stories that you hear from these little guys, it makes you laugh. And if you want to know an honest assessment of yourself, just ask a five year old. They'll tell you very quickly what they think, and it keeps you. [00:32:08] Speaker A: You know, we always thought that we had one of the best junior golf programs going with your predecessors like Vic Wep and Brad Peck. Who really did great jobs with what they had. But what you've done with it, with the camps and everything with the kids is really helping to grow the as, as it shows. There's a ton of young, good golfers in Edwardsville mostly, and I would say a lot thanks to some of the programs that you have going on out there at the club. [00:32:32] Speaker E: Well, I appreciate that, Andy. We've been very fortunate with. Nicole Johnson is the latest one that won Illinois state high school championship last fall. She's at middle Tennessee State. There's just been Chris Brandt and several others that have really played well and been a great representative of our area. And I'm just happy that I'm a small part of that. [00:33:00] Speaker A: What's your favorite thing on the menu at Sunset Hills country club? [00:33:03] Speaker E: Oh, that's a tough, that's probably, I would say probably the french dip if I had to go there. That's my fallback all the time. [00:33:16] Speaker A: So, Alvin, these guys probably don't know Alvin. Alvin's done the sous chef out there since, I think, before I was born. And he's amazing. And his cheeseburgers are just ridiculous. [00:33:28] Speaker E: Yeah, cheeseburgers and fried chicken. Alvin's actually been there 46 years, if you can imagine. [00:33:34] Speaker A: That's how old I am. [00:33:35] Speaker E: Started there in high school and he's still there. [00:33:38] Speaker A: He looks the same, too. It's amazing. [00:33:40] Speaker E: That's true. That is so true. [00:33:43] Speaker A: Rapid fire questions. Here we go. What is your best round at Sunset Hills? [00:33:50] Speaker E: Best round is 66. I had got a little stretch of holes going that was pretty good. [00:33:57] Speaker A: Favorite national golf course? What's that, your favorite national golf course? [00:34:03] Speaker E: Probably bay Hill. I've had an opportunity to play Bay Hill a few times and that's probably my favorite. [00:34:10] Speaker A: Other than Sunset Hills, what's your favorite local golf course? [00:34:13] Speaker E: Local, I would think. Gosh, probably annbrier. That's close to us. That's a good track. It's hard to go wrong with got. We're very fortunate to have the quality of golf facilities we have in our area that are all pretty close to the downtown area. [00:34:33] Speaker A: What's your go to club in the bag when you're in trouble? [00:34:36] Speaker E: Oh, pick one. I'm always in trouble, probably. I've got a little hybrid club that I like. I can kind of maneuver it around or under trees when necessary. So that would probably be my favorite. [00:34:50] Speaker A: I like my four hybrid, too. It's handy. It's a handy stick. Favorite pregame snack? [00:34:58] Speaker E: Peanut butter crackers. Got to have those in the bag. [00:35:02] Speaker A: Your favorite post round meal oh, gosh. [00:35:06] Speaker E: I think you're back to french dip. French dip. Well, no, I think more along the lines of that cheeseburger you were just describing. [00:35:17] Speaker A: What's your favorite local restaurant? We're going to push this out big time in Edwardsville. So your favorite local restaurant? [00:35:24] Speaker E: You can't put me on the spot like that. My wife's. I'll tell you, hers is sauce on the side. It just opened. I know in Edwardsville. It's a great. And we go to Edley's quite a bit, too. [00:35:34] Speaker A: Yep. Edley's is fantastic. All right. And your favorite post round drink? [00:35:39] Speaker E: Well, considering I don't drink, it's probably iced tea. [00:35:44] Speaker A: It can be Diet Coke, iced tea, or it could be cocktail. [00:35:47] Speaker E: Yeah. Iced tea it is. [00:35:49] Speaker A: There it is. There you go. He is the 2024 PGA National Patriot Award winner, I think. Did I say that right? Is that the correct title? [00:35:58] Speaker E: Correct. Yes. [00:35:59] Speaker A: He's also the director of golf at Sunset Hills Country Club. You can reach him if he said, reach out to him earlier if you wanted to get involved with. Is it folds of honor? I'm sorry. I know that you. [00:36:12] Speaker E: It's called a hundred holes for heroes. It's for PGA Hope. I'm on the board of PGA Reach, which is our local foundation. The pillars of that are the military youth programs and also inclusion and diversity. Those are the three that are supported. Ozzy Smith is the chairman of the foundation, and we do a lot of great things. PJ Hope is what funds the beginners golf programs that we do for the veterans. There's so many of these guys and women that I've gotten to know over the years that basically told me that golf and PJ Hope saved their lives, especially the PTSD vets. Matt Sorensen, who lives in Springfield, is a good friend. He didn't come out of his basement for 30 days until Lance flurry and some of the guys up in Springfield coaxed him out, and he's turned into a golfaholic. But his wife will tell you that it wasn't for golf, he