Cannonball Golf Course in Kansas Returns to Normal Thanks to Friends

It might not make the top 100 ranking of golf courses, but the residents of Greensburg, Kan., will tell you that Cannonball Golf Course is no less important.

The course, clubhouse and other structures suffered damage when a tornado ripped through the south central Kansas town on May 4, leaving massive destruction in its wake. Volunteers, including area superintendents, provided initial assistance in cleaning the course and readying it for high school graduation ceremonies.

Golfers, the golf course and the town received a shot in the arm when more than 40 members of the Kansas Golf Course Superintendents Association, including superintendents, assistant superintendents and vendors spent September 19-20 assisting Cannonball superintendent Gerald Morehead in finishing the restoration efforts. The greens and tees were aerated, verticut, seeded and fertilized in addition to various other activities that enhanced the quality of the golf course. All materials, labor and equipment were donated. Additional equipment will be given to the facility for ongoing maintenance.

"The people of Greensburg are strong," said Cannonball president Stan Robertson. "Returning to normal will take some time, but steps are being taken each day. This golf course is an important part of that process. Golf is one of our best outlets to recreate and socialize - in other words to just enjoy life. Having the Kansas Golf Course Superintendents Association volunteer their time and expertise to improve the golf course is wonderful. There have been other priorities for us, so the golf course has suffered a bit. Everyone has a smile on their face today because they know their golf course is back and ready for play."

Matt Miller, GCSAA Class A golf course superintendents at Carey Park Golf Course in Hutchinson, Kan., coordinated the activities, which included enlisting volunteers, securing product and equipment, and working with Robertson and Morehead to establish a work schedule and list of priorities. Miller credits Jason Gerber, the superintendent at Rolling Hills Country Club in Wichita, for bringing the concept to his attention.

"The month of September is extremely busy for superintendents in the Midwest, so to get this number of volunteers is impressive," Miller said. "I am proud of my peers and honored that we were so warmly received by Stan, Gerald and the residents of Greensburg. It has been a difficult time for them. Golf is a diversion. It was good to see the smiles on their faces."

Cannonball Golf Course is a semiprivate nine-hole facility founded in 1971. It is named after a stage coach line that stopped in Greensburg during the days of the Wild West. Because of the resources needed to assist the recovery operations in other portions of the community, the golf course has suffered some neglect since the tornado hit.

Those Kansas GCSA and GCSAA members who participated include:

Golf Course Superintendents

Ryan Bourne, Dodge City Country Club, Dodge City
Cliff Dipman, Manhattan Country Club, Manhattan
Jarrod Fink, Lakin Country Club, Lakin
Trevor Fralick, Dodge City Country Club, Dodge City
Jaron Gerber, Rolling Hills Country Club, Wichita
Don Graze, Point Rock Golf Course, Elkhart
Tom Hodges, Stafford County Country Club, St. John
Andrew Huffman, Cypress Ridge Golf Course, Topeka
Paul Jonas, Flint Hills National Golf Club, Andover
Craig Jones, Herington Country Club, Herington
Kevin Kamphaus Quail Ridge Golf Club, Winfield
Darrell Kennedy, Willow Tree Golf Course, Liberal
L.C. Lacey, Allen Country Country Club, Iola
Matt Lowery, Mariah Hills Golf Course, Dodge City
Jeff McPherson, Rolling Hills Country Club, Wichita
Danzey Nickel, Tamarisk Golf Course, Syracuse
Trampis Nickel, Wamego Country Club, Wamego
Matt Miller, Carey Park Golf Course, Hutchinson
Ron Reese, L.W. Clapp Golf Course, Wichita
Jason Reffner, Wamego Country Club, Wamego
Dave Richter, Lakin Municipal Golf Course, Lakin
Rick Schroeder, Hugoton Municipal Golf Course, Hugoton
Kevin Shook, Point Rock Golf Course, Elkhart
Jesse Smith, Mariah Hills Golf Course, Dodge City
Charlie Thompson, Willowbrook Golf Course, Hutchinson
Cole Thompson, Kansas State University turfgrass student
Kevin Wallace, Cottonwood Hills Golf Club, Hutchinson

Industry Vendors

Rick Blasi, Helena Chemical, Lenexa
Don Breault, Van Diest Supply, Abilene/Clay Center
Russell Cole, RMI Golf Carts, Olathe
Red Elliott, Standard Golf, Cedar Falls
Kevin Fateley, Wildcat Creek Golf & Fitness, Manhattan
Jeff Gazaway, Estes, Tulsa, Okla.
Bob Johanning, Industrial Sales, Olathe
Jim Johnson, Bayer, Liberty, Mo.
Brian Ruder, Helena Chemical, Lenexa
John Sheehe, Helena Chemical, Lenexa
Mike Simon, Kansas Golf & Turf, Wichita
Gregg Snyder, TPEC, Wichita
Shawn Spann, Van Wall Equipment, Hutchinson/Olathe