would still be in that basement. He's just afraid to engage with society, and golf gave him the avenue to do. [00:37:25] Speaker A: Incredible. Incredible. One more quick question before we wrap up. Are you familiar? Mike Wellington is a local caddy. He caddies for a guy on the senior PGA Tour, and I think he's doing something down at Arlington with Marcuso, where they're trying to do a big thing with veterans. And it started out like as a small Tuesday club, and now they're trying to build. They were trying to do some fundraising for an indoor facility to keep these guys going all year long. Are you involved with that at all? [00:37:53] Speaker E: I know, Mike. I go down there when time permits on Thursdays typically, and help with the instruction because most of the veterans that play in their veterans golf league started in the PJ Hope clinics and they had to pass those in order to be eligible to go to Arlington. But they've done some great things already. It started out from just a handful of guys to, I think they've got 150 that play down there now. So Mark and Sam Gillan have given back so much of their time and energy and the facility just so these guys can have a place to go to play. [00:38:33] Speaker A: Is the facility open now? Have they got that up and running. [00:38:36] Speaker E: That I'm not sure. I haven't talked to Mark in a little while. So with the weather and then things, I just kind of haven't reached out to him, but I will. It hopefully is in the works because that would be something great for them. [00:38:49] Speaker A: It's a neat thing. And then Wellington has his birdies for bipolar foundation, too. And that's another great thing. There's so much involved, that kind of involvement in the. [00:38:57] Speaker E: Right. Absolutely. [00:38:59] Speaker C: No, I'm. [00:38:59] Speaker D: Thank you for your time. [00:39:00] Speaker C: Yeah. Thanks for coming on with us. [00:39:02] Speaker E: It's my pleasure. Thank you very much for having me. [00:39:05] Speaker A: Not a problem. He is John Dupries, director of golf at Sunset Hills Country Club and that website. One more time. Is pgahope.com slash gateway, correct? [00:39:13] Speaker E: Yes. Or just, you know, they can contact me at Sunset Hills. I'll be happy to forward the QR codes and the website information to them. Our goal this year is to raise $25,000. So I think we got a pretty good start on it now, but every amount helps. [00:39:32] Speaker A: John, thanks so much for joining us. Appreciate it. [00:39:35] Speaker E: Thank you. Thank you again. [00:39:36] Speaker A: John Deprist, everybody. We'll be back for segment three right after this on the CNC golf factory on the St. Louis podcast Network. Back your final segment, CNC Golf factory St. Louis podcast network Andy Curtin. Kurt, thanks so much to John Deprist, the 2024 winner of the PGA National Patriot Award and all around great guy, director of golf, Sunset Hills Country Club. If you want to reach out to him, you can at [email protected]. To be more involved or to get involved with the stuff that he's doing and the 100 holes of golf he has going on July 6. We teased it in segment one, but Kurt Goss, you said one of your members invited you out to a famous golf course in Southern California. [00:40:20] Speaker D: Sort of. [00:40:22] Speaker A: Did you invite yourself? [00:40:25] Speaker D: Yeah, I do quite a bit. Augusta hasn't responded yet. Right? 113 emails then. No. So I have a former assistant from St. Alban, Stephanie Lou. Stephanie left us about 13 months ago, beginning of 2023. Stephanie is an assistant pro at Los Angeles Country Club, host of the 2023 men's US Open. [00:40:48] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:40:49] Speaker D: And RGM. Andy Crow at St. Olivan and I were heading out to Callaway headquarters for a little tour in the morning and full bag fittings at the Ely Calloway Performance center on Monday of last week. The day before was Sunday, Super Bowl Sunday. And I politely hounded Stephanie a handful of times and said, andy and I are coming to, you know, love to see you wink, wink, nudge, nudge. So it was great that Stephanie and her team had us out at Los Angeles Country Club, played with Stephanie and their lead assistant, so we had a nice know. Ironically, it was Andy and I after four years of him being my gm, it was our first time we played golf together. But no, it was quite the honor. That is one of those properties that typically is not going to give the nod to allow a PJ pro out. [00:41:50] Speaker A: Right. [00:41:51] Speaker D: But obviously the connection. But it was great, more importantly, to get to spend 5 hours with a good friend and really see a historic piece of land. They're a 36 hole facility. They were buzzing. Probably a lot of golf early that day because by the time we finished, Subaru had already started, given we were a couple of hours behind anyways, time zones. But what a track. Awesome golf course. Just as you guys know, I'm very nerdy with designs and whatnot. And it was redone about ten years ago or so from Gilhance and kind of restored it to what George Thomas had originally created in I think like 1890, 718, 87, something like that. So 130 year old property. But it was great. I picked up a little bit of swag. I got that employee discount. Thanks, Stephanie. Yeah, if I knew how good of a discount would be, I might have splurged a little bit more, but I controlled myself. [00:42:52] Speaker C: Or he might have called us and said, hey, you guys need anything from. No, no, that's all. [00:43:02] Speaker D: My bad, guys. I'll remember the next time I go for sure. But no, it was a great time. And then followed it up the next day with seeing Callaway headquarters and doing a full bag fitting. So I had a great time. [00:43:19] Speaker A: That's super cool. I'm glad you got to do that. You get to do some pretty neat things. And I know you're very humble about it and just shows your humility, and that's how good of a guy you are. And I'm glad you get to do things like that. [00:43:32] Speaker D: Well, I appreciate it. And I made sure I did not hashtag Lacc in any post. I did everything she told me to. I didn't do anything. But no, what a treat. And we're fortunate in this business, the long days. But we all hopefully take advantage, and I highly recommend that any other fellow club professionals take advantage of the occasional opportunities. Why not? [00:43:59] Speaker A: Without question. [00:44:02] Speaker C: Correct me if I'm not wrong, if I'm wrong, but you got to wear the long pants, right? [00:44:07] Speaker D: Correct. [00:44:08] Speaker C: Yeah, correct. [00:44:10] Speaker D: The text message was, you have to wear long pants. Do not take any photos of the clubhouse in the clubhouse of the golf shop. Don't hashtag anything again. And I respect that. I'm an unaccompanied guest that's usually not paying when I go on these properties, whether it's sunset Hills in Edwardsville, whether it's Boone Valley, whether it's Los Angeles Country Club or August national, wherever I step, and whether it's public or private resort, I respect that. And I remember that. I'm carrying the PGA. I'm carrying my name. I'm carrying. I do not. I tiptoe on eggshells. My hat's know. I just go about my business and try to be unseen as opposed to when I'm at St. Albans, everybody sees me because I'm like Joe Schwint. I like to be the life of the party at the club, but when I'm at other people's properties, I'll just be like a little field mouse hiding in the corner. [00:45:05] Speaker A: Reap the benefits of flying under the radar. [00:45:08] Speaker D: Yeah, that's what I like to do when I'm at those type of properties. [00:45:11] Speaker C: I thought I was right about the pants thing at LACC, but I just wasn't sure. [00:45:17] Speaker D: No, you were absolutely right. They're pretty strict on their rules there. But again, you're talking about 135 year old property. And again, it's not like it's the Midwest. It's not like summers are 97 with high humidity, so you can deal with it. But, yes, it was a great walk. We had a great Cadio Mario, who's been there like 37 years from Mexico. And he had some fun stories to tell, too, especially from the Walker cup, which was like seven, eight years ago. [00:45:44] Speaker C: Oh, yeah. [00:45:45] Speaker A: How cool is my very big bucket list item? That'll probably never happen. But it's to get into the pro shop at Augusta National Golf Club and get some Augusta national merch. Not masters merchandise, but Augusta national merchandise. [00:46:01] Speaker D: You want the members shop. [00:46:03] Speaker A: I want the members pro shop. That's right. And supposedly, if you were a member of the media, they used to let you in there on Monday after the tournament. [00:46:14] Speaker C: I thought I heard that before, too. [00:46:15] Speaker A: Yeah, I know that. If you're playing on Monday, I believe they let you in there as a member of the media. [00:46:25] Speaker C: There is something to that. I do recall hearing that. Yeah. [00:46:28] Speaker A: What's fun is that you go on eBay and there's people selling Augusta National Golf Club merchandise. It's like 400. They try to get 300 $400 for a hat. [00:46:38] Speaker C: Right. [00:46:39] Speaker A: Because it's just so rare. But it's cool stuff. It's neat. Neat stuff. Guys. I think we're going to wrap it up with that. [00:46:48] Speaker C: Yeah. I don't have much. I haven't talked much. Just good to be back. Season two, episode one. Season two, I guess. What's the official tagline here? [00:46:59] Speaker D: But we're on season seven by now according to how tv shows run. [00:47:03] Speaker C: Feels like it. Feels like it been a while, but. [00:47:06] Speaker A: There'S like 50 seasons of diners, drivings and dives. [00:47:09] Speaker C: I know, right? Yeah. Within a 13 year period, right? Yeah. [00:47:15] Speaker A: So I know. It's good to see you guys looking forward to the year ahead. We're going to need to do some planning and talk about what we're going to do with the show this year and what we're going to do to grow and what we're going to do to be better and create great content for our listeners. Thank you very much for joining us for this episode of CNC Golf Factory. My name is Andy Hanseman. That's Kurt Rowey. That's Kurt Goss. You've been listening to CNC Golf factory on the St. Louis podcast network. Content on the St. Louis podcast network is 100% human created.

